Category Archives: 2017

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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The Woman on the Stairs

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I just finished The Woman on the Stairs, written by the author of The Reader. You know, that awesome movie with Kate Winslet? Where she won Best Actress? Yes, that one. Side note, I love how Brad did not stand up at first. Anyway, I read The Reader and remember loving it, but then I went to explain it to my husband and was very fuzzy on the details. So if you haven’t read that, go read it.

My love for The Reader is exclusively why I picked up this book. I would love to say it did not disappoint, but I can’t. It’s not that I didn’t like it, I did! It’s just that it did not have the kind of twist I remember The Reader having and loving. Schlink writes very matter-of-fact and without descriptive language. So there needs to be a twist. I would compare his writing to that of Kent Haruf. Haruf doesn’t typically have a twist either. I’m not sure if the writing feels this way because it’s a translation from German or it that’s just how it is. Overall I liked it, but I felt it needed more of a climax.

Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : a book in translation

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book by an author from a country you’ve never visited

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Lincoln in the Bardo

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“On February 22, 1862, two days after his death, Willie Lincoln was laid to rest in a marble crypt in a Georgetown cemetery… Set over the course of that one night and populated by ghosts of the recently passed and the long dead, Lincoln in the Bardo is a thrilling exploration of death, grief, the powers of good and evil, a novel – in its form and voice – completely unlike anything you have read before.”

This book took me awhile. Over a month. I finished it for a discussion with friends, otherwise I would’ve abandoned long ago. There were parts at the end that I highlighted and will enjoy discussing with them. But overall, it’s not for me and I wasn’t in love with it like they were.
I first checked it out on audiobook. It is written almost like a play with many many characters. The audio book boasts a cast of 166 narrators, which is something I had to experience for myself. I liked the way the audio presented the story much more than I liked reading the book.
I changed my rating from a 2 to a 3 solely based on the distinctive writing style, I’ve never seen it in anything else. Having read a bit about George Saunders this isn’t surprising. It’s his first novel. Ever. So he obviously had to start with a bang!

Interview with George Saunders in Kirkus

Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : a book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection (technically not a play but it is def written like one – so I’m counting it)

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book from a nonhuman perspective (ghost)

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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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Pachinko

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Pachinko is a title I picked from the February choices of Book of the Month. Since Behind Her Eyes was such a hit I figured I should continue on with my others from that book box. I decided on Pachinko because the guest judge who chose this book is Alexander Chee. He of the Queen of the Night phenomenon. Now that I’ve finished Pachinko I find this unsurprising because it is a sweeping novel with multiple generations from one family growing and changing through the years and with the country. Chee’s novel reads much like Pachinko in detail and saga.

Sunja is the main character we meet first, a Korean who gets pregnant by a married man. She then marries a traveling preacher, Isak, who stopped at her mother’s boarding house and was nursed by them back to health. He is a great man. He wants kids and a wife and Sunja is in need of a man to keep her from ruin so it works out well. They move to Japan with the intent to go back to Korea someday. Spoiler alert : they never do. Their family is subjected to racial commentary throughout the whole book because Koreans are lesser in Japan. They are immigrants. Even though some of them get Japanese citizenship towards they end they’re still never considered Japanese, always Korean. Sunja and Isak meet family in Japan and have kids and the rest of the book follows their journey and the journey of those that come after.

Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : an immigrant story

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book about an immigrant or refugee

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 : read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color

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Behind Her Eyes

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I picked this book from the February choices of Book of the Month. I chose Behind Her Eyes because in an episode of the All the Books podcast Liberty Hardy, who reads for a living, said that even she had no idea where the ending was going. I thought to myself, Are you f*ing kidding?? Sign me up! Liberty did not disappoint. I had no idea what was happening through most of the book let alone guessing the ending. I read it with some old co-workers and I wish I would’ve known the ending was going to be so awesome because I would’ve made us all wait and read the last 20 pages together so we could see each others faces. It is that good.

Now that I said that I don’t know. Is it good or was I just thoroughly engrossed? I feel like it’s Gone Girl-ish in the way that all the characters aren’t really characters I want to root for. (I have some serious things to say about Gillian Flynn’s books here). They all do something bad and they are all more or less horrible people. But the plot is so enthralling. Also, the ending. Along with the warning from Liberty that no one will guess, it came with a BOTM bookmark that said, “You think you know how it ends? You’re wrong. I promise.” That’s just asking for it. I read the words so closely, which is very unlike me. I’m a big skimmer. But I wanted to catch all the possible clues. Still, I did not guess. You will not guess either. I promise.

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Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : a book with an unreliable narrator or ambiguous ending

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a  book with an unreliable narrator

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Filed under 2017, adult, book club, Book of the Month, book review, fiction, Reading Challenge

History of Wolves

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I heard about this book on the All the Books podcast, as usual. I’m not sure I hear about books any other way anymore. I started listening to it on audiobook. I’ve realized that I commit to books much longer when I’m listening on audio than I ever would if I were reading it. I never ever would have finished this book had it not been something in my car that continued on its own. It moved very slow. The main character, Madeline / Linda (still not sure why she had two names) tells about her life in different ages and stages but always goes back to the story of when she was 16 in Minnesota as a babysitter for her neighbor. This back and forth in time rarely has any indication which was sometimes confusing. There is a climax that she’s moving towards and things happen but they didn’t feel like climaxes because there was no build up. I don’t know how to explain it. If you like Kent Haruf, which I do, it’s kind of like that. Although I don’t like that comparison because I actually really liked Our Souls at Night. History of Wolves is a novel about day to day people with some points of interest but nothing super major.. Did I like it? Nah, not really. I won’t recommend it to anyone.

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book set in the wilderness

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 : Read a debut novel

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