Books I Read This Week 2017 – 16

A new Anne Lamott book is a cause for celebration and Hallelujah Anyway was no exception. She is amazing and I hope she continues to write and publish books for many years to come. Thank you for being you Anne Lamott. 

I checked out The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down because it sounded like a book that would speak to me. And it was absolutely wonderful. Highly recommended.

I listened to A Little More Human on the way to Idaho. It started out interesting but then I didn’t like it and I kept waiting for it to be good again, but it never was. Put this one in the camp of “i want my hours back.” there were things I liked about it, but overall, not so much.

This is How It Always Is was my favorite read of 2017 so far. It might be my favorite read of the last 5 years. I loved every little bit of it. I loved it. Really, really loved it.

It was time for another Harriet Lerner so I devoured  Why Won’t You Apologize? Fantastic as all her books are.

I was going to read The Most Dangerous Place on Earth but decided it was too annoying for me. So it was finally time to read Waking Gods. I had read the first book last year and loved it and the second one didn’t disappoint. It was a super-pleasant surprise that this was book two of two so it came to a great conclusion, too. 

I sampled Word by Word and Idaho this week, too. I haven’t decided if I will finish either. Let’s see. I have some books that I’ve been looking forward to in my queue so that might take precedence.

Books I Read this Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Books I Read This Week 2017 – 15

I am not even sure why I picked up The Arrangement. I was sure I wouldn’t like it and I really didn’t need another fluffy book that was too clever for its own good. As it worked out, it was a much different story than I had thought and I read it all in one sitting. I felt it was a bit didactic in the end but I still enjoyed it. 

I’ve been waiting for Laini Taylor’s new book for so so long. I’m a huge fan of her previous series and I knew I’d love Strange the Dreamer  because I love her writing so much. And it was no disappointment. I enjoyed every moment of this book. It wasn’t as magical as the previous only because that was the first book I’ve read in such a magical world. I can’t wait to read number two of this wonderful series.

I then listened to Solve for Happy which came at a very opportune time and was so very honest and interesting and full of exactly what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it. May I never have to experience such terrible loss.

Eggshells was a quirky, quick story. I enjoyed it quite a bit but it didn’t leave a huge impression, it was mostly an intermission story.

I then picked up  Setting Free the Kites which was wonderful. A coming of age story that was sad but touching and I am really glad I read it. Still thinking about it now.

I hadn’t read a Lisa See story in years. I think possibly ten years but for some reason I decided I wanted to read The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane and she was as wonderful as I remembered. This great story is about belonging amongst many other themes and I really loved it.

It was time for another Harriet Lerner so I read The Dance of Intimacy which was one of the few my library had. Shockingly, getting good at intimacy requires focusing on yourself and doing work on you. I know, you’re just as surprised as I am, aren’t you? Just kidding. Of course, the hard work is always with you.

And finally I just finished What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky. This was another library recommendation. Short story collection. Some were wonderful and some were okay and I lost my focus while listening to others. 

I still have 18 books sitting on my library bookshelf. Can’t wait to read some more! One of my favorite parts of traveling! 

Books I Read this Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Books I Read This Week 2017 – 14

A lot of books this week but several of them were very short.

I first picked up The Dry because the library had it and it looked interesting. But the narrator’s accent was so thick that I kept not following the story so I finally gave up listening to it and decided to just read it. It was an interesting story and I am glad I read it. But I didn’t love it.

I chose Always  because I’d read a different book by Jio a few months ago and it was easy and light and I was in the mood for that. This story was also easy and light and I am not sorry I read it but I doubt I’ll remember it for a long time.

I then listened to We Should All Be Feminists which I loved so very much and immediately moved on to her most recent: Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions which was also awesome. I loved them both!

After those, I read Milk and Honey which was also wonderful. Different. Poignant. Thought provoking, Honest. Lovely.

I would have never ever picked up My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry if it weren’t for a friend who told me her daughter really liked it. I’d read his previous book and didn’t love it (even though many others did.) So I was kind of done with the author. But I am so so so glad I picked this up. I loved every single minute of it and then I cried and cried and cried. It was absolutely beautiful. My favorite read of the week. 

I then picked up The Reader because it was about to expire and my friend Amy had said she enjoyed it. And I did too. It wasn’t the best YA read I ever read but it was interesting and thought provoking.

It was time for another nonfiction so I picked up The Five Dysfunctions of a Team which was recommended by one of the Directors I work with. It was a quick and fantastic read. I will have to revisit this one a few times.

And finally I had read the Wolf in a White Van a few months ago and decided to tackle Universal Harvester. I’ll be honest, I didn’t follow this story super-well but I still liked the style of writing this author has and how wildly different it is from everything I read. This was book #73 for 2017.

I have a few more books checked out from the library that I am dying to read so here’s to more reading this week! 

Books I Read this Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Books I Read This Week 2017 – 13

I started my week with Celine which I’d been really looking forward to as I’ve liked both of the two other Peter Heller books I’ve read mostly because his writing isn’t what I usually pick up and this was no exception. I loved the story. I loved Celine. I enjoyed this book.

I then decided to finish the three middle grade books we needed to read for the Lit Club I teach. I finished  The Menagerie well after Nathaniel read all three books in the series. This is a cute, lovely book. I was disappointed in Number the Stars because it stayed so much on the surface of what I thought was a tough tough story. And Fuzzy Mud was okay. Not amazing but not terrible either. Interesing premise. 

After those, I read Stretch which I was worried wouldn’t be great, but it was. I enjoyed every moment of it. Instead od moving to fiction I felt like reading Harriet Lerner’s Fear and Other Uninvited Guests which was absolutely fantastic. I can’t wait to read more of her.

And I finished my week with Innocents and Others. This book was on my to-read list last year but I never got around to it. It has mixed reviews and I kept wanting to stop when I started but I pushed myself to make it through and in the end I really liked how the stories came together. I enjoyed this one more than I thought.

I’m hoping for some more fiction this week. An especially good one if I get lucky.

Books I Read this Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Books I Read This Week 2017 – 12

I started my week with Edgar and Lucy which I had been looking forward to. This book was really hard to get into for me. I didn’t connect with the characters and didn’t understand where the story was going. It goes back and forth in time and perspective which is especially hard on audio. But I decided to persist and moved back and forth between audio and reading. I’d say three quarters of the book ended up being reading because once I got into it, I didn’t want to stop and the audio just wasn’t fast enough at that point (even at 2x). By the end of the book, I really loved it. Even though it was haunting and sad and darker than I thought it would be, I am glad I read it..

I then decided to pickup Stranger in the Woods which I wasn’t sure I’d like. It was a short read and I will say that while the story is fascinating, the book was okay. Not amazing and not much better than a long magazine article would have been imho.

After that, I read The Rules Do Not Apply which I finished pretty much in one sitting. It was so sad and so beautifully written but I still felt like there was something missing for me. Something that stopped me from connecting with the author more. I am glad I read it anyway.

And then I moved to Ill Will. I’ve read Dan Chaon before and thought I would like it. This book is really unusual in style. Several chapters end in the middle of a sentence. There are random spaces in between words, etc. For this one, too, I went back and forth between reading and listening. I couldn’t decide if I hated the book and should put it down of if I wanted to finish. I finally finished after a long slog. In the end, I am glad I read this one, too. I disliked pretty much every single character but the book did make me think about memories and how we remember things. I usually dislike when things aren’t resolved but in this case it didn’t bother me as much.

None of the books I read this week were magnificent in my opinion. I am reading a book now that I am enjoying a lot and I have 20+ books checked out from the library so I am hoping next week’s bunch will be a better fit for me.

Books I Read this Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Books I Read This Week 2017 – 11

I started my week with Gemina because I had it out from the library and it was a 7-day loan so I had to read it first. I knew David liked this one more than the first one and I agree with him. I felt like the last third of the book (which comes after an interesting twist, the first one in a long long time that didn’t bother me) is fantastic. The first part of the book, though, dragged a bit for me and could have been edited more heavily imho. Nonetheless, the twist and all the parts that came out of that made it worthwhile. I am glad I read it.

I then decided to tackle Version Control which I had checked out from library twice before but hadn’t gotten around to listening to. It’s quite a long one and I wasn’t sure it would hold my interest but I was totally wrong. Once I started, I was 100% absorbed in it and I loved all of it. Even though it was another book with similar physics themes that I’ve read several times in the last year, I loved it. This was my kind of book.

I then moved on to Exit West which I’d been waiting for excitedly. Exit West was a quick read and it was also thought provoking. I am not a rereader but this is a book I can see myself rereading. I loved the combination of light magical realism with the heavy historical subject matter. 

And then I moved to  The Roanoke Girls which I knew little about. I should have read more about it because really I didn’t need the disturbing story in my life. But once I started reading it, I could not put it down so there goes 5 hours of my life I won’t get back. It’s a fast read and even though you know very early on how disturbing it’s going to be it’s like an accident you can’t look away from. It doesn’t really even redeem itself in the end. I will admit that I wanted my hours back. You’ve been warned. ūüôā

I ended the week with I’m Judging You which I really really liked. It was funny but much more than funny, it was deep, insightful and thought provoking. A perfect combination in any book, if you ask me. 


Books I Read this Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017?here.

Books I Read This Week 2017 – 10

I started my week with Small Admissions because I had nothing interesting checked out from the library and this was one of my purchases from Audible. It was sweet, light and it reminded me a lot of what last year was like when we were going through this admissions process. This year it’s just Nathaniel so it’s been a lot less crazy. Here’s to hoping we don’t have to do this again until college.

I then decided to tackle Pachinko which was about to expire and I wasn’t sure I didn’t want to listen to it. I dragged myself through a lot of the book and started and stopped it many times but I finally persevered and I am so glad I did. I was very attached to the characters and even cried at the end of the story. This historical time was all new to me and I am really glad I read it.

Since I was already crying I decided to pickup You Will not Have my Hate which I knew was about the man who’d lost his wife in the French terrorism recently. They had a little baby. I knew this story would be heart-wrenching and it totally was but it was also beautiful. Loved it.

I was ready for something light so I picked up The Impossible Fortress which was a 7-day loan from the library so I read it all in one sitting. It was just my type of book. About the 80s, programming on a Commodore, funny, sweet, quirky. I love love loved it.

What Light was also in my list of “about to expire” books from Overdrive so I decided to finish it while I could. It was a lovely little Young Adult story. Not as good as Asher’s previous book but I still enjoyed it.

And finally, I was able to get Faithful out of the library and had no idea how much I was going to love this book. I did not want to turn it off. I loved the characters and though it didn’t feel like a a Hoffman story to me, it really really spoke to me and I am so very glad I read it.

That’s it for this week. A wide mix but no non-fiction this time. Faithful was my 47th book of 2017. 

Books I Read this Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017?here.

Books I Read This Week 2017 – 09

After all the books last week, I started My Not So Perfect Life because I wanted something light and it was on my overdrive queue. As is typical of Kinsella, it was fun and sweet and quirky. 

On the way to LA, I listened to Six Wakes which was on my list since I’d read about it. I really liked it. If Science Fiction is your cup of tea, this is a mind-bending one. I love finding sci fi like this.

And finally, on the way back, I listened to The Futures which had been on my audible list for a while, now. I didn’t really know what this story was about and as it turns out, it’s about Wall St. and NYC and a lot of other things that rang familiar to me. It was a quick read but I am not sure it was amazing. I’m not sorry I read it but I also don’t know that I’d recommend it.

That’s it for this week. I’m in the process of reading three other books at the moment but none are finished yet.

Books I Read this Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017?here.

Books I Read This Week 2017 – 08

A lot of books this week.

I knew I wanted to read All Our Wrong Todays as soon as I heard about it. Time travel. Multiple worlds. Fun and scifi are definitely my cup of tea. And it was not a disappointment. I enjoyed this story and all the convoluted plot twists along the way.

Last week, I watched all the Bravel Girl Symposium talks and I fell in love with Erin Faith Allen. I then bought and swallowed The Underneath in one night. Painful and beautiful and thought provoking all at once.

I then shifted gears into A Truck Full of Money which was about to expire so if I planned to read it, it was now or never. I knew very little about Paul English but had of course heard of kayak. My husband interned at Interleaf when he was in highschool. It’s always a small world. I loved reading this story.

I wanted to read?This Close to Happy?and I got about halfway through before I decided it was too depressing and finally made the choice to put it down. I’ve read other books on depression but this one wasn’t my cup of tea.

I then listened to A Separation in one sitting. I can’t decide if I liked this book or not. It was a tough read. It didn’t have a lot of likeable characters and I am not sure what I took away from the whole thing but I still don’t regret reading it.

I heard of The Lonely Hearts Hotel from my library. When I looked up the book, it claimed to be similar to The Night Circus. I knew I wanted to read it as soon as I saw that. As it turned out, it wasn’t similar to the Night Circus at all. At all. However, I loved it anyway. I really loved the characters even though they seemed to go from one tragedy into another. I loved the atmosphere and the language. This book doesn’t sound like a book I’d like but I somehow loved it.

I then moved to Lincoln in the Bardo. It was my first Saunders and a weird one at that. I am still thinking about this one. The style was so weird. The plot comical and tragedy all at once. Weird, weird novel.

And finally I ended my week with The Three-Body Problem. When I was in Sydney, this book was recommended by my workmates. I checked it out from the library and decided it was finally time to tackle it. It was long and complicated and I didn’t understand most of the physics in it. But I did like it. I am glad I read it. I am not reading the sequel anytime soon.

That’s it for this week. Quite a few books this week in all sorts of genres.

Books I Read this Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017?here.

Books I Read This Week 2017 – 07

While in Sydney, I decided to give The Look of Love a go. I had it out from the library and I didn’t have the mental energy for anything more sophisticated. As it worked out, it was a lovely read. Very predictable but still enjoyable.

I wanted to read¬†Carve the Mark¬†because I loved Roth’s previous book, Divergent. This new book got a lot of controversial feedback and while I respect other people’s perspectives, I didn’t have that point of view when I read the book. I read it relatively quickly, mostly on the plane back from Sydney and found myself enjoying it. I like Veronica Roth. I like the stories she tells and I like the way she tells them. And Carve the Mark was no exception.

I only watched one movie on the 28 hours I spent on the airplane last week. It was called Denial and right after the movie was over, I read¬†Man’s Search for Meaning¬†which I had heard of many times over the years but hadn’t managed to read so far. The first part of the ¬†book is as heart-wrenching as I was worried it would be, but the second part where he talks about logotherapy¬†was fascinating and really thought-provoking and all new to me. I decided I needed to read a lot more about it. If you haven’t read this, it’s highly recommended (though a difficult read, of course.)

I then finished A Gathering of Shadows finally.

And that was it for this week. A light week.

Books I Read this Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Books I Read This Week 2017 – 06

I started my week with Lilian Boxfish Takes a Walk. Which is definitely my favorite read of 2017 so far. I know it hasn’t been so long but still… it’s totally delightful. I can’t recommend it enough. Especially if you’ve lived in NYC.

I wanted to read¬†Lab Girl¬†because it’s been on my list for months but while I liked bits of it, i had a hard time getting through it. I found myself skipping around.

I had the Achievement Habit on hold at the library and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it. I feel like I already do a lot so I wasn’t sure if I need more “achievement” in my life. But I was totally wrong and I am so incredibly glad I read it. It’s by the co-creator of the Design Thinking class in Stanford and it’s full of wonderful, tangible pieces of advice and practices for self improvement. I will have to reread this one.

After I finished Achievement Habit, I grabbed Losing It from my library pile. Not sure what made me originally put this book on hold but i was on the airplane and didn’t want to overthink it. In the end it was meh. Not super mad I read it, but my life is not all that better because I read it either.

I also dabbled in both of the George and the Key to the Universe (and George and the Big Bang) books this week to see if we wanted to pick them for Lit Club. We decided we likely would not.

Not as much as usual, but it’s been a busy week.

Books I Read this Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Books I Read This Week 2017 – 05

I started my week with Shrill because pretty much every end of the year book list had it. I kept resisting it for some reason but then finally broke down and put it on my hold list at the library. I am so glad I did. It was absolutely fantastic. It made me sad, it made me angry, it made me think. it made me cheer. it was really good. I highly recommend it.

I then read¬†In Defense of Food¬†because I saw it come up in the library’s list and I’ve been trying to educate myself about food. While I can’t get behind Gary Taubes’ recommendations because it’s just not possible for me to sustain eating like that, I really liked Pollan’s book. I like the idea of eating as fresh food as possible. I like shopping at our farmer’s market and decided to do it more. I don’t mind paying more for better food. My thought is that if it’s better, we will likely eat less of it to feel full and we will get much better nutrition. I’ve also signed up for a CSA¬†again and I am buying my eggs and fruits and veggies as fresh as I can. I had a long talk with the kids, too, and we will move to eating bread (sandwich) only for lunch and we will experiment with buying better bread until we can learn to make our own. (I just bought a breadmaker to see if we can give it a try.) I am also looking into solutions around moving away from the ritz and graham crackers my kids eat for snack. We are considering extra fruit and nuts. One step closer to eating healthier. I love the idea of eating food where we can pronounce all the ingredient’s names and food that has no more than 5 ingredients total. This will be an iterative process of course and I am sure we will make mistakes along the way. Let’s see how far we can get.

I then read¬†Chasing Secrets¬†because it’s the book we’re reading for our Lit Club so I needed to read it first. It takes place in the 1900s in San Francisco. It’s about the plague outbreak. It was a book I would have never chosen to read on my own, but I really enjoyed it quite a bit.

I then decided to tackle¬†The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck¬†because it also kept coming up as a recommendation. I knew nothing about the author and nothing about much of the premise. I decided I’d give it a shot and see if I liked it. I will say that even though I curse and colorful language doesn’t often bother me, I wasn’t a fan of some of the comments the author made. I didn’t care for all of his verbiage but I did like the book. I liked the idea of picking the things you value and choosing to care about those. And not care about the other things. You can’t care about all. You have to choose and I know this and it was a good reminder to keep it at the forefront of my mind.

And finally, I started reading A Gathering of Shadows because it was about to expire in my library so I was able to get about two thirds of the way there so I am going to have to finish it in a creative way. The third book is coming out in two months and I am looking forward to it.

A middle grade, one young adult, three nonfiction this week. Not terrible, though I miss reading literary fiction, too. Will have to grab some of those next week.

Books I Read this Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.