It’s been a few months since I updated everyone on my New Year’s reading list progress and, while I am happy to report that I have read 13 books so far this year, only 10 of them are actually on my reading list. I keep getting distracted by miscellaneous books. I would like to think that I can’t stick to a reading list because of some sophisticated literary prowess I possess, but more likely than not it is because I am easily enticed by a pretty book cover.
I am currently in the middle of one of the books on my reading list, so hopefully I will get back on track soon! But here’s the official report on the books I have read recently:
The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton
This book was kind of weird. That’s not super helpful as a review, but I really can’t think of a better way to describe it. Like it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever read, but I’m still not really sure how I feel about it. If you really like thrillers with kidnappings, murders, etc. you might like it, but otherwise I would skip it.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Think of this as the sophisticated big sister to books like the Hunger Games or Divergent; same interesting dystopian society, more complex literary structure. It’s ties to our society are slightly stronger in most popular young adult fiction, though, so it’s criticism of our values and habits as a culture are a little more in your face. Anyone who loves literary analysis (aka the coolest kinds of people . . . am I right?) will love it, but if you’re just looking for a good YA-style easy-read then it might not be your cup of tea.
NOTE! This next section includes a spoiler about the book. You probably should know how the next book I describe is going to end, because all books about dogs end this way. But some people (ahem . . . my roommates . . .) get upset when I ruin plot lines for them. This will not be a repeat of the Downton Abbey Incident of 2014! Don’t read the next paragraph if you don’t want me to ruin it for you.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
I did NOT want to read this book, because I knew I could not handle another Marley & Me level tear-jerker. Why is it always sadder when dogs die in fiction than people?! But this is a truly touching story about human nature told from the perspective of a dog who, like most dogs, loves us more than we deserve. It’s 100% worth a read, just don’t read the last 30 pages in a public place or while wearing a lot of mascara because you will weep uncontrollably and it will get ugly.
One More Thing by B.J. Novak
I LOVE B.J. Novak and I loved this book. It’s a collection of short stories that are weird, funny, thought-provoking and everything in between. You should also really listen to the audio-book version because it has all kinds of fun people who read for it like Mindy Kaling, Lena Dunham, and Emma Thompson. This was not on my reading list, but it should have been, it’s that good.
The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
This was a weird, but not un-enjoyable sci-fi mystery. It was pretty entertaining, even if the plot was a little fuzzy and hard to follow at times. It wasn’t the book of the year, but I did need to finish it to figure out what happened, so that says something.