Week 4 – 2017

I’m not doing that well with keeping up on the blog this year. Thankfully that is not the case with the actual reading. Week 4 covers January 23- 29. As always, feedback is greatly appreciated. Let me know what you think.

The Circle by Dave Eggers – I borrowed this as an e-book from the Boston Public Library. I was prompted to read this because Emma Watson is starring in the movie adaptation. She’s not likely to put her name on something that isn’t quite great, so I figured that I should read this immediately. This is dystopian science fiction. Ray Bradbury defined science fiction as things that are possible but we lack the technology for them to be actual in the present. Everything else is fantasy. And that is so not a direct quote by any stretch of the imagination. In this, Mae starts a job at a social media company where your ranking is all that matters. She becomes a bit obsessed by it, to the point where she isn’t having real life experiences and interactions. Then she’s given a choice. I definitely recommend it. I’m giving it 4 stars.

The Girls by Emma Cline – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. I’m not sure what to say about this book. It’s sort of haunting. It tells the story of a group of girls that get sucked in by a charismatic leader and ultimately how that leads to their demise. It is told from the perspective of the youngest, sort of fringe, member. It’s a cult and the leader sends them down a bad path. Evie also doesn’t survive the ordeal entirely unscathed herself. This is not a happy novel, but entertaining, nonetheless. The underlying theme is to show what it’s like to be a young woman desperate to belong. I’m giving it 3 stars.

Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. This is really cute. It’s a romance. A recently divorced woman rescues a really sad looking mature dog and it forces her to meet all of her neighbors, including the hot young doctor living on the floor below. It’s adorable and highly entertaining. I’m giving it 3 stars.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald – I borrowed this as an audiobook from the BPL. The title story was quite what you’d expect if you’ve ever seen the movie. I found “Babylon Revisited” to be strangely haunting, as it is autobiographical and related to custody of his daughter. I’m not sure of the outcome in real life, but the story is gripping. I’m giving this 3 stars.

Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman – I borrowed this as an audiobook from the BPL. This is a kid’s book. But it’s read by Neil Gaiman. I swear that guy could read me the phone book and I’d still be perfectly content to listen. But this is actually a really cute story about a princess who doesn’t speak and a tiger. I’m giving it 3 stars.

All the Rivers by Dorit Rabinyan – I received this as an e-book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is a great story. An Israeli girl and a Palestinian boy meet in New York and fall in love. From that sentence, you can tell this isn’t going to end well. Probably. Add the fact that this isn’t American literature and you’ll know right away that all bets for a happy ending are off. This is a love story, but it is also the story of two cultures that are at war. It shows that love is blind, but it does not necessarily win over family and conscience (or whatever it is that makes us question what others will think of our actions). I really liked it and I definitely recommend it. I’m giving it 4 stars.

Nice Is Just a Place in France by The Betches – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. This is basically a guide to getting what you want in every circumstance. I already know how to do these things. It is sort of funny. I’m giving it 2 stars.

The Pieces We Keep by Kristina McMorris – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. This was a book club pick. The story was good. Except I found myself sitting at the Toyota dealership, getting my car inspected, texting things like “Reincarnation. Really?” to one of my friends. The story itself was good. But little boys channeling the spirits of dead people is a bit much. The author seems to pull away from this toward the end and it sort of redeems itself, so I’m giving it 3 stars.

I think this was one of those weeks when all of the library holds become available at the same time. This may be why I will have to double my Goodreads goal sometime in June. We’ll see. Let me know if your opinion differs or if you have read any great books. Or friend me on Goodreads and we can convo about the books.

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