This month seemed slow for me, book-wise. probably because Audition took three whole weeks to listen to! You already know that I'm dedicated to all things electronic that come from my library (and my library shared my post yesterday, too - so cool!) but while Andrew and I were driving around over the weekend, I realized there was a library branch right off the road I drive down every day to get to and from work. You can see it from the light I sit at every morning, but I didn't know it was there. Amazing what you see when you look up from your smartphone, right? I feel so silly for never having noticed it.
That said - onto the books!
(A) Sarah's Key - I liked this book because it taught me about a very sad piece of history I didn't know about: the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup that took place during WWII when French police officers arrested Jewish families, kept them in deplorable conditions, and then sent them to concentration camps after the Nazis occupied France. The book goes between the point of view of a ten year old girl whose family has been arrested in 1942 and an adult journalist in 2002 who is writing about the 60th anniversary of the roundup. I liked how the stories came together, though part of the modern day story was too tangential for me to really get into. I wanted more of the focus to be on the events of the past. The book got a little long toward the end, but I mostly enjoyed it in the way that one enjoys books that are incredibly sad (though the author said things smelled of lavender and that hair was shiny so often that it was distracting!).
Luckiest Girl Alive - This was all over "Best of Summer" lists so I was excited to read it. I hated it and only finished it because it's written in a way that forces you to keep reading to get the gist of the story. The narrator was shallow and unlikable, despite what happened to her that should have made her sympathetic. I wanted her true nature to be seen at the end and for her facade to be broken. I think people have compared it to Gone Girl, but no. Not at all. The main character went through a lot of serious stuff and the main way that she was affected by it was by being obsessed with being skinny and that just didn't appeal to me in so many ways. I also felt that the book was written in a way that was very 2015 - a lot of the fashion and make-up references seemed very current now, but I don't think the book will age well, and for some reason, that always bothers me.
(A) Audition: A Memoir (by Barbara Walters) - I'm a sucker for a celebrity memoir and I was hoping this would be read by Barbara, but sadly, it wasn't. It was long and took me over three weeks to listen to, so be warned. Walters has led a fascinating life. She broke barriers for women on TV without really trying (she just wanted a job, period) and really seems to know everyone. Parts of the book were slow, but she intertwined her career with her personal life until the end of the book, when she talked about interview subjects in categories like presidents and first ladies, her favorite interviews, and her least favorite interviews. The behind-the-scenes anecdotes were my favorite parts. I'm kind of bummed that she's semi-retired now and I likely have few chances, if any, to enjoy her specials again.
Love May Fail - I was in the middle of nonfiction books and wanted something I could really get lost in. I loved this book. If you saw (or read) Silver Linings Playbook and liked the damaged, quirky characters there, then you'll probably like this book. The plot was a little silly, but it was okay with me. I liked the characters and the way that the POV of the book shifted in order to best tell the story. I liked seeing Portia, the character who tied everything together, through the eyes of other people. Something about this book has stayed with me since I read it and I overall really, really enjoyed it and want to read more of Quick's novels for adults. If you're skimming this post and want one rec from me, this is it!
Five Days at Memorial - The premise of this book intrigued me. A reporter wrote it about the allegations that doctors and nurses basically euthanized patients in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The conditions were terrible and the miscommunication that added to the awful situation is nearly unbelievable. The first third of the book was an interesting read - it went over, to the best of the author's ability, what happened in the hospital in the days before the hurricane until it was mostly evacuated. After that, the author focused on the investigation, so a lot of the action already told was repeated through other people's recollections. It seemed very repetitive. I wikipedia'd to see what happened since I had the book for four weeks and just couldn't get through the rest. If you don't pick up the book, I would highly recommend reading more about the incident since I had never heard of it before. It's terrifying.
I'm not sure why I had so much seriousness going on this month, but sometimes it happens. I'm linking up with Steph and Jana in hopes of finding some lighter reads, though right now I'm in the middle of Aziz Ansari's Modern Love (not a celeb memoir; more of a sociological explanation of love in 2015) and Comeback, a story of a drug-addicted teenager told by both mother and daughter. I need something easy!