i read and i know things.

2 Jan

Okay, that title is kind of a misnomer. I definitely read things–though this past reading year I read fewer (32 books) things than in years past–but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that means I actually know things. I know nothing, really. If I have concluded anything in life, it is that I know nothing.

I made a goal in 2019 to “actually finish any interesting book club books” and seeing as how I’m not in two–yes, two–book clubs, this meant that quite a few of the books on this Reading Year’s list stemmed from these groups. And there were some real gems: The Great Believers blew me away; Where the Crawdads Sing was read for both clubs, funnily enough; Stillhouse Lake was great, but there is no chance in hell I am going to read the rest of the series (because really I don’t need to be reading about serial killers, though the other gals in the book club really enjoyed the other books that followed it, so feel free to take their recommendation if you’re into it).

I will say there are a few book club books that I wasn’t able to finish–not that they weren’t good, or interesting, though perhaps they weren’t AS interesting as I thought they were going to be, or wanted them to be, if they didn’t capture my attention enough to keep reading them? I feel like there’s something psychological here I should poke at and evaluate, but yet not, because listen, there are so many books, and so little time, which is just the truest adage I’ve ever found in life. Maybe I’ll get around to finishing them this Reading Year. Or maybe I won’t. Hard to say, really. You just never know what a Reading Year will bring.

Year Thirteen of Books

Books completed between November 10, 2018 and November 9, 2019

Lucky Thirteen!

 

  • Transcription–Kate Atkinson* (Book club read) (There’s a bit at the end that is revealed that I was like, wait, what? But it didn’t detract from how much I enjoyed reading this book in the least.) 
  • The Royal Runaway–Lindsay Emory (Hmm…I guess I liked it? Kind of?  If there were a sequel I’d probably read it.) 
  • Christmas on the Island–Jenny Colgan* (ebook) 
  • Those Other Women–Nicola Moriarty* (ebook) 
  • Heartburn–Nora Ephron* (ebook) (What a strange, delightful book.) 
  • You Will Know Me–Megan Abbott (Book club read) (Terrible ending.) 
  • The Heirs–Susan Rieger* (ebook) (Book club read
  • Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows–Balli Kaur Jaswal* (ebook) 
  • The Identicals–Elin Hildebrand* 
  •  Fast Friends–Jill Mansell* (Not my favorite of Mansell’s books–this one packs a LOT into multiple years of the plot–but still an enjoyable read.) (ebook) 
  • Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop–Jenny Colgan* (ebook)
  • Nine Perfect Strangers–Liane Moriarty* (Book club read
  • Exit West–Mohsin Hamid* (Book club read) (I’m giving this a recommended asterisk, but I’m honestly not sure if I recommend this book or not. I think I need to think on it a bit.) (Edited to add: Yes, I definitely recommend this one.) 
  • The Great Believers–Rebecca Makkai* (Book club read) (This may make my top 10 books of all time list. The writing is beautiful, the story–particularly the one set in 1985–is gripping [the one set in 2015, eh, it’s fine, but not as grabbing as the 1985], and it’s a look into a time and a culture that I’d never truly considered before. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me heartbroken for all the lives lost too soon and too fast.) 
  • The Boy is Back–Meg Cabot* (A super-fast, cute read, though if you don’t like stories told entirely through emails, fictitious newspaper articles, texts, etc, this one is not for you.) 
  • Daisy Jones & The Six–Taylor Jenkins Reid* (It’s like a rocumentary, in book form! So fun.) 
  • The High Tide Club–Mary Kay Andrews (Not my favorite of her books, but a good beach read nonetheless.) 
  • The Wife–Alafair Burke* (Book club read) (It seemed a little slow, but picked up toward the end. But then again, I don’t read many thrillers, so maybe this is just normal pacing and building of the story?) 
  • Little Beach Street Bakery–Jenny Colgan* (ebook) It really says something about a book that even though you’ve read its two follow ups, so you totally know what happens, yet you still never want it to end anyway.) 
  • Where the Crawdads Sing–Delia Owens* (Book club read)
  • Save Me the Plums–Ruth Reichl* (A short, but entertaining read, and you get an inside look at her time as editor of Gourmet.)
  • The Kiss Quotient–Helen Hoang* (Wowee, she is not messing around with the sex in this one! Not for the prudish heart!) 
  • Rich People Problems–Kevin Kwan* (A fitting end to the trilogy!) 
  • Fame Adjacent–Sarah Skilton* 
  • The Bride Test–Helen Hoang* (Book club read) (A good follow up to her first book.) 
  • Everything’s Relative–Jenna McCarthy 
  • The Bookshop on the Shore–Jenny Colgan* (The ending of this one seemed to wrap up a little too fast, and it was a little confusing–she shouldn’t stay in the house with her son and the troubled 9 year old who almost killed him? But she does anyway, because the girl gets psychiatric help? Also, did she start her own bookmobile? I feel like I may have missed something–but all in all it’s another Jenny Colgan novel that I couldn’t put down. Le sigh of happiness, and wishing I could live in the Scottish Highlands.) 
  • Stillhouse Lake–Rachel Caine* (Book club read)
  • Ellie and the Harp Maker–Hazel Prior* 
  • Love and Death Among the Cheetahs–Rhys Bowen* 
  • Ask Again, Yes–Mary Beth Keane* (Book club read)
  • The Lager Queen of Minnesota–J. Ryan Stradal* (Book club read)

 

*Recommended 

You’ll see this year that I denoted which books I read that were ebooks. I was just keeping track of this out of curiosity’s sake. I feel like this year there were a disproportionately low number of ebooks, but that’s entirely me guessing, seeing as how I’ve never kept track until this year.

One Response to “i read and i know things.”

  1. Solitary Diner January 2, 2020 at 9:19 AM #

    Oooh….I definitely need to read The Great Believers. Just requested it from my library!

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