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For the Love of Reading: September and October 2018

It’s become customary to share the list of books I’ve read around the middle of each month. And so, here are the books I’ve read since mid-September.

Rosie Colored GlassesRosie Colored Glasses by Brianna Wolfson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The story is captivating and I wanted to love this book about divorce and addiction and mental illness and the impacts it can have on a family but the writing is just simplistic and childish and, honestly, not very good. The author repeats words over and over (and over) and the incomplete sentences and one sentence paragraphs annoyed me a lot. For instance, “Because everywhere where Rosie was, was special. And Rosie left pieces of herself everywhere she ever was. Rosie left pieces of Rosie in everyone she ever loved.” I’ll leave it at that.

People of the BookPeople of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book in question is the Sarajevo Haggadah and Brooks follows the book itself back and forth through time, using vignettes of the people who handled the book as the plot. I enjoyed it a lot and appreciated that Brooks didn’t tie up the individual stories but instead left us to decide on our own what happened. The ending felt a little forced but overall I found it to be well written and a great read.


Then and AlwaysThen and Always by Dani Atkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wish I could review the plot and the writing separately. For the story I’d give this 4 stars – it was interesting and intriguing and I didn’t “figure it out” until the very end. For the writing, though, I’d give this 2 stars. The prose is unnecessarily flowery and just not very good. I wasn’t expecting literary fiction, but I was hoping for something more than another chic lit romance. Still, it was a fast and easy read and I’d recommend it for those times when you don’t want to think too hard about what you’re reading.

What We LoseWhat We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I wanted to love this book but it felt a bit forced and read much more like a memoir than a novel. The writing is good and I think Clemmons has potential but this one just never took off.



To The Bright Edge of the WorldTo The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A fabulous story of the Alaskan wilderness, survival, hope, superstition and more. I loved the characters and different points of view, the setting was vivid and beautiful, and the story heartbreaking and lovely and captivating. Highly recommended!


The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death RowThe Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Our justice system is not just, particularly for someone poor and black and the death penalty as it is currently administered is cruel. I admire Anthony Ray Hinton for his strength of character, vivid imagination, and unwavering hope. An important read.


Paris in the Present TenseParis in the Present Tense by Mark Helprin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Helprin’s writing is just beautiful and, while it took a while for this novel to grab me, once it did I fell completely in love with it. Jules, the main character, is marvelous and has seen and done incredible things in his lifetime. This is one that should not be missed.


View all my reviews

I found a way to copy my reviews from Good Reads that I like much better than the way I have been doing it – hope you have found it better, too.

What are you reading these days?


This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Everyone has different tastes in reading, but I can tell by the examples of Wolfson’s writing in Rosie Colored Glasses that that is not a book for me! I’m reading Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver. She narrates it herself and each chapter alternates between time periods which I don’t often enjoy so I’m still undecided. I’ve got two different non-fiction books that I’ve been reading closely and carefully, so hopefully I’ll finish them soon.

  2. I just finished Kate Atkinson’s Transcription, and although I doubted there in the middle, I’m glad I soldiered on. (Never doubt Kate Atkinson.) (And not every book she writes will be Life After Life. I need to accept this and move on.)

    I LOVED To the Bright Edge of the World, and always think Mark Helprin is worth reading.

    Like Bonny, I’m reading Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver and two non-fiction books right now.

  3. I’ve been foundering a bit finding some reading that feels worth my crunched time lately. Your reviews come at the perfect time. Thanks for always being so honest, too.

  4. I’m reading “Bastard Out of Carolina” for the eleventy-two millionth time.

    Sometimes it’s better to re-read a good book than it is to stumble through several bad ones.

  5. Love these posts Carole! I’m listening to Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger and am enjoying it very much and carrying around The Underground Railroad which I really need to just sit down and read. Happy Monday!

  6. I’m reading a memoir called Old in Art School by Nell Painter and am finding it pretty interesting and thought provoking.

  7. I’ve been having a hard time finding books that engage me. I’m reading the latest by Frances Mayes (Women in sunlight or something like that), but not finding it very good. I started several others and gave up on them! Always enjoy your reviews Carole – thanks for sharing!

  8. I agree with you on To the Bright Edge of the World. Like Kym, I also read Transcription and agree with her. I’m reading Adam Bede as I’ve read too many not so great books lately.

  9. I wish I didn’t care as much that friends love the same books I do … but it made me very happy when you gave To the Bright Edge 5 stars and loved Jules and Paris. Transcription is Really Good and I do think you’d enjoy it. I just started Lethal White (latest from Robert Galbraith) and I am hooked. There’s never enough time to read really good books!

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