Even though I shared all of the books I read in 2019 with you last week, what I haven’t shared is my reviews of the books I’ve read since November. So, here you have what I read during November and December of 2019.
It’s difficult when you’re invested in a series and the books start to degrade but that seems to be the case with the Tradd Street books. There is too much repetition and no real development with the main character . . . she likes sweets, I get it . . . she’s OCD, I get it . . . she wants to pretend that she doesn’t communicate with spirits, I get it. The descriptions of Charleston and the curiosity to see what will happen have kept me coming back, and I’m sure I’ll read the final installment when it comes out, but honestly, this series should have ended after book 4.
I received an advanced copy of this title from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review.
So good and yet so heartbreaking, it’s hard to say I enjoyed this book since it’s truly difficult to read, but I really did love it. The characters are real and Whitehead’s description are fantastic, this one is highly recommended.
This is a good suspense novel that mostly kept me guessing until the end. I do think it dragged a bit and maybe tried to cover too many hot button issues, some tighter editing would have made for a better book. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.
This book started out strong, the middle was a bit of a slog, and then it picked up again at the end. Honestly, I felt like there was really just too much going on: family curses, feminism, abortion rights, the evil practices of the Catholic Church, LGBTQ rights and then some magical realism mixed in. It was enjoyable but ultimately fell flat for me.
This book is not for everyone but for me it was amazing. Full of magic and symbolism, it’s an epic tale that has many twists and turns and doesn’t wind up at all the way I thought it would. I do think it’s a tad long but it’s really an incredible story within a story within a story. There’s a passage in the book that describes it far better than I could: Part spy movie, part fairy tale, part choose your own adventure. Epic branching story that doesn’t stick to a single genre or one set path and turns into different stories but it’s all the same story. I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I love the way Ruth Reichl describes food and this book about her experiences as the editor of Gourmet magazine is terrific and classic Reichl.
This is a powerful story of multiple generations of women in the same family and how they are connected by the experiences and cruelty of racism. There were moments in this book that were so painful to read they took my breath away. Highly recommended.
Anna Quindlen writes about being a grandparent in a beautiful way, she truly captures the feelings that come along with loving the child of your child. Her advice on navigating the role is helpful but mostly this is a book that just celebrates the joy of being a Nana.
This collection of essays is good but somewhat uneven. The opening chapter is fantastic and some of the others are as well but many of them are repetitive and lack the insight of the first one. Still, recommended because of the insights she shares and the vulnerability she exhibits.
I’m giving this 3 stars because, even though I sort of disliked it, I can appreciate the literary aspects of this book. I was fine with the timeline, with the ambiguous story and abruptly changing narrators, and even the ending, although I think the publisher’s promise that the ending will make everything click into place is misleading. My problem with the book is that I found the characters completely unlikable and I couldn’t connect to their experiences. That lack of connection is the flaw and kept me from giving the book a higher rating.
Beautiful, haunting, and emotionally powerful, this novel reads more like a stream of consciousness poem. I loved it . . . but it’s not for everyone.
A great collection of essays, funny and entertaining, there were moments where I laughed out loud.
And there you have it. I ended the year on a pretty strong note. And, here’s one of my quirks. I finished Do You Mind If I Cancel on December 30, 2019. And I made myself wait to start a new book until January 1, 2020. I’m weird like that.