If you missed it, you can check out what I read at the beginning of 2016 here.
I didn’t read nearly as much in April, May and June as I did in January, February and March, but in April I did something I had never done before – I abandoned a book. I got about 1/2 way through B.J. Novak’s book One More Thing and I decided I couldn’t take one more page.
My previous theory was that you have to read the bad books to make you appreciate the good ones. All of my reader friends (who were much more avid readers than me) totally disagreed. Their opinion is that there are so many great books out there, there is no reason to waste your time reading a bad one. I decided to take a chance on their methodologies. It was hard…but I survived. Does it get easier to abandon books after you do it a few times? Please say yes!
So now on to what I actually FINISHED reading…
Last Christmas Sean wanted to buy me a new book as one of my gifts. One of my avid reader friends recommended Station Eleven but the bookstore was out so Sean went with Orphan Train instead. When Sean told me the premise of Station Eleven I was intrigued so I made a mental note to circle back to it.
I’m glad I did! I usually don’t connect with dark, post apocalyptic novels, but I liked this one. I’m sure it will be made into a movie. The author does such a great job of skipping through decades of time and through the stories of multiple characters, that I got over the setting and tone quickly. I loved watching the character’s stories come together.
The thing I didn’t love was the ending. The book just kind of stops. It’s quite possible the author was leaving the option open for a second book, but I hate when authors end the first book poorly for the sake of a sequel.
Despite the ending (or lack thereof), I would recommend Station Eleven. It’s unique and makes you really consider what the world would be like if a flu outbreak like the one in the book really did happen. I think our new reality wouldn’t be too far off from the one the author describes.
Eight Hundred Grapes
BookBub introduced me to Eight Hundred Grapes when the Kindle version went on sale for $1.99. I thought Eight Hundred Grapes was my first introduction to Chicklit, but an avid reader friend (who believes in abandoning bad books) told me it’s not Chicklit. Even though no one can seem to determine the book’s genre, I loved the book!
Other reviews seem mixed on whether the story and characters stay at surface level, or if there are deeper messages. I lean toward the second. Although the plot circles around the missteps of a young, engaged couple, the book is much more about family dynamics. Why is it no matter how old we are, when we’re with our family, we are 10 years old again? Like last fall when I completely lost my sh** and started screaming at my brother in the checkout line at Kohls. So to all the other people who reviewed this book and said the characters were too crazy to be realistic, I guess you are just a better person than me.
Friends, let me introduce you to The Nightingale, the first book that ever made me cry. There really should be a warning label on this one so you don’t end up like me – crying uncontrollably in the break room at work. The last chapter was so brutal I had to stop multiple times because my eyes were so teary that I couldn’t see the words on the page (or screen in my case). So that goes to show just how much the story and the characters sucked me in.
I was invested from page one. In fact, I read the first 100 pages in one sitting…which is also rare for me. I just can’t say enough about how engaging the story is.
The giant downfall of this book in my opinion is the literary style (or lack thereof). The words and phrases chosen by the author seemed like they were written for a child’s book. I realize this makes me sound like a literary snob. Trust me, I’m not, you’ve seen my reading list.
Still, even with that downfall, I would highly recommend the book because the plot is just so darn engaging. I can’t give it high enough praise. It kept me on my toes every step of the way.
Four Season in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World
It was one extreme to the next reading Four Seasons in Rome after The Nightingale. Like I said, the story of The Nightingale was AMAZING, but the writing style was dreadful. Four Seasons in Rome was the complete opposite – the writing style (like everything Anthony Doerr writes) blew me away, but the story was a complete snooze fest.
So to sum up, this book taught me that I’m incredibly shallow. I value a good story much more than a good writer. Sad day.
But back to Four Seasons in Rome. I (like pretty much everyone else) read Four Seasons in Rome because I fell in love with All the Light We Cannot See. Oh, and if you’ve been hanging out on here long, you know the Mr. and I are GOING TO ROME in a week! It seemed like this would be a slam dunk, pre-trip book to not only feed my excitement (read “obsession”) for the trip, but maybe reveal some of Rome’s hidden gems that we needed to add to our itinerary.
I think it’s important for you to know WHY I picked up the book because that may have a lot to do with why I didn’t really like it. I wanted to, but I didn’t. Basically I was just bored. Oh so bored! Maybe if I had kids and maybe if I had already been to Rome I would feel differently, but I don’t and I haven’t and I’m a shallow reader, so there you go.