Books I Read This Week 2019 – 22

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

Fumbled (3 stars): I liked Alexa Martin’s previous book Intercepted and I was looking forward to this one. I will say that part of the reason this doesn’t end up in my “loved” bucket is because of what I read before. Sometimes I am in the mood for a book that’s light and sweet and other times I like deep, thoughtful books. I had just finished a few wonderful literary books, so next to those, this seems light and fluffy. Which isn’t bad in of itself, I am all for light and fluffy, I love all books, but I just wanted more here. I wanted a tiny bit more depth. I enjoyed the characters and I enjoyed the plot that flowed smoothly and easily. Once I started the book it kept me occupied and happy for a long while. But it won’t stick with me for long. Which is also just fine sometimes. If you like a light, sweet read, this will make you happy.

Walking on the Ceiling (3.5 stars):  “Stories have their own logic. For one thing, a story can only be told once it has an ending. For another, it builds, and then unravels. Each element of a story is essential; its time will come and it will ultimately mean something. In this way, stories are accountable, because they can look you in the eye.”

This strange, little novel was a quick read and yet had some thoughtful moments and gems. If you like plot-driven stories, you will be disappointed as this is more of a moment in time and it goes back and forth in time and in between Paris and Istanbul but nothing much happens. It’s not a character study either. You don’t get to know the characters (even the main character) as much and deeply as I like to (it is such a short novel after all.) It’s just a slice, a moment. 

But there are still many moments of beauty in the book and solid writing that makes you stop and think. Since I grew up in Istanbul, there were a lot of moments of reminiscence for me as well. I look forward to more of her novels, hopefully longer and meatier ones next time.

Good Talk (4 stars): What a gem. 

I had not heard of this book. I have no idea how I ended up deciding to read it. When I originally started the audiobook, I had no idea it was a graphic novel and thought I should not listen but read since it’s so visual. But then the audio book is so incredibly fantastic that I could not stop listening. Now I am going to go buy the book so I can also read it visually. This book is not just Mira’s story but it’s about immigration, about our fractured society, about what it means to raise a kid in a mixed family and when there are conflicting values and choices and the gray areas. It’s sad and funny and heartfelt and really beautiful. It is a thought-provoking story that will stay with me for a long time. Highly recommended both in audio and print!

Meet Cute (3 stars): I really enjoyed this quick and sweet book. I knew from the cover that this would be a light and breezy book and it turned out to be that way for the most part. A fast-moving, simple plot, a few tidbit mysteries here and there that were pretty predictable and not a huge amount of deep character development. But it was sweet and light and enjoyable. If you like light romance stories, you will enjoy this one.

The F*ck it Diet (3 stars): It’s hard to tell if this book came at the right time or if I picked it up because I am finally at a place where I want to listen to its message. Possibly the latter because while I really appreciated its message, there wasn’t much new here for me. The first part of the book can really be summarized in one word: eat. Eat what you want, when you want, as much as you want. If you’ve been dieting on and off forever, you’ve been starving yourself and your body needs food. you need to train it to get out of the starvation mode. And then the other parts are just to help you get there. Despite being more repetitive than necessary at places, there are some very useful exercises here and I will do them as many times as it takes for me to get the message and internalize it. Because until I am ready to define my worth by something outside of my body, none of these messages will matter. If you’re at the beginning of your journey, this book might help more. If you’re not ready for it yet, it will annoy you. If you’re like me, and somewhere in the middle, it will reinforce your thoughts but not really do the hard work for you. Because only you can.

The Secret Life (3 stars): This book was very short and yet powerful. I didn’t know anything about Maimonides or his philosophies. But I love much of what’s in here idea-wise. It’s just that they presented in a dry way that doesn’t help you really internalize it in a more visceral way. I’m still glad I read it and will be thinking about the book for some time.

The Bride Test (5 stars): Helen Hoang can write. There’s something magical in the way she weaves her characters. They resonate with me deeply and I can connect to them. I had liked The Kiss Quotient enough to worry about the second book and whether it would be as good. And I think in some ways this was even better. These characters have more depth, more emotion, more conflict and are represent what it means to be human more honestly. I loved even the secondary characters. 

I don’t know why but the audio version does not include the author’s note, I wish they would rectify that since it adds so much depth and perspective to both the author and this story. I can’t wait for more of Hoang’s books.

And there we go, an good week of reading. Here’s to a great week next week.

Books I Read this Week 2019 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 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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