Tuesday, June 13, 2017

back in the reading game

Travel time means book time! I've had a few trips in the past two months and found a few books I couldn't put down, so Show Us Your Books is looking pretty good for me. Excited to link up with Steph and Jana when I have something to share.

Damage Done - This book kept my attention, but it was unfortunately compared to Gone Girl which means I was looking for a twist that was pretty apparent less than halfway through. There was a little more to said twist that wasn't revealed until the end, though, so even though it was a twist that I could barely see happening in real life, there's that. This book totally kept my attention but it had the typical YA puppy love mixed with tragedy. I wouldn't say I would recommend it, but I gave it four stars on Goodreads simply for keeping me entertained enough to want to read again after a long slump.

The Hearts of Men - I really liked the way this story was told. It started with a boy in the 60s at Boy Scout Camp and featured a character who had shown him a small kindness, then went to feature that character as an adult with a teenage son in the 90s, and ended with the son's wife a few years in the future. Much of the story revolves around the camp itself. It's one of those books where not a lot happens, but I liked the internal thoughts of each character enough to want to keep reading.

Her Every Fear - A British woman who has already experienced one traumatic event switches apartments with her cousin in Boston and a murder takes place the day she arrives. The story switched POVs, but it annoyed me here less than in other books; it seemed to do so for a reason. The way it was written made the main character's anxiety and paranoia come through on the page. The plot requires a huge suspension of disbelief, which I often have a hard time with, but for whatever reason, I stayed up late reading this book. I would recommend it as a quick plane or beach read - nothing life-changing, but it should keep you interested.

The Handmaid's Tale - When I was in college, I tutored high school kids in standardized test prep. One of my "regulars" had a huge project on this book, so I sped through it, thinking that it was awesome and I wished I had been taught it in high school. Then I never really thought about it again until it became a show on Hulu that people like. It was a free download with Amazon Prime, so I was excited to give it a reread. Some of the things in it are so freaky when compared with American life today. It's about a woman in a dystopian future America; not like a Hunger Games dystopia with crazy TV and fancy make-up, but one that looks a lot closer to real life. It makes you think while telling a great story. I think the fewer details you know, the better, but it's worth picking up.

Small Great Things - You guys. If the words white privilege and equity and social justice mean nothing to you, please read this book. You will learn something and you will read an interesting, thought-provoking story. I feel that any gateway is a good gateway to understanding systemic racial issues in the U.S. I have also witnessed so much "accidental racism" lately (ie, people who comment on how well-spoken a black person is... that is not a compliment) that I love this book for giving examples and explaining how what you think is a nice thing to say really shows that you are expecting something negative from a person of color. In addition to that, I thought it was an interesting story and I wanted to see what happened next. While the ending was a little ridiculous, everything it took to get there sold me.

Talking as Fast as I Can - This is Lauren Graham's memoir. I have to respect a celebrity who doesn't give a tell-all to sell books, but I also maintain the right to comment on the fact that a book doesn't have enough info in it to be terribly interesting. If this book wasn't written by a beloved actress, I don't think anyone would have read it. While her tidbits about filming the Gilmore revival were cute and sometimes interesting, her use of extended metaphors throughout the book to avoid giving more details got a little old for me. I did love her old lady character who doesn't understand our culture's social media obsession, though. Nonetheless, I tore through this really fast and found it entertaining; it just wasn't what I was hoping for.

I'm excited that the latest from Taylor Jenkins Reid is out today and I'm on a plane headed to Vegas for a work conference. Hopefully I can spend some time with a good book while I'm there.

17 comments:

  1. My teammate read Small Great Things and really liked it (everyone seems to) but Picoults generally are hard for me to get into. I've read 2 (maybe 3). You've gotta be all in for those books.
    I can't stand Lauren Graham...I don't know what my reasoning is there.

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  2. I wish that we had been taught The Handmaid's Tale in high school as well because it was so good! I have to admit too that I was one of those people that read it because of the show, and now I can't wait to watch the show! I still need to read Small Great Things!

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  3. Like you, I am eagerly anticipating reading the new TJR this week. :)
    Peter Swanson is on my radar in general but I'm trying to take a short break from thrillers for a bit since I have gobbled up tons of them this year, lol. Small Great Things is on my long list somewhere too! lol :)

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  4. Yess, to your thoughts on Small Great Things, I loved how she also focused on passive racism-- I felt like people should at least read her author's note even if they don't want to read the whole book. The Hearts of Men is on my list, but I haven't read too many reviews about it, so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it.

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  5. I loved Small Great Things and Talking As Fast As I can. I hope you like the new TJR book!!! I read it this month and it was soooo good!

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  6. I really want to read the handmaid's tale, adding to my TBR! and yes, small great things was awesome!

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  7. I haven't read Picoult in awhile but I do love many of her books and I need to check out Small Great Things. And yeah, saying a black person speaks well is not a compliment.

    I love Lauren Graham, and I Do want to read her book at some point just because of that.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  8. Agree (SHOCKER) with your assessment of The Handmaid's Tale. Same with SGT.

    Steph sent me her copy of the Butler book and I need to read it.

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  9. The new TJR book is wonderful! I loved it but it is my first TJR book so I can't really compare it to her other work ... yet. I have not read The Handmaid's Tale but I'm reading it for Erin's Challenge. And while I don't know every detail about the book (but I know the general concept) I agree that is a book that should be taught in high school. Small Great Thing was amazing. Hard but amazing.

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  10. I really can't overstate how good Small Great Things is. I loved it, and I hope more people read it - not only is the message good but the writing is excellent and the story is so good.

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  11. I loved Small Great Things and Lauren's book! I kept meaning to read The Handmaid's Tale before I started the show, but I was too slow to get to it and couldn't wait any longer to start the series. Haha! I will definitely go back and read it though. I want to see all the differences.

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  12. I'm planning to read The Handmaid's Tale next month for a book challenge, so I'm glad to hear you liked it. :)

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  13. I've been haunted by The Handmaid's Tale for over 20 years. I can't even watch the show.

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  14. I have those last three on reserve at the library! Can't wait to get them!

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  15. Loved Small Great Things! I think it's probably one of the better Jodi Picoult books I've read. I'm really interested to see the movie adaptation of it!

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  16. What great books. So many I want to get my hands on but not enough time! The last three on this list are on my list.

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  17. Reading is my fave hobby! It helps to clear the mind and it transports you to a whole new world! Have you read milk and honey? I've been seeing reviews everywhere!
    https://theoraclejournal.net

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