what’s on my kindle, part 48

Hi! It’s been a minute (or a couple months). We had a baby, sold our house, lived with 3 different relatives for a few weeks, and moved to London. It’s been a lot, but we’re adjusting! So here’s one last Kindle post for 2021 with a few London pics thrown in. Not sure what this is going to look like moving forward, but hoping for more to come in 2022. Happy New Year!

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz. This started off a little slow but I ended up LOVING it. Hard to describe without giving too much away, but basically a mediocre/failed novelist who writes a book based on someone else’s idea and the fallout from it. It’s a combination of that story and excerpts from the book he wrote. Highly recommend.

Queens Park. My girl loves slides but this one was too daunting.

Fortune and Glory: Tantalizing Twenty-Seven by Janet Evanovich. I’ll say it again- these are hilarious audiobooks that make for light and entertaining listening. And they are usually only 5 or 6 hours long. You don’t have to read them in order, but you do have to listen to them.

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain. Her books are hit or miss for me and this one was kind of boring. It flashes between 1940 and present-day and is about to the original creation of a mural in North Carolina, and then the restoring of said mural for a gallery opening. It was fine but if you want to read something of hers I would go with The Midwife’s Confession, The Silent Sister, or The Dream Daughter.

Casual pasta drying at our neighborhood Italian spot (Urban Soul). Still miss you, DiPasquales.

The Wreckage of My Presence by Casey Wilson. I think I listened to this entire memoir while I was stuck in the hospital (see previous post). It’s good not great. I think maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I were into the Real Housewives because she clearly is and has a podcast about it.

We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz. I thought The Herd was pretty bad but I gave this a chance because it was in Reese’s book club. It was better, but still not good. About two college best friends who take an annual trip together and there’s some murder involved. It was way too long and pretty far-fetched.

Slow roasted lamb for Christmas lunch. The true gift was choosing to enjoy this while our children were sleeping.

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland. I liked this a lot! It’s about a dated hotel in the Catskills and the two families who own and operate it. I wasn’t on the edge of my seat but it was an easy listen and very entertaining. She also wrote The Floating Feldmans which was similarly decent and enjoyable to listen to.

Yolk by Mary H. K. Choi. I loved this so much. It’s about sisters in their early 20s who were born in Korea, grew up in Texas, and then move to New York City. It doesn’t have a crazy plot or anything but the writing is just stunning and I couldn’t put it down. I will say it’s probably targeted toward Millenials/Gen Z. BRB while I read all her other books.

One of our favorite beers here so far

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins. Hate to say it Paula, but you’re a one-hit-wonder (the one hit being The Girl on the Train which I maintain is one of the greatest audiobooks of all time). I texted Sheila when I was about 3 hours into this to say that I couldn’t follow it at all and wondered if I should blame it on sleep deprivation, but she was having the same experience. Even when I got a handle on all the characters, it still wasn’t good. Hard pass.

Wayward by Dana Spiotta. I was pretty excited about this because it was set in Syracuse, NY and supposedly about a woman who rehabs a house there so I immediately thought of my mom. But then it ended up being more about a woman who was just really into Hillary Clinton and I didn’t feel like I could read that in 2021. Quit at 40%.

Gail’s is a bakery chain here (not like Panera level chain, but multiple locations) and this is our local one. We’ve consumed far too many loaves of the seeded sourdough.

Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi. As mentioned previously, I wanted to read everything by this author after finishing Yolk. But I couldn’t get into this one. I quit the audiobook after a few hours.

Where the Grass is Green and Girls are Pretty by Lauren Weisberger. I feel like my IQ dropped a few points just by downloading a book with this title but I’m a sucker for The Devil Wears Prada so I did it anyway. It’s her fictional take on the college admissions scandal and it was admittedly pretty bad but I finished it. And the title has literally nothing to do with the plot, I’m still confused.

Southwark

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis. I’ve liked some of her other books (all historical fiction) and this one was just okay. It goes back and forth between a historic family living in a New York City library and a contemporary librarian there who is dealing with items being stolen. I finished it but I’m not sure I’d recommend.

It Had to Be You by Georgia Clark. This is like He’s Just Not That Into You or one of those other movies that follows several couples/plot lines and they’re all loosely connected. It was good! It definitely held my attention and would be a good beach read if you’re getting out of the snow and cold sometime this winter!

Honestly they only sell chocolate chips in these bags and I don’t understand. This is like a snack while baking.

Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz. My expectations for this were admittedly high after how much I loved The Plot but it literally took me over 2 months to get through it. I told myself twice I was going to quit but then it miraculously stayed on my Kindle and I didn’t have anything else. The ending sort of justified it, but it was definitely too long. The most redeeming part was that each chapter began with an excerpt from a college essay, which I found pretty entertaining. But please read The Plot and skip this one.

The Manager Mom Epidemic: How Moms Got Stuck Doing Everything for Their Families and What They Can Do About It by Thomas Phelan. If you know me in real life, you’re either laughing, rolling your eyes, or wondering if I commissioned this book to be written. In truth it was an Emily Oster recommendation and I worship the ground she Instagrams on. I thought it was good but probably more applicable once you have older kids.

Being cultural at the Tate Modern museum. We’re still in awe of these big floating jellyfish.

That’s a wrap on 2021! I would say my favorite books I read this year were The Push, The Plot, and The One. Maybe an honorable mention to Oona Out of Order which I had forgotten about until I just skimmed through my posts from this year, but really loved. And also Yolk (if you’re a millenial) and Golden Girl.

Britain gets a bad rep for food and I’d say that so far the food has been great, but I have to disagree with their decision to create the “chip butty” which is just french fries on a hamburger bun.

If someone can find me a book club in London that would be GREAT.

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