I picked up The Heirs because I liked Susan Reiger’s previous book, The Divorce Papers. I loved the style of that book. It was written in divorce paperwork and emails along with notes and memorandums. It helped the book go by quickly and enjoyably because you’re not suffering through pages of explanation on something that’s not important. The Heirs is not like this. I liked this book better than her first one, which is uncommon for me. Usually I love an author’s first book and think the second one is lesser. This one though, amazing. Although it’s different than her first, I liked the style of The Heirs because I like multiple POVs and sometimes the POVs she chooses are characters you didn’t even think you were important. That person? Why are we in his head? And then a shoe drops. Oh.my.GOD. Perfect book with just the right amount of confusion. Loved! For those of you who think it might be a chick lit book, here are reviews from Kirkus and NPR. They do not star chick lit books. I promise. Great book club book. Quick summary below also.
“Six months after Rupert Falkes dies, leaving a grieving widow and five adult sons, an unknown woman sues his estate, claiming she had two sons by him. The Falkes brothers are pitched into turmoil, at once missing their father and feeling betrayed by him.”
Starred review from Kirkus
Review from NPR
Hello May BOTM. Is it June? Why yes it is. I’m behind. Per usual. I chose Since We Fell because Dennis Lehane is a library trustee at the Boston Public Library. I like his books and thought it would be a good choice. However, I immediately lent it to a friend and haven’t seen it since. I will eventually get it back but I have nothing to report on it as of right now.
I also added two other books that weren’t May selections but were ad ons.
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins is the first book she’s written after the Gone Girl phenomenon. Immediately after I ordered my BOTM box I heard from friends on Facebook that this book is confusing and has too many characters. Needs a list of those involved so you can keep track. What?? Annoying. I haven’t picked it up because of that.
I added The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy because I love the cover. Honestly. Wouldn’t it make the best front door? I also added it because I’ve had The God of Small Things for like a decade (it won the Booker Prize in 1997 so she must be a good author) and never read it so I figured why not add her next one to the pile?
I chose Startup for my April Book of the Month. I swear I wrote about it because I remember looking for Doree’s podcast. But alas, I can find no such post. I heard about this book while reading a post Doree and her husband wrote for a blog I read called Cup of Jo. It was about their struggle with infertility. Not until the end of the post did I see that she had recently wrote a book and I did not put it together with Book of the Month choice until it arrived read the author flap. Apparently it was meant to be and I had no idea. Startup has multiple POVs and is about a startup company and a journalist and how they intersect with all the characters. I haven’t read it yet because I’m horrible, but I will post when I do!
Side note, I have American War on my Kindle which is why I didn’t add that to my box. I’ve heard great things!
Oh my God. It’s almost been a month since I posted. A MONTH! Let me tell you why. I went back to my old job. Back in July of last year I said something in this post about how I was going to stay at my last job a long time because it was a manager position. Well, I’m eating my words. And that’s all I’ll say about that. So let’s move on to something I’ve read. Because beyond picture books I’ve only finished one book. Which again, what is wrong with me.
I saw this book on a review and put it on hold because I remember reading a review about her first book, Love, Lies & Spies. I think I even have it on my Kindle. Anyway, I just finished and it was good! Sort of a teen romance, there is no kissing, just lost of Victorian era pining. Lydia Whitfield, an heir to her family fortune, is kidnapped along with her solicitor (i.e. lawyer) Robert Newton. That’s not a spoiler, it happens almost immediately. What follows is minimal blackmail with a who-done-it mystery and her and Robert trying to figure out how to keep the public from realizing they spent a night alone without the company of chaperones. Gasp! It was cute and quick with some side stories that kept it from feeling trite. Recommended!
I’m not super “in” when it comes to graphic novels. I do try, but there’s so many that are 50 book series’ that I get bogged down and only like the ones that are standalone. I recently read the first Lumberjanes and it was hilarious. Not super surprising since the author also wrote Nimona and I liked that as well (although my review says otherwise..)
Anyway, Real Friends was quick and stands by itself. It’s a memoir of Shannon Hale’s experience in fourth and fifth grade and what it was like to try and make friends. Real friends. Not those catty girls who don’t really want to play with you but let you sit with them at lunch or are only nice to you because their mom is friends with your mom. I cringed reading some of the things that were said or done to poor Shannon but in hindsight those things were probably also done to me. Growing up is hard y’all.
I liked that at the end Shannon made a decision that a book that was trying to send a positive message might not have made. Shannon told a girl she couldn’t be in her group of friends because she was mean and made her feel bad about herself. In any other book Shannon would go home and have a heart to heart with her mom about how you have to be nice to everyone and she should let the mean girl in her group. But Shannon didn’t talk to her mom and she didn’t go back and change her mind. Everything was not fine with that girl and they did not become life long friends. And I liked that. Because not everyone will be your friend and you don’t have to be friends with everyone, especially if they’re mean to you. That is a positive message too.
Now that I said the thing I like I’m quick going to say the thing I didn’t like. Here it is. Shannon Hale throws Jesus in there at the WEIRDEST times. It makes no sense. Yes, she mentions going to church. But all of a sudden Jesus is sitting with her in a bush as her only friend. It was unnecessary and awkward.
Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book with pictures
I belong to this wonderful Facebook group called, The Book Club. It used to be called something else that I can’t even remember now because it wasn’t very catchy. It has been recently closed to new members so I won’t post the link but it’s a great group. I feel like we’re all very similar and could be friends in real life because inevitably books that they post about are either books I’m also reading, just heard about, or want to read. Since we talk about books almost exclusively, there’s often a repeated refrain. It goes like this, “Oh, I have that book. Never read it.” Many of us in that Facebook group have this problem. There’s a word for this. Tsundoku. No really. Read that article.
“The desire to buy more books than you can physically read in one human lifetime is actually so universal, there’s a specific word for it: tsundoku. Defined as the stockpiling of books that will never be consumed, the term is a Japanese portmanteau of sorts, combining the words “tsunde” (meaning “to stack things”), “oku” (meaning “to leave for a while”) and “doku” (meaning “to read”).”
I have so much tsundoku I don’t even know what to do with myself. Also, is it a verb? A noun? Anyway.. for the month of May people from this group are participating in Read Your Shelves to encourage us to all read books we already own that we ignore. So, for the month of May everyone stops buying books. Stops checking out library books. Only reads books on their shelves. Or at least to the extent that they can handle this directive. I returned all of my library books. Sort of. I still have a few. But I suspended all my holds. Except a few.. ok so I’m 3/4 of the way doing this. But I’m doing good! I’m reading so many things and although I have only finished one I wanted to share what I’m reading with you so I can continue in my excitement and soldier on with #RYSMay2017
Saints for All Ocassions by J. Courtney Sullivan is the one I just finished. It’s a Kindle book that I’ve had on there for a month or so and was only going to eventually read after months of hearing people tell me how good it was. I ask you, what is the point of getting early copies of books if I don’t read them before their release date?
The Golden House by Salman Rushdie. I have never read Rushdie. I think I secretly hate him because I read his ex-wife’s book, Love, Loss & What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi and she portrays him as a horrible person. But that horrible person won the Booker Prize sooo.. what can you do. Side note : I thought he won a Pulitzer until I checked just now. Anyway, this new book of his comes out in September 2017. It’s weird and I may not finish. Truth.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I have had this book for at least a decade. The previous two books are on my Kindle and as I read along with that wonderful tablet I find it that it’s easier to read in bed on my Kindle than it is to read actual books. This makes me sad. Before I got my Kindle I would’ve said real books were far superior. But nothing can compare to a tiny item that does not need it’s pages turned or the fact that I can read in the dark when my tired hubby wants to sleep and I do not. Therefore, I’m stalling a little on this one because I find it harder to read in bed, which is sometimes where I do my best reading. I’m liking it so much though so I will definitely finish despite this barrier.
Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. I had this book before #RYSMay2017 started. It is a library book. But I couldn’t bear to return it because I need to read it. I’ve been avoiding it because I don’t feel like I need a cry just now and I’ve that’s exactly what it does. I adore Sheryl Sandberg. She is so inspiring. I read Lean In 3 years ago and adored it so much. I bought a copy recently because I realized I didn’t own it and it is worth owning. I will be picking up Option B soon soon soon.
It’s a first. I finished a book from Netgalley before its release date! Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan comes out tomorrow, May 9. I could do with a new J. Courtney Sullivan book every two years and so far I’ve gotten my wish. I read another of her books, Maine, in August of 2015 and before that her book Engagements in July of 2013. Quick summary…
“Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America… Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan—a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand. Fifty years later, Nora is the matriarch of a big Catholic family with four grown children… Estranged from her sister and cut off from the world, Theresa is a cloistered nun, living in an abbey in rural Vermont. Until, after decades of silence, a sudden death forces Nora and Theresa to confront the choices they made so long ago. A graceful, supremely moving novel from one of our most beloved writers, Saints for All Occasions explores the fascinating, funny, and sometimes achingly sad ways a secret at the heart of one family both breaks them and binds them together.”
Saints has multiple points of view and character narratives like her other two that I’ve read and I enjoy this immensely. Multiple POVs for the win y’all. However, Saints also has a past story and a present story which I don’t think the others did. She put the past in seamlessly with the present and it helped accelerate the story and explain the characters more. I loved that it took place in Boston, specifically South Boston and Dorchester, which I’m very familiar with. She talked about Sully’s on Castle Island and Morrissey Boulevard. It makes my heart pitter patter when places I’m familiar with are mentioned in books. I loved the characters. I also love that Sullivan’s books aren’t typically tied up with a bow at the end but still feel satisfying.
Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book set in two different time periods
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 : a book that is set within 100 miles of your location