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Reading Update: Mid October through November 2017

As I was getting ready for Book Club last night I remembered that I hadn’t written a post for today yet. And I thought, crap, I don’t have anything to blog about. I mean, there’s always stuff to blog about, but I needed something fast as I was getting ready to head out the door. To Book Club.

Oh yeah. I could do a reading update. Amazing how my mind was able to put two and two together like that. Heh.

(this picture has nothing to do with reading. but it’s pretty and I needed a picture for the post. forgive me.)

So, the books I have read since mid October:

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster
5 stars
This book is super long but so worth the time invested in reading it, the story revolves around Archie Ferguson and four variations of his life. It’s fascinating to see how his life changes and evolves based on a variety of both good and bad events and it’s equally interesting to note the things that stay the same despite those events. Set during the 50s and 60s, mostly in NYC, it’s a brilliant novel and completely dese3rved of the Man Booker. Highly recommended.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
3 stars
Compelling and highly readable but still not a book I can say I enjoyed. Truthfully, the whole premise made me shudder. I won’t say more because I don’t want to give anything away. Recommended for those who enjoy dystopian fiction.

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson
3 stars
This book, while brief, is charming and inspirational and really made me think of things I could do right now to declutter and downsize. The author’s approach is charming and practical and offers some great tips on approaching the task of eliminating the stuff that you just don’t need. Thanks to Net Galley for providing me with an advanced copy of this title.

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
1 star
I did not care for this book one little bit. I was excited about the premise – a fictional account of Lizzie Borden and the unsolved murder of her parents – but the whole thing just fell flat. I expected some revelations with regards to the details of the event and there were none. In fact, I feel more confused and uncertain about the crime since so much was alluded to but nothing was really explained. The alternating perspective of each chapter was annoying and felt contrived since it seemed like every character had the same voice. And they ate a lot of mutton. And pears. A LOT. I get it, there was mutton for lunch and a lot of pears and some dead pigeons, too. Those details just made it gross, though, and not creepy. Perhaps I’m just not the right reader for this book but I don’t recommend it.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
5 stars
I really enjoyed this book and the author definitely created little fires everywhere – so much going on – and yet all interconnected. The characters are interesting and believable and the timeline is non-linear and very well mapped out. Highly recommended, I liked this better than Everything I Never Told You.

Caroline by Sarah Miller
3 stars
This book is a must read for fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books, illuminating what life was like for the Ingalls family from Caroline’s perspective. It’s a little tedious and could have used some stronger editing but I enjoyed it.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. A reading update is always welcome! I’ve got 4321 and Caroline on my list for some winter reading. I just started Prairie Fires but don’t know how much truth I want to read about Laura Ingalls Wilder. The whole Little House fantasy was a wonderful part of childhood!

  2. I am looking forward to diving into 4321 – probably soon. And I’m on a very long Overdrive waitlist for Little Fires, so someday. I felt the same about Never Let Me Go — I am just not a fan of dystopian fiction; it gives me the heebie-jeebies to be honest. I have no desire to read anything further about the Little House series. I read all the books when I was young . . . and that was enough. 😉
    Hope you had a fun night at book group!

  3. I am also on a very long Overdrive list for Little Fires (#110!). 4321 interests me but I’m thinking after the new year for sure! Your picture is very inviting!

  4. oooh I am always happy to see the book review post. I’m definitely putting the Paul Auster on my list (really like him and it has been a while) and the Ng. No thanks on the dystopian fiction–real life in the news is too close to dystopian enough for me. I just wish it was fictional.

  5. Thanks for the recommendations, I’ve always been fascinated by the Borden murders, so I’ll be sure not to invest time in reading this book.

  6. Thank you for the reading update! I read Never Let Me Go years ago and didn’t care for it. My book group picked it for January (the award and all that) and I have to read it again-dammit. 4321 and Little Fires are on my TBR because of you!

  7. Thanks, Carole, you know we always love a post about books. I have 4321 and Little Fires on my list. I saw the movie Never Let Me Go, and yes, it is very disturbing. So, I did not read the book.

  8. Hope bookclub was fun! and thank you for the book reviews – I, too, loved 4 3 2 1 and expect Little Fires to be a bookclub pick in my neighborhood next year (when, hopefully, the Overdrive line will be a little bit shorter 🙂 all the dittos on Never Let Me Go (which I know I read but apparently never even bothered to update in Goodreads?!) – our world seems a little bit too dystopian right now as it is.

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