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.

14 comments:

  1. I recently read Eleanor & Park, it was my first Rainbow Rowell book and I loved it. I'm scared to read any of her others because I might be disappointed or not in the right mood for her voice which is different.

    I finished Paper Towns but I was super disappointed, Looking for Alaska was much more my speed.

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  2. I really liked We Were Liars, and I was shocked by the ending too! And ugh no, Paper Towns did not get better, in fact, I think it got worse. I hated that book!!

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  3. If you haven't read Attachments by Rowell yet, you would like that one too - it's also about adults! :) I liked it more than Landline, personally. I still have to read Mindy's new book! I, too, could not get into Paper Towns and I hate to say it but TFIOS is really my only well-liked John Green novel.

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  4. I've been dying to read a Rainbow Rowell book, so I'll be adding Landline to my TBR list for sure. I loved We Were Liars, although I kind of sort of figured out the ending of the book. Not all the details, but enough to kind of figure out what to expect. You're right, if you find out anything about the ending, the book is completely ruined!

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  5. i read we were liars and was not a fan. i did not see the end coming, but i also didn't care. i had super high expectations though.
    i'm not sure if i should add the rockstar book to my list! i'm conflicted haha. sucka? ew. but i like disney movies, so...
    i read paper towns, and at the time i think i rated it 4 stars but it's more like 3 stars now. i liked it more than the alaska one (super disliked that) but not as much as the fault in our stars. but overall it left a bad taste in my mouth and i think i'm done with john green for now.

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  6. I am not a Rainbow Rowell fan. I liked Eleanor + Park and that's about it.

    I thought We Were Liars was annoying and a PITA in the writing and execution but brilliant in the twist. I was also riveted.

    I hated Paper Towns too. I liked Alaska & Stars from him but that's it.

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  7. Landline is on my list to read, I just adored Attachments. I have zero desire to read Paper Towns before I read your post and you sealed that deal even more! I love Mindy and need to hop on her latest book.

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  8. I read Landline this summer and there had been so much hype surrounding the book that I expected to be blown away. It was a good book, but I didn't love, love it and I definitely wasn't blown away. It was an enjoyable book and I'm glad I experienced it, but it didn't live up to the highly inflated expectation that preceded it. I've not ready any more books by the author yet.

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  9. We Were Liars has been on my list to read for so long, I need to get to it. I really love Jim Gaffigan's stand-up since he is so real and unashamed to share the bad parts of parenting.

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  10. Yay Rowell!! Landlines so far is my least favorite of her books, but I still liked! I just felt like the plot didn't really go anywhere. I have Love May Fail on the list, which I just finished a Quick book this month too. I think I will skip Sorta Like A Rockstar at least for now, it does not sound up my alley. I have not read any of the Bloggess's books, but use to read her blog and found her quite funny. Too bad this book missed the mark for you :(

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  11. I had Paper Towns on my list for this month, too! I picked it up since it's set in Orlando (which I consider "home") and I liked the story but not so much the writing. Believe it or not, movie is worse. Meh.

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  12. What I find super interesting is that Rainbow Rowell readers seem to enjoy her books with different preferences of their favorite. Landline was my least favorite, although I still enjoyed it enough to recommed all her books. I think it's great that she can cause each of us to get a little something different from her stories.

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  13. Landline was definitely not my favorite Rowell book. I LOVED Attachments and E&P, though.

    So many people did not like Paper Towns. I liked it, despite Margo being a huge asshole and I couldn't wrap my head around why he was chasing her. It made me sad that Q couldn't see her for what she was. And if I didn't love John Green, that whole plot point might have been enough to make me dislike the book.

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  14. I've read literally nothing for 2 months and I hate it so I might really actually try audio books for the lull between podcasts.
    I wish Rainbow would write more adult books. I love her and her Twitter and Tumblr.
    I haven't bought Mindy's book cause I felt the first was like a blog lol but I'm holding out for one of those days when it's super cheap for Kindle.

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