Books – February/March 2018 Roundup

So, first off I’m going to complain about using my laptop and how I can’t save and modify the photos for the blog the way that I normally do.  Wah.  So there’s no collage of covers here.  The process of doing the collage would be too long and complicated to do, so … skipped!


Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

I really liked this book.  It was a long book, and so I can see this being a great summer beach read, which is amusing because it’s also set at a New England beach – the exact kind of place where people bring big fat books to the beach!  I’m amazed that Sullivan was able to make me feel different things about the characters as the story went on.  I found myself yelling at the different characters at various points, the sign that you’re connecting to the characters.

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

I really was fascinated to read this.  I think it started a little stronger than it finished – hearing about J.D.’s early life was a lesson in what life can be like for someone that has a very different experience than I do.  The problem is that after Vance finishes university and goes on to Yale, despite the fact that he comes from a different background than most, it’s hard to say that going to Yale for law school, and going to work for a high power law firm makes me feel like he isn’t reaching from a place of challenge anymore.  You can’t say you’re disadvantaged when you’re working for the government with your ivy league degree.

Chemistry by Weike Wang

I thoroughly enjoyed this short novel.  The narrator is never named, and it helps the reader to identify more with the protagonist, because you feel like it could be you.  This is another situation where you’re dealing with an ivy league university (though it’s never named), but because our protagonist struggles, it feels more real.  Basically, this was a really good way to get a book read fast.  Plus, it was a unique style of writing that I feel like I haven’t seen before.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

This was the first book that I read/finished after baby B was born.  I listened to it a lot while attempting to nurse her in the first few weeks.  It’s fascinating to think of having listened to this  when I was struggling to get her to latch.  But the story was a good one to listen to during that time because it was so engaging.  It’s a thriller/mystery, and it definitely surprised me on a regular basis.  There are a couple twists in the story, and I didn’t see all of them coming, so that’s a good sign.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

This is/was my book club book for April.  I managed to get a copy of the audiobook AND finish reading it well in advance of our meeting next month, so that’s pretty good for having a new baby girl.  Anyways – the book!  This was a surprising one for me.  I was very confused at the way that the book started, but once we got through the first section of the book (the establishing chapter) the whole structure of the book made more sense.  It was still occasionally confusing to follow, but the characters were interesting, and while I feel like the story ended abruptly (is that a thing that authors are doing now?), it should make for some interesting discussion at book club when we next meet.


The Power by Naomi Alderman

What if teenage girls developed the ability to shoot electricity from their hands?  That’s the premise of this book, and it’s FASCINATING, especially in light of all the discussion of sexual harassment and assault recently.  Because what would the world be like if women had a physical power that intimidated and scared men?

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

I think I won this (physical) book from a contest on Goodreads a year or two ago, and have never read it.  And it was recommended on a podcast that I like…a year or so ago.  It was the book I (optimistically) brought with me to the hospital when I was giving birth.  And yet, somehow I’ve read some of it?  And will probably read more of in the future?  It seems interesting.  We’ll see how it goes.  Chances are, I don’t finish this book by the end of 2018 at the rate I’m going.


If you’re keeping track, I’m now behind on reaching my goal.  And with baby B in tow now, chances are I won’t catch up.  Especially since I don’t have those dedicated half hours every day to listen to my audiobooks.  I do try and listen to some when I’m feeding her, but that’s mostly in the mornings, but we’ll see how that keeps up in the future.

1 Comment

  1. […] of a new sub-genre which explains “the other” to those of us who read memoirs. Like Hillbilly Elegy, author Tara Westover gets out of a family and a place where there aren’t a lot of […]

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