I grabbed this book because it was short and would easily fit in my carry on. I did not take it with me, I read it on my couch in about 1.5 hours. I was sick and only had enough attention span for 137 pages. I was worried I would fall asleep if I read something that needed me to focus. After finishing, I saw someone describe this book as beautiful and frustratingly sparse. I agree. It was so quick and lacked so much but didn’t seem that way at the same time. Read it so you can pretend you know what I’m talking about. Typical prose in an end of the world Great Britain.
Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge : a book you can read in a day
BookRiot 2018 Read Harder Challenge : a one-sitting book
You guys, I have been deathly ill. No, I did not have the flu. I had a head cold that required the assistance of steroids. STEROIDS! How do those two things even relate?
Somehow, I finished a book during this. I love Anna Quindlen (previous book review here) and when I saw her new book on Netgalley I scooped it up. Alternate Side is all about a dead end street in New York City and the families that live there. Specifically Nora and Charlie and their fraternal twins, Rachel and Oliver. I guess I was so excited to read this that I didn’t look at the summary when I requested it because I was shocked at the turning point on the block. Something bad happens and the ripples from that event change Nora, her home, her family, her job and her marriage. Basically everything. Through all of this though Nora and Quindlen are writing a love letter to New York City. After the event, and even before, Charlie wants to leave the city. Nora refuses. It is her city. She can’t fathom leaving and being herself somewhere else. This is what I loved most. I loved the characters and the story but because I love NYC so much I basically loved all the praise towards it. So beautifully written.
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book with characters who are twins
Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge : a book by a favorite author
BookRiot 2018 Read Harder Challenge : a book with a cover you hate – I do hate this cover. The whole location of the book revolves around Nora living on a dead end street in New York City. A lot of the plot surrounds this. And yet the cover, what I assume to be a street diagram, does not display a dead end street anywhere. It could be a road map to anything. I do not like it. One bit.
For some reason I decided to read Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. I don’t typically like formulaic mysteries so I can’t remember why I picked this up. Now, try to keep up while I explain how this book works. There are two stories. The first 4 pages of the book are of an editor explaining that the last book she read changed her life. The book you are about to read is the second story – the book she is supposed to be editing. We will call the editor portion story 1 and the book she’s reading story 2. Now, the novel story she’s supposed to be editing, story 2, goes on for 200 pages and then doesn’t tell you who the murderer was. It then goes back to the editor, story 1, while she tells you how that book changed her life. Then, at the very end of the whole book it goes back to story 2 and tells you the who-dun-it. Got it? I read some reviews of people I know who said they skipped to the end of the book to read the last chapter of story 2 so they could get the whole picture. I did that. I followed their advice. But THEN, I realized I didn’t care how that story changed the editors life. I had only met her for 4 pages. So I did a bad thing. I only read story 2. And I feel fulfilled. Judge me.
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book with an animal in the title
I heard from a fair amount of people that this was one of their top reads of 2017. It was pretty hefty (576 pages!) so I used one of my Audible credits for it back in November. It took me two months to get through it and I can honestly say it was not one of my top reads for 2017. Its not that I didn’t like it. I did. But it was so loooong. And there were so many stories. Stories within stories within stories. Good God. The current day story is about two scholars who find papers from the 1600s hidden in an old house. Then you follow the story of the woman who wrote those papers in the 1600s. Then each person has their own story within those two stories. The stories were good, they were just long and intricate. So many words. I can’t say I was very invested in the letters and papers of the woman in the 1600s which was half the book. I kept wanting to get back to the scholars. Usually I enjoy multiple POVs but this was too much. I would suggest this book to people who really enjoy rich historical novels.
Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge : a book that’s more than 500 pages – I did get it on Kindle in order to get through it faster so technically I read some of it
BookRiot 2018 Read Harder Challenge : a book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 – I’m not sure it ever says Helen Watt’s age but she’s retiring so I assume she’s over 60
I had been meaning to read Caraval ever since it came out last January. It had a lot of press hype before its release and I ended up liking it a lot. It reminded me a little bit (just a little!) of the Night Circus (which in case you didn’t know – I adore). There was way too much dialog and angst though, but it is YA so that should be expected. Night Circus was often times a lot more about the setting than what was happening with the characters. The ambiance seemed to be its own character. Caraval was very character driven, but not in an overwhelming or annoying way. I could’ve done without the epilogue set up. Book two could’ve told us what the epilogue did in its book jacket summary without leaving such a cliff hanger in book one. I will probably read book two though, but since it took me a year after book one’s publication to read it I wouldn’t count on it happening any time soon. Book two is titled Legendary and set to be released May 2018.
BookRiot 2018 Read Harder Challenge : the first book in a new-to-you YA series
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book you meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get to
Let’s see how I did on my 2017 Reading Challenges! I tag them at the bottom of books that I review and then mark them as completed with my challenges. Currently, I participate in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s challenge, Popsugar’s Reading Challenge and the BookRiot Read Harder Challenge.
Let’s talk about Modern Mrs. Darcy first. I did great with hers. I completed all of the challenges in the Reading for Growth portion. Which is great. Love growth. In the Reading for Fun portion I did not complete
- a book you don’t want to admit you’re dying to read – because I will admit I love reading all things, so nothing really seemed to fit that one
- a book in the backlist of a new favorite author – I tend not to backtrack much but that would have been a good one to complete
I also did really good with Popsugar. They have many more challenges and I completed all but 7 (out of 40!).
- a book recommended by a librarian – I’m certain I completed this because I work with librarians all day long but for some reason I left it blank
- an espionage thriller
- a book with career advice – I put You are a Badass and How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge on hold and then never read them so that’s my fault
- a book you loved as a child – I meant to read The Westing Game or Johnny Tremain but didn’t
- a book with a month or day of the week in the title
- a book that’s becoming a movie in 2017 – all the books I read that are becoming movies are doing so in 2018 *shakes fist*
- a book you bought on a trip – I don’t go on trips
Last, BookRiot. I completely failed BookRiot. Instead of telling you the ones I didn’t complete (13 of 24) I’m going to tell you the ones I did because I guess that’s easier. Let me tell you why I failed though. I do these challenges wrong. I admit it. I read books I would’ve already read and then fill them in to the challenges. I don’t look at the challenges and then find a matching book. And that’s what you have to do with BookRiot.
And there you have it. If you want to try these challenges with me in 2018 the links are below.
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge
Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge
BookRiot 2018 Read Harder Challenge