Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What I've Been Reading Lately

I've been reading a lot (as usual!)

Here's a rundown of what I've read in the past few months:

Intuition (Allegra Goodman): This was a book club read. We all found it sort of meh. The premise is really interesting--about scientific misconduct in an academic (life sciences) lab, and they got a lot right about the environment. But the character development was terrible, and I didn't care about anyone. Also she left the ending very vague, which sometimes works, but really didn't here.

The Secret History (Donna Tartt): Oh my. Don't bother. Tedious, long, hated every single character more and more as the book went on, and an undercurrent of creepiness that just made me feel gross reading it.

Sleeping Giants (Sylvain Neuvel): I surprisingly loved this! Sci-fi, and with an extremely wacky, out-there premise, but also good character development and relationships and a fast-moving plot. A quick read, and it looks like there is a sequel in the works.

A Gentleman in Moscow (Amor Towles): I already mentioned how much I love this, but can I say it again? LOVE. Such witty, sharp writing. Interesting, lovable characters. And the book cemented my belief that the meaning of life (or at least the path the happiness) lies in finding a purpose, and making connections.  The backdrop of the Bolshevik revolution in Moscow added quite a bit of intrigue (and some education, on my part). 

A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry): This book was...not for me, at least not right now (sorry SHU!). It was long. So very very long. I read it off and on since September and JUST finished it. And it was, far and away, the most depressing book I have ever read. All the characters were just so pitiful. It just went from bad to worse...and then there was a faint glimmer of hope around 2/3 through, and I started really liking it...and then it all went to absolute utter shit. Don't get me wrong, it is interesting---there are a LOT of deep themes about the society of the time, politics, culture, love and friendship, privilege and bigotry---I think it'd make a great book club or classroom discussion (except for the length), but oh man, this is not what I needed at the moment, and it left me in despair, without even a flicker of hope for the world.

Library of Souls (Ransom Riggs): 3rd (and last?) in the Miss Peregrine's fantasy series. I like these, it was action-packed, moderately creepy and complex. There is a teen love story mixed in that straddled the line into cheesy at times, but overall good.

Everything, Everything (Nicola Yoon): I tore through this short YA read in one day. It reminded me of a cross between Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park & Attachments...until the twist at the end. About young love, parent-child love, and what it means to be ALIVE. Recommend. 


  1. I want to read both #3 and #4 on your list!

    I totally get it about A Fine Balance. It IS a devastating read. But I felt it really really moved me in a way many books don't. And I got SOOO sucked into the characters. But it is just . . .devastating.

    I read intuition ages ago and remember liking it!

  2. Have you read The Road? Very very depressing, but also about love, which fascinated me. Loved the miss peregrine book (at least the first one). Now I'm curious about a fine balance. Will have to see...

  3. Oh! The secret history is My favorite bestseller Ever. I read it when it came out in 1993...and many times since

  4. Will have to look up everything everything. I've been reading everything I can by kazuo Ishiguro - super interesting creative novels and all very different.

    I also just read fates and furies and it was excellent! Now reading when break becomes air.

  5. Delurking to say I'm so glad to find someone else who hated The Secret History. Awful book. Can't believe it always pops up on "best books" lists.

  6. I loved the Secret History! Didn't realize it was so polarizing though! I actually just checked out the Goldfinch in hopes I would love it too. Definitely looking forward to trying a Gentleman in Moscow, as I generally share your taste in books, I think.