Tuesday, December 8, 2015

november books

It's time to talk books again. To be honest, once Thanksgiving week hit, my audiobook reading went to nothing in favor of Christmas music. However, when I listen to music, I start tuning it out and get consumed with thoughts and to-do lists. When I listen to books, I pay attention to the story and it's a nice break from reality. So, as much as I love having Michael Buble on repeat, it may be time to find some new audiobooks. December is my busiest time of year at work so I can use all of the mental break time I can get!

As always, those with an (A) were enjoyed as audiobooks.

Sorta Like a Rockstar - I loved Matthew Quick's voice in Love May Fail but his YA books don't quite do it for me. This one was written in an extremely annoying way (with words like "sucka" and thoughts ending with "True? True.") and I almost gave up, but I'm glad I stuck with it. It's a completely unrealistic story about a quirky teenage girl and how the people around her help her through a difficult time. It was like watching a Disney movie - the emotion hit in all the right places and I found myself goofy grinning and satisfied with how it all ended.

(A) We Were Liars - If I tell you anything about how this book ends, it will totally ruin it. The characters are hard to care about and the story meanders quite a bit, but it gets huge bonus points for totally surprising me with how it ended. I can't say that I loved it but it held my attention and I liked that I never saw it coming (if you've read it, did you? Was it well done, or did I just not pay attention?)

Landline - This is the third Rainbow Rowell book I've read and the one I liked best so far - probably because it was about adults. It made me romanticize my early years with Andrew and how so much of the time we spent getting to know each other was on the phone. The background of the main character being a TV writer was a fun change of pace from every female main character being a baker/florist/reporter, though it didn't add much to the story. For me, this was a solid, light read. Not lifechanging in any way, but enjoyable.

(A) Dad Is Fat - I mean Jim Gaffigan's stand-up is hilarious, but I have had his second book, Food: A Love Story on my shelf since last Christmas, and I don't like his show, so maybe picking up this book wasn't the best idea. I have come to the realization that I don't always love books of essays. I felt like a lot of these reached no interesting or logical conclusions. A lot of it was repetitive (2/3 of the way into the book, he could have stopped reminding the reader that he has five kids), but I did enjoy the tone. I felt like Gaffigan has a realistic outlook on his children: he loves them wholeheartedly and they are a blessing, but they're also exhausting, expensive, and sometimes annoying. I enjoyed that the audiobook was read by him and I did suggest this to a pregnant coworker, but it isn't a must-read for most.

Why Not Me? - It's everything one might expect in a second book from Mindy Kaling. It's like reading a blog post of someone you admire and whose stories are always interesting. It was entertaining but neither deep nor gossipy and the anecdotes didn't really stay with me from chapter to chapter, but I still enjoyed it.

A Window Opens - Definitely chick lit, though I appreciated that this wasn't about the pursuit of a man and rather the story of a woman trying to juggle her marriage, kids, job, and taking care of her parents. It was fluffy and an easy read, but I liked the book talk and some of the ideas in her fictional workplace.

Did Not Finish -

Paper Towns - I mean the guy wrote The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns was made into a movie so I wasn't expecting to hate it, but I kind of did. I didn't care about the characters at all. Why was the main guy going in search of his spoiled neighbor who hadn't given him the time of day in years? I didn't care to find out. Did it get any better?

Pieces of My Mother: A Memoir - This book was supposed to be about a woman who is trying to understand why her dying mother left her as a child and her trying to be a better mother because of it. I listened to nearly 1/3 of the book and it was filled with overly-detailed anecdotes about the girl's childhood that did nothing for the story, at least so far. I wanted to know more about the mother and it just took too long to get there, so I gave up.

Furiously Happy - The Bloggess' Knock Knock M*therf*cker post made me cry laugh. She used to live in Houston. I really liked her first book. This one, though, was just too rambly for me. Maybe my tastes have changed too much since I read her first book, or maybe too much of this was at least tangentially discussed on her Twitter (I'm not a regular blog reader anymore), but this one wasn't for me and I kept dozing off and losing my place. That said, people with mental illness seem to love it and find it really relatable, so I'm sure it's just me.

My favorites for the month were Landline and Sorta Like a Rockstar for totally different reasons. As always, linking up with Steph and Jana and super excited for work to calm down so I can find lots of books to add to my Kindle for upcoming holiday travel and family time.