September 2, 2016

What I've Been Reading... August, 2016

Since becoming a city dweller who depends on public transportation, I've discovered how awesome it is to listen to audio books while on the bus or when walking to/from my stop. You can easily tune out the crazies, and I feel like it is more productive than just listening to music. 

Here is a confession: I'm only 2 books ahead of schedule on my Goodreads reading goal, and I'm starting to sweat. Is that Type A of me or what? If you aren't already, follow me on Goodreads! I always like to see what people read and like/dislike.

My photo down there isn't exactly accurate, because I haven't finished reading Harry Potter, but I did finish reading The Interesings. #bloggerbrainfart

Today I'm linking up with Puppies and Pretties for the Reading Lately Link-Up.

After You by Jojo Moyes ★★★
Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started. Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future... For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.
Not as sad as Me Before You. And pretty different overall. I felt a little bit like Lou was a totally different character. I know that overall it was chalked up to grief, but why would she just stop being her quirky self? And she talks as if she and Will had an instant connection when she was working there... but I didn't feel that way.

I do love the continuation of the story though. It was nice to see how the characters ended up.

Honolulu by Alan Brennert ★★★
Instead of the affluent young husband and chance at an education that she has been promised, she is quickly married off to a poor, embittered laborer who takes his frustrations out on his new wife. Renaming herself Jin, she makes her own way in this strange land, finding both opportunity and prejudice. With the help of three of her fellow picture brides, Jin prospers along with her adopted city, now growing from a small territorial capital into the great multicultural city it is today. But paradise has its dark side, whether it’s the daily struggle for survival in Honolulu’s tenements, or a crime that will become the most infamous in the islands’ history... With its passionate knowledge of people and places in Hawai'i far off the tourist track, Honolulu is most of all the spellbinding tale of four women in a new world, united by dreams, disappointment, sacrifices, and friendship.
I really liked this book. It was one that I listened to while I unpacked our closet. Isn't it funny how we have memories that are associated with sights/sounds/smells/actions? The story was not what I expected, but I really liked it. I felt like I learned a lot about Korean culture, as well as Hawaiian history. It was also really neat to hear about places in the book which I had visited in real life.

The theme that life is ever changing was so great to me. As I was going through some major life changes, it was so nice to hear about the different highs and lows that other people experience in their lives.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer ★★★
Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules’s now-married best friends, become shockingly successful—true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken. Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life.
I wanted to like this book so much. It started off alright, and it seemed like something I would be interested in. But to say that it dragged on would be an understatement. It also felt a little uppity. There were times when the characters were facing some real life stuff, but it seemed removed. It is basically an account. There is not really a central drama (except the rape, but that is never really resolved?).


Last week I fed in to the hype and bought Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling from the University Bookstore. It was 20% off so I thought why not. I normally don't have a problem reading plays, but this is just really fragmented. We will see.

This month I also started reading/listening to Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I saw an article about the TV show, and how they have amazingly intricate costumes. I don't have STARS, so I figured the next best thing would be to read the book. Loving it so far, but it is super freaking long.

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