It wouldn’t have felt right for my 1000th post to be about anything other than food, but now that that’s over, it does seem fitting that the next post be about books. I haven’t posted about what I’ve been reading since April, so forgive me for taking some more Internet space with this book report than usual. I’m going to break this post in two so you don’t feel like you’re tied to your screen for an hour while I blather about what I’ve read. Or so you don’t click away. There’s some good stuff here, dear readers!
Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng
Because everyone was reading it and recommending it, and I was intrigued by the plot. It seemed Serial-esque in nature, in that a girl was missing, and we had to figure out where she went, and I flew through it, and enjoyed it as much as the podcast.
The Guest Cottage, by Nancy Thayer
Because the girl on the cover was wearing something I would totally wear, and it was set on Nantucket, and what more could you ask for? Nothing happens in this book that you didn’t see coming from about the fifteenth page, when you learn that a woman and (younger) man are accidentally both promised the same guest cottage for the summer, but it’s exactly the kind of plot I’m looking for in a beach read.
The Heir, by Kiera Cass
Because I’m a sucker for YA science fiction, and I read The Selection trilogy last summer. This one wasn’t any better or worse, but I enjoyed the continuation of the story. This time, it’s The Selection winners’ daughter who begins a selection of her own. If you’re looking for a quick, fun beach read, I’d start with The Selection, and go from there.
The Knockoff, by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
Because Amazon thought I’d be into it, and in fact, it was something I would be into. This reminded me of chick lit from the golden-era of chick lit. It took me back to the days of Devil Wears Prada, Shopaholic, and vintage Jane Green. Woman works at a fashion magazine, goes out on medical leave, trendy new young thing comes in to shake things up, and nothing is as it was when the woman returns.
Luckiest Girl Alive, by Jessica Knoll
Because it was a Skimm Read, AND because it takes place in my hometown. The author went to a private school right where I grew up, and the high school in the story is loosely based on that local school. People were talking about this one along the lines of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. Gone Girl creeped me out at times, and Girl on the Train did not at all. This one didn’t either. I wouldn’t consider it a thriller, as much as a book with a dark side. I liked the story, though, and was almost annoyed at myself that I didn’t see the plot twist coming. I am usually much better about looking for these things.
Primates of Park Avenue, by Wednesday Martin
Because I love New York, and even more, I love everything Upper East Side. This book was an interesting look into the culture of moms on the UES, but I didn’t feel like I learned anything too shocking or revealing. They want to send their kids to private schools that are intensely competitive? They shop at expensive children’s boutiques that are more exclusive than Gap Kids? They live much like it seems they do on Real Housewives? I know, I figured, and duh, of course Real Housewives is accurate. The NYTimes article about the wife bonuses (just a small part of the larger book) was much more shockingly scandalous. The book as a whole? Not so much.
Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee
I’m almost afraid to write about this because there is so much buzz about the book, and everyone had a different set of expectations before they picked it up. I’ll tell you I enjoyed it very much. I gave it four stars on GoodReads. I will also tell you that it took me about four days to read, which, in the summer, is about three days longer than it usually takes me to slug through a book. I was perfectly content to pick it up and put it back down as I came and went, and that is certainly not how I fared with To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee’s first novel was the first book I ever couldn’t put down (though I was a voracious reader when I was little, getting to the next Babysitter’s Club novel was just never quite as urgent), the first book that ever made me cry, and the first book that changed me as a person and a reader. Go Set a Watchman is not that book. But I found the context under which it was published (and originally not published) fascinating, and was never not going to read it, and I appreciated getting to see Maycomb (and Atticus, and Jean Louise, as she’s called in this one) from another angle.
Part II coming tomorrow, dear readers.
Past book reports…