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A Book a Week – The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale was also a book club pick and a great excuse to finally read some Margaret Atwood. This book was well written and must be right there with some of the original masters of dystopian literature.

but it was so depressing.

So, so freakily depressing.

So much so that I felt disturbed for some time after I finished the novel. I am not sure I can recommend it knowing how much it disturbed me. But, of course, she’s a classic and so is this book. So there we are.

And I am glad I finally did manage to read it.

A Book a Week – And the Mountains Echoed

The name Khaled Hosseini is equal to painful but deep reading in my book after having experienced The Kite Runner. So I was in no hurry to read And the Mountains Echoed because I knew it would be painful.

But then the book club picked it.

So I buckled down and read it. And I am grateful to say that it wasn’t as painful as The Kite Runner. But it also wasn’t as good. The writing is beautiful. The story carries you. That’s his magic, he’s amazing at putting stories together. But they are always full of deep, deep sorrow and this one is no exception.

A Book a Week – Quiet

Quiet was another book club pick. Even though I’d seen and liked her TED talk, I wasn’t dying to read this book. I felt like I already knew her point and didn’t want to take all the time to go through this book.

But, it turned out I was wrong.

If you liked the TED talk, the book has so much more. If you’re introverted and/or aren’t but are married to one, or mother to one, or best-friend to one, this is a good book for you.

Glad I read it.

A Book a Week – The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I know it’s weird but The Ocean at the End of the Lane was my first Neil Gaiman. And it was such a lovely one.

I read American Gods years and years ago.

Well tried to read it. And didn’t like it. And with that, I wrote off Neil Gaiman.

Until I listened to his graduation speech and then fell in love with him all over again.

So when I saw this short novel, I decided I would give him another chance. And I am so glad I did.

It’s a truly lovely lovely lovely story. Highly recommended.

A Book a Week – Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and Park was another Amazon recommendation. I don’t know what made me put off reading it. Maybe the cover looked too childish. Or I thought I should read more serious books.

Whatever it was, I was so so so wrong to wait.

This is an awesome book. One of the best best best I’ve read in a long time.

It was just sweet, heart-wrenching, and lovely all at once.

I can’t recommend it enough, I read this book in one breath and did not want to put it down.

A Book a Week – The Round House

The Round House was a book club pick. It was a book I’d read about but postponed reading because I thought it might be really sad. And I’ll admit it was hard to read at parts.

But not as much as I feared.

In the end, it was more interesting than sad and definitely a worthwhile read.

Though I will also say the author’s choice of not using quotation marks in dialogue drove me absolutely insane.

A Book a Week – The Last Summer of the Camperdowns

The Last Summer of the Camperdowns was another Amazon recommendation. I pondered it for a while but then finally decided to just read it.

It was okay. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t anything amazing either. It was a relatively easy read, though a bit longer than necessary.

I can’t say it left me with any kind of lasting impression.

Some of these recommendations from Amazon leave me confused. Was this really one of the best books to come out that month?

A Book a Week – The Orphan Master’s Son

I was recommended The Orphan Master’s Son almost two years ago.

But I never read it until now.

It was finally over book club that I decided to buckle down and take this long, long novel on.

And long, it is. It’s also hard to read. It’s harrowing and painful and has really really difficult to get through.

I am glad I did it but I will admit that I could have easily done without it.

Read this one at your own risk.

A Book a Week – The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P was another Amazon recommendation. It’s always interesting when writing crosses gender boundaries. And I think this female author did a good job of writing a book from a man’s perspective.

But the character was so unlikeable to me that I didn’t care how realistic it was.

It made me remember all the things I didn’t like about NYC and my twenties. Things I didn’t like about others. Meh.

If you’re interested in NYC and are similar to some of the characters in this book, you’ll like it. Or if you’re like me, maybe you’ll remember these people and how much you didn’t like them.

A Book a Week – The Lake

The Lake was a recommendation from Amazon. I’ve never read Banana Yoshimoto but I felt compelled to give it a shot. Not sure why.

But I am so glad I did.

This was an unusual, weird, but very very interesting novel.

I haven’t read anything else by her and I don’t know if this was typical for her or not. But I know I will read more.

If you’re up for something unusual, I recommend this one.

A Book a Week – Reconstructing Amelia

I read about Reconstructing Amelia also because I read that it was being made into a movie and I knew I would like to make sure I read it first. It’s about a mom who’s trying to understand what exactly happened to her daughter who commits suicide.

It was depressing.

It was also not amazingly well written or super-interesting. In my opinion.

I am not sure what I think about it. And maybe the movie can be better than the book.

And, of course, I’ll be glad I read it first.

A Book a Week – If I Stay and Where She Went

I read If I Stay because I read that it was going to be made into a movie and I knew I had to read it first. And then I had to read Where She Went too, of course.

I read them both in one sitting.

Swallowed them up. They were absolutely great. If this genre is your cup of tea, you will like these.

And hopefully the movie will be as nice, too.