Category Archives: book review

A Man Called Ove

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It would seem I have a problem with popular books. I avoid them. I avoided Homegoing and Underground Railroad and many others I’m sure. Why do I do that? Anyway, I kept avoiding this one not because it was popular but because everyone said it was sad. I don’t do sad for the point of sad. If a book is just there to make you cry it is not for me. If it has sad parts that’s a different thing.

I got A Man Called Ove on audio because it was there and I needed something. It was read by an actor, George Newbern. I know him as the fiancé/husband in Father of the Bride (the best movie ever) but apparently he reads audiobooks now. Anyway, Ove is hilarious. I mean seriously funny. He’s a cantankerous old man who’s wife died and now he’s lost. He gets new neighbors who insert themselves into his life and he doesn’t know what to do with them. Were there sad parts? Yes. But I wouldn’t say it is an all around sad book. It has more funny parts than sad. It was a happy summer read. I’m going to watch the movie tonight.

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book with a cat on the cover

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Filed under fiction, book review, audiobooks, movies, book club, summer reading, 3+, Reading Challenge, 2017

This Is How It Always Is

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This is how it always is. It is amazing.

This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl (side note : as far as I can remember he actually never says “I want to be a girl”).

Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.”

In the throes of this book, I texted everyone I know who has even a minor involvement with kids. Not just because of Poppy’s story, because everyone will not be a parent to a Poppy, but because of all the other characters as well. So we can all see how people should respond and act to people in general, not just trans people. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because I thought the trip to Thailand was a cop out. There are regular families who need a real outcome and picking up to fly across the globe where trans people are accepted is not one of them.

This would make an amazing book club book and encourages so much discussion. Side note, I did not like the audio book reader.

Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : a book with a reputation for being un-put-down-able

 

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Filed under 2017, adult, book club, book review, fiction, Reading Challenge, summer reading

A House Among the Trees

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I’ve never read a Julia Glass book. I know she’s very popular and her characters from Three Junes (a National Book Award winner in 2002) continue in some of her other books. A House Among the Trees does not contain any of those characters. It’s a stand alone.

When the revered children’s author Mort Lear dies accidentally at the Connecticut home he shares with Tomasina Daulair, his trusted assistant, she is stunned to be left the house and all its contents, as well as being named his literary executor. Though not quite his daughter or his wife, Tommy was nearly everything to the increasingly reclusive Lear, whom she knew for over forty years since meeting him as a child in a city playground where Lear was making sketches for Colorquake, a book that would become an instant classic.

I don’t know why I picked this up or for that matter why I kept going. I can’t say it was good or bad, it was just a book. Nothing super shocking. Just a slow rolling book with multiple POVs. Easily skipped.

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : an audiobook

 

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Filed under 2017, adult, audiobooks, book review, fiction, Reading Challenge, summer reading, Uncategorized

Homegoing

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This was an amazing book. I avoided it for a long time because of all the hype. But the hype is deserving and it should have won the Pulitzer. In my humble opinion. I also love that Yaa Gyasi went to the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Iowa pride. It was also one of the books that was mailed around in my traveling book club for the months of Sept-Oct.

Each chapter follows a different character, all of them stemming from two women – half sisters. In this way it’s almost like a connective short story collection. I loved all the characters and their lives. So much so that more books could be written about the timeline of the characters lives that we don’t see. And I would read those books. No question.

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you

Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : a book nominated for an award in 2017

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Filed under 2017, adult, audiobooks, book club, book review, fiction, Reading Challenge, short stories, summer reading, traveling book club

My Life in France

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I enjoyed this book so much. Julia Child is a gem. I think she over estimates the amount of knowledge a normal at home cook has, but this book made me want to buy her cookbook. I loved the way she talked about food, her travels & her training at culinary school. She has a such a way with language. Because of this I also found it most interesting that most of the book was relayed through her grand nephew? Or something like that. Julia would tell him stories and then he would write them down via her notes / memory. Even more fascinating! It made me want to go watch Julia & Julia.

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 : read a travel memoir

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book about food

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Filed under 2017, adult, book review, non-fiction, Reading Challenge, summer reading

Midnight at the Electric

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I heard about Midnight at the Electric somewhere.. a place I now do not remember. But that’s ok because I liked it! It was somewhat predictable, as most YA novels are. And I did not like the title. It was a quick read and the characters are engaging. Some of them don’t tie up well though so if that bothers you, steer clear. Quick summary,

While their stories spans thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri’s fates are entwined in ways both heartbreaking and hopeful. In beloved author Jodi Lynn Anderson’s signature haunting, lyrical prose, human connections spark spellbindingly to life, and a bright light shines on the small but crucial moments that determine one’s fate.

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Filed under book review, fiction, summer reading, young adult

In the Woods by Tana French

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I was in a reading desert you guys. I hadn’t finished a book in months. I think I’m coming out of it. I just finished In the Woods by Tana French. I’ve seen this book roam around my peripheral at the library for years (released in 2007) and always wanted to pick it up but never did. Probably because, I am not a mystery reader. Especially cozy mysteries. This is not a cozy mystery but just as a side note, what on Earth is the point of reading a book if you immediately know who did it? Woof. I sometimes enjoy a good thriller where you have no idea what the hell is going on. Like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn or The Good Girl by Mary Kubica, or all those other books that came out and had girl in the title. This book also fills the bill.

This book centers around two murders. One happened 20 years ago and involves the main character, Rob Ryan. The other happened in the same town and revolves around a 12 year old girl. They are compelling and I wasn’t quite sure who did it until more than half way through and even then I didn’t know why. Warning : Do not read this if you like endings that are tied up with a pretty bow. I enjoyed it enough, but I’m not sure I’ll continue the series. However, one thing I like about the series is that each subsequent book follows a different main character. Which doesn’t really make it a typical series. All books could technically stand alone. Interesting.

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book from a genre you don’t normally read

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Filed under adult, audiobooks, book review, ebooks, fiction, summer reading