Book Reviews

If you’re new to, you can see all the books I’ve read in the last few years here:

I keep this list so I can remember the books I’ve read and recommend them to friends. It’s hard to find a really good book. You can take someone else’s suggestion, but how do you know if you two have the same taste?

I never thought of myself as a reader, but it’s kind of my favorite thing these days. Not only is it fun to get lost in a story but it seems to counteract whatever damage I’m doing by mindlessly scrolling through social media, i.e. makes me a little smarter.  Sometimes it feels like a chore, like if the book is poorly written or too YA or whatever. But since my kids are required to read 30 minutes everyday and log their reading, I try to discipline myself as well and set a good example. #momgoals

Here’s the latest:

Bel Canto
by Ann Patchett

I am still reading Bel Canto, and I’m loving it. Ann is one of my favorite authors. And I’m surprised how varied her books are. Different times, places, subjects that have a very different mood. So good.

The Mars Room
by Rachel Kushner

I read a review of The Mars Room somewhere…and it sounded good. I haven’t finished it because I checked it out of the library through Libby and I read slow and it was returned. I’m undecided about whether or not I want to finish it. It’s pretty heavy and maybe not for me. Has anyone else read this?

by Ann Patchett

Commonwealth is absolutely my kind of book. I love the writing: smart but not too smart, the vivid descriptions that transport you into the story with an interesting time and place and comic/tragic characters and story. Loved it.

Firefly Lane
by Kristen Hannah

I really thought I would like Firefly Lane since I loved The Nightingale, but the writing was … painful. It’s the story of two girls/women and how their lives divert but their friendship endures, which sounds like a solid winner but it was so Young Adult and ridiculous I suffered all the way through. Sorry, Kristen. 🙁

by Susan Sontag

I don’t even know why I got Debriefing as a gift. I don’t remember putting it on a wish list or ever mentioning that I like Susan Sontag. I’d never read anything by her. This collection of fictional ‘essays’ was said to be unlike her other more well-known work. At first it seemed interesting. It was challenging and odd and artsy and weird which I really appreciated, but parts of it were so out there I couldn’t even understand what I was reading or why. Since it is a collection of very different stories I could put it down for long stretches while I read other things. I finally pushed through to the end and hoped it was somehow character-building. I will say it was a good antidote to the mind-numbing boredom of suburban existence.

by R.J. Palacio

Well, actually, I read Wonder to my kids, but I’m including it because it was really good.

Codependent No More
by Melody Beattie

I read Codependent No More because someone recommended it to me recently and as I was about to say I already read it (in like 1994) I realized I might not have read more than the title page… So I decided to get it and actually find out what it says. This should probably be required reading in schools.

Manhattan Beach
by Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach had everything in it to be a good read: female protagonist, 1940s NYC, family secrets, mobsters, diving… yes, diving, but, it fell flat. I couldn’t understand why it didn’t feel like it ever ‘took off’. I had to read some reviews so I could understand why it was problematic and realize it wasn’t just me. I wanted to like it more but had to work to get through it.

Golden Son
by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Golden Son was delightful and I highly recommend it. You may think, I don’t have a great interest or love of Indian culture, but I don’t think that should stop you. It’s a story of two people from India with very different life paths and it was such a page turner. So beautiful.

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