Friday, November 2, 2018

October 2018 Book Review

Yay! It's time for one of my favorite posts. This month I read 7 books, so I am really not too far away from hitting 100 books this year. I never thought I could read that many in a year!

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth - I watched the first episode of this show forever and really liked it but got lazy and didn't keep watching, not really sure why? So when I saw the book I thought it'd be fun to check out. And it so fun! Jennifer tells the story of being a midwife {trained by practicing midwife/nuns} living in the East End of London in the 1950s. It was really eye-opening to how POOR this area was - I found her stories fascinating, which shouldn't be surprising given my love for all things birth, but also heart-breaking at times. Stories of a family with over 20 children, women living in the most absolute of poverty, prostitution, stories of mothers and children separated at work houses, interracial babies, but also stories that highlight the undying love between a mom and her baby. There are 2 more books continuing the story, and I am definitely going to continue.

Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse - In Amsterdam in 1943, Hanneke helps people acquire goods on the black market. But when one of the women she helps asks her to find a missing Jewish girl, Hanneke says know - she is still reeling from the death of her boyfriend and doesn't want to get involved. But she feels drawn to the mystery and goes in search of her. This one was slow to get into and kind of dragged for me at first, but in the end, it was a good story. It wasn't my favorite of all my WW2 books, but I felt pretty invested in finding out what happened.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid - It's a time of civil unrest with regimes fighting the government, killings happening, technology shutting down, mass pandemonium. What would you do if there were doors that could instantly transport you somewhere else? I really liked the style of this book, the author has a way with words. There is almost no dialog written in the book, but it's extremely engaging from the very beginning. I honestly thought it was actually a little short and he could have made for a longer story - it wasn't quite a short story, but it definitely didn't feel like a full book. I really dug it though.

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith - The latest Cormoran Strike novel!!! If you don't know Robert Galbraith is actually J.K. Rowling, and this is the 4th book in her series of private detective Cormoran and his partner, Robin. An obviously delusional man, Billy, comes into Strike's office talking about witnessing a murder when he was a child. Someone else would have probably thought this guy was crazy, but Strike can't let it rest until he figures out what Billy really saw. I love this series, loved this book, and am already sad about the wait for the next book. If you haven't read this series, it's a great one! It's very different than Harry Potter, obviously, but it continues to prove that JK has a way with words...if anyone needed more proof!

The Girl Before by JP Delaney - The latest 'twisty' novel I read. This story jumps from the past to the present of 2 girls who both rent the same house in London. You know the girl in the past is dead {murder? suicide? accident?} as you read both stories. This was going along all fine and I thought predictable and then BAM something happened I did NOT expect and took the book a whole other way. If you like twisty, you'll like this.

Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson - The first book in the Great War trilogy {I read the 2nd and 3rd books in September} - Lady Elizabeth wants more than a typical Earl's daughter and ends up as an ambulance driver during WW1 while having feelings for her brother's 'common' best friend. Jennifer Robson knows how to write a book that I will love! This was so so so so so good! It made me want to read the other 2 books all over again, ha. She has a book coming out in December that is kind of a take on the story of Queen Elizabeth's wedding dress, and I can't wait!!!

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan - This follows a girl as she meets her boyfriend's crazy rich {think billionaires} family in Singapore. This book has been all the rage and even had a movie made this summer. I liked it but didn't love it. I found the writing at times to be stilted and awkward in the conversations and I got tired of HOW the author kept describing the decadence of every scene and thought it got old HOW obsessed with money everyone was. I am pretty sure this is how he grew up, and one of my co-workers is from Singapore and she said a lot of this hit home with her, but it just got old. With that said, however, I just borrowed the 2nd one from the library, ha. So while I sped-read some paragraphs to skip over descriptions and snobbery, I liked the main couple enough to keep going.

November is already off to a good start. Cheers to good reading and hitting 100 books!


Emily said...

I added exit west, the girl before, and the first book in cormoran’s series to my library list. I’m intrigued by “call the midwife” but afraid that with my sensitivity to all things children and peril, it’ll be too much for me. I thought it was interesting your dislike for crazy rich Asians. While I don’t remember much of the writing, I remember loving the opulent wealth. I’ve always liked books about the top 1% because it feels the same as window shopping at designer stores - a sneak peek into a life that I’ll never have but fun to imagine.

Kathryn Bagley said...

The girl before sounds interesting! gonna have to check it out!

Natasha said...

Jennifer Robson has a new book coming out December 31 which I can't wait to read -- The Gown. It's about Queen Elizabeth's wedding gown and the women who made it. I can't wait to read it.

I am also going to check out The Girl Before.