Monday, February 29, 2016

February Reads

Another month of good reading. The cold months are very good for that. Here's what I read in February...

I Feel Bad About My Neck And Other Thoughts On Being A Woman (Nora Ephron)- A collection of short chronicles on being a woman and the anxiety and maintenance of getting older. I'd heard a lot of her books mentioned recently and randomly saw this book at our local library while I was waiting on an audio book of hers to arrive. So I grabbed and thought it would be a fast, easy read, which it was. It was not entertaining for me however. Maybe I'm not at the right age. Maybe I'll appreciate it more when I'm older. I think it could be one of those things, you know? This time around it wasn't great. I did love the final chapter, where she talks a bit about death and knowing your own mortality and such, but the rest was a bit of a dud for me.

Heartburn (Nora Ephron)- Ephron relives the demise of her own marriage in a tale told from the perspective of Rachel, who at 7 months pregnant discovers that her husband is having an affair and is in love with another woman. This book was not bad. I have to preface with that. It was fine. It was funny in parts. Maybe Ephron is just not my jam because it wasn't side splitting to me the way it seemed to be to other people. We all have our things, right? I listened to the audio book of this, read by Meryl Streep, and I think that was a lot of the problem. Meryl Streep was phenomenal. Truly. She did a great job! It was just that it was a 179 page book and it was FIVE AND A HALF HOURS of audio. I could have finished it in under 2 hours and that's all I could think while listening to it. I think it would have more enjoyable for me if I'd read it rather than listened to it.

The Distant Hours (Kate Morton)- A mysterious story following 3 elderly sisters and the secrets they have kept for over 50 years. A young woman stumbles upon them while trying to unravel her own mother's past. Kate Morton, I think I love you. I read The Forgotten Garden a while back and loved it. This book has taken me months to plow through, not because of any fault of it's own but because I've been entranced with library orders and since I OWN this book it didn't have the same shiny appeal of library books with a very loud return date. HOWEVER, it was fantastic. It was a toss back and forth between the 1940's and the 90's, which I am always intrigued by, and had the makings of a delicious historical mystery thriller. A spooky old castle, secrets long hidden, an English country side, a dark and stormy night... I'm glad I own this one.

The Elite (Kiera Cass)- I blogged about reading The Selection in January and now I'll tell you all about how I felt reading the rest of the series, so spoiler warning in case you are reading these! The Selection has been narrowed down from 35 girls to 6. Amid growing threat from outside rebel forces, America has to decide where her heart lies. With Prince Maxon or with her first love? This was another fun, fluffy read. It's great for a quick reading escape if you like some marshmallow romance. Admittedly, the lack of character development for like 2 and a half books was throwing me off but I DID enjoy it. Because I know there are a lot of people reading it I don't want to give anything away!

The One (Kiera Cass)- The Selection is nearly over. One must be crowned. Again, I don't want to give anything away! This was my favorite of the series so far. I thought the plot thickened nicely. The emotions were a little over simplified and it had me cussing at imaginary people a few times but sometimes that happens with books, am I right? #booknerdlife

The Heir (Kiera Cass)- SPOILERS, TURN AWAY NOW Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing about her parents' epic story of finding true love and happily ever after through The Selection but she isn't interested in finding a Prince Charming of her own. Fate intervenes and this princess is going to have to put on a brave face and make her way through her very own selection. But she has no plans to fall in love or end her Selection with a ring on her finger. It was a little meh to go from America's story to Eadlyn's because I liked America. I also wanted to hear all about how America and Maxon fixed the country and got rid of those pesky rebels but that is largely skipped over in this book. I know there are short stories and such so maybe I will search for those. I also found Eadlyn slightly insufferable through a lot of it but I think you're meant to? She had her endearing moments and I loved her brothers and their whole family dynamic.The end of this caught me completely by surprise!  

I do have to say that I love love love Kiera Cass as a person and want to be buddies with her and her acknowledgement sections were often my favorite parts of the entire book because she is SO CUTE. Those book covers are also SUPER swoon worthy. Love them. 

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)- A horrible tragedy sends 16 year old Jacob on a journey to the island his grandfather escaped to during WWII. There he plans to search for answers to all of the mystery surrounding his grandfather's early life but what he finds is more than shocking. Uncovering secrets older than he could imagine, he immerses himself in a world of peculiar children and dangerous enemies. I loooooved this book. It has been on my to read list for over a year and I randomly purchased it last weekend for funsies and I'm glad I did because I would have wanted to own it anyway. It's beautifully told and the old photographs that go along with the book are fantastic. My copy had an interview with the author and I think that made it even more fun and interesting. The story is haunting and equal parts sad and liberating. It is such a diverse and intricate world you step into. 

Insurgent (Veronica Roth)- Possible Spoilers The 2nd book in the Divergence series, Insurgent follows Tris in her escape after the attack on her old faction. War is blooming. Haunted by her grief and decisions, Tris must learn what being Divergent truly is and embrace it no matter the cost. I loved this book. It definitely has middle book syndrome. The story drags a little for a while. I see a lot of people complaining about the characters changing so much between the last book and this one but like... they kind of went through a lot, right? To me it made sense that they were different people and they didn't have the same characteristics we'd grown used to. You have to get used to the new dynamic but that's how life actually is, right? People change, especially under stress. Anyway. I really enjoyed it. Very excited to read the next one and FINALLY watch the movies. 

The Sense of an Ending (Julian Barnes)- Thinking he'd left his childhood friends behind, Tony is surprised when his closest friends return, one of them from the grave, after he is well past middle age. He is forced to reconsider his relationships and things he thought he'd understood all along as a mysterious new legacy is put before him. This was very compelling. So much of it was really rather scary. The big ideas and grand gestures and plans of youth replaced by essentially just letting life happen to you in later years. The philosophy aspect, which I'm sure is very interesting for some people, was pretty meh for me because I don't really care but the human parts were very raw and I felt like I was watching a wound closing and being opened again. I did not see the end coming at all.  

I'm about to head off on a walk to the library for more books. A heaping pile of books are waiting on hold for me there and I am a delighted lady. Happy reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment