Books

Book Report

I’ve read another dozen books since my “Quarantine Reading List” update, so I felt it was high-time I posted some more recommendations! Here they are, in order of date read:

  1. Ninth House by Leigh Barduge- Complete and total waste of time. I wanted it to be good, but it was like the author was determined for it to be terrible. I truly regret reading it.
  2. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey – I rallied from the “Ninth House” with the genuinely compelling science fiction novel, “Leviathan Wakes”. If you’ve seen the Amazon Prime show, then you’ll have a good sense of the book as it follows the story pretty accurately. It was a good space romp with a few surprise twists… but also a few too many climactic moments towards the end.
  3. Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer—Oh, Stephanie. How you influenced my junior high years. After all this time, revisiting the characters of Edward and Bella felt both a little sweet and a bit awkward. The writing is still pretty terrible, but somehow following Edward’s POV feels fresh.
  4. Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid—There was a lot of hype over this book and I was a bit skeptical of it, to be honest. However, the book was so engaging and the “fictional interview” construct absolutely worked. I’m really excited for the tv series! Bring on the music!
  5. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller—After reading “Circe” earlier this summer, GoodReads kept recommending me this other modern take on ancient myth. “The Song of Achilles” transports you to Ancient Greece and builds up to the Trojan War in a more personal, intimate way than I’ve ever encountered. While I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, it’s definitely a great read for anyone into mythology and the legends of old.
  6. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas– Has our standard for fantasy really sunk this low? While her previous series, Throne of Glass, had its own set of issues, I at least found it entertaining and digestible. This opening novel was so convoluted and the characters so patently unreal that I couldn’t enjoy a moment of it.
  7. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides—With a name like Michaelides, you know you’re going to get some of that Greek influence in the narrative. “The Silent Patient” was great—fun, twisted, intriguing. I have to say, though, I saw the ending from a mile away.
  8. Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James—One of the great mystery authors decides to write a murder set in the world of Jane Austen? Sign me up! While it never stoops to the level of true detective novel, the narrative winds through clues and suspects while also developing the well-loved characters of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. Jane Austen fans of the world can rest easy (and enjoy).
  9. Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris – This was another hyped book that I had avoided. I’ve found it tough to read heavy, depressing literature right now, given the current political, social, and economic climate. I pushed through this and, while I’m happy I did, I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to recommend it right now.
  10. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton – My friend, Sara, recommended this book to me as a bit of a lighthearted, bounce-back after ‘Tattooist’. The characters were engaging, and the narrative was surprising. It didn’t blow me away, but it was a charming tale.
  11. Untamed by Glennon Doyle – Oh man. This one did blow me away. It was challenging to read because it was so convicting. “Which of my beliefs are my own creation and which were programmed into me?” she asks in the first few pages. Doyle then sets out to burn down the house she had built and pursue a truer, more authentic way of living (her “Knowing”).  I highlighted so many passages and journaled extensively as I read this. While her perspective might be perplexing for some people (specifically, the conservative Christian audience that Doyle was raised among), I would recommend this book to anyone who is willing to have a critical discussion with themselves about what they believe.
  12. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman—You might have heard of the movie (feat. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman) but the source material is a wonderful, winding account of two orphaned girls living with their quirky, magical aunties. A mixture of old wives tales, folklore, and enchantments make up the ‘practical magic’ and the whole package is patently delightful.

Currently Reading: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Haran

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