Small Great Things by Jodi Piccoult. Jodi, you’re back! She had a string of pretty awful books (the one about elephants?! NO) but this one I loved. It’s about a labor and delivery nurse who is told to stay away from a newborn baby and his parents. They’re white supremacists, and she’s black. There’s a court case. That’s all I’ll say.
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue. This is about a couple who immigrates to New York City from Africa, and the husband gets a job as a chauffeur for a wealthy Wall Street family It’s a dichotomy of an American couple that seemingly has everything but are crazy unhappy, and a couple that is struggling to make ends meet but still think America is the greatest place in the world. I absolutely loved it. Couldn’t put it down.
The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis. I texted my mom when I was only like 40% of the way through to tell her to put a hold on this. Every other chapter is narrated by Darby, who moves to New York in the 1950s as a 17-year-old to attend secretary school, and lives in a boarding house/hotel for women. The other chapters are written by Rose, a young journalist living in the same building (which has been converted into condos, as all historical buildings are) in 2016. I couldn’t put it down.
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. This was described by The Skimm as a cross between The O.C. and It’s Complicated, so naturally I was chomping at the bit to read it. I was disappointed. It was boring. I think I should have read it rather than listening to it, but I still don’t think I would have loved it.
The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter. I realized too late that is is Book 8 in the “Will Trent” series. But it didn’t really seem to make a difference, I felt like I was able to follow the story. It wasn’t as riveting as Pretty Girls (or as horrifying), but it held my attention. I would consider starting at Book 1.
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. This is a YA book about a teenage girl who is allergic to – wait for it- everything. She’s kept inside her house in a bubble with just her mom and a nurse. But she starts to watch her new neighbors and develops a relationship with the boy next door. There’s a twist at the end but I saw it coming about halfway through. Still pretty good though and a really quick read.
Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple. I really liked the sense of humor in this book, but the story itself was pretty stupid. It’s about a woman with an 8-year-old son who essentially convinces herself that her husband is cheating on her and goes a little crazy. The timeline of the entire book is about 6 hours. The son is probably one of my favorite book characters ever, but he’s really the only redeeming part of this one.
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. Yes yes I’ve already read this. But when Sheila told me the audiobook version was great, I had to listen to it, too. It didn’t disappoint. I would go so far as to say that this is my favorite book of 2016. It’s another one that I’m dying to be made into a movie even though if and when that happens I will likely tear the adaptation apart. Please read and/or listen ASAP.
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman. Same author as A Man Called Ove. This is about a 7-year-old girl who has a very close relationship with her grandmother and it’s adorable. I also love her because of how much she loves Harry Potter. I didn’t love it as much as Ove, but it was still really good.
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. I listened to this (among other things) on my 8 hour drive to Syracuse for Thanksgiving. It was interesting enough that I’ll read some of his other stuff, but I think he gets too detailed on too few examples. Like the Sesame Street thing was interesting, but let’s cut the explanation in half. Freakonomics was better.
Bossypants by Tina Fey. Of course I had already read this, but this time I listened to the audiobook! There are pros and cons- at one point she played a clip from an SNL bit with Amy Poehler back in the Sarah Palin days of 2008- but you miss out on all of the amazing photos in the print version. So you should probably just do both.
Right now I’m listening to Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, and reading the next Fredrik Backman book, Britt-Marie was here. So those will be in the next roundup.
There were also few books lately that I couldn’t even finish- The Runaway Wife by Elizabeth Birkelund, This One Is Mine by Maria Semple, and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. I listened to over 3 hours of the last one and still couldn’t do it. Sorry- too many good books out there to waste time on something you don’t like.