Tuesday, April 17, 2018

book report / recent faves.


I haven't shared a book report since July's and I've read 33 books since then. I don't really think you need to read about all of those, especially since there were a few I didn't really enjoy, so I decided I'd share some of my favourites. (If you do want to see a list of all the books I read, including the duds, you can visit my Goodreads account.)

The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict / I read this quickly and found it fascinating to learn about Mileva Marić, Albert Einstein's first wife. Of course, this novel is fiction, but it was so interesting and led me down a Wikipedia wormhole after I finished. It reminded me of The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead / I found myself reading this late into the night when I should have been sleeping which says something, especially as a mom to a baby who wakes up multiple times each night. The underground railroad as a literal railroad is an intriguing concept and I wish I was back in my university or high school English classes to discuss it and the characters.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay / I'd seen this recommended by several people online and decided to read it because I trust those people's recommendations. I didn't think I'd have anything in common with the author (although that's one of the main reasons I read memoirs, is to learn about people who are different than me), but as I listened (I usually use Audible to listen to non-fiction books), I found myself thinking that we had similar ways of thinking about some things. I'd recommend this to every woman I know (and men, too, if they're willing to read it). It's about more than food; as people, we can be hungry for so many things.

The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand / This is one of my fave Elin Hilderbrand novels that I've read and I've read most of them. I think what made it extra interesting was that it was set in Nantucket AND Martha's Vineyard and the story mainly centred on identical twin sisters. It was a fun read, as all of her novels are, and perfect for the coming summer!

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie / This is one of my fave YA novels I've read recently. It made me laugh, but it also made me feel sad, and I ended up reflecting on my own prejudiced thoughts (it's hard to admit that) I have towards Native Americans. I think everyone should read this, but it would be especially great for anyone who has a reservation in their community and anyone who wants a starting point to reflect and discuss stereotypes, history, and causation.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman / At first glance, this book seems to be all about hockey—the team, the players, the club, the culture—but it's about so much more than that, too. I really, really liked it. I fell in love with the characters and felt invested in the town. I was so glad when I realized this is the first in a series; I can't wait for the next to be translated. I'll be adding the rest of Backman's books to my to-read list. (Trigger warning: The plot includes rape.)

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple / Such a fun read! Told from the daughter's point of view and through a compilation of emails, faxes, and other documents, it was interesting—in the best way possible! Can't wait to read Semple's other novels.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio / This should be required reading for everyone (especially middle schoolers) because 1) it contains lessons everyone should learn and 2) it's a fantastic story. I don't always love young adult novels now that I'm an old(er) adult, but I loved this.

Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman / I loved this book! I only wish I had read it while I was still pregnant with Mabel or at least before she was 4 months so we could have done "le pause" with her (oh well, next baby ;) Seriously though, it has some great tips, funny anecdotes, and I didn't feel "preached at" or "lectured to." I listened to it on audiobook and I think that added something to my enjoyment with the reader's French accents and kid voices.

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood / Woah. Intense and beautiful and everything I thought I had definite opinions on are a little upside down after reading this. The only reason I'm not giving 5 stars is because of one part of the plot but overall, excellent book.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas / Fantastic book and should be considered a "must read" for young adults and "old" adults. It definitely didn't feel like a 400+ page book; I zoomed through it.

11/22/63 by Stephen King / History and time travel made for a fascinating story! I like King's writing style too; I found it to be straightforward but captivating. It took me awhile to finish because it's long, but I looked forward to jumping back into the book every chance I got.

What have you been reading lately?

P.S. More book reports here.

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