In typical me fashion, I went on a binge recently. Not a drinking binge or a chocolate binge or an exercise binge, although God knows I need the last one. No, the last two months or so I went on a reading binge. Binge has such a negative connotation doesn’t it but then so does “spree”. But I think the word “binge” fits better because it means I consume enough books that I’ve had my fill or run out of options. For me, it’s the latter…I’ve hit the reading wall again. It’s kind of like writer’s block only instead of being unable to write, I’m unable to read because nothing entices me. Before you go giving me your suggestions, here’s what I’ve read in the last few months.
I resisted this book for a long time because I kept hearing everyone talking about it and when I hear everyone talking about it I automatically assume that it is shit made for the masses. I’ve done this countless times only to give in to curiosity and find out that it wasn’t complete shit. *cough* Harry Potter *cough* If you want a romance story that will rip your guts apart multiple times on different levels and make you debate the merits of major social issues in our modern society…this is the book for you. Be prepared to laugh, cry, and debate your stance with fellow readers when it’s all over.
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
I had been saving this book for an airplane ride. I know pretty random right? I read Mindy’s first memoir Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? cover-to cover on a flight from Philadelphia to Portland, ME and I loved it that way. It’s like having a deep two hour discussion with that one crazy friend of yours while you’re both several drinks in without ever taking a break to go to the bathroom. I enjoyed this book for the most part but much like that deep discussion with that crazy friend, I smelled a little bullshit, too. It’s a fun read just don’t expect it to be the next Lean In.
After You by JoJo Moyes
I loved Me Before You so why wouldn’t I give the sequel a try? Oh my God I want my money and my time back. This book was atrocious and I don’t say that lightly. It was so bad I was in disbelief and kept reading it thinking there had to be a turning point that would bring it all together and be reminiscent of it’s forebearer. Nope. It was the most contrived plot with scenarios that you can tell were thought up in a desperate attempt to either milk the MBY gravy train or please a bunch of the fans, although I can’t imagine who would have been pleased with this offering. Do NOT read this book. Resist all temptation and let Me Before You stand in all it’s solitary glory.
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
For the most part, I enjoyed this book. I liked the character and story arcs. There are two stories that run parallel, one from the past and one in the present and they eventually intersect. I think it was fairly obviously how they were going to intersect by the middle part of the book but it still leaves a lot of questions about how things will be resolved. Be warned there’s a lot of disturbing material covered in the book.
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
This is only the third book by Stephen King I’ve ever read and only the second piece of fiction. His memoir On Writing is gold, please read that as soon as possible. Anyway, this was a good twisted read. I thought it was a little weird that he had the characters make references to his other novels, specifically It, but I guess when you’re Stephen King you can do whatever you want. The story felt a little disjointed in the middle. There were plot points that were used to light a fire under the main character’s and a secondary character’s asses but I’m not sure it was needed but once we get over that hump it really picks up speed and I genuinely didn’t know how it was going to end until the very end because no one is safe in a Stephen King book.
Running: A Love Story by Jen A. Miller
I wrote about this in a My Favorite Things post a few weeks ago. It’s very relatable even if you’re not a marathon runner. Jen compares her relationships to marathon training, the highs and lows and obstacles and adjustments. It’s a great read and you’ll feel like you’re running along with her. You’ll also want to punch some of her ex-boyfriends in the throat.
Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
This is one of those books that I have been avoiding because I heard all this hype over it. I joined a book club recently and this is the first book that we picked. I begrudgingly started reading it but I was not excited about it. I had read several summaries that said the story was told through letters and emails and it did not excite me. I gave it a try anyway and it was okay in the beginning, the emails were sometimes humorous but by the halfway point of the book when the actual disappearance of Bernadette had failed to even happen yet I was turned off. Everything after her disappearance felt rushed and contrived and the resolution was underwhelming to say the least.
There you go, seven books of varying topics and writers. I know I want something exciting to read, something that will have me turning the pages and ignoring my kids and work to read just one more chapter. So, what do you have for me? What has been the best book you’ve read lately?
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