December 12, 2017

November Books 2017

I hate that I picked up mediocre books this month (again). I hate that this keeps happening to me. And I really hate that these are all very popular books and they are everywhere so it's not like I'm picking up obscure titles from 30 years ago that no one has ever heard of. I'm starting to think that I'm the problem here. 

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin C+
I drug my feet on this one. I liked it and then it slowed down and I didn't like it as much. I didn't care about the characters but I didn't dislike them either. If you've not read anything by Zevin, try The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry first. I still maintain that Elsewhere is her best book.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
I can't rate this because it's too tragic of a memoir for that. It's very interesting and, I'm sure, was incredibly emotionally painful for him to write this. Not to mention the fact that his wife finished it. If you like memoirs that are sad, you will like this. This is the only book this month that I would actually say "Yeah, you should read it".

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon D
This was tolerable in a way. I mean, it's YA to the extreme but I saw it on the UW library shelf and, given that I'd never come across it, decided to pick it up. I skimmed a lot, granted, but I really enjoyed the insertions of different random peoples' POVs, like Irene or Hannah Winter, etc. It just fleshed out the story a bit.
If you like YA, you'll like this. If not, you can probably skip it. I never read Everything, Everything because it seemed way too YAish for me and I already had the movie preview in my head. But if you liked that, you'll probably like this.

Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena C+
I found this to be enjoyable enough at first; the promise of "thrilling" was there; I wanted to keep reading and I didn't always feel that with the other books I chipped away at this month. It's a mystery and I liked it a lot better than The Couple Next Door, her first book.That being said...I felt nothing for the characters and didn't really care about what happened. It's kind of just weak in that way. I wouldn't not recommend it, but it's not a must-read (which is exactly how I felt about The Couple Next Door).

Attempted and DNF and/or Returned:
Coming Clean: A Story of Faith by Seth Haines
This has good reviews and seemed like something I would like. It had a foreward by Shauna Niequist, which should've been my first clue. She writes in circles and I have no interest in reading her 1st world prose at this point in my life. This, as it turns out, is the same thing as a Niequist book, but written by a male. If you like her, you'll like this. (I like her recipes; I don't like her prose.)

(Still) currently reading:

I have multiple books on my currently-reading list...I think my goal should be to go into 2018 with no half-read books. These percentages also aren't updated because I haven't opened these books in so long that I don't know where I am actually am and my Kindle is...over there somewhere and I'm not about to get up to get it. 

I had big plans to finish a few of these over Thanksgiving break. I was having lunch with Scott on the Wyoming campus, and he and and his friend were getting ready to go to some super secret special collections room at the library to look for top-secret hydrology documents (or something). They asked if I wanted to see the library and told me I could check out as many books as I wanted under Scott's name. As they pointed me toward "popular fiction" and went off toward the math/science section (that I wasn't allowed in), I thought "Oh, this is where the plebeians browse...the non-math/science majors" (I've always been a non-math/science major).
I ended up with a stack and everything else got pushed to the side.

Aside from that I have 3-4 unstarted books on my Kindle and I wished I liked to read these days. I don't know what my deal is...I'm in a completely different place in my reading life than I was a year or two ago.

What's the worst book you read this month?

Linking up with Jana and Steph!


  1. Sorry you've been reading some duds! I'm actually pretty bad at reading what's popular, so I tend to find things that I enjoy okay. It can be tough sometimes though.


  2. I think I felt similar to how you've been feeling, and the past few months everything I read was just kind of blah. This month I finally read a few books that I LOVED and it was so refreshing! I let Stranger in the House go when it was my turn from the library, but your review makes me feel like maybe I didn't miss out on much.

  3. Sorry you hit a book slump! It happens, but it sucks. The Sun is Also a Star has great reviews, but my last Yoon book was a terrible dissapointment so I'm not sure I'm willing to risk it.

  4. I had a few not worth its. I either just don't finish or finish and say yeah, that probably wasn't worth it. Then move on! LOL

  5. I had one not worth it book, The Blind. It was supposed to be a psychological suspense thriller but 30% into the book I was bored silly. I've noticed that some books that get raves, not so much in the link-up but elsewhere - like Bookbub, I don't enjoy so much. If I'm not picking up a recommended book off the link-up, I going to try just wandering the library and picking up whatever catches my fancy. It can't be any worse!

  6. What was the last book that you can say you really enjoyed? Some books get all the hype and some are not worth the time, isn't that strange?

    When Breath Becomes Air was so sad, and I found it to be very profound. I have been recommending that one to friends who don't like long books.

  7. I definitely have some DNFs this year and ones that people couldn't stop raving about, too.

    I really want to read Prairie Fires.

  8. I was glad I read When Breath Becomes Air -- can't say I enjoyed it, given the topic, but it was definitely worth my time to read.

  9. When Breath Becomes Air has been on my to read list. I enjoyed The Sun is Also a Star and Everything Everything.

  10. Whenever I read posts like this I desperately want to start recommending tons of books but I liked a bunch of these ones you read so I'm not sure what to recommend! Haha. I still intend to send you Sworn to Silence though, my mom just finished it! I find sometimes the books that have all the hype aren't always the best but I only ever pick up ones that really sound like they suit my tastes.

  11. ugh what a bummer about the mediocre books. i don't think it's you with the popular books, there are plenty of popular books i just straight up avoid because i know i won't like them. there is no such thing as a book that everyone likes, so why force myself? the worst book i read this month was a beauty and the beast retelling. awful. but some people loved it, so.. whatever. lol

  12. That stinks you had a crappy book month. I had just added Young Jane Young to my list earlier after reading someone else talk about it and now I'm less excited. I loved Fikry!!!! I really liked Everything, Everything so I may try the other book. I'm not in a rush though.

  13. I've had similar months with disappointing books. (I really liked Young Jane Young though. Haha!) When Breath Becomes Air is such a tough, but good read!


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