March books

Apr. 3rd, 2017 11:55 am
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Whispers and Lies - Joy Fielding
Terry senses something isn't quite right when Allison moves into her spare cottage, but loneliness and boredom cause her to befriend the free-spirited young woman anyway. This is a suspense novel, but it kind of dragged for awhile. I was frustrated about some things, but by the end most of it gets wrapped up pretty well, although extremely oddly. (I still have questions, though.) It wasn't what I expected, but mostly entertaining throughout. Fielding is a very good writer, even though some of her topics can get dark.

One False Move - Harlan Coben
5th book in the Myron Bolitar series. I enjoyed this a lot!

2017 books: sadly I'm at 5 for the year, so far. NOT a very read-y year so far. Maybe the second half will be different.
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The Weekenders - Mary Kay Andrews
I don't care enough to give a decent summary of this book. There's a woman and her missing husband. Their daughter. An island in the south. This is basically a typical Mary Kay Andrews book with a bit of mystery thrown in. With each book I keep thinking I'm not going to read another of hers, because they have such dumb aspects. But despite the annoyances, they entertain me pretty much from start to finish, so I'll probably keep reading anyway. :)

Slow start on 2017: 1

New Year

Jan. 4th, 2017 07:54 pm
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Happy new year, community! I didn't read any books in December, hence my non-post. But I am enjoying your posts and I hope some of you might want to share your favs and least-favs from 2016, and/or books you're looking forward to reading this year.

And don't forget your usual book lists each month (or whenever)!

Also: do you have any reading goals for 2017? I do fact, I don't have any specific goals yet.

[ profile] silent_soprano wondered if I was going to make a sister community in Dreamwidth, and so I just added one and imported the community content there:

I mostly did it as a backup, and won't really be tending to it beyond occasional backups when I remember. But you're welcome to join or post there, if you prefer. Someday we might all be over on Dreamwidth, so this is just to make it an easier transition.

Speaking of, I'm also on Dreamwidth as moredetails: Again, this is just a backup, but I don't mind having a set of friends in place there if we eventually switch.

Thanks for reading, and have a great rest of your week!
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Winter - Marissa Meyer
Final book in the Lunar Chronicles Series. Way too long with too many unnecessary scenes.

Eligible - Curtis Sittenfeld
A modern take on Pride and Prejudice. This one takes place in Cincinnati and everyone is older with Jane nearing 40 and Lydia around 26, I believe. There are some interesting and somewhat scandalous versions of the different situations from P&P, but I really enjoyed it. I feel like I should've been more bothered by how certain things played out, but despite them not going how I would've chosen, I was still hooked on the story from start to finish.

American Wife - Curtis Sittenfeld DNF
This is a novel based loosely on some events from Laura Bush's life. I didn't finish it, but I just thought I'd mention it anyway. It was a little too depressing since I'm so sensitive and my mood can take a turn easily. But if you aren't as sensitive, what I read was well-written and intriguing.

Sisterland - Curtis Sittenfeld
Violet and Daisy are identical twin sisters with ESP. Violet has embraced this part of herself, but Daisy is ashamed and has rejected it. Their personality and lifestyle differences cause tension in their relationship, and when Violet predicts an earthquake in the St. Louis area, Daisy struggles with how to respond. Sittenfeld is obviously a good writer, and I was sucked into this book immediately. I was really hooked on it the whole time, although after finishing I feel like certain choices the author made were strange, and there may have been too much build up for too little reward. Still, I will definitely keep checking out her books.

2016 books: 32
[identity profile]
Oops, I forgot my book list!

No Promises in the Wind - Irene Hunt
It's 1932, during the Depression, and 15-year-old Josh is struggling at home. Due to poverty and hunger, tensions are high between he and his dad, so Josh decides to leave home and try to make his own way.  This was a book I had to read in school as a teen, and I remembered really enjoying it. I recommended it to Dan a few years back and so it's been on my mind, and I saw there was an audio version. I had forgotten a LOT from the book, and it probably meant a little less since I am older, but I still may have shed a few tears at various points. This book also had me thinking about how dire the situation was for so many people back then, and how unimaginable it is now that we live in the land of plenty. I'm also curious to look up exchange rates since apparently a nickel back then was a big deal and could contribute toward groceries.

Enjoyed it: 3.5
Book quality: 4.5

Elin Hilderbrand - The Rumor
The story takes place on Nantucket Island beginning right before tourist season (summer). Madeline is under pressure from her publishers to write a book, so when her friend Grace begins an affair with the gardener, she uses that as inspiration. That's really just part of the story--I actually think this book isn't titled very well. This was my first Hilderbrand and at first I wasn't that into it, but by the end it was decent. I'll give her another try.

Enjoyed it: 2.5
Book quality: 3

I have had a hard time finding a good book, so I've started and not finished several over the past couple of months! Hence my low number.

2016 books: 29
[identity profile]
I've had a rough month of reading! I started several books that I didn't care for, and have mostly driven around in silence or with the radio on (there are few good new songs right now). Here are the two I finished early on...

Heart Trouble - Mary Kay Andrews
Fifth in the Callahan Garrity series. Callahan gets pressured into representing a woman hated by the city of Atlanta. This is more of the same, all the way up to the same ending I mentioned last time. I don't mind too much, though I just found this one a little boring. I tuned out a lot and so the solved mystery didn't seem all that informative to me. Also, the epilogue picks up like within 20 minutes of the end. Why not just make it another chapter?

My enjoyment: 2
Book quality: 2.5

First Comes Love - Emily Giffin
It is 15 years after Josie and Meredith's beloved brother Daniel was killed in a car accident at the age of 25. The sisters have never been best friends, and now they are on such different paths that there is constant tension between them. Each woman begins to evaluate their life since Daniel's death and what they might need to change. This description doesn't sound that interesting, but I really enjoyed this book. On one hand, it seemed like barely anything was happening for most of it, but Giffin just has a way. I get hooked on her stories so easily, even when I don't love the characters or the situations. I suppose my only real complaint is with the audiobook. It had two readers--one for each sister--and I didn't find that necessary. Especially since when the reader for Josie would do Meredith's voice, it was very deep and not at all like the actual reader for Meredith, so it was kind of confusing, almost like there were two Merediths.

My enjoyment: 4
Book quality: 4

2016 books: 27

Feb books

Mar. 3rd, 2016 03:40 pm
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Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari
I totally thought this was going to be your average comedy book of memoirs/essays, but instead it's data based on various studies Ansari did with some experts and a lot of polling. Of course, it's presented in a light-hearted and funny way (I LOLed a bit), between all of the f-words. Ansari covers topics like how we choose a partner compared to many years ago, online dating, texting, dating in other countries, and social media's role in relationships. There is swearing and discussion of sexual topics, though, so be warned. It could've been way worse, though. Anyway, overall I enjoyed this and definitely identified with a lot of what was said about singleness today. He touched on topics I had already been pondering the past year, like how our culture's mate standards have changed, and how our fear of settling keeps us from getting married (or finding others willing to).

Evermore - Alyson Noël
First book in the The Immortals series. I did a book rant about this already, but basically it's Twlight but with immortals instead of vampires. And it's easy to make fun of.

Blue Moon - Alyson Noël
Continuing on with The Immortals, because I'm a glutton for punishment. I also did a book rant about this one, and it seemed maybe worse than the first. I don't know that I can continue this's just ridiculous.

February: 3
2016: 8
[identity profile]
4 books )

Remember to post your book list here in this community! :) I certainly don't mind seeing a duplicate post on my friends page if you also post it in your personal LJ, and I don't imagine others do either. There are several people here that are interested in what you read and ideas of what they should read next, so post away! And happy fall. :)
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The Last Anniversary - Liane Moriarty
Sophie is surprised to be contacted by her ex-boyfriend after his aunt dies and leaves her something. His family is well-known in Australia because of an old mystery, and soon she is living among them on their island and learning their secrets. I can't stop trying Moriarty books even though she adds a dark edge to some of them. This was no exception, but it also has all the aspects I love about Moriarty's books. She really understands people and feelings. I want to quote passages for you sometime, because I feel like she gets me. :P I was not crazy about the ending, though. Also: for some reason this reminded me of a Sarah Addison Allen book.

The Buck Stops Here - Mindy Starns Clark
The final book in the Million Dollar Mysteries series. Once again I was struck by how idiotic Callie seems throughout, and the main "problem" is a bit of a stretch for causing all the heartache it does. Still, I enjoyed my reread of this series and will remember this summer of walks when I think of these books.

The Song Remains the Same - Allison Winn Scotch
Nell is one of only two survivors in a plane crash, but she has lost all memories of her life. Her family tries to protect her by telling her half-truths, which causes more confusion and strife. There's a bit more to it, but I don't know how else to concisely explain the premise. Amnesia stories are fascinating to me, but this one was poorly-executed and even boring at times. I had a hard time believing Nell actually lost her memories, because she seemed to take the news so calmly and fall back into family life with her mom, sister and husband. The author doesn't seem to explore the feelings of loneliness and confusion of being around complete strangers who know you, or even the practical aspects of what she does remember (cultural references, normal tasks, her surroundings) vs. what she doesn't. It's inconsistent--sometimes she'll not know a particular actor or movie, and sometimes it's assumed she is familiar. The book doesn't explain much about her particular brand of amnesia, so it seems like the author didn't research it very well. The whole idea of Nell wanting to start fresh with her life implies that she has a sense of life before the crash, which supposedly she doesn't. She is basing this off what people have told her, but I'm not convinced. Also, her family is told that she will likely get her memory back eventually, so WHY would they misrepresent the past the way they do? I guess they're fine with her eventually finding out they lied?? So weird and dumb.

August: 3
2015: 25

July books

Jul. 31st, 2015 03:15 pm
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Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels - Mindy Starns Clark*
Reread of the second book in the Million Dollar Mysteries series. I had forgotten most everything from this book except the very last scene! It had it's lameness, but was overall very enjoyable for me.

A Dime a Dozen - Mindy Starns Clark*
Reread of the third book in the Million Dollar Mysteries series. One of the blander books, for me. I wish Callie was less dumb--that's my takeaway from this series reread.

Waterfalls - Robin Jones Gunn*
Continuing on with Christian fiction rereads! This sixth book in the Glenbrooke series is about Meredith, a children's book editor who finds herself working with a famous movie star on his book/tv idea. There is a lot of silliness about this book, but it is happy and easy and comforting to read. Well, when I can get past my annoyance that the 24-year-old is all bummed at how long she's had to wait for the right guy. :P

Firewall - DiAnn Mills
Taryn--a software programming genius--and her new husband Shep are at the airport heading off to their honeymoon when a terminal is bombed. They survive, but now the FBI thinks they are behind the bombing, and Shep has escaped. Agent Grayson is on the case, and lost in Taryn's "sea-green" eyes. This book is not AS corny as Irene Hannon, but it has plenty of eye-rolling lines. At one point, after knowing her for like a day, Grayson almost calls Taryn "Sunset" because it's the color of her hair. Whatevs, Grayson! The book is really too long and full of missions and plans and attempts to outsmart much smarter bad guys. Oh and there's this dumb thing with it having two readers and I really have no idea why--it makes it more confusing. One reader is devoted to a bad guy who really isn't even a big deal in the grand scheme, so I don't get it. HOWEVER, I might give Mills another try sometime. Which sounds ridiculous considering my review.

A Quarter for a Kiss - Mindy Starns Clark*
Fourth book in the MDM series. I enjoyed it like I did the others, but again, I forgot how idiotic both Callie and Tom are. They spell out things that everyone would understand 10 minutes before, like it was so hidden and complicated. It's insulting how things are explained to the reader. Callie is often referred to as "really good at her job" as a private detective, but she is so clueless about things people in her line of work should be familiar with. Plus she constantly makes rookie mistakes like leaving her things out to be searched by bad guys, or forgetting to bring any sort of weapon every time she goes into an unsafe situation. Is it her first day on the job or something?

I guess it was Christian fiction month!

July: 5
2015: 22

June books

Jun. 30th, 2015 11:41 am
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What Alice Forgot - Liane Moriarty
Alice hits her head and wakes up thinking it's 1998 when it's actually 2008. In 1998 she was 29, happily married and pregnant with her first child. Now in 2008, everything has changed, seemingly for the worse. Alice has to be reintroduced to her life, relationships and the person she has become. This was recommended to me by more than one of you. Thank you--I loved it! It's light-hearted and funny, but also touching and sad at parts. I felt like I cried a little every time I listened to it, but that might say more about my lately state of emotions than anything else. :P The book actually switches between three perspectives: Alice, her sister Elizabeth, and their grandma Frannie. Elizabeth and Frannie's perspectives are both shared through their writing to other people--Elizabeth to her therapist in a journal format, Frannie to her late fiance. At first I found the switches kind of distracting, but got used to them. I actually really identified with Elizabeth's thoughts and attitude the most. She is struggling with infertility, and though I don't relate to that specifically, I understood the hopelessness and how it feels to strive for something for so long when efforts keep failing. Anyway, I totally recommend this book, and the audio version is great.

*Penny For Your Thoughts - Mindy Starns Clark
A reread, because I love this Christian mystery series. This book introduces Callie, a 30-something widow who investigates nonprofits before her boss (the very wealthy and mysterious Tom, whom she's never met in person) gives them large grants. There are little annoying/silly things about the characters and dialog--Callie seems older than she is (and the reader for the audio version sounds too old), and there is the usual evangelism scene--but I do like the clean, light story throughout this series. I recommend reading it rather than listening, unless you can forget how old the reader sounds.

The Husband's Secret - Liane Moriarty
Cecelia finds a sealed note to her, from her husband, marked to be read in the event of his death. When she asks him about it, he acts really strange and pleads with her not to read it. But other strange things have been happening in her marriage, lately, and she's very tempted to break her promise. The book also speaks from the perspective of Tess and Rachel, as all three women's stories are loosely connected. I enjoyed What Alice Forgot so much that I wanted to try something else by Moriarty. Wow...this book was much more tragic than I anticipated. It still has some funny, light-hearted parts, but it addresses some serious topics that sometimes really affected my mood. I really enjoy Moriarty's writing, but I think I'd rather avoid this type of story in the future.

Books for 2015: 17
[identity profile]
Just an update (from this post) to say that I gave up on this book. I listened to a bit more and it was just very dreary and not going anywhere. I knew something was eventually supposed to happen, but it wasn't worth it to me.

Now that I've read some reviews and totally spoiled the story for myself by reading up on Wikipedia, I'm glad I didn't try to continue it! The main characters are all messed up women with bleak lives. It's just not my style, though obviously a lot of other people loved it. I guess they have a higher tolerance for that sort of thing.

Also, the "girl" this book speaks of is a 30-something woman. I'm not sure why the author chose to girlify her adult female characters, but some reviews mentioned that they are referred to like that in other parts of the book, too, while the men are men. Kind of interesting.
[identity profile]

Have any of you read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins? I just got it from the library and started listening, but it was pretty dreary and depressing. I got through about one disk and switched to my other book. I'm just wondering if it improves and whether it's worth it to push through and listen to the whole thing.
[identity profile]
Hi, my community. :)

I think I get pickier with age. I'm fairly particular about what I like to read now. I like it when books make me feel hopeful and inspired. I tend to prefer somewhat light-hearted stories with a female main character. It's nice when she's in her 30s like me, but I'm kind of flexible. I'm not really into high-school-aged main characters anymore, though (but there are exceptions when it's a unique situation--such as in Cinder). I like some romance, but I don't want it to be the entire topic--a little goes a long way with me. I like happyish endings. I don't mind an unlikely situation, but I don't want super cheesy lines and completely unrealistic reactions. Mysteries are fun sometimes.

Authors I've really enjoyed lately:

Mary Kay Andrews
Sophie Kinsella
Beth Harbison
Emily Giffin
Sarah Strohmeyer
Kristen Heitzmann
Rainbow Rowell
Lauren Weisberger

I'm currently reading one by Hester Browne, and it's pretty good so far.

Authors I've tried but am not really in the mood for, in case you're going to suggest them: Jennifer Weiner, Mary Stewart, Cecelia Ahern (actually I have never made it through a book of hers--so boring!), Elizabeth Peters, Elizabeth Adler, Dorothea Benton Frank.

I loooove audiobooks and don't put in a lot of time reading book-books, so I'm looking for suggestions of authors who have audio of some books available. I'm open to Christian and non, provided the Christian isn't totally corny, and the non isn't full of sex scenes.

So...have I been too specific, or do some of you have some ideas for me? :)
[identity profile]
Yes Please - Amy Poehler
This was very good. Funny, insightful, touching and interesting. Also humble. But there are several uncomfortably crass and drug-related references throughout. I don't think I could be friends with someone like Amy (not that she asked :P), and I don't really like thinking too much about her when I watch Parks and Rec. I prefer the more wholesome, good girl that is Leslie Knope. :)

Yep, I only read one book!

2015 books: 5

Community: Don't forget to post your book lists here too! :)

Quick poll:

[Poll #2001829]

[identity profile]
Hi, community!

First, I want to welcome any newcomers. If you are new and have not introduced yourself, please do. Just tell us a little about yourself and/or the books you like to read. Anything you want. Thanks!

Second, I thought I'd ask a few questions that you can answer in a post to the community. Ready?

1. How many books did you read in 2014? (If you don't keep track, you can give an estimate.)

2. Which did you read more: physical books (or on Kindle) or audiobooks?

3. What were your favorite books from the year?

4. Favorite new authors that you hope to continue reading in 2015?

5. And for fun: do you own an e-reader? If so, what kind?

My answers, if you're curious )

Happy new year!
[identity profile]
Where the River Runs - Patti Callahan Henry
Meridy grew up in the low country of South Carolina, but is now living a totally different life in Atlanta with her lawyer husband, Beau. After a tragic event when she was 18, she closed herself off to her past and never told Beau about it. But when a couple of situations arise, she heads back home to reconnect with the past. First, I have no idea why this is titled the way it is. It's not about a river, it's about the sea. Second, this is a very typical Henry book where a woman goes through a sort of mid-life crisis and explores her roots, including past boyfriends, and questions her marriage. It's kind of annoying, actually. I wasn't crazy about Meridy--she seemed overly sensitive and dramatic, and was just kind of immature and clueless the whole time. There were many clich├ęs in this book, as well, from the totally platonic best guy friend, to the the disapproving mother, and the all-knowing housekeeper who speaks in wise proverbs.

Landline - Rainbow Rowell
Georgie has to stay back home in California, for work, while her husband Neal and their daughters go to Nebraska for Christmas. Things are tense when Neal leaves, and then Georgia can't reach him to talk things over while he's away. Until she tries using her mom's landline, and somehow makes a call to the Neal of 1998--15 years ago while they were still just dating. Through talking to Neal of the past, Georgie tries to figure out where they went wrong and how to save the marriage. I enjoyed this from the start, though there are some slightly tedious sections. I was a little impatient with Georgie's apathy about getting some clothes/a phone battery/work done/etc. too. Come on! PS Don't name your main female character Georgie. It took awhile to remember that was the girl.

December books: 2
2014 books: 39

Too bad I couldn't make 40 for a nice round number! I actually have another book where I need to read the very end, but time was out at the library (before I left on a trip, so I had to turn it in while I could) so I put in for it again and it's taking forevvvvver to get a copy to finish! So lame. I'm going to forget what it was about.
[identity profile]
Here's what my sister said my nephew (he's approaching 15) likes to read:

...not-scary or too weird science fiction adventure books (currently reading Son of Angels series)

Well, I think the unscary/unweird part is more my sister's wishes than his. :P But anyway, can anyone offer some suggestions on other books he might like?
[identity profile]
Wedding Night - Sophie Kinsella
After finding out her boyfriend has no intention of marrying her, Lottie leaves him and makes a rash, life-altering decision. Her older sister, Felicity, is strongly opposed to Lottie's "unfortunate decision" and goes out of her way to try and undo the problem. The real summaries of this book will tell you exactly what Lottie does, but I feel it's too big of a spoiler. This book has all the normal Kinsella elements, for better or for worse (no pun intended). Embarrassing moments, characters being overly-fixated on sex, and silly scenes are among the things I don't like about Kinsella's books. But dang, they're also really enjoyable. This one had me rolling my eyes a lot, but I was always eager to get back to my car and listen. Her books always provide a light-hearted escape that sometimes makes you feel better about your own problems or embarrassing moments. Still, this particular book wasn't my fav, so probably don't rush out to read it unless you're a huge Kinsella fan or have nothing else to read.

The One and Only - Emily Giffin
Shea is an ultra die-hard football fan, particularly when it comes to her college team in Walker, TX. She is also best friends with the Walker football coach's daughter and has grown up being like part of the family. So after the coach's wife dies, Shea's outlook changes and she reevaluates her job and relationships, finding things are more complicated than she had admitted to herself before. I think one of the Amazon reviewers says it best like this: "Giffin writes with the effortlessness that makes you read every page, even if you don't like the story." So true. I "enjoyed" this book because it held my interest throughout, even though I thought it was longer than necessary. But the story itself was annoying in various ways, and I really didn't care for the main character. She was like a teenager--selfish, oblivious and dramatic. She would act surprised by things she had just described to us for several chapters. ? I don't want to spoil it, but the love aspect of the story is really eyerolling and also inappropriate. It was interesting to learn more about the world of college football, but I found Shea's emotional dedication to it something I couldn't relate to or respect. I guess you have to be from the south to understand.

Radiance - Alyson Noel
Riley and her family have died in a car accident and are now living in the afterlife. Riley is wishing to go back to earth to her normal life, so she jumps at the chance to go back for her assigned soul-catching mission. This was just a random choice when I needed some audiobooks for my drive. This book is really short so that I was confused when it suddenly ended. But it's meant for preteens and it's part of a series, so whatever. I guess it follows another series, too, so it was probably the wrong place to start. Anyway, considering how short it is, I am surprised at some of the places where it dragged and Riley dramatically went on and on about a scene. Overall, barely anything actually happened and things were resolved extremely quickly and easily. Still, this book had some positive messages and would probably be enjoyable for young girls.

Let me know if you've read any of these, and what you thought! Don't forget to post your lists here!

Books for November: 3
Books for 2014: 37


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