April 11, 2017
March Books 2017
Breathing Room by Leeana Tankersley A+
I loved this so much. It's a book that tells the story of how to deal with Hard things (and I love the way she capitalizes Hard, because things that are hard to us are often Hard). Leeana is a military wife and, while I don't have the hauling-three-little-ones-around-the-world as a current problem, I could relate to much that she said. I could picture my low point (sleeping half the day during my first solo winter in Alaska) as I read about her experiences. It was a 99 cent Kindle Daily Deal back in February, only took a few hours to read, and was Christian-based in tone, but not preachy. Also, it was much easier to read/relate to because it wasn't prosy. It was very straight-forward. I would especially recommend it to military wives, but I think anyone could benefit from it.
Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss
I can't rate this. It's a non-fiction book about grammar. I think every learned person should read it though. I honestly can't remember if I finished it but I'd always wanted to try it so I'm glad I did.
My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella B+
Finally! A new Kinsella book that's not a continuance of the ridiculous Becky Bloomwood saga.
I wasn't into the first 1/3 of this book. It just wasn't compelling; the middle wasn't much better. The last 1/3 of the story, though, glimpsed the real Kinsella and what she's capable of. I had flashes of The Undomestic Goddess and Can You Keep a Secret?, my two favorites. I would recommend this if you are a Kinsella fan. It's her best of recent years. But it's not absolutely amazing.
The Chosen (Book 1) by Denise Grover Swank B-
This was sci-fi thriller-esque kind of book. I got it for free last fall because I subscribe to the DGS newsletters (obviously) and it was a giveaway one month. It's not a bad story; one of her first. Pieces of it really pulled me in (especially around the 40% mark) but it wasn't the most awesome thing I've read lately. DGS does supernatural in an interesting way. I would read the rest of the 4-book series but likely wouldn't prioritize it.
Still Life by Louise Penny C+
As many of you assured me it would, this book picked up toward the end. I also didn't figure out what happened until the story actually wrapped up so that part alone kept me at least a little interested. This was not a thrill ride, though, and it was actually work to read. If you're looking for a foreign mystery, I would definitely go with In the Woods, the Tana French book that I read in February. I have the second Gamache book on my Kindle, so I'll give it a go.
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough A-
This book was.... It's not about what you think it's about. As I told my friend, it was good, but I wanted as far away from it as possible at the end. I do appreciate that it wasn't about what I thought it was about (insert backwards logic here), but with 18 minutes left (via Audible), I figured out exactly where it was going and I turned it off because I didn't want to hear it. I finished it later that day and then came the part where I wanted to be as far away from it as possible.
The narration was great though, so I'd recommend the audio.
For the Right Reasons by Sean Lowe A-
(I know, right?) So I got this because I genuinely like Sean Lowe. His tweets are amusing and I've heard he was a great Bachelor. I didn't watch the season, but I also don't particularly know much about him or care that much, to be honest.. I like behind-the-scenes books and that's what this is. I read it in two days so I'd say it was a worthwhile $2 spent.
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert B-
This was an easy listen. I wish there'd been more character development? I feel like everyone was halfway written. However, I liked the story, the setting, and the descriptive food-writing. It was definitely a bit You've-Got-Mail-ish/27-Dresses-ish but not entirely. I just wanted more from the characters. Also, I wasn't impressed with the overall narration. I wish they'd switched back and forth to different narrators for the different POVs. I would recommend this book though...it was a good story!
And a kid's book...
The War with Grandpa by Robert Kimmel Smith
Not going to rate this because it was short and it's for kids. However, the kid in this was horrible and he got better as it went. I really only read it because 1) I have a class set and needed to preview it and 2) A former coworker did it with her class every year and loved it and I'd never gotten around to reading it. It's good for a lesson on empathy if you have a 3rd-5th grader.
And I didn't finish...
One Thousand Gifts by Anne Voskamp
Blech. I was gifted this with the disclaimer of "I hated this. Let me know what you think.", which was enough to color my opinion from the start. I can't resist a good bad review though: it was prosy in a gross way. I have the same issue with Shauna Niequist books. They're not bad as memoirs but the try-hard really shows. It's absolutely wasted on me. I do think that it also impairs understanding and comprehension because, if she only speaks in metaphors (and yes, Voskamp only speaks in metaphors), her message gets lost. It's terrible.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
This wasn't what I thought it would be. I found myself really enjoying and visualizing the beginning and then I just didn't like it anymore. I expected to like it and I didn't, so that made me sad. It was physical work to read, so then I moved onto another book I couldn't put down and thought, Ah, this is what reading should be. It was very clear that this should be a DNF after that.
Linking up with Jana and Steph! And also with What I've Been Reading Lately!