A Woman is No Man

This was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time but it was a tough, emotional read so I would be hesitant to recommend it without that warning.  This isn’t a happy book even though there were moments of joy throughout. But the feelings of sadness and despair outweighed those for me and I was left thinking about this book for days afterwards.

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Malibu Rising

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author that makes you stay up past your bedtime.  Once you start reading her books, you can’t put them down, even as you tell yourself to slow down, savor it.  You know you’re going to be mad when the book is over and you have to wait until her next book is released yet you can’t stop yourself.  I haven’t been disappointed by one of her books yet and “Malibu Rising” continued this trend.  Get your hands on a copy of this book as quick as you can and enjoy!

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The Midnight Library

Sometimes, books get a lot of buzz, show up on numerous “best of lists,” get recommended by everyone you know and don’t live up to the hype.  At the end of last year it seemed I couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about Matt Haig’s newest book, and as much as I wanted to read it, I was worried the buildup would be too much and I would be left disappointed.  I am happy to say that this book was everything I had hoped it would be. 

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The Mountains Sing

I host a book club at my library which was started last year during the first few months of the pandemic. At the time, the books we read were mostly mysteries or whatever books we were able to get our hands on easily while in quarantine. With the start of the new year, I took the opportunity to really think about a theme for the year.  With everything going on in the world and in an effort to introduce different books and authors to my community, I chose the theme of ownvoices.  The first book I chose was Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai first English novel, “The Mountains Sing.”  While historical fiction is a genre I don’t normally gravitate towards, I’m so glad I decided to read this book. Not only is it a phenomenal book and taught me things I never knew about the Vietnam War, it also led to a fantastic discussion and I would highly recommend it to all readers.

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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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