Books I Read This Week 2020 – 14

Here are my goodreads reviews. If you’re on goodreads, add me as a friend so I can see your books too! I also have an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

Eight Perfect Murders (3 stars): So there were parts of this story I loved. The premise was excellent and it started strong and funny and interesting. And there were a handful of fun twists. But then I felt it devolved. So I feel torn that it had both excellent parts and parts I rolled my eyes. This book mentions so many books that, it was a worthwhile read just on the book recommendations alone.

Last Couple Standing (2.5 stars): This story, while a fun read, turned out to be more stereotypical than I would have liked. The lessons learned and the ways in which the characters made mistakes and learned from them and the conclusions they came to were all reasonably predictable for me. I enjoyed my time with it but it just wasn’t anything new.

The Glass Hotel (4.5 stars): Emily St. John Mandel has such a way with words and imagery that it’s not possible to not be in awe of her writing. Her characters are always memorable and her imagery is always so evocative. I loved this story about the Ponzi scheme and how it unravels all the different people it touches. The whole story was beautifully told, going back and forth in time but several scenes stood out especially strong for me. The 24 hours before the whole thing comes apart and all the ways in which the people who work in the company prepare for it was an exceptional scene.

Showing Vincent’s life before, during, and after was a great way to anchor this story to one character and made me, as a reader, experience it more profoundly.

It’s wonderful to see that while subject was wildly different than Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel’s new book was just as engaging, well-written, evocative, with richly developed characters and had some of the same etherial feelings. I cannot wait to read more of her.

Daisy Cooper’s Rules for Living (3 stars): This story took a long long time for me to get into. I loved the blurb around it being like Bridget Jones meets The Good Place and alas I felt like it was like neither. So I feel the blurb was a disservice in this case. There were funny moments and touching moments in this book and some very sad ones too. By the time I finished it, I thought the end also was poignant but it took too too long to get there imho.

The Sweeney Sisters (4 stars): “That’s the luxury that men have. They can be awful and beloved. Women don’t get that kind of leeway.”

I really enjoyed this story of three sisters who lose their father who also happens to be a very famous author. The story begins as each sister hears the news and they come together to figure out next steps and expands out when they find out about the fourth sister.

I liked the way the story brought together so many dynamics: each sister’s individual story of how their own life and path is unfolding, their way of dealing with the loss of their dad and their way of dealing with the news/interactions with the new sister. The way they can be seen both as individuals and also as a unit of 3+1 is well done in the story.

“Liza, who felt like she’d been hiding in her own life for a decade, was not having trouble staying quiet.”

While the story didn’t have any shocking twists and turns, I loved that some of the ways in which the story unfolded were more unexpected and thus opened the mind of the reader to the fact that there’s possibly more that’s going on here than meets the eye (as there often is in the real world.) I loved that there weren’t stereotypically good or evil characters. Each character was layered and textured and complex.

“Over the course of Serena’s lifetime, it seemed like families were allowed to be more complicated, less cookie-cutter versions of one mom, one dad, loving siblings version of previous generations.”

This story of family, sisterhood, life and mistakes is sweetly told and as a reader, I got more and more attached to the characters as the story unfolded and I found myself rooting for each of them.

With gratitude to netgalley and HarperCollins Publishers for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

And there we go, a little bit of reading.

Books I Read this Week 2020 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here. I am also tracking my books in real time on Good Reads here. If you’re on Good Reads add me so I can follow you, too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

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