A Book a Week – playing big

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.

A Book a Week – All joy and no fun

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.

A Book a Week – J

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.

A Book a Week – The Language of Flowers

I read The Language of Flowers because it had been on my list and Stephanie Howell said she was loving it so I thought maybe I should finally pick it up. I thought it was going to be historical fiction. It is not.

It’s about a girl and it’s more about identity, belonging, family, motherhood more than anything else.

I read it in one day. It’s really wonderful and touching and a worthwhile read.

A Book a Week – i’ll give you the sun

I read I’ll Give you the Sun because my friend Evelyn recommended it. And can i just say: It was the best book I read in 2014. It was wonderful. So different. So lovely. So beautiful. So heart wrenching and touching and well told.

I loved every single minute of it.

It’s different. It’s young adult with magical realism. If that’s not your cup of tea, you won’t like it. But if you’re even slightly on the fence, I recommend you give it a try. It’s really really wonderful.

A Book a Week – all the light we cannot see

I read All the Light We Cannot See because amazon recommended it and it was definitely one of my favorite reads of 2014. (yes i read this back in 2014.)

Even though it takes place during World War II and I never read books about the second world war, I somehow made an exception for this because I thought it wouldn’t really be about the war.

And i was right. It’s not really about the war. It’s really wonderful. Great storytelling, really good character development and beautiful writing.

Highly recommended.

A Book a Week – the magicians

I read The Magicians after it sat on my list for years. I always thought I’d like it but apparently I had no idea what the plot really was. This story is sort of like Harry Potter for grown ups. But I think it’s not as good.

It’s longer than it needs to be and gets tedious at parts. There are a lot of characters and it’s hard to keep track of all the plot points. Maybe it didn’t help that I listened to it and didn’t read, but I’ve listened to a lot of books this year and didn’t have this problem before.

I’m on the fence about reading the other two. Especially since I hear number two is not that great.

A Book a Week – colorless tsukuru tazaki and his years of Pilgrimage

I read Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage because it’s Murakami and i’ve been waiting for this book to come out in English ever since I heard it was out in Japan. I waited and waited and got it the day it came out.

And it didn’t disappoint. Because Murakami doesn’t disappoint.

For me, it wasn’t as wonderful as some of his earlier works I love, but i still found it intriguing and it has all the characteristic Murakami touches. If you’re a big Murakami fan like I am, I’m sure you’ve already read this. If you haven’t read him before, start with something like Kafka on the Shore or The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

A Book a Week – ready player one

I listened to Ready Player One because I’d heard the audiobook was awesome. And it was. It was awesome.

As someone who’s been in computer-land for a long time, but not a huge gamer, I still really enjoyed this nerdy, awesome story. I liked how it all came together. I liked all the little nerdy bits. I liked Will Wheaton’s reading.

If you’re into computers, computer games, at all, you will love this one.

A Book a Week – we are all completely besides ourselves

I read We are all Completely Besides Ourselves because it was long listed for the Man Booker and I’d already shelved it to be read. And I really wanted to like this one. It was a different story, had an interesting surprise element and felt like it would be good.

But I didn’t love it.

The twist here, too, felt a bit gimmicky to me. The books is so much more than its gimmick that she could have just started with it and I feel like it would have made the book so much better because you wouldn’t be hung up on the gimmicky part.

Maybe I just don’t like any weird twists in books :)

A Book a Week – the testing series

I read The Testing Series just for fun when I was on vacation. I read all of them in a row and was interested the whole time. It was, of course, similar to other novels I read but I still found it interesting and fun. I can’t remember much of it now, which speaks to how durable the story is but I didn’t feel like it was a waste of time, at the time.

It’s sort of sad when that’s the best I can say about a book. But don’t let me deter you if this is your type of book. Clearly I liked it well enough to read all three.

A Book a Week – The apple orchard

I read When I Found You because amazon recommended it and I’d read Pay it Forward many years ago and loved it.

This story, too, was very endearing. Depressing and outright sad at times but also wonderful at other times. I like how her characters feel real to me. I won’t read another one soon but I did like this one.