Wednesday, December 5, 2018

November 2018 Reads

If you had told me I'd have read 98 books in a year, I'd say it wasn't possible. Yet here we are - 11 months into the year, 8 books read this month for a total of 98 with a month to go! I am going to have a really hard time narrowing down what was my favorite when we get to the end of the year. {grin}

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover - This story follows a couple going through fertility problems which is causing some serious strain on their marriage. The chapters flip from the present to the past story of them falling in love. This book reminded me of a Taylor Jenkins Reid novel where you wonder how this is going to come together to keep the reader happy without being too cheesy, and I thought the author nailed it. I really enjoyed exploring how their fertility troubles were impacting their marriage and to see them also fall in love and compare the changes in their marriage. I liked how it ended too - a good ending without being wrapped up too cleanly. Solid way to kick off the month.

Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker - I love Jen Hatmaker on IG - she's witty with the right amount of self-deprecating, she keeps it real about motherhood and being a woman. She's also a little bit of a local celebrity and even had a short-lived HGTV Fixer Upper-esque show that some people Brent and I went to high school with were on, ha. Of Mess and Moxie took a lot of her life stories and put lessons to them - it was mostly fun with some good tidbits. It got a little preachy at times and I did skip most of a chapter that just went way too deep for me.

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan - After liking, but not loving, Crazy Rich Asians, I kind of surprised myself by wanting to keep going with this trilogy. But I'm really glad I did! I actually liked the second book better - we followed more of the characters and it was a little less of the NON-STOP rich talk, which got old for me in the first book. I'm about halfway through the 3rd one right now, and I'm glad I kept up with it.

Calypso by David Sedaris - This was my first David Sedaris book. I guess all he writes are memoir-type books. I really enjoyed it! Every chapter is a small peak into his life, and he's a very talented writer - I found myself chuckling out loud several times. I'm definitely going to read more of his books. I think he has a winter collection that I've heard people talk about reading every Christmas???

Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal - I didn't know this was a series when I started it, but it follows a British-born American named Emma who gave up her Mathematics program to move back to London before WW2 to sell her grandmother's house and ends up staying and becoming a part of the secretary pool that supports PM Churchill. She ends up stumbling into a mystery that she helps solve. I thought it started off slow but really picked up, and I want to keep reading more about her adventures.

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West - If you thought it would be a good idea for me to find ANOTHER YA author to were right! This was my first Kasie West book, and I loved it. So cute! It's an 'anonymous pen pal' story between Lily and a mystery boy at her school - Lily starts swapping notes with the person who shares her desk in chemistry, and it is pretty predictable who she is talking to, but it was fun to watch it all play out.

Here's to Us by Elin Hilderbrand - So when I went to write up my list of books I read, I saw this title and thought 'What was this book?' Ha! This was my 3rd Elin Hilderbrand book, and I just don't understand the people who love her. This book was probably my favorite, but there's just something about her stories that makes me like them, not love them. It's like a second-tier Kristin Hannah book. This one was about the 3 ex-wives and 3 children of a celebrity chef named Deacon who all come together at his beach house on Nantucket after he dies. Like I said it was ok, not sure why I keep trying her books.

On the Fence by Kasie West - Yup, I picked up another YA book by Kasie West. Not quite as good as P.S. I Like You but enjoyable enough for me to know I'll get more. Charlie has 3 brothers and is a big tomboy who talks to her neighbor {that she considers at the start of the book to be her 4th brother} through their shared fence and slowly develops feelings for him. Similar review - predictable but really cute.

I've got 4 books on my library apps checked out to me that all expire within the next couple of weeks plus several more on hold, so I hope December is a full month of books. Happy reading!


Emily said...

98 books! That number feels so impossible but you did it! Of course you know you sucked me in with the fertility book when comparing it to Taylor reed Jenkins because I love her so! You and I def felt the same with Of Mess & Moxie - good but also a bit preachy (I still remember mouth vomiting at “Jesus fangirl” lol)

Erika said...

100+ books is incredible!!! I'm sitting at 64 right now-- if I would buckle down and finish off the last 100 pages of my Order of the Phoenix (reread obvi) that would be not sure where I'll land for the year, hopefully at 70!! I agree about Hildebrand books. I feel like the people that love those must just have never experienced anything better??! Hahaha. I mean they're enjoyable...but lacking a little something more. I've loved every Sedaris book I've read!! They play excerpts (chapters, probably) from that Christmas collection on NPR a lot during the winter and it's very enjoyable.

Natasha said...

You are amazing at crushing your reading goals! 98 books for the year is great!

I always read your book reviews with my library account open so I can look up the books which intrigue me. I added All Your Perfects and Mr Churchill's Secretary to my list.

And yes, I can't really get into Elin Hilderbrand either. Blah.

Kathryn Bagley said...

I will have to check out your YA books and the fertility one-sounds good!