The Wangs vs. the World

I clearly missed something with this book because I found nothing funny about this “hilarious” and “outrageously funny” novel.  In fact, if I didn’t have to read this for a book club I was hosting, I would have stopped at around 15%.  But I soldiered on.  And in the end, while I didn’t hate this book as much as I thought I would, I didn’t particularly like it and found myself confused by all the great ratings.

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The Great Believers

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a crier. I cry at movies. I cry at TV shows. I will even cry at commercials!  But for some reason, it takes a lot to make me cry at books.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I cried while reading one….until now.  And my crying was intense and prolonged. It was a sustained cry for the last 100 pages.   It was not cute.  This book, while not perfect, is one of the best books I have ever read.  I finished it in 3 sittings because I was so invested in the story and characters.  I am still thinking about it and will continue to think about it for several more days.  I am hesitant to recommend it due to the heaviness of the plot but if you’re looking for a book that will rip your heart out and take your breath away, I can’t recommend this book enough.

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Such a Fun Age

If there was ever a fiction book that needed to be read during a specific time in history, this is the book.  “Such a Fun Age” is topical in ways I don’t think Kiley Reid could have ever predicted.  At a time when white people feel it’s not only their duty but their right to call the police on black folks just trying to live their life, this book takes a look at the ripple effect these acts have on the people involved.  What I appreciate most about this book is Reid’s desire to highlight a real world problem while also telling a compelling and funny story.

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The Cactus League

When I picked this book up, I expected to read about baseball.  While the central theme is about America’s pastime, this book is more about the relationships between several characters that happen to all have a connection.  Maybe I was hoping for more baseball but this book, which I enjoyed, could have been a home run.  

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11/22/63

Readers, I have something to confess… I am a librarian who has never read a Stephen King book.  Shocking, I know.  In my defense, I am not a horror fan and anything I read or consume that is even remotely horror is very specific (I know what I can handle.)  But Mr. King has written various genres so that’s where my excuse falls apart.  So why this book as my first King?  Besides having been recommended to me by numerous friends, I LOVE time travel and will read anything about it.  Having read this, I am now mad that I haven’t read King books before and waited so long to read this one.  Have you ever started a book and liked it so much that you subconsciously read it really, really slowly in order to make it last?  Only me?  This is how I felt reading this book.  I didn’t want it to end yet couldn’t wait to see what would happen, simultaneously.  I know I am late to the game but I cannot recommend this book enough.

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The Glass Hotel

There are authors out there that write books that require contemplation when finished.  They require thought and analysis and ask the reader to think about what they just read.  Emily St. John Mandel is one such author.  Whenever I read her books, I think “this is how books should be written.”  The problem with “The Glass Hotel” is not really anything that can be helped…it’s the follow up to “Station Eleven,” a book that is in my top ten books of all time and won numerous literary awards.  Despite not quite reaching “Station Eleven” heights, it was still a mesmerizing, haunting tale that I would recommend.

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Where The Crawdads Sing

This book has been EVERYWHERE recently and its popularity seems to have come out of nowhere.  It has appeared on a bunch of best of lists and has been the pick for numerous book clubs.  My library currently has 30 people waiting to get their hands on this book so the hype isn’t going anywhere.  I usually steer clear of books that are popular just because they are but I had heard good things about this one.  I am so glad I read this book because it was a beautiful, haunting read and I can’t recommend it enough.

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