I have no idea why I read Leaving Time . I had sworn not to ever read another Jodi Picoult. I knew she has last minute twists. I knew I rarely like them.
And this wasn’t an exception. The twist bothered me less in this one. But it was also more of a meh twist. Been there, done that.
And all those chapters on elephants were not interesting. Not even a tiny bit. I felt like they might never end.
On the whole, it was mediocre. And completely skippable in my opinion.
I read The Book of Unknown Americans because it was on amazon’s lists again and again and I felt like it was staring me down. I put it off all year and then finally in December broke down and bought it.
And I am so glad I did.
This book is wonderful. As an immigrant, i rarely ever read about immigration and thought this story wouldn’t appeal to me. But it’s about so much more than that. It’s so beautifully told. So sweet and heart wrenching.
I read Station Eleven because it was on so many lists for great books of 2014. And I will say it was likely one of the most interesting books I read last year. Unlike anything else. It’s dystopian but not young adult and it talks of a terrible future but the story is told from the perspective of a traveling orchestra and theater troop. The story goes back and forth in time and weaves together.
It’s interesting, well written, and thought provoking. Gets points for being different but not at all gimmicky!
I read This is Where I Leave you because I wanted to watch the movie so I had to read the book first. I hadn’t read Tropper before so I thought it was a great opportunity to start.
It was so over the top, trying so hard to be funny that it just drove me away. I felt like the characters, the story, everything about it was too comical. Too two-dimensional, trying too hard. Most of the story felt predictable to me, too. With some interesting twists.
There’s kindness in the book. Warmth. Connection.
But I still think it gets lost in his trying too hard to be funny.
And the movie: meh.
I read The Other Typist because amazon recommended it. I resisted this one for a while, too, but I found myself coming back to it again and again. It seemed to call to me.
And once I started reading it, it was really interesting. I was interested in the characters, and especially the narrator, even when it was clear she was an unreliable narrator. I still wanted to keep going.
But then there was the ending.
It felt like the author came to the end and just didn’t know what to do. So she did some really weird, unclear stuff and ended the book.
The ending is very up in the air and not clear. I read all over amazon to see if anyone got it, and there are opinions every which way. In my opinion, that’s not a success. If the ending was clear but some liked it and some hated it, that’s good. people react to it. but if it’s so unclear we’re not even sure what happened, well that’s just bad writing.
I read Why We Broke Up because my friend Evelyn recommended it and I pretty much devoured it. I didn’t want to work or sleep or go pickup the kids because I just wanted to keep reading it.
You know it doesn’t end well, because, well, it’s called why we broke up so you know they break up! But even knowing that, the story was so well told, so lovely, so just right.
If young adult is your cup of tea, this one is highly recommended.
I read The Enchanted because amazon recommended it and I just kept coming back to it like there was something calling to me.
It was also so very short that I felt like I should at least give it a chance. It takes place in jail, so I knew it wouldn’t be all that uplifting.
And it wasn’t.
But it also wasn’t all that great. Not the worst book I read but not as interesting as Amazon made it sound like it would be.
I read The Bone Clocks because I am a big David Mitchell fan. I loved The Cloud Atlas and this was compared to that and it was also long listed for the Man Booker.
And it didn’t disappoint.
With the exception of the last story, which was a little out there for me, i loved all of the book. I read it relatively quickly but still savored it and found myself looking forward to it.
If you’ve never read Mitchell, I’d say start with Cloud Atlas, but if you’re a fan like I am, this is a good one to pick up.
I read Afterworlds for a book club. I had read Uglies by him before and hadn’t liked it so I wasn’t sure about this book but I did finish the whole thing. I didn’t like it. It’s an unusual book with alternating chapters where one story is about a girl who’s writing a book and then the other one is the book she’s writing.
but maybe because it tried to be gimmicky, it was just too shallow. too stereotypical. too uninteresting.
i’ve said it often i know, but gimmicks are hard to get right.
I read Playing Big because I’d read Tara’s blog on and off over the years and I really wanted to see what the book was about. Playing big in general is not something that seemed to call to me so I wasn’t sure I would like the book.
But I loved it.
Especially Chapter 2 which spoke to me strongly enough that it made me read the whole book in one go. That particular visualization exercise has still stayed with me and made the whole thing very worthwhile.
I read All Joy and No Fun for book club. I should really correct that. I read almost none of this book. Just a tiny tiny amount. I hate parenting books and this was no exception.
In my opinion, parenting is tough and not formulaic. Depends so much on the parent and the child and each of them come with so much baggage, emotion, filter, stories of their own that it’s impossible to reduce it to any kind of formula whatsoever.
And, personally, i think fun is overrated. But I know that’s just me.
I read J because it was long listed for the Man Booker prize.
This was probably one of the toughest novels to get through for me. I read it over weeks and weeks. It felt like it was dragging on forever and I just couldn’t get through it.
I can’t even tell you what made the book so hard to finish or even read at all. And in the end, I am not sure I liked it. It was really depressing.
I’ve never read Jacobson before so I don’t know if this is typical for him but now I am not tempted to read more of him.