I feel like a person can only read so many of these books. I enjoyed The Gifts of Imperfection a lot. Daring Greatly was fine and all. Rising Strong was just a rehashing and a deep-dive of the other two. Like, I get it. It's just more than I need and want in a self-help book because it forces me to be too introspective. I'm already an ISFJ on the Myers-Briggs. I don't need more reasons or excuses to reflect. It was too specific. Reading the case studies made it hard to apply to my own life. If you like Brown's books, read it. Otherwise, you probably don't need to.
#66 The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton A
I've had such trouble getting into WWII books in the last year or so. This one broke through the barrier. In fact, I had to take a fiction break when I was done because it just pulled me in and was such an investment of time to begin with.
I read The Lake House last year and I didn't love it and couldn't understand why people were impressed with Morton (this was not an Atkinson). After reading The Secret Keeper, I would definitely try another one of her books...maybe The Distant Hours or The Forgotten Garden?
#67 The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware D
I want to say I didn't hate this. I've read the reviews by bloggers and whatnot, but all of that wasn't in my head when I started reading because I more or less stopped thinking whilst on Christmas break. I will say that Lo was the worst...talk about an unreliable narrator. She was a lot like Rachel in The Girl on the Train; always stumbling around drunk/hungover/or trying to remember what happened the night before.
Also, there were way too many characters. It was like a bad game of Clue. But imagine you're actually in it and you're drunk the whole time.
#68 Brave Like My Brother by Marc Tyler Nobelman
This was a middle-grade WWII book. We just did a chapter on WWII at school and these kids have shown next to no interest in anything I've told them since August. However, they seemed to semi-like the discussion of WWII. Therefore, I needed to keep it going. I pre-read this over Christmas break. (The last time I didn't pre-read a book...2011...a main character's father was killed in Iraq and that was not a good twist and I had no way of seeing that coming. I've since learned my lesson.)
This is good for kids because it's historical fiction but tells the true story of the "ghost army" and it plays with point of view because it's a series of letters written to Charlie, an elementary school kid, from his big brother Joe, who is off in Europe.
Ranking it for what it was and adjusting for ability level and content interest, I'd give it a B+.
#69 Faithful by Alice Hoffman B+
I read this in about three days, so that's a win. It was a very easy read. I will say that anything with dogs in it, especially abandoned dogs that are taken in by caring individuals, makes me cry. Scott told me to stop reading the book. But I finished it. And nothing bad happens to the dogs...spoiler alert.
It's a good book. Didn't turn out the way I thought it would. It was just-this-side of engrossing for me. The characters were more likable than I thought they would be.
#70 I Let You Go by Clare McKintosh B
I liked it. I get why everyone else in the world liked it a lot too. I didn't fall in love with it though. I liked the first half better than the second half.
Spoiler in white:
The second half...There was unreliable narration, there was point of view shifting, there was a villain in the form of an estranged husband, there was a new boyfriend/not a boyfriend, there was hidden identity, there was domestic violence, there was a child killed tragically, there was an affair based on power that resulted in that aforementioned child. It was too much! And my summary of cliches doesn't even touch the story of one of the main characters, the detective. That was a whole other series of "typicals".
Also, there was a dog and I was WHOLLY preoccupied with just wanting the dog to be okay. There were moments when I couldn't listen for whole days because I was so scared something was going to happen to that dog. It was a hard listen and I think it would've been just as hard to read in print. Narration was great though.
Did Not Finish:
Among The Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont
I didn't hate-hate it. It just wasn't intriguing me. I got about 1/3 of the way in? Maybe 1/2?
I liked the first chunk but then it jumped forward in time and then back again and that kind of lost me. It was depressing.
I set a goal for 2017 (hahaha) to read 75 books. I ended at 70 for 2016, so I figure I can tack 5 more on, right?
We did a goal-setting exercise at school and my example is below...
Before I showed them this, I had the kids try to guess what my goal was for the year and they kept telling me things that centered around "helping students more", "being a better teacher", "explaining more", and the like. Because obviously (#1) I don't do my job well and (#2) any and all goals I have must involve them and teachers do not ever leave the school.
I screwed up the date a bit too.
After my sentence structure was corrected ("to provide clarification") by a ten year-old, I came up with actionable steps. These are things I do anyway (but they don't know that) and, quite literally, all I'm going to be doing is trying to add 5 extra books onto 2017.
Reading goals? Anyone?
Linking up with Jana and Steph!