Sigh. What I wouldn’t give to be reading on the beach right now!
Last month I got into an interesting Twitter exchange with Grace and a few other peeps when I tweeted my confusion regarding people who post book reviews that are overwhelmingly positive towards everything they read. I don’t get it because for me, it’s pretty rare to come across a book I LOVE, and basically I like a lot of what I read but I also come across a lot of duds (some of which I finish and some of which I set aside). I always feel kind of mean giving bad reviews (and like, really? I’ve never written a book, I’m not Michiko Kakutani, who am I to criticize?). But I am a reader with a valid opinion, and I don’t want to recommend anything to anyone that I think is bad. Grace mentioned that when she dislikes a book, she just doesn’t mention it on the blog because she doesn’t want to be negative – which had never occurred to me as something to do or that others did, oddly. I totally respect that because it’s the kind thing to do, but to me I think it’s valuable to hear what the duds are (in the opinion of a blogger whose taste I respect).
Where do you guys stand? Do you like to hear about the duds or do you think it’s mean and unnecessary to give bad reviews? I’m curious, let me know in the comments!
Anyway here’s what I’ve read recently…some great, some not so great!
The Light We Lost: This book is about a couple who gets into an intense relationship in college, then breaks up due to various life circumstances, but sort of retain feelings for each other over the years as life continues taking them in different directions. Hmm. Maybe I’m a heartless b*tch but I didn’t like this that much. It was just okay and I felt like it was trying toooo hard to be a tearjerker but without much depth. I didn’t feel the emotions at all. I liked One Day (similar premise) a lot better.
The Snowman: Ooh, so good, about a detective going after a serial killer on the loose in Oslo. This is actually the latest installment in the Harry Hole detective series, written by Jo Nesbo and translated from Norwegian. I picked it up because I saw that a movie version was coming out with Michael Fassbender (my man!) and I figured it had to be good if he was in it (he makes good cinematic choices). I really liked it – I liked the main character, the story was compelling and a major page turner that kept you guessing. I thought I had it figured out a few times and was totally wrong. Fair warning: it’s really scary and kind of gory.
The Bat: Harry Hole installment #1. I decided to go back and start from the beginning which was massively kind of stupid, because the seventh book obviously gave away a lot of what came before. But I enjoyed it anyway – I just find these books to be such page turners. They’re well-written, the mysteries are multi-layered with lots of red herrings, and they’re kind of dark and different from other thrillers I’ve been reading in recent years.
Watch Me Disappear: Another one that was SO good! My sister loved it too and she’s a very tough crowd. It’s about a single dad whose wife has gone missing and is presumed dead. His daughter Olive starts having visions indicating that her mother may still be alive, while Jonathan simultaneously starts to discover some things that make him think his wife may not have been who they thought she was. That description doesn’t make it sound very good, but I swear, it’s so good. Very compelling, wonderful writing…just really, really enjoyable.
The Futures: Eek. So forgettable. I’m sorry if that’s mean but I feel like I just have to be honest! It’s about a couple in NYC during the financial crisis. None of the characters were particularly interesting and neither was the plot.
The Handmaid’s Tale: A re-read. I read it back in the day but definitely appreciate it more now that I’m older and more tuned in to current events. Obviously I’m obsessed with the show so I thought it was worth it to go back to the book. It’s a classic.
What have you been reading lately? Let me know in the comments!