26 February 2016

Reading is Fundamental: 2016 Book List

Three Sisters, Three Queens Philippa Gregory: I love Tudor history, but didn't know much about Henry VIII's sisters. Because not much is known about his sister Mary, this book takes some liberties. But it is entertaining, and, as with all of Gregory's books, based on research available. A fun look at the behind-the-scenes mechanations of royalty.

Fool Me Once Harlan Coben: A very fun read; I couldn't put it down (I even got yelled at while reading at a bar). A woman loses her husband in an apparent random robbery. But her husband's connections, and her past, make random seem impossible. A peek into the psyche of a vet, and into a sinister world of a wealthy family.

We Were Liars E. Lockhart: I thought I knew the twist to this one pretty early on. I had most of it, but was not expecting all of it. This follows a young woman during the best and worst summer of her life, and explores the far-reaching affects of a poorly-planned, bad decision.

Bridget Jones: Mad about a Boy Helen Fielding: This one broke my heart in a way. It took so much of what I loved about Bridget, and ruined it. In the early books, Bridget, while not the epitome of maturity, could still show growth. It is like she regressed to the person she was on the first pages of the first book, but now she has children to take along with her craziness. I always knew Bridget was a bit flighty, but she never struck me as completely irresponsible. Fielding should have left well-enough alone.

Who Do You Love Jennifer Weiner: This book tugged at my heart. What happens when you meet the right person early in your life, and fate brings you back together? When you want to save one another, but you just can't? Can you find a happy ending? Or are those only in books?

Me Before You JoJo Moyes: This appeared on a list of books you must read before the movie comes out. I would have to agree -- if  you are planning to see the movie, read it. I haven't seen the movie (yet) but I have concerns...and I'd like the true story to be told first, in case something changes. Me Before You tells the story of a 30-ish quadriplegic and his caretaker. It is also about choices we allow -- or don't allow -- people to make about their own lives. For me, it really made me consider things in a new way; you often hear people say of those who have experienced traumatic injuries, "they're lucky to be alive." But are they really? We require them to be happy about this fact, but should we/ The message in this book is an important one.

How to Be Single Liz Tuccillo: A tough but entertaining read, especially if you are a single woman of a certain age. The protagonist decides to give up her desk job and travel the world to find the "single woman" experiences around the world. This trip takes her to Paris, Rome, Rio, Sydney, Bali, Mumbai, and Iceland; while she is traveling, her friends back home are experiencing their singleness in a different way. A little cliche, but does really hit the common threads and thoughts that many of us have when we are at that stage in our life (at least ones who I know, including myself before I was with my now husband).

Troublemaker Leah Remini: Not the best-written book, but a fascinating look at the inner workings of Scientology.

Luckiest Girl Alive Jessica Knoll: The main character at first seems like someone who "has it all," but as a reader, you realize there may be more to her story. To be she came off as a bit vapid, and the book took a turn I was not expecting into her past at a prep school. Most of the time I wanted her to shake her, tell her to grow up, and get into therapy.

I Take You Eliza Kennedy: This one was a head scratcher to me -- the main character is a week away from her wedding, and as a reader you are mostly left wondering why the hell she is bothering. She doesn't seem to care much about her fiancee, her wedding, or herself. I guess a series of one-night stands the week before you get hitched is supposed to be cute, but I found it unbelievable and tedious.

Here's what I read in 2013!

December: A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers
October: Orange is the New Black, Piper Kerman
October: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Ben Fountain
August: The Thinking Fan's Guide to Baseball, Leonard Koppett
May: Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
March: Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg

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