December 9, 2014

November Books

#44 Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella B-
When this popped up on Audible, I was all "How did I miss this?? How did I not know another one was coming out??".  Downloaded.  In a flash.
I wasn't crazy about it.  I found myself more annoyed with Becky than I was intrigued. My favorite parts of the Shopaholic books were always descriptions of outfits and purchases and those realistic fiction details that made me feel connected to the characters.  I didn't get that from this book.  Maybe it was because I listened to it and the narrator was kind of annoying.  But, most likely, it was because Becky spent most of the book hobnobbing with movie stars and getting herself into truly nonbelievable situations.  It's my least favorite of the series.  At the end of this book, you'll be able to see that a sequel is imminent. If you want to see where the Brandon family goes in this next adventure because you're a loyal follower of the series, go for it.  Otherwise, start with Confessions of a Shopaholic or Shopaholic Takes Manhattan.  Also, I wish Kinsella would just take the setting back to England already…the draw of her books, to me, is that they take place mostly in Europe.

#45 11/22/63 by Stephen King B+
This book has been on my to-read list for a year.  It's my third book about Kennedy this year and I intentionally waited for November.  I've never actually read a Stephen King book before but this wasn't scary.  It was historical fiction meets time travel.
However, this book had very little to do with Kennedy himself and I think that he probably could've come up with a better title.  But then again, after you've written as many books as King has, you're probably running out of titles.  No need to get it perfect; 11/22/63?  Good enough.
After I read some reviews online, I realized that this book connects directly to the story of It.  I've never read It but it's kind of fascinating the way he can draw lines to connect stories.
Onto the story:  It's okay.  So incredibly long.  I listened to it and it was 30+ hours.  There were many parts where I was like, "grrrr….what else could he possibly have to say…" but I suppose that's just a Stephen King book.  There were other parts where I got absolutely lost in story details and forgot the focus of the book.  I will say that no matter how entranced I was, I never stopped watching the clock because I was impressed that someone could write a story this long. Basically, a guy goes back in time to stop the Kennedy assassination and then ends up trying to right other wrongs while he's waiting for that watershed moment to arrive.  It should be a movie or a series and it should star Leonardo DiCaprio and that's my final word on the subject.  It's a good book. I started it November 10th and didn't finish it until this week.  I have a 40 minute, each way, commute and I listened to it in the house while I was cleaning last weekend.

#46 The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen C
I got this from the book order because I had points to burn and was looking for Christmas gifts for my niece.  This looked interesting and it's never too early to introduce a 3rd grader to the Holocaust, right?  Eh.  This book is probably better for the 12+ crowd.

I liked the time travel element (one of the my favorite books ever is Anne Frank and Me) but there was no depth to it.  Or maybe I just haven't read a juvenile fiction book in awhile?  There were no attachments drawn to characters or plot.  I wasn't particularly invested in it, but I breezed through it in less than a week.  Lots of Jewish names and phrases, so that might deter some.  I'm a sucker for any book about the Holocaust, though.  I stuck it on the bookshelf in my classroom. We'll see if any kids take the bait.

The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obrecht D-  ("D" for "didn't finish because it was boring..)
I'm always on my students to "read a book…  READ A BOOK."  Sometimes I don't understand what is so hard about just sitting there and reading a book when I provide them with 200 books on the shelf.  So when I see kids sitting there without books, it just makes my blood boil.  The point of this semi-rant is that I don't have access to a lot of books unless I buy them myself.  The library on Ft. Carson is terrible.  I mean, awful.  It's like a shed.  I don't know where the libraries are in Colorado Springs; probably somewhere very far away from my house.
This is how I found myself, bookless, over Thanksgiving vacation.  I'd been expecting a delivery from Blogging for Books, but apparently 7-12 business days means 18+ business days to them, so I didn't have that book to read either.  (Seriously, Blogging for Books.  You annoy me at this point because I ordered a Christmas book and would like to read it before Christmas.)
The point is:  I found The Tiger's Wife in a box of Scott's books.  He'd ordered lots from Amazon during the last deployment and had them delivered to Afghanistan so he brought home tubs of books with him.  I figured I might as well give it a shot because I didn't have anything else to read.
It was an interesting premise for a story, but it fell terribly flat for me.  I spent the first 100 pages trying to figure out if it was happening in a real place or some make-believe place.  She definitely wouldn't be called out for over-explaining her writing…by page 100, I was positive it was a real place because there were mentions of Venice and Paris.

And then I didn't finish it.  I started reading Killing Patton and it was a billion times better than A Tiger's Wife and I couldn't waste any more time on a boring book.  I'll add Killing Patton to my December review.

I started The Goldfinch but my interest waned around page 200 and it became a chore to read.  Life's too short for books you don't love.

4 more to go…

Linking up with Steph and Jana!  Also joining the Winter Book Challenge!


  1. Life is WAY too short to read books that are boring to you!! I used to have severe guilt over quitting books...but now I'm all "on to the next!"

  2. You should add this post to my book link up today - it gets you an entry in the giveaway for my Winter Reading Challenge :)

  3. Life is definitely way to short to read books that suck!

    The Stephen King/Kennedy book sounds interesting. Well, maybe not to me but maybe for my husband. We met in a class that was 87% focused on JFK assassination (fun fact: Steph was in that class, too) and the class didn't bore him to tears like it did me and he still likes to learn about it. I'm going to send him the link.

    Thanks for linking up!

  4. I'll definitely be skipping The Tiger's Wife!

    I have had the Stephen King novel on my shelf for a while now but its so huge that I keep putting it off. I wish I'd bought the Kindle version. However, I am sure I'll have some snowed-in days coming up so will get this read. It seems worth it from your review.

    Disappointing about the latest Shopaholic book. I always enjoyed them!

  5. I am so far behind on my books its not even funny! I cannot wait to read over break :)

  6. I need to read that latest Shopaholic too! I didn't realize another came out. I read 11/22/63 and thought it was too long and boring at times, but so good! It's going to be made into a miniseries on Hulu! I can't wait to see it!

  7. You're a reading machine! I used to devour at least 2 books A WEEK when I was a teenager, nowadays I'm lucky to read one every 2 months...I just always find other things to do. I need to be better about it. I'm halfway through Unbroken and I have a HUGE Goodreads list of books I want to read!

  8. I agree, there is no time for boring books or books that just don't grip you, even if everyone in the world thinks you HAVE TO read it. Hope you get a good Christmas book!

  9. I have never read a Stephen King book (silly title lol) or a Shopaholic book. I have the Goldfinch on my list but I've heard you either love it or hate it and you know immediately, so we'll see!
    and hells yes to no boring books. I read some really crappy books last month for a challenge and I would have burned them halfway through if it wasn't for the challenge and it just made me really mad that i wasted my time on bad books.

  10. The Shopaholic books have gotten more annoying over time. I don't know if it's the books themselves or the fact that I'm like 10 years older than when I started them.

  11. I used to feel so guilty for quitting a book, but it's true there are so many other good books to read.

  12. I liked King's book, but did find that parts of the story really dragged, I recommend this book to people who don't really read Stephen King. I think the title is appropriate since the story revolved around changing what happened on that day.

  13. The Shopaholic book was terrible! I've loved her other books but that one was actually painful- like you said just unbelievable situations and no real plot progression. And this coming sequel... so not appealing!

  14. There are few things worse than being caught without a book you want to read and led to a book that's there that you don't really want to read.

    I'm sad that your library stinks.

    Thanks for linking up!


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