Connect Through Reading 2012 – 5 Book Reviews

I’ve been reading up a storm lately but have unfortunately had a few misses since we last chatted about books. I struggle with even sharing some of the bombs as I know a few of these books many of you loved. Make sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments section and definitley please share what you are reading now or might recommend. Here we go…

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss was a big surprise to me because I really did not love it. I feel like maybe I lost something important I should have caught in this book, as so many people have raved about it.  I think the premise of the book is a beautiful one, and the writing was lovely, but I was lost the whole time and had to force myself to keep reading so I could try and figure out why this book was so loved. Maybe I’m not deep enough… or maybe I have too many distractions going on in my life to be able to focus solely on the plot of the book, but at this time I did not love it. I will say this reminds me of The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Ordinary Sadness of Lemon Cake because those were two books everyone loved and I really didn’t.

If you want a book that will make you laugh your head off, Bossypants by Tina Fey is the book for you. I actually listened to Bossypants via audio book instead of reading and highly recommend that experience as Tina Fey is the narrator, which makes the book even more fun. I’m not typically a “laugh out loud” person, but I found myself laughing uncontrollably at parts. If you are a mom, a woman, a human being… any or all of those… you will love listening to Tina tell her stories of rising to the top, impersonating Sarah Palin, being a mom, growing up, and more. I gave this one 4 Stars out of 5 on Goodreads.

I have read a few of Elin Hilderbrand’s other books and know I can always turn to her for some good “chick lit”, complex love and relationships kind of reads. The Island fits her style perfectly. The Island is a story about a mom, 2 sisters, and aunt, the men they’ve loved and lost, their support of each other, and their journey to move on with their lives – all while spending some time on a remote island off of Nantucket. I gave this one 3 stars on Goodreads. It wasn’t knock your socks off great, but it was a good, solid book definitley worth reading if you like Hilderbrand’s style.

As the mom of three girls, Dare Me by Megan Abbott, terrifies me. Dare Me is a haunting book about a group of high school cheerleaders and their twisted, tormented, crazy, messed up relationships with each other and their own bodies. Once you start reading it, you hope that the types of relationships these girls are having with their teachers as well as each other is not even close to accurate for how teens are today. Of course, it’s a fiction book, but even with that the story could not be saved for me. I gave this one 2 stars out of 5 on Goodreads.

I’ll start off by saying I love books by Diane Chamberlain. Her cover images always pull me in and her writing style just fits with what I love. Her book, The Midwife’s Confession, is no exception. When midwife, Noelle, suddenly commits suicide, her two best friends set out to uncover what they might have missed in Noelle’s life that could have indicated she was suffering. As they begin digging, they discover that Noelle has a surprising past she kept to herself, full of shocking secrets she’s held onto for many years. Little by little, the two friends discover that Noelle was not the person they knew. She was haunted deep down by a secret she was too afraid to confess. I gave The Midwife’s Confession 4 stars out of 5 on Goodreads.

That’s it for now. Up next on my list to be read are:

By the same author as Gone Girl, I’ve heard Gillian Flynn’s earlier novel Sharp Objects is even better! Since I really enjoyed Gone Girl, I can’t wait to read this book.

The Orchard: a Memoir by Theresa Weir is a book I picked up on a whim at Target. I haven’t heard anything about it, but I always love reading memoir’s so I’m excited to see what this one is all about.

That’s it for now. Make sure to tell me what books you’ve read lately as well as your opinions on any of the ones I shared above. For some of my prior Connect Through Reading posts including more recommendations, click here.

Remember, let’s follow each other on Goodreads so we can continue to share book recommendations with each other! Happy reading!


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  1. says

    I’ve gotten boring with books… I haven’t read fiction in a while (which is weird for me because that’s all I use to read – maybe I’m growing up!) Lately I’ve been reading 2 books – Raising Depression Free Children (Kathleen Panula Hockey) and Raising Your Spirited Child (Mary Sheedy Kurcinka). The first I’ve read before and since my husband has clinical depression and I have postpartum depression it is pretty much a necessity for us to address this! The second one I recently heard about and describes my 3 year old perfectly! I am only in about a third of the way through it but am loving what I’m learning (not just about my child but about myself and my husband as well!) I’ve found that because I’m learning about why my child acts the way he does it is easier to accept the behavior and not get upset but to work with him. I am excited to finish it so I can more fully understand him and how to help parent my very energetic child.

    • says

      I try to do a mix of fiction and non-fiction, but lately I’ve really wanted reading to be my “get away” time. I’m loving the titles of your books though… I think that being proactive and putting energy into trying to understand your family is so important! Way to go :)

  2. says

    I admire how many books you’ve read in such a short time. I have to admit, if a book doesn’t capture me by the second chapter, I stop reading it. I have so many in my Kindle app at 20% or less. I think I should just push through. Maybe.

    I have been reading more non-fiction though. I reread The Happiness Project and am now about to start Happy at Home. And every year about this time, I read Bringing Up Boys. I’m a rereader. Can you tell?

  3. says

    I haven’t yet met another person who didn’t love The Time Travew!ler’s Wife so whew! I just hated the whole book. I cannot even bring myself to watch the movie. I’m really interested in your thoughts on Sharp Objects. After reading Gone Girl I read Dark Places. I loved it but it was so *dark* that I just needed a break from her intense writing. Does that make sense? So that book is on my list…for later :)

    • says

      I didn’t like that book, either!!! I actually stopped reading it. Oh, i feel like I’m in good company now.

      Kristen, thanks for your list. I need some good ones. I’m re-reading some Michael Crichton now to see if it’s ok for kiddo. Ugh…it’s hard when they’re older!

      • Janet says

        We read The Time Travelers Wife for our Bookclub and a few of us didn’t like it. Since then I have read another of her books called Her Fearful Symmetry and although a little (!) strange I really enjoyed it.

    • says

      I totally know what you mean about Gillian Flynn’s writing. That’s one reason Bossypants was read right after Gone Girl. I needed a mental break :) I’ll let you know how I like Sharp Objects. Starting it tonight.

  4. says

    Am just getting BACK into reading after a forever hiatus. Just finished Boy in the Moon (did NOT love), Leverage (dark sports themed story) and am about to start Dumbing Down Our Kids (why American Children feel good about themselves but can’t read, write or add)

    Sounds appealing, eh?

  5. says

    What a fun list! I have had an amazing summer of reading — one after another of great reads, all summer long. (Side note: Did you know about Gillian Flynn’s Kansas City roots? One of my book club members is friends with her and we are hoping to get her for a meeting. I would LOVE to meet the brain that came up with such twisted plotlines . My favorite of Flynn’s was Dark Objects.)

    Anyway, here is a short list of some of my summer reads:

    “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn
    “The Blood of Flowers” by Anita Amirrezvani
    “Salvage the Bones” by Jesmyn Ward
    “Winter’s Bone” by Daniel Woodrell
    “Where the Line Bleeds” by Jesmyn Ward
    “Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn
    “Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
    “The Five People You Meet In Heaven” by Mitch Albom

    I am currently reading Jodi Piccoult’s “Nineteen Minutes” and Wally Lamb’s “She’s Come Undone” — I am enjoying both equally. I am not normally a fan of Piccoult, but I really appreciate how she changed her normal story structure for this particular novel.

    • says

      Oh wow – it would be awesome to meet Gillian Flynn. I keep hoping she’ll come here on book tour or something. Just to hear her speak would be great!

      Thanks for the recommendations. I loved Nineteen Minutes… Piccoult really did do a great job with that book. I read She’s Come Undone 10 years ago or so as part of a book club I belonged too. It was a great read as well.

      You’ve definitley had some winners!

    • says

      Don’t not read The History of Love because of me… seriously. So many people have raved about it and have even said it’s their favorite book, ever. It just didn’t grab me like I expected.

  6. Rebecca says

    Hi! I just wanted to say that I’ve been looking for some new books to read and I just went through all of your past “connect through reading” posts and put a lot of books on hold at the library so thank you so much for the suggestions!

  7. Terri Hendricks says

    I always love to hear your thoughts on books. It gives me more to add to my “to read” shelf.

    I’m currently reading (rather listening to) Saving Cece Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman. I’m so glad I chose to listen as the narrator does such a great job with all the different voices. The story is told from the perspective of Cece who, after living with a schizophrenic mom and mostly-absent dad, eventually goes to Savannah to live with her great-aunt. I’m only about half-way through the book and keep looking for excuses to spend time in the car!

    • says

      I have wanted to read Saving Cece Honeycutt for quite some time but keep forgetting! I love audio books that are read great so I may go that route. Thanks for the heads up!

  8. Maria says

    I agree with you on The History of Love and The Ordinary Saddness of Lemon Cake…neither were my favorite. I liked The Language of Flowers and really liked Defending Jacob. I have to say Gone Girl was OK, but not my summer favorite.

    • says

      So glad I’m not the only one…
      I really liked The Language of Flowers and Defending Jacob too.

      I’ve heard mixed reviews about Gone Girl. I loved it (disliked the ending) but really enjoyed it overall!
      Thanks for sharing :)

      • says

        I did like The Time Traveler’s Wife, but I did not enjoy The Ordinary Sadness of Lemon Cake. I thought I would, but it was just not my cup of tea.

  9. says

    I was just thinking the other day that surely it must be time for a Connect through Reading post from you! I am glad when you post both positive and negative reviews. There are so many books to read that I definitely want to know if certain ones can come off my list. :) That said, Dare Me is on my Fall into Reading list that I just posted. Now I’m torn about whether or not to read it.
    I have a lot of non-fiction on my reading list for the fall, but, as always, am more excited about the fiction, including JK Rowling’s new book. I just finished a really fun YA book, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. It was a super fast read and definitely worth it.
    I’ve heard that Sharp Objects is much darker than Gone Girl. I will wait until I hear what you think to add that one to my list. My book club chose Gone Girl for this next month. Isn’t that a book that it feels a little wrong to read twice? :) Even if I did like it the first time?

  10. says

    I read Gone Girl and loved it. I started reading Sharp Objects but it has yet to draw me in. It’s a little slow. I’m hoping it picks up the way Girl with the Dragon Tattoo did. The first 100 pages of that book were so boring but then it picked up and I couldn’t put it down. Since I gave up on SO I started reading The Boy in the Suitcase. It’s pretty good so far.


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