February 5, 2014

January Books

Something lit a fire under me back at the beginning of January.  We had several snow days in a row and I ended up at the library because I had nothing else to do.  I came home with a stack of books and a goal:  Read as many books as I can in 2014.  (Note: or at least 3 a month)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green:  B
It was okay.  It stuck with me for a few days.  It was terribly sad.  The 2nd half was better than the 1st half.  I don't think it was OMG-AMAZING like some reviewers have made it out to be, but I'm glad I read it.  It was a little more philosophical than I thought it'd be, but maybe that's what prevents it from becoming a Nicholas Sparks book.  (Which is the tipping point for whether or not I'll read a book: slightly Sparksy? That's a no go.)  Without the philosophical quality and Amsterdam stuff, it'd totally pass for a Nicholas Sparks book.

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth: A-
My mom sent me this for my birthday and I had already placed the PBS series in my Netflix queue weeks ago.  A friend told me about it last summer, so I knew it was something I wanted to check out eventually.  I really enjoyed the book.  I thought the birth stories were super interesting and I liked Jenny Lee's "character".  You can't really call her a character because it's a memoir, but you get the idea.  The chapters alternated between stories about patients and stories about nuns/Jenny/England in the 1950s.  The jumping around was a little confusing, as I like to stick to one train of thought when I read a book (books with multiple perspectives push me over the edge).  So I'd skip chapters and come back to them when I finished what I wanted to finish first.  I read it before I started the series on PBS and, so far, I like the show too.  The book's better though.  As usual.

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella: A
I really love Sophie Kinsella.  She is the one and only "chick lit" author I'll read and that's because her books have a story to them; a point to them.  They usually are unpredictable in an ironic kind of way and she's quite good at making you fall in love with her characters.  I always do!  This is definitely a good book.  It was told from 2 different perspectives but, a few chapters in, you get used to it.  My favorite is still Can You Keep a Secret?, but I highly recommend Wedding Night.  The only book of hers I never cared her was I've Got Your Number.  I own all the rest.

Altogether Dead by Charlaine Harris: B+
I listened to this book in the car over the last couple of weeks.  I read it over the summer, but forgot a lot of it.  If I was going to continue this series, I needed to backtrack a little.  I'm bound and determined to finish it!
I like Altogether Dead.  It's not my favorite of the Sookie books.  I like Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, and Dead as a Doornail the best.
I do love the series though and I recommend it!

And I tried:

Divergent by Veronica Roth: yet to be determined
I know this is the next cult book.  Or maybe it already is..I don't know.
Scott read it 2 years ago.  He told me to read it.  My cousin gave it to me for my birthday last year.  So then we had 2 copies and I still hadn't read it.  I started it back in November and, try as I might, I just can't finish it.  I can't.  I don't like it, and this almost bugs me.

Scott insists that it's good (I'm about halfway through), so maybe I should try the audiobook in an attempt to not be the last person on earth who doesn't know the story.  The idea of finishing this book, and then muddling through Insurgent and Allegiant when I don't care about the story is a little discouraging.  Maybe this series just isn't for everyone.

Downtrodden Abbey by Gillian Fetlocks:  didn't finish it
A satire.  Definitely funny.  I didn't finish it because I didn't see the point.  It didn't have a story to it.  I'd laugh out loud but Scott would be sitting there and I couldn't share the humor with him because he doesn't watch the show.

Do you have any book recommendations?  I always need a list with me when I go to the library.  Or I quickly become discouraged and end up leaving empty-handed.


  1. I'm so sorry you didn't love Divergent! But I think you're right... not all books are universally appealing. Like I don't know why, but I never could get into any of the Sophie Kinsella books! But you're not the only one who raves about them, so I know there must be something to them. I guess different tastes are what keep things interesting. :)

  2. I've watch Call the Midwife on Netflix, though I didn't finish all the episodes...this faint at the sight of scary medical stuff girl liked the premise and stories, but was a little freaked out by the actual births and complications... (and why did I marry a nurse???)

  3. Okay-I'm so glad you felt that way about The Fault In Our Stars. I was beginning to think there was something wrong with me. It just didn't hit me the way it hit everyone else. Maybe it was because I was slightly depressed when I read it (it was back in the husband-moved-away-phase), but I just...wasn't crazy about it. I've put it on my list to try again though.

    Wedding Night, however, I just didn't like. I skimmed the last half. It might also be because I knew what to expect. I knew from the very beginning basically how it would end. I have a bad habit of reading as a writer (it drives my sister CRAZY)--so a lot of times books that are actually good I get hung up on "writer" things that really don't matter.

    I loved Divergent for the first like...100 pages. The ending though totally lost me and I had no desire to read any of the others in the series.

    I really have to check out Call The Midwife. I also want to watch the series but have a rule that if I know the book exists, I have to read the book first. The mult. perspective thing usually confuses me too unless it's done REALLY well. I'll check it out!

  4. I love Sophie Kinsella! It's been a long time since I've read one of her books, though. I think she'll need to be on my list of next book purchases. :)

    I'm bummed that you're not liking Divergent! I loved it (and Insurgent)! I have Allegiant sitting downstairs, but I'm in the middle of another series right now, and I need to reread the first two before reading it anyway. It's ok if you don't like it, though! If you can't get through it, then don't worry about it! :)

  5. I've been reading the Vampire Academy series. I'm on book 2 and loving it so far.

    I loved Divergent and Insurgent, but hated how Allegiant ended. I also love Sophie Kinsella's books - all of them!

  6. I'm so glad I'm not the only one unimpressed by The Fault in Our Stars. I was less than a chapter in and I was already irritated, for several reasons, the main one being that 16 year olds DO NOT TALK LIKE THAT. And if there's anything that annoys me in movies/shows/books it's when 16 year olds are super deep and philosophical. I hate it. Also, I swear I've read basically the exact same story...not to sound heartless, but in every single book about a teenager with cancer. It was just nothing new and annoying on top of everything else.

    I really like the show Call the Midwife, I should check out that book.

    And I really don't even have a desire to read Divergent...maybe when the hype has faded. I'm weird like that.

    I finished The Book Thief and loved it (but you knew that) and I got about halfway through David Sedaris' Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls before I quit because he's not even that funny, and he just comes across as old and sarcastic.

    I'm not sure what I want to read next. Oh - I did read Night Circus a month or two ago, I really liked that one although you have to really pay attention to it while you're reading it. I'll let you know if I read anything good soon...

  7. Currently on my list I have I am Malala, and Divergent...I think I read that Sophie Kinsella, but can't remember now...I love all her books!

  8. I used to love Sophie Kinsella, but I couldn't get through Wedding Night. I feel like she's gone downhill lately. I haven't read any of the other ones. I have a hard time finding quiet time to read these days.

  9. I would say my favorite John Green book is Looking for Alaska. I did really love The Fault in Our Stars, though it's not for everyone.

    As for Divergent, I haven't read it either, so don't worry. haha I'm curious, for sure, so I guess I'll try it at some point...I don't know what I'll think though.

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  10. That fault book is becoming a movie I believe :)

  11. I felt the same way about The Fault in Our Stars. It was so depressing. I do like Divergent, though. I'm nearing completion of the second one, Insurgent.

  12. I haven't read the Divergent series, and I really don't plan to. I bought the Happiness Project a few months ago but it is still sitting on my night stand. I miss reading. I didn't even pick up a book during winter break this year. Boo me.

  13. I found Fault in our Stars okay too. Hopefully the movie is better. Also... Divergent was just okay, I didn't love it like Hunger Games.

  14. I loved the storyteller by Jodi Picoult. It was very surprising. Orphan train. I just read dark places and gone girl by gillian Flynn. Not bad if you want a suspense. The book thief wasn't bad. I love the kitchen house unsure of the author.

  15. I've tried, but I'm not a fan of Sophie Kinsella. I read a few of her books when she first came out, but I just never have the urge anymore.

    LOLOL @ slightly Sparksy? No. I love that.


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