Recent (and not so recent) Reads

Sorry for not posting any book reviews in about…oh, a million years (slight exaggeration). I have a few to cover so I’m just going to post quick reviews of each. Let me know what you’ve been reading in the comments if you like!

When in French: Love in a Second Language

This was a lovely book, well-written, well-researched. Overall it’s a little slow but makes a lot of interesting points about language and the effect it has on culture.

The Regulars

Liked this one. The premise was of course, very intriguing, and the characters were more flushed out and surprising than I expected based on the cover. It was funny and kept me entertained. I thought it could have been a little more nuanced, but overall I thought it was pretty good.

Big Little Lies

This I really enjoyed. A page-turner, really fun to read, full of surprises and plot twists and interesting characters. Really excited to watch the HBO adaptation.

Victoria

I picked this up because I had seen that Queen Victoria statue in Hyde Park and wanted to learn more about the monarch. This book came to my attention around the same time the new biography by Julia Baird came out, so I figured I would read the fictional version first just to get the gist, before picking up the more hefty non-fiction version. I liked it but to be honest I didn’t love the writing. It was a good intro to Queen Victoria and her life, but it felt a little flat. I probably wouldn’t read another Daisy Goodwin novel.

The Trespasser

I’m obsessed with Tana French but this wasn’t my favorite of hers. That being said, any Tana French is better than no Tana French at all! The main mystery was good, but I didn’t love the main character as much as I’ve loved her other main characters, and there was a part of the plot that just didn’t work for me. But again I stress to you that anything by Tana French is good – I just liked some others of hers better. After reading this I revisited my favorites, re-reading In the Woods, The Likeness, and Broken Harbor again – ugh, so good.

The Dinner

This was sort of good, sort of weird. It was unique and intriguing but I felt like I liked it less and less as it went on, so I’m on the fence as to whether I’d read another Herman Koch.

The Winter Girl

Ugh. Really don’t mean to be a jerk but this was just. So. Bad. I would be annoyed about having read it if it had taken me more than two days to get through. The writing was fine, I’ll give it that, but the plot was just so not good.

Heartburn

Really good, quick read – funny, well-written – like a Nora Ephron movie.

Today Will Be Different

Loved this! Maria Semple is so good. This was laugh-out-loud funny and so well-written. I loved the characters and the structure of the plot, and overall I just love her writing.

A few I started and didn’t finish:

NOS4A2 – loved Horns, liked Heart-Shaped Box, and just couldn’t get into this one…though honestly I might go back and finish it at some point.

Alexander Hamilton – really good and really interesting, but I downloaded it on Audible and had a hard time keeping track of all of the characters – I think I’d need to read this in print so I could flip back and remember who’s who.

She’s Come Undone – I got decently far into this and just really wasn’t enjoying it. What am I missing? I know some people love it (Oprah, for example :).

The Girl Before – got this as a galley PDF and it was just so far-fetched and seemed really contrived…didn’t see it getting any better so I dropped it.

You Will Know Mereally didn’t like the writing style and the story wasn’t grabbing me.

8 comments

  1. Sarah says: January 6, 2017

    Thanks for posting this, and it makes me feel better that you also sometimes just can’t finish books! To be honest, I kind of feel that way about The Regulars, but maybe I will give it another chance! There are just so many must-reads out there that I agree it isn’t worth spending time on ones that don’t capture your attention. 🙂

    Sarah
    http://www.dctoat.com

  2. Maria Fernanda says: January 6, 2017

    Jackie, I’m always looking forward to your book reviews. I’m currently in the middle of Today will be different and I am enjoying it so far. I got When in French after I saw it on your insta, excited to dive in to it next. Have to go back to Big Little Lies, because I got a bit confused keeping track of the character’s lives.

    Hope you are having a great start to the new year! 🙂

  3. Amanda @ Anchored to Sunshine says: January 7, 2017

    I just started Today Will Be Different and can not get into it at alllll. I am listening to the Audible version and I think it’s because the voice of the narrator is driving me a bit batty haha

  4. Kat says: January 11, 2017

    I just finished ready player one and the girl who saved the king of sweeten. LOVED the first book, quick and entertaining and spielberg is signed on to direct the movie version. The second book I wanted to love but was more of neutral for me. The story had potential but the characters irritated me too much.

    Always love other peoples’ reviews. I am now reading the kite runner (never read it!) and then I think I may give Alexander Hamilton a try

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