Summer Book Report

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I'm a little bit behind my usual reading pace. And in the last week I've gotten three library holds auto borrowed (that's what happens when you use your Kindle to get library books), so I'm feeling all the pressure to read quickly. I'm terrible at writing book reviews (I've never been a good summarizer), but I thought I could at least provide a few nuggets in the event that folks are looking for new books to add to their reading lists. 

Since joining (well, actually creating) a book group, I've read a few books that I would not have picked for myself. Some I liked and some I didn't. 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle // I read this book when I was a little kid and wanted to re-read it when I saw the movie would be coming out in the spring. I don't remember much about the book (I was probably 10 when I read it the first time), so reading it again was similar to reading it for the first time. One thing I realized reading this again was that it was the kind of young adult book that I really appreciated. Fairly to the point. If it were written as an adult book it probably would have been two or three times as long and I probably would have lost interested in the slow parts in the middle. 

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent // This was a good, but quite dark, read. Another book group read that we all ended up enjoying. The writing was good and the story was good. I kept hoping the ending would be different, but you can't always get what you want out of a story. What I didn't realize was that this was based on a true story. 

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub // I feel like this book had a lot of promise, but really I just got annoyed with the characters. I liked her other book The Vacationers so much better. Towards the end I got fed up with their games, overreactions, and stupidity. Maybe I'm overreacting, but maybe it's because I didn't find them relatable. I think I need at least one relatable character in order to enjoy a story.

Into the Woods by Tana French // This is the third book in this series that I've read and it was one of my favorites so far. I have enjoyed them all, but this was just a more compelling story. I think The Trespasser was a more suspenseful story, but I enjoyed this more overall. My favorite part about this series is that you don't have to read them in order (which is helpful when getting them from the library). Each book highlights a different character, so you meet other characters you already know or are going to learn more about as you read more books. 

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey // This was another book group read. I was very hesitant to read it at first because I generally don't enjoy books by Alaskans or those written about Alaska, but I really liked it in the end. I think that Eowyn Ivey actually captured with words some of the things I love most about the woods (the sounds, smells, feel). I think that was what made me enjoy the story. The whole thing could have been about 100 pages shorter, but overall it was a good story. 

Big Little LItes by Liane Moriarty // This was a quick and pretty easy read. For a book that was over 400 pages, it was a pretty quick read. Even though it's a story about bullying and abuse, it was good for a chuckle or two (don't get me wrong, I'm NOT making light of those issues, they are real and they are serious, but this was written with a more lighthearted twist). You'll definitely recognize some of the characters from your own life. Liane Moriarty does an excellent job with relationships in her writing. 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows // Yet another book group pick. This is a book that's been on my list for a long time so I was looking forward to reading it. Turns out, I hated it. I didn't finish it. I just didn't get into the story (how the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society got started) and I was extremely distracted by the format. It's written in letters and for some reason I had a hard time keeping track of the characters because there was no narrative to tie it together. The other ladies in my book group loved it though!

Next up on my list: Truly, Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty, and The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall. What are you reading next?