10.01.2014

third quarter books

I read a few really great new and different books these past few months- a great improvement over last quarter when I mostly listened to some of my old favorites  I also joined a Book Club which I am really enjoying.  And, thanks to BCPL I have a constant pile of books at the ready- oh happy day.

Excellent
19.  The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin - This was really fun to read.  A.J. Fikry is a somewhat grumpy bookstore owner whose life takes some very unexpected turns.  I cried when this book ended; I really loved it.

20.  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini - I love how he expertly weaves stories together.  This was just as terrific as his other books (my favorite, I think) and it left me feeling humbled and grateful.  My only critique is that some of the story lines seemed to end abruptly- I wanted more.

21.  The House at Riverton by Kate Morton - This story is told in flashback by ninety-eight-year-old Grace who witnessed a terribly tragic event as a young woman in service at Riverton House.  It's very Downton Abbey-esque taking place during the same time period and in a very similar setting.  The story was haunting and so beautifully written.  Kate Morton is a new favorite author of mine.

22.  Landline by Rainbow Rowell - Georgie find out she must stay and work over Christmas instead of going to Omaha with her family as planned.  Her frustrated husband packs up their kids and heads to Omaha without her so she spends the next few days at her mom's house.  She uses the old landline to call her husband at his parent's house but instead of her current husband she gets her husband back in their college days before they were engaged.  This was a really fun book, especially since I read it while at my parents' house and away from Bryan (I was tempted many times to pick up their landline and see if I'd reach college Bryan.)  I tried reading Fangirl earlier this year and just wasn't into it, but I really loved this one, so perhaps I'll give Rainbow Rowell another try.

Great
23.  Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford - Henry and Keiko are united by their love of jazz music and the fact that neither of them are white, but they are proud Americans.  The best friends are ultimately separated as tensions against the Japanese escalate during WWII.  This was fascinating and profound.  I love how the story comes together through past and present (my new plot obsession.)

24.  Saints by Orson Scott Card - It took me 8 months to get through the first half, then I finished the last half in 1 month.  The beginning tells about Dinah's life in Manchester and learning about Mormonism.  It was interesting, but slow going (thus the 9 months.)  the last half takes place in Nauvoo with the early saints.  I thought it was interesting how Card was able to weave a fictional character into the lives of real people- mostly Joseph Smith.  This book is definitely not for everyone but I thought Card's research and take on polygamy was fascinating.  Also, he wrote about early leaders of the church as real people, didn't shy away from flaws or mistakes they may have made.  This didn't bother me at all, but I know it does bother some people.  So, take it with a grain of salt, but really was a well-written book that I enjoyed.


25.  To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han - Lara Jean's older sister has just left for college in Scotland and she is feeling the extra weight of being the oldest Song sister at home now.  Amidst this stress Lara Jean learns that love letters she has written to all the boys she's ever had crushes on have accidentally been sent out to these boys- her life is a wreck and she has to figure out some way to put it all together again.  This was so fun to read.  It was unpredictable and cute and I thought the characters were so real and likeable.  I hated the ending as it didn't really wrap everything up until I realized there is a sequel coming next spring.  Can't wait.

Good
26.  The One & Only by Emily Giffin - Shea Rigsby has lived and worked in the same city all her life but after the traumatic death of her best friend's mother she decides to make more of her life.  I really enjoyed reading this, but when I finished I thought "that was kind of dumb."  I thought Shea was SO ANNOYING, but I did enjoy the football aspects of the book.

27.  Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace - I got this on a whim one day when I needed an audiobook for a long drive and my girls' behavior made it impossible to attempt browsing in the adult section of the library.  It was a cute and sweet story of best friends and made me desperate to move across the street from a little girl exactly Jilly's age.

Unfinished:
28.  The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean - This was our September selection for Book Club and not a book I ever would have chosen myself.  For the most part I thought it was pretty dry, but parts were very interesting.  I was about a third of the way through when I found out I'd have to miss Book Club for another commitment so I just decided it wasn't worth finishing.  But, if you're at all interested in chemistry, you'd probably like it a lot.

What have you been reading and loving?

3 comments:

kali said...

I've reallyLoved being a part of a book club. It makes me read some books that I otherwise never would think about. A couple duds, but I've mostly liked them. Our October book is Frankenstein!
I always like your recommendations, thanks for the reviews!

Strong Clan said...

Rachel have you read "Life Animated" Will and I are listening to it right now. We are loving it.
I am not a huge "book on tape" girl, but this is read by the Author which helps a lot.

Lisa {MoneyHipMamas.com} said...

What would I do without your book lists. I added all the excellent ones to my Good Reads list. My list is getting pretty long. I keep getting distracted by motivational non-fiction books that I hope will motive me to be a less-lazy, better mom. It doesn't work. :)