The Goldfinch – I absolutely loved this book, which caught me off guard because I was a little afraid that I wasn’t going to like it (mainly because it’s so incredibly long, and due to fear that it was going to be dry or tough to get through the 700+ pages). I’m happy to report that I couldn’t have been more mistaken. The Goldfinch pulled me in from the very beginning and I enjoyed every page. The story was original, emotional, and compelling, the characters multi-faceted and surprising, and the settings are so richly rendered that you feel completely transported. That was probably my favorite part – the way that Donna Tartt evoked specific settings in New York City and Las Vegas to the point that, cliche as it sounds, you felt you were there. The writing is – well, worthy of a Pulitzer! Truly, one of the most well-written books I’ve ever read, and I found myself looking forward to getting back to it whenever I had the chance. Though I was initially intimidated by it’s size, it actually turned out to be a good thing because I didn’t want the book to end.
Elements of Style: Designing a Home and a Life – This was every bit as good as I expected it to be after reading Erin’s blog for years. I’m such a fan of hers, and the book completely delivered on all fronts – the interior design tips, the gorgeous images of her design work, and the personal/relatable essays that we’ve all come to know and love from Erin – including some laugh-out-loud funny bits. It was like her blog taken to the next level. I loved getting to see more of Erin’s design work, which is sophisticated, timeless, and gorgeous. Reveals of her own home in Boston were particularly fun to see after reading about the house on her blog. It was a perfect book in my opinion, and the only coffee table book I’ve ever sat down and read cover to cover!
Not That Kind of Girl – I hate to say it, but I was kind of disappointed by Lena Dunham’s book. Didn’t hate it, but didn’t love it either, which was especially disappointing because I was expecting to be absolutely head over heels for it. I LOVE Girls, and I think she’s such a talented person in terms of writing, directing, and acting, but the book just left something to be desired for me. Ultimately I think it was that she chose to focus on certain scenarios in her life that I personally didn’t find to be compelling or all that unique/worthy of so much discussion, whereas other subjects that are unique to her life, and completely fascinating and unusual, weren’t fully explored.
A Discovery of Witches – This was an enjoyable read. I kept feeling like it was a grownup Twilight, but I don’t really mean that because I thought it was a lot better than Twilight. Certainly the writing is much better…it just had some similar elements (i.e., a broody vampire, a forbidden romance). It really had a lot going on – vampires, witches, an old library in Oxford, a chateau in the French countryside, an ancient manuscript that vampires and witches have sought for centuries…and more. There were twists and turns to the story that I wasn’t expecting, and I didn’t find it formulaic or predictable. My only complaint was that it moved a little slowly, but I’m glad I stuck with it because ultimately the pace picked up and overall, I enjoyed it.