Monday, June 9, 2014

Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh

Oh thank you SO MUCH, Kelly!!!!! this was a great read. Seriously. Couldn't put it down. A sweeping story that spans the lives of the Novak family. I loved the writing and how fast paced it was and how real the characters were. OMG. can't wait to read Mrs. Kimble.

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour- Joshua Ferris

This is frustrating. Such a disappointment :( Honestly I got 3/4 of the way through. the character, Paul is f'ng awesome- he's ruminating and thought processes and down on life attitude, the sarcasm. BUT the stupid Uln thing and the blah blah blah religion god jewish stuff just went ON and ON and ON and for me that didn't work. It was like eating a giant steak.... that is RIDDLES WITH FAT AND GRISTLE. if you can be patient and slice away all the squishy slimy shit the meat is delicious. I got impatient. I am hungry and there were about 23 pieces of fried chicken waiting to be devoured waiting to be picked up and savored. i'm bummed though. The character was almost strong enough to pull me through but alas... too many trees and not enough pee (yeah i said it)(

Then and ALways by Dani Atkins

Had I known what a mystery this was I might not have applied for it from Netgalley. But so glad I did. Rachel Wiltshire is 18 and getting ready to go to college. She has a handsome boyfriend and a childhood best friend who is a boy and there's a little triangle going on but then an accident happens. Fast forward 5 years and things are different. Rachel has recovered but she's engaged now. Somethings not right. Her best friend is dead. 5 years ahead again and Rachel has lost the past. It might be amnesia but she remembers things that she shouldn't. And her best friend is alive. Don't want to give too much away but everything was done so well. It was so interesting and I usually don't like mysteries. I was kept turning the page wondering what the hell was going to happen until the end and even then I was a little confused but it was all good. This was a really really good book.

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Short...semi-sweet...a little tiny bit sad... but YUMMY. I love that writers usually throw in the subject of books in their literary pursuits. And for people who adore reading what better material than a bookstore...add to that the work of publishing and book reps etc. This is the story of A.J. Fikry who is a little jerky in the beginning, a little stuck in his ways but opens up quite quickly when he finds a baby in his store left for his caretaking. It's a little humorous shot through with book recommendations and love and overall a very quick delightful read. Maybe I didn't love the ending but not because it was a bad ending like the writer sucks at endings, just a personal opinion. Definitely recommend

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead

I don't like ballet. And if you don't either and also don't mind the technical jargon of ornate steps and the way the body moves as described even if you have no idea what it means it you probably will still like the book. Maggie Shipstead has written a book about the complications of love and relationships with the art of ballet as the background. It jumps from the 80's to the 70's back to the 80's and then back and then to the 90's. It's not confusing and bit by bit we see what happens to our characters as time goes by. Joan is a ballet dancer and her roommate Elaine is too. They are dancing in company where a famous Russian dude Arslan Rusakov is the star. He has defected from Russia and who helps him escape is Joan. She is in love with him but he moves from dancer to dancer muse to muse. So she goes to her childhood friend Jacob who is in love with her and starts a life with him. She gets pregnant and has a family teaching ballet and the son, Harry grows up into dancing as well. We see Harry and his childhood friend and fellow ballet dancer Chloe bounce back and forth and learn some other family secrets. It's an engaging book but admittedly I set it aside for others in the middle so I can't say I was glued to it or anything. This books asked me to see why we fall in love or think we do. Is it out of proximity, just because you're around the person a lot that we fall in love or is it just beauty or for something the other person does that you fall in love with him or her? is it their fame? I think Joan was mixed up. She was in love with Arslan and he was with her but they chose other lives..or maybe were called to live differently. It also points out how your choices effect other people. I enjoyed Seating Arrangements more but am glad I read this. Definitely have a little more appreciation for the dance and maybe will finally watch the Nutcracker (the ballet shows up a few times during the book)

Love and Other Foreign Words- by Erin McCahan.

Definitely loved this book. Josie is super smart but she's not smug about it, not too smug anyway. She sees things differently- she has nailed it when saying how when people talk to each other they are speaking a different language. Like the way you talk to you parents is different than when you are talking to your best friend or a teacher or someone you just met. I feel that way all the time.. and i share the same realization that sometimes you forget who you are or think maybe you don't even know. She doesn't understand love and thinks she loves her teacher. She also has two best friends who she grew up with across the street a brother and sister, people who know her better than anyone. She has two older sisters and one is getting married, the one she's closest to and she hates the fiance who is very similar to the way she is; quirky and smart and having to have things his way. We follow Josie over the course of about 8 months and fall in love with her voice as she finds out what love really is

The Stuff That Never Happened- Maddie Dawson

This book is fantastic!! if you liked The opposite of maybe then this one is even better. It's a drama (made for tv) type of book but if you're up for a beach read/vacation book this is for you. Relationships, drama, family, marriage, pasts that creep into the present, babies etc. GO read it!!