(You can read the first post of what I’ve read this year here.)
Year of Wonder- Geraldine Brooks
A friend lent me this book, saying it was full of “birthy goodness.” It’s true I love a good “birthy” book, but this was… not it. I read the whole thing no problem, but it was full of the most depressing and disgusting elements of humankind. Sure, the main character is a sort of midwife-in-training, but this book also takes place in a tiny village near London in 1666 that is suffering from the plague, and… pretty much everyone dies. Anyway, if you read it (after that glowing recommendation, who wouldn’t!), let me know so we can discuss it.
Man of My Dreams- Curtis Sittenfeld
I’ve loved all of Sittenfeld’s books, but I can barely remember a single detail about this one. Even though it may be her most forgettable novel, I know I enjoyed it while I was reading it. Good characters, great writing, nothing super disturbing or dark, and wonderful insight into human relationships. I’ll read anything Sittenfeld writes.
The Rosie Project- Graeme Simsion
Oh, I loved this book! So so much! It’s written through the point of view of an adult male who has Aspergers, and it’s just delightful. It may help you to love it if you love someone in real life that has a few Aspie tendencies, but I don’t think that really matters. It was just a delightful and hilarious and interesting point of view. Highly recommend.
Project Happily Ever After- Alisa Bowman
We read this book for book club, and while I wouldn’t say that this was a life-altering (or marriage-altering) book, I don’t regret reading it. I typically do not like self-help books at all, but I tolerated this one ok. I think it’s important to read about and discuss and think about and explore different views on how to make a marriage work, and this did that. Over all, sort of “eh.”
This Is How- Augusten Burroughs
I love Augusten Burroughs (my favorite of his was Running With Scissors), but his life and especially his childhood are pretty messed up and could be disturbing to some. I found this book to be very think-y, in a good way, and I feel like I should read it again to get the full benefit.
Young God- Katherine Faw Morris
Easily the most fucked up book I’ve read in a long time, and… I don’t know. I didn’t like it, really at all, but I sort of wished I had someone else to discuss it with. The characters are in heartbreaking situations, their world is dirty and messy (in all aspects) and messed up, and it ended quite abruptly. It was a very fast read, so if you like the sort of book where you’re thinking WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK through the entire thing? This is it.
The Girl You Left Behind- Jojo Moyes
Oh, my goodness I loved this book! It was the perfect mix of past and present (the novel follows two story lines), of likable characters, of a little bit on suspense and rooting for how I wanted the story to go, with a very satisfying ending. Many thumbs up.
The Chaperone- Laura Moriarty
Oh this was also a EXCELLENT book. A beautiful young woman and her chaperone take on NYC in the 1920s, with flashes back to the chaperone’s own sad childhood, and then covering the several decades that follow their crazy summer in the city. This book has several satisfying plot points that I did not expect and tons of heart. Recommend!
The Orphan Train- Christina Baker Kline
I was inspired to read this after reading The Chaperone, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. If you read and enjoy The Chaperone, I think this is a solid companion read.
Hyperbole and a Half- Allie Brosh
I’ve read Allie’s blog off and on over the years, and so I was excited to read her book. I don’t like graphic novels (if that’s what you’d call this?), like, AT ALL, but still. It was Allie Brosh! I thought the book was ok, and even a little depressing in places, but I think I like stories like this in smaller doses instead of reading it all the way through. I should have read one story a night along with whatever other books I was reading instead of reading it all at once, as the style wouldn’t have been as tiring then. I did find it full of humor and wisdom.