Category Archives: ebooks

Read your Shelves May 2017

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.

 

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Saints for All Occassions

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

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Rich People Problems

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I received Rich People Problems via Netgalley on digital arc. I love these books so much I believe I danced around the room when my copy request was accepted. It is the third (I hope not final) book in the Crazy Rich Asians series which started with book one, Crazy Rich Asians. This book followed Nick and Rachel on their way to the altar. Rachel had no idea her boyfriend Nick was one of the richest men in Asia. When she goes to meet his family she realizes she is in for a whole new world and it is not a world that wants her involved. Book two, China Rich Girlfriend, was not my favorite. Nick and Rachel were no longer the main characters, and we heard a lot from Kitty Pong. Kitty is more of a main character in this third book as well, and although I hate her less, she’s still not my favorite. Nick and Rachel are rarely present, so if you love them be aware. Astrid has more of a play, like she did in book two. Because of the multiple POVs, which I always love in books, I can’t say there really is a main character unless you count Su Li. I don’t want to tell you much of what happens because the central plot is based around a spoiler.

I loved the conclusion and hope to see these wonderful characters again. It did wrap up nicely, but I felt that way about the others as well, so hopefully the stories will continue.

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book that’s been on your TBR list for way too long

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Name of the Wind

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I don’t read science fiction or fantasy very much. I know there are people out there who will be upset that I even put those two genres together. Name of the Wind is shelved in the sci fi fantasy section at Barnes and Noble. I know, because that’s where I bought it and that’s where I first saw it when the second book came out and I was working at a B&N. This is specifically a fantasy. From my limited knowledge, there is nothing sci fi about it. I’ve loved the covers since I first saw them 5+ years ago but never picked them up because the genre is not my thing.

But then I did pick it up. And it was very good! I was surprised I stuck with it. I bought the mass market paperback and it’s a whopping 722 pages. Which isn’t saying much because I’ve also purchased the second one and it’s 1107 pages. Whether I’ll actually read the second one is another thing entirely. But I did read the first one. Let me talk about it before I get distracted again.

It’s a story within a story. Which I love. It’s kind of like having multiple POVs. Kvothe, the main character, is telling his life story in the present (technically the past but the present of the book anyway). We as the reader go back in time to follow that story while also being pulled to the present for occasional commentary. The premise of the story is that Kvothe, a trouper, is a newly made orphan whose only desire is to go to University. He eventually gets there after a crazy amount of trials and tribulations that sometimes go longer than they’re good for. At it’s heart the book is a hero story and a love story. There’s a climactic event at the conclusion of the book in both the past and the present. I didn’t love the present ending but I’m going to at least start book two. I’ll probably get pulled away, series are hard to complete for me these days. I’m also a bit worried because book three isn’t out yet, not even rumors.

Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : a book that’s more than 600 pages

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book that is a story within a story

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 : read a fantasy novel

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The Mothers

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This book is on a lot of the “best of the year” book lists – which are coming out slowly now that fall book season is in full swing. I’ll have to gather some of those together..

Anyway, this book is a debut. It was very very good. Especially for a first novel. I read it while I was traveling home and my dad asked me what it was about and I wasn’t sure how to describe it. On the surface it’s about a girl who gets pregnant by the pastors son and has an abortion. But really that’s not it. That happens in the first 30 pages? I was reading an advanced copy on my Kindle so I’m really not sure how many pages in it happens but it seemed very quick. The book is about the reprucussions of that decision for her (the pregnant girl), the pastor’s son, their parents, the church, the town, etc. I find multiple POV novels to be amazing and page turning and this  novel is no different. It was a great book to get me out of my reading slump.

Don’t trust me, read the buzz : New York Times, Washington Post, Vogue, The Guardian

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Modern Lovers

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I received Modern Lovers through my Traveling Book Club. I read Emma Straub’s other book, the Vacationers, in 2014 and loved it. I didn’t love this one as much. Sometimes I wonder if that’s just me not remembering the specifics of the previous book or being so in love with a debut novel that I compare everything. Anyway, I disliked most of the characters in Modern Lovers. Which is fine. Sometimes characters are meant to be that way. I liked Harry, the son. And I sometimes liked his mom, Elizabeth. But everyone else was a wash. I had to force myself through just to see what happened to the characters I liked. However, at the end she had impartial newspaper articles, announcements and such to give a sort of epilogue to all the characters and I liked that. It was unique. Recommended for summer. Along with the hardcover mailed to me for my book club, I also received a copy of this book on Netgalley.

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Siracusa by Delia Ephron

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I haven’t had a lot of time to read recently because I started a new job. This one I’m going to stay at awhile because it’s a manager position. I did make time for this book though. Delia Ephron is sister to Nora Ephron who is amazing. She is also the screenwriter of You’ve Got Mail, one of my favorite movies, and a producer of Sleepless in Seattle, also up there on the favorites scale. I mean seriously, what an amazing woman. This book is set in Italy, Siracusa to be exact, where there are two couples and a daughter on vacation together. Enter the weird dynamics. They are talking about the vacation as if it is in the past so you are reliving their memories of it while also getting some current day opinions in hindsight. Each character is represented so there are multiple POVs, a style that will appeal to Liane Moriarty fans. Highly recommended as a summer read.

Oh and also, I just got a Kindle Paperwhite and it’s amazing. I read this book on it and was immediately in love.

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