Tuesday, November 10, 2015

october books

After last month's reading slump, I'm happy with this month's progress, even though it didn't include anything amazing. Here's to hoping your luck was better than mine - I need some new recs!

Anything with an (A) means it was enjoyed as an audiobook when I wasn't listening to Gilmore Guys or This American Life podcasts...

The Last Time We Say Goodbye -  I need to stop reading books about dead teenagers because they're all running together. An eighteen year old girl is trying to get her life back in order after her parents get a divorce and her younger brother commits suicide. The way it was written - in journal entries and the present day - was a nice change, but a lot of the characters felt stereotypical. There was nothing inherently wrong with the book, but for me, it wasn't a must read.

(A) Forever, Interrupted - This book was half sad and depressing and half meetcute with a perfect man, but I liked it anyway. A woman's husband dies less than two weeks after they got married and before they can tell each other's families about their relationship. The story jumps back and forth between their meeting and relationship and the aftermath and getting to know the husband's mother. I found Elsie, the wife, mostly likeable and the book made me wonder how I would behave in a similar situation. It was a super easy read and one of my favorites of the month.

Bittersweet - This book went on way too long and it took a while to go somewhere. I felt like a lot of what happened was ancillary and when something happened to advance the plot, it was discussed between characters in a page or two and then we moved on. I kept reading because the main character alludes to something in her past that isn't revealed until the end of the book, so I would say the story was intriguing enough, but it wasn't very satisfying in the end. (Recommended by my library's Book Hunters program).

(A) The One & Only - Emily Giffin's books are all over blogland and since it was available as an audiobook, I thought I would give it a try. First, the book is read by someone doing a ridiculous Texas accent, which I can't fully hold against the author, but it was annoying. Second, the Texas stereotypes in the book like a man constantly referring to a grown woman as "girl" and some stupid line about how every Texan knows that barbecued ribs can solve any problem (um, what?) drove me nuts. It's like the author watched Friday Night Lights and thought she wanted to set a book in Dillon. And without spoiling too much, there's a super icky romantic storyline that I just couldn't get on board with.

Beautiful Ruins - I don't think I knew enough about this book to fully appreciate it until I was too far into it to have paid attention to the details I needed for full enjoyment. Does that even make sense? I think I would love this book on a reread. Here's what you need to know: this is a story told in a non-linear way with various narrators, including a 20-year-old Italian man in 1962 and a present day young woman working in Hollywood. The root of the action is the fictitious behind-the-scenes drama that went on while filming the movie Cleopatra in the 60s. It had its share of real world drama, but this book tells a story of what could have been. There's romance, people making poor decisions, and over-the-top characters. It all wraps up nicely at the end, too. I would recommend this one for a quick read, maybe on a plane. (Also recommended by Book Hunters).

(A) Inside the O'Briens - I was worried that this book would be too dark and sad, but after a month of fluff and clunkers, I was ready to dive in. This book is heartbreaking. It makes you wonder why you read it, because it will only make you sad, but knowing that real-life people are dealing with this just made me want to know more about the awfulness that is Huntington's Disease. The author's ability to weave a story and realistically explain the effects of a terrible disease kept me interested the whole time. I get what the author did with the ending and the point she was trying to make - and I mean, do we really want to watch these characters we had grown to like suffer? - but the open-endedness of it didn't leave me satisfied. I still liked the book overall, though.

DNF - The Spool of Blue Thread - This was also recommended to me by my library's Book Hunters program. It started slow, and I consulted Goodreads to see if it was worth sticking it out, and basically read that nothing ever happened and all it did was tell you about the characters. I had other books waiting for me, so I let it go.

I'm currently reading Matthew Quick's Sorta Like a Rockstar which is written in annoying, teenage girl prose but I'm mostly biding my time with it since I'm next to borrow several books at the library, including Furiously Happy and Why Not Me?.

Thanks as always to Steph and Jana for hosting the link-up - I give it tons of credit for helping me with my goal of finishing 70 books this year!

13 comments:

  1. I gave up on The Spool of Blue Thread too, I'm not sure why it was so recommended this year.

    I would say most of Emily Griffin's books are not your style, very chick lit type stuff.

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  2. The One & Only sounds terrible, not my reading jam for sure, and accented audio read, oh my! I've had Inside the O'Briens has been on my list for a while, but I just have not brought myself to place it on hold yet. I have to be in the mood for those types of books. Sometimes I just want easy reads, that are more distracting than intense in nature.

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  3. The One and Only was AWFUL. HORRIBLE. I wish I had known you were planning on it or I would have talked you out of it. And yes, that one storyline was all kinds of icky.

    Inside the O'Briens was wonderful, though. I also like Taylor Jenkins Reid and her newest is on my nightstand right now.

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  4. I also gave up on The Spool of Blue Thread! And I really like Emily Giffin, but you're right, that storyline was a bit icky!

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  5. hmm good to know about the spool of blue thread. i saw it recommended a bunch but the synopsis didn't grab me, so i'm glad i didn't bother.
    forever interrupted is on my list, yay!

    i have definitely heard icky things about that one and only book. staying away. also, i understand what you mean about the stereotypes and such. i read a book once where they went to australia for a couple of weeks and the stereotypes / insulting things they said made me want to throw my kindle at the wall, and i couldn't finish it, even if i had been enjoying the book up until then. it just annoyed me so much. they say write about what you know, and if what you know is based on googling or a tv show or 80s movie... don't write it. rage.

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  6. I felt the SAME WAY about The One and Only. I could NOT get on board with that story line after the way their relationship was initially introduced. I'm a very "do what you do, love who you love" person, but that was just really uncomfortable to read. And I completely agree, it almost read like Friday Night Lights fanfic!

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  7. I actually did read Beautiful Ruins on a plane to California in 2012. You're right. It's good for the plane.

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  8. One of my friends listened to that Emily Griffin one and told me the story line and she kept messaging me saying how awful and gross certain parts were. Totally passing on that one!!! Bittersweet was a different one. I didn't hate it....but it was a bit long and there were some weird parts to it that I wasn't sure where it was going.

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  9. Ah the Texas accent in the Emily Giffin audiobook would drive me nuts! It doesn't sound that great either, what a bummer! Some of her earlier books were so good!

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  10. You've been on a roll. I am in a serious reading slump myself. I read One and Only. I liked it for the most part. I had mixed feelings about the old coach younger girl thing but I pushed through. It's hard for me to quit unless it's really bad.

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  11. I also gave up on A Spool of Blue Thread! I didn't enjoy Giffin's The Only and Only....yes because of the relationship but also I'm not a big football fan and the story seemed to involve that a lot! Inside the O'Briens and Beautiful Ruins have both been on my tbr list.

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  12. I didn't finish A Spool of Blue Thread either! I just suddenly noticed that I was half way through and literally nothing had happened, there was no main story line! Glad I wasnt the only one! I've had Inside the OBriens on my list for a long time...I'll read it once I have some easy breezy books lined up to read after to cheer me back up ;)

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  13. Forever Interrupted sounded good and then I checked and it's already on my TBR list! Haha! I am glad you liked Inside the O'Briens it was so heartbreaking but so many people are living that everyday. So sad.

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