Beartown by Fredrik Backman. I was pretty excited about this because I loved A Man Called Ove so so much (the movie is also excellent if you don’t mind reading subtitles) but I listened to about 4 hours of this book and gave up. Maybe if you like hockey you’ll like it? Sorry Fred.
Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon. Same story as above. Gave this about 4 hours of listening in the car and couldn’t do any more. When you’re driving through the mountains of West Virginia, pretty much anything is a good distraction. And this was not.
Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine. I don’t usually take advantage of the “Kindle First” books for Prime members but I was waiting on a bunch of things from the library so I decided to give this a shot. It’s about a lady who finds out her husband was a serial killer. It was good, not great. This phrase was once used by a good friend of mine to describe a girl he was dating and now I use it pretty much constantly.
The Futures by Anna Pitoniak. I liked this! It’s about a couple who graduate from Yale and decide to move in together in New York post graduation. It has all that angsty early-20s-figuring-out-how-to-be-an-adult feel to it, mixed with some selfishness and poor relationship choices, all with a backdrop of the housing crisis of 2008. Recommend.
Nice is Just a Place in France by The Betches. I shouldn’t even admit that this title graced the screen of my Kindle. If you’re not familiar, Betches is a website: “Humor, Lifestyle & Entertainment News for Millenials”. Occasionally I find an article or Instagram post that I find entertaining but this book is embarrassing. It’s almost funny if you interpret the entire thing as extreme satire, but I unfortunately can’t do that because I know that people like this really exist in the world. I went to college with some of them. Don’t sacrifice your brain cells on this.
Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner. I wrote about her memoir in an earlier Kindle post, which I enjoyed, but had never actually read one of her books. There was no rhyme or reason for picking this aside from needing to read anything other than the Betches book. I liked this. It was a little predictable but it held my attention.
So Good by Richard Blais. If you read my San Diego post, you know I’m obsessed with the Blais. I was a little skeptical about his cookbook, because part of the reason I enjoyed him so much on Top Chef is that he has some really unique and crazy cooking techniques. But in the forward to this book, he assured me that everything was doable for the home cook. SORRY RICHARD, but when you’re recommending that I cook pasta in actual seawater that I collect from the ocean, that’s not real life. And in Baltimore I would probably die from ingesting the water in the Inner Harbor.
At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen. I was excited to read this because she wrote Water for Elephants but I can describe her second book in one word. YAWN. I don’t even know why I finished it, it was that bad. It always ticks me off when an author has a smash success and then comes out with a really awful second book. I want to ask- did you even try? Or did you just know people would read it because of your reputation? Bye, Sara.
Heartburn by Nora Ephron. I just love the way she writes. This was funny, narrated by a woman who writes cookbooks (so there are some recipes interspersed throughout) and has had two cheating husbands. It was kind of a mindless read for me with no real plot but I still enjoyed it.
The Heirs by Susan Rieger. I really liked this in the beginning- kind of reminded me of This is Where I Leave You mixed with The Nest. It’s about a wealthy New York family with five adult sons and how they deal with the loss of their father. I loved the character development of the sons and the wife. But then about 3/4 of the way through it started to get really weird (especially listening to it). So I liked but didn’t love.
The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand. I get SO excited for a new Elin book. I couldn’t even get this one on my Kindle I had to read it in the internet browser but I didn’t care because it was great. We get a little Martha’s Vineyard culture in addition to Nantucket. One of my favorites from her in a while.
I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi. This was our June book club book- I actually picked it because it had stellar Amazon reviews. I was NOT a fan. Sheila and I agreed that it had many flaws and should have been marketed as a young adult novel. We both saw the “big twist” from a mile away. Pass.
Horse Dancer by Jojo Moyes. I’ve already explained that I don’t relate to stories where horses are written as being emotionally equivalent to humans, but I gave this a chance because I’ve really liked some of Jojo’s books (Me Before You obviously, and also One Plus One and The Girl You Left Behind). Nope. Should have gone with my instincts. Even if you like horses, this isn’t good.
The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy. This is a memoir written by a journalist that deals with a lotttt of heavy stuff. Addiction, sexuality, fertility, gender identity, fidelity. Pretty much any topic that makes you uncomfortable- it’s in here! I found it interesting and it’s a quick read but I can’t say I would make a strong recommendation for it.