Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval (Caraval, #1)Caraval by Stephanie Garber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewing this book is tricky because you will love it or hate it. It's a solidly YA fantasy book. If you like fun and can tolerate purple prose, then you might love this. If you require literary things in it like developed characters and well-written sentences this is probably not for you. For me, it was a fun quick read- and like a combo of The Night Circus and The Hunger Games. I mean that sounds good right? I might even reread it.

The ending felt like a bit of a letdown, and it also felt like kind of a messy wrap-up with some things I couldn't accept. Also, the mystery aspect is a bit of cheat because you can't actually solve the mystery though I understand this is true of most mystery books.

View all my reviews

Monday, November 20, 2017

Breathe by Anne-Sophie Brasme

BreatheBreathe by Anne-Sophie Brasme
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Interesting short French novel about Charlene's obsession with an American French girl that is awful to her. There's no surprise in the book, but only a meditation on the obsession. The writing is good and very interesting. It's true though that something is missing- after all Charlene appears to have a mental illness that pre-dates Sarah.

View all my reviews

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage by Dani Shapiro

Hourglass: Time, Memory, MarriageHourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage by Dani Shapiro
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some good writing. Interesting. She does the Joan Didion repeat repeat repeat again later thing. Doesn't give me much insight into her marriage or marriage in general. Is an interesting meditation on time and memory. Does the repeat repeat repeat thing.

View all my reviews

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Nudge by Richard H. Thaler

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and HappinessNudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One basic premise, many thoroughly detailed examples. But the examples are super important life examples about investing, insurance, education and as such are pretty interesting. Be warned though, I don't think it really works as a self-help book. It's more about how governments, companies, or other large entities can point people in the right direction of their best decisions.

There's a political/economic bias in the book which the author admits up front, but is neither liberal nor conservative per se, but something Thaler calls "libertarian paternalism." The idea is that people should get a few choices (but not lots of choices that overwhelm them) keeping in mind that they rarely know what's best or act in their own best interest. Libertarian in practice but paternalistic in your mind? Sort of.

View all my reviews

Friday, November 17, 2017

It's Okay to Laugh by Nora McInerny Purmort

It's Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too)It's Okay to Laugh by Nora McInerny Purmort
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is wonderful. It's honest, raw, and hilarious. The next thing I'm going to say is going to sound like it's not that hilarious, but I swear it is. In rapid succession she had a miscarriage, her father died, and her husband died of cancer. Having been through something similar with both of my parents dying of cancer (they were in their early 60s, I was in my 30s), I could relate to a lot of her feelings and appreciate the sometimes dark humor. Obviously, that's still totally different than what she went through, but she has a whole section on how grief is lonely because it's so different for everyone, and yes, that part is also spot on. Reading the book is like having a friend that really gets it go through the bad stuff with you.

I might be a little OCD, but the chronology in the book was crazy and I couldn't get a handle on what happened when. I'm still not totally sure when the last part of the book took place chronologically, but for me, that was the only small flaw in this nearly perfect memoir.

View all my reviews

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune (Dune Chronicles #1)Dune by Frank Herbert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nearly perfect fantasy-scifi book except for the kind of weird vaguely political ending. I especially enjoyed the numerous strong interesting female characters that play important roles in the action. This is one of those books that when I finally read I regret waiting so long to read.

Also, this is the 100th book I read from my dad's inherited collection.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual EnlightenmentThe Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a good simplification and modernization of Buddhism to make it less religious-y for modern readers. (Ie., never mind about rebirth and hungry souls, and what not.) It's in a question-and-answer format which is more effective for this subject than it sounds like it would be.

That said, I think it's a stretch to say the Bible or Christianity is referencing these "enlightenment" frames of mind. Also, the small section on menstruation, not necessary, and hard to take from a man that really has no idea what he's talking about. Wouldn't have loved that part even if a woman wrote it though.

View all my reviews

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own PersonYear of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very funny at times, interesting, and even a little inspiring. Probably more interesting if you've seen Grey's Anatomy and Scandal. I've only watched a season of Scandal, but maybe I'll go back and binge watch Grey's Anatomy. (I also never watched ER, House, Scrubs, or any of the doctor shows except Doogie Howser, and that was a really long time ago!)

View all my reviews

The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman

The Genius of BirdsThe Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For some reason, I couldn't get through this at all the first time I picked it up, but it was no trouble this time and I flew through it. There is some belaboring in the examples of bird intelligence but overall pretty interesting.

View all my reviews
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...