The Cactus by Sarah Haywood 2/5 Stars Susan Green is what some would describe as ‘prickly’. She has a job she tolerates, and apartment that serves its purpose, and a family that is often more trouble than Susan appreciates. She likes to do things by […]
Tag: am reading
In the month of May I managed to read quite a few books and make up for my lacking in other months. I’m now on a better track with my reading challenge! Anyway, on with the books.
My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
In Julia Whelan’s debut novel, we follow American Ellan Durran as she follows her dreams through a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University. In her first moments in England, she bumps in a rude stranger who ends up being one of her professors. Later he becomes much more than just that. Ella must figure out if she wants to stay in England, or continue her job with a presidential candidate back at home.
Lately, I haven’t really been reading the descriptions, and have just been diving into books head first based on recommendations and pretty covers. So there was a bit of a twist that I really wasn’t expecting. I did enjoy the book, but it probably wasn’t my favourite that I read this month. It did feel a bit darker than my usual romcoms.
Open Book by Jessica Simpson
I’ve never put a whole lot of thought into Jessica Simpson. She always seemed to be the distant third of female pop stars of the late 90s. I’d of course heard about her desire to remain ‘pure’ until her wedding. I knew she married Nick Lachey and they had a TV show. She just was never really at the forefront of my mind.
But I LOVE a celebrity memoir.
Especially one that tells me the dirt. I love when a book names names, and Jessica did that. She was very open and honest in a way that I didn’t really expect from her. The book is a compelling read, as she talks about her struggles with alcohol, assault, and body image. I found it a really endearing book. But please note that it is pretty religion heavy. Which I guess is to be expected from her.
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Tiffy Moore was recently broken up with and she needs to get out of the apartment they shared FAST. She’s on a tight budget, as she doesn’t make much at her job as an editor for specialty craft books. Most of the apartment she sees are not really what she’s looking for. She finds an add for a flatshare – and more importantly – a bedshare. Leon is looking for someone to share his flat as he works nights and only sleeps during the day, and wants someone with an opposite schedule. He could use the extra $350 a month to pay the lawyer in his brother’s armed robbery case.
Tiffy and Leon, while avoiding meeting, get closer and become good friends through a series of notes left around their shared apartment. They get to know each other and themselves better than they could have hoped. Tiffy faces the dark truths about her recent breakup.
I had heard about this book from blogger Beth Sandland and put it on my hold list immediately. It finally came to me in the middle of this month. I loved this book. I thought it was an interesting entry into my favourite genre. The Flatshare also dealt with some darkness that I wasn’t expecting, and a darkness that I don’t usually see in many books. I’d definitely read this one if you love a British romcom!
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Vivian Morris is a young woman in the 1940s with no direction. She is sent to live with her aunt in New York City after being kicked out of university. She romps around town with showgirl, Celia Ray, while working as a costumer at her aunt’s playhouse, The Lily. One evening, she makes a misguided, childish choice that changes the course of her life, and she returns home. She later returns to the city with her aunt to help her during the war. She continues to live her life in a different way in a whole new NYC.
So, I think I liked this book.
The whole story is told by Vivian to a woman named Angela, who wrote to her asking what she was to her father. I kind of forgot about that part, because it didn’t totally become relevant until the very last quarter of the book. In fact, the part where is kind of is relevant, the 20 year span is covered in a few pages. Whereas we spent 3/4 of the book on about a year or 2 of action.
I feel like the first half could have been condensed just a touch. I feel like Elizabeth Gilbert takes pride in being exceptionally wordy. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. The world she created was very clear and robust. It just felt a bit disconnected.
So yeah, I liked the book. But it wasn’t an absolute page-turner for me. I wasn’t craving to pick it up and read it every day. It took me a little longer than it normally does to finish a book.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren 4.5/5 Stars In the latest offering from the writing duo Christina Lauren, the frequently unlucky Olive ends up taking her twin sister’s honeymoon due to an extreme illness that took over her and her beau’s entire wedding. The catch? She […]
I read The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters in June, and then immediately put in a hold request for Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows. It took this long to come in. It’s been a popular book since Reese Witherspoon listed it as one of her must-reads.
Based on the first novel I read by Balli Kaur Jaswal, I had some idea of what to expect. This was going to be focused on a strong-willed woman fighting with her western and eastern ideals. In both books, they had lost someone close to them recently and were dealing with that.
What I didn’t expect was for this book to take a bit of a true crime twist. I was pretty surprised by that turn of events. I also didn’t expect that there would be some of the widows’ stories to be included in the book and boy were they graphic. I probably wouldn’t recommend listening to the audio version of this book with other people in the room.
I really enjoyed this book. I read through it pretty quickly and I found the story engaging. I laughed, I cried (just a little), and left this book feeling really good about it.
This had the makings of a perfect book for me:
- set in the UK
- romcom/chick lit
- endorsed by one of my new favourite writers, Katie Fforde
Mimi goes to visit her dad and his partner in the Cotswolds, where she helps them become part of the tight community of Goosebrook. She also happens to meet a guy named Cal who seems perfect, but he’s married. To a really great woman. Time passes, and there are some big life changes for a lot of people in the story, and Mimi comes back to the community.
There is a bit of a twist early on in the book that I really wasn’t expecting, which made it an interesting read. Other aspects of the book weren’t as surprising, but that’s okay. I knew what I was getting with this book. I think some parts of it went on a little too long. Overall I enjoyed this book, but I wasn’t in love with it.
Zoe nabbed a spot in a popular televised cooking competition for amateur cooks. She is excited, but nervous. She has always been a little reserved. After a surprise encounter with one of the judges, and a contentious relationship with a fellow contestant/competition roommate, Zoe finds that this competition has more challenges than she anticipated.
Obviously I am going to love a book about a cooking competition. I love food and I love reality television. And it’s a romcom? Yes of course this is made for me. And I really enjoyed reading this. Again, predictable ending, but whatever I don’t really care. I liked this book a lot!