Saturday, September 22, 2012

Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
ISBN: 030758836X
Pages: 432
Time It Took Me to Read: 5 Days       

Gone Girl was a book I was aware of, since my friend reviewed it on her blog and another friend recommended it. I was determined to get my hands on it since I had been seeing it everywhere. Gone Girl’s reserve list at the library was so large that it would’ve taken FOREVER for me to get. My friend with the blog lent it to me and just like that, I got involved in another book phenomenon.

This book opens on the day of Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. They met and spent the first years of their marriage in New York. However, due to layoffs and the demise of Nick’s mother’s health, they move back to Nick’s hometown in Missouri. Not sure what to do next, Nick opens a bar with his twin sister, Go, while Amy stays at home. Then, Amy disappears on the day of their anniversary and Nick becomes the prime suspect.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Um, hi guys.

Wow, this is awkward.
Okay, I know I have been away for a good six months. I know it’s weird I’m starting back up this blog that exactly no one reads but hey, a girl needs an outlet.
Let’s just say that this summer was the worst reading time of my life. I blame Fifty Shades of Grey. I was also reading a lot of series’ installments that I was already bored with. I didn’t have any shining stars and I was reading sloooowly. Nevertheless, my library queue dwindled and dwindled until I had exactly one book I wanted to read in it. I was feeling down, uninspired.  There seemed like no light at the end of the tunnel…

 I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

 This book was exactly what I needed to get back on the metaphorical horse and search for some new stuff. Turns out, I’ve been hiding under a rock. I started getting book ideas from people I know and people I found on Youtube and suddenly, my book queue filled up again. I am on hold for 10 books at two separate library chains! I finally got my hands on Where We Belong by Emily Giffin and lo and behold, I have a bonafide hobby again.

I also joined a book club. Look at me.

So, I’m not promising anything with this reintroduction. I might keep this going for a week or a year or ten years. We’ll see. All I know is that there is a reinvigoration inside of me that comes from reading a good book. Any reader can attest to how a great book can make you fall in love with reading all over again and that’s what happened to me.

So, let’s hope I can read it hard…again.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Book Fail: The Moment by Douglas Kennedy

Title: The Moment
Author: Douglas Kennedy
Page I Stopped Reading: 50

Here’s what happened.

The Moment is a thick book. I tend to shy away from books over 400 pages for many reasons. I feel a great sense of pride by finishing a book. I feel accomplished and proud of myself, even if it’s 15 minutes worth. When I read longer books, I get that feeling less often. I tend to get tired of books I read for over ten days too. This fear of reading this book for over ten days consumed me and thus, why it’s going back to the library unfinished.

I had the best of intentions. The first 50 pages were good and interesting. However, I put it aside to read 31 Dates in 31 Days, which I knew I would finish quickly enough to return to the library this week. However, when I finished 31 Dates in 31 Days, I was no longer interested in it. I lost the book’s rhythm. This again reaffirmed why I read one book at a time and date one man at a time. I’m horrible at multi-tasking.

The Moment is about a divorced writer who has just signed on the dotted line to dissolve his marriage. He’s solitary and single-minded in his career as a travel writer. He soon comes home from a short trip to find a package from a woman he used to see—who was from Berlin. The Moment definitely sets up the book’s overarching theme right away—The moments that change us the most are often the most unexpected.

The Moment is a tragic book fail for me because it was just a matter of timing. What would have happened if I didn’t pick up 31 Dates in 31 Days? Would I be further through it?  Who knows. Overall, I do not feel bad for returning this to the library. I can only move forward and pray the next one doesn’t meet a similar fate.

Grade: Incomplete

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Review: 31 Dates in 31 Days by Tamara Duricka Johnson

Title: 31 Dates in 31 Days
Author: Tamara Duricka Johnson
ISBN: 9781580053662
Pages: 320
Time It Took Me to Read: 3 Days       

When I started reading The Moment, I had a feeling it would take awhile. With my growing pile of books to take back to the library, I figured I could get this one out of the way and return it with my hoard.

Now from first glance, this has “Bitter” written all over it. It’s about a single thirty-something woman from New York. I’ve watched enough Sex and the City to judge this book by its cover (or blurb on the back). However, this is anything but bitter. It has frustration, yes. It has a little bit of heartache, yes. But, bitter it is not.

This 31-year-old woman named Tamara embarked on a dating project in 2009 called “31 Dates in 31 Days.”  She would date a different man for each of the first thirty days and on the thirty-first day, she would go on a second date from the broad she dated over the month. She created a blog from it, which I suspect some of the book is.

Tamara was kinda desperate, kinda hopeless. However, over the coarse of the thirty-one days, she learned how to open up to love, see the positive in people, regain hope in the men of New York, and eventually become marriage-material. In her author bio, it says she’s married. Interesting.

Now, whenever you do a memoir, everyone and their mother will have an opinion about you. She put her life out there for people to judge and read about and that’s brave. However, I don’t think her singledom is due to a terrible personality. She seems sweet, kind, and easygoing. I think she just choose the wrong men and had bad dating habits. That makes this easy to read and easy to cheer for her. You want to see her find love.

I enjoyed reading the book but would definitely fail a reading comprehension test on this one. The men definitely ran together and I began to have trouble distinguishing them. When she chose her second date on the thirty-first day, I had to go back and read about his first date. Still, there was some suspense as to who she would choose and more importantly, did she marry someone from the project? It says she’s married after all.

Grade: B+

Saturday, March 3, 2012

February Round-Up and March Goals!

I know, I know.

March is already three days in and I have yet to make any March reading goals. I also need to wrap my head around February. Well, here it goes.

February was a wildly successful reading month for me. I enjoyed pretty much every book I finished and I blazed through some. My original goal at the beginning of the month was to read four books and I read seven. I do have a bigger goal of reading 40 this year (I only read 38 or 39 last year) and I feel like I am well on my way. This blog has been a positive motivating experience for me and encourages me to have a steady reading pace. I have no doubt I might need to choose a new target for the year (50? 60? 70?!) and that excites me. I feel like my old self again when it comes to reading.

The books I read last month are:

  1. Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction that Changed America by Les Standiford and Det. Sgt. Joe Matthews
  2. Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner
  3. California Girl Chronicles by Michelle Gamble-Risley
  4. A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
  5. The Next Always by Nora Roberts
  6. Bossypants by Tina Fey
  7. 31 Dates in 31 Days by Tamara Duricka Johnson (Review Soon!)

I did have a book fail but it wasn’t epic by any means. I stopped reading The Moment by Douglas Kennedy. However, one book fail for a month is pretty good because I am a lot more picky about what I finish reading these days.

So, here are my goals this month for my reading and for my blog:

  1. Finish 5 books
  2. Give every book I currently have borrowed from the library a chance before picking up any others
  3. Post 10 times throughout March (this is #1)

So, happy March everyone! BIRTHDAY MONTH!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Review: Bossypants by Tina Fey

Courtesy of
Title: Bossypants
Author: Tina Fey
ISBN: 9780316056861
Pages: 275
Time It Took Me to Read: Less than 48 hours

I had extremely high hopes for this one. When I put my name on the reserve list at the library, I was in 50s. I was patient and eventually, Bossypants was mine. Upon learning it had arrived for me, I promptly went at lunch to pick it up.

I didn’t know what to expect but I had some vague ideas. I had hopes for random anecdotes of embarrassing childhood memories and funny perspectives on average things. While the first part of the book rambled and meandered much to my heart’s delight, it eventually slowed down into amusing (but less funny) narrative.

At first, it’s hysterical. I was laughing hysterically at the chapter “All Girls Must Be Everything,” where she talks about women’s bodies and things she feels uncomfortable about but has learned to accept. Here’s a nugget for your viewing pleasure: “Wide German hips that look like somebody wrapped Pillsbury dough around a case of soda” (Fey 25). Funny right?

Then, she begins documenting her career. While it’s fascinating, there is less and less of funny moments and the funny anecdotes I was expecting. Chapters of funny are sprinkled throughout to break up the story (“Dear Internet” and “The Mother’s Prayer for Its Child” are good examples). However, I didn’t expect to read that much about Sarah Palin.

One thing that I absolutely loved is Tina Fey’s voice. There were moments I could hear her voice through her words. Fey is extremely sarcastic throughout this book and because her voice is so strong, the tone of her sarcasm is not lost. Here is another nugget from the chapter “The Mother’s Prayer for Its Child”:

            And when she one days turns on me and calls me a
            Bitch in front of Hollister,
            Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a
            Cab in front of her friends,
            For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it (Fey 263).

Overall, this is a major win for Fey. My high expectations did make me grade this harsher than a book that I had no expectations for. Fey is an extremely gifted comedic writer. I read this baby fast and I would definitely read (and maybe even buy) a sophomore effort. If not for the slow chapters of narrative, this would’ve gotten a higher grade.

Grade: A-

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Library Haul -- February 2012

I don’t know about you but I tend to overborrow from the library.

If you’re an avid reader, you know how it is. You get into a library and are overcome with the possibilities. I’m on a neverending search for the next great book love affair.  I want to read some good standby authors but I also want to branch out and find new loves and new voices to hear (or read).

When I am in a mood, I just start grabbing. I peruse many different sections, reading the covers to see if it is something that could peak my interest. Sometimes, I edit my selection and put a few back. Or in my case on Thursday, I borrow everything that looks good.

I was just going to get Tina Fey’s Bossypants that came in and was finally mine for up to three weeks. While there, I went into a frenzy. So many choices.  I ended up taking four books home total, all for different reasons. Borrowing four books to add to the two I had already out that I hadn’t read yet, wasn’t my sanest moment. I’m a slow reader compared to the avid badass I-read-several-books-a-month-under-24-hours reader. Still, it’s a challenge.

Behold my bevy of bounty:

Personal Photo
Here are my choices (and possible future reviews):

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray: I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while. It has a gorgeous cover and sounds interesting. I got this a week ago but it’s an honor book so no rush! Nutshell: Girl from the Victorian age gets sent to bordering school. Girl has supernatural powers. Stuff happens.

The Moment by Douglas Kennedy: This is a book I knew nothing about until I pulled it from the New Books section. I got this a week ago and it’s a thick one so it’s next on the reading list. Nutshell: Guy is getting divorced and is down. He gets a parcel from an old German love. I might learn something about the Berlin Wall.

The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran: You had me at bigamy. One of the ones I got on the library trip that shall be now referred to as “The Incident.” Nutshell: Guy is married and has children. Guy thinks wife and kids die. Guy falls in love and marries again. However, his first wife is not dead.  Bigamy.

31 Dates in 31 Days by Tamara Duricka Johnson: I love me a good dating book although I’m in a committed long-term relationship. I got this because I couldn’t pass up the chance to read about dating. I got this during “The Incident.” Nutshell: Woman is picky and desperate, similar to other single women in their thirties. She decides to go on a dating experiment, going on thirty-one first dates in a row. What will happen?

Bossypants by Tina Fey: Got this during “The Incident.” Expect review soon.

Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz: This was my wildcard pick. It’s YA, so there’s a good chance it’s bad. However, seeing a YA novel try to discuss the complexities of being a gay teenager, well, I was curious. Nutshell: Girl’s boyfriend is rumored to have cheated on her with another guy. Now, she thinks another girl is cute. Or does she?

There you go folks. What books did you get recently?