Thursday, November 14, 2019

Reading Recap: October Edition

I thought October would be the month that I only read one book.  I started like 50, but couldn't seem to actually finish any.  But then I got focused and determined and October turned out to be a pretty good month for reading.  I even spent time reading on Halloween thanks to crappy weather and only 20 minutes of trick-or-treating.  

Here's what I read:

Ask Again, Yes has been everywhere.  And I get it.  It's a well-written novel about two families.  It has nuanced themes like young love, duty, and mental health.  But for me, I didn't love it.  I only kind of liked it.  When I give a book four or five stars it's usually because I highlighted it to death.  I like it when a book has beautiful writing or insightful writing.  This book was good technically, but I felt like there weren't any parts where I stopped to say, "Wow."  I'm glad I checked it off my list for fomo reasons and also because it was a Book of the Month pick sitting on my shelf, but it's not a book I will come back to.

This was another book that I didn't love.  I listened to it on audio and maybe that was a mistake.  Snark is good but this was so over the top that I kept rolling my eyes.  No one I know talks or acts like Jen, the protagonist.  Her emails to the class were pretty funny but not enough to save this book.  When I read the description I was like, "Oooh, Bridget Jones for moms."  But that was not what this was.  Maybe if you can suspend disbelief and not be annoyed by a *highly* dramatized version of what being a class mom means you would enjoy Class Mom.  An aside: I have four kids in school and never have I ever attended a party thrown for all the parents of the class without the kids also being present--among social circles, yes, but not THE WHOLE CLASS.

My fifth-grade daughter is doing Battle of the Books through our local library.  I am coaching her team and this is one of the books we are reading.  Be warned, this will be a common theme in upcoming reading recaps.  Reading while writing questions to quiz your team with is a drag, but the story and illustrations in this book totally made up for it.  I immediately bought the next one and preordered the third.  If you have a middle-grade reader, Moxie McCoy and her brother Milton are so fun.  I got serious Ramona Quimby/Ruby Redfort vibes and those are two of my favorite middle-grade heroines so I call that winning.  The Real McCoys is not didactic, but you come away with a very warm feeling towards family and the world. 

Another meh book for me this month.  What is up with that?!?!?  The story jumped around a lot and the romance was more than a little cringey (the protagonist and his girlfriend love shagging beneath a picture of her grandmother, they spoke to each other like no couple I've ever heard). I didn't feel invested in any of the characters.  The best part of the book was learning about how books are passed down through the years and getting a little peek into the rare books world.  However, there were a couple of long passages about bookbinding that were too much.  The level of detail made my eyes start to water a little.  But, for years I've thought about reading this book so I'm glad to have done it and know: it's not my cup of tea. 

THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD!  I listened to it so basically Michelle Obama is my new BFF.  I loved hearing about her family, the way she grew up, and her take on motherhood and working.  She talks about living in the White House and all that entails when you're also trying to raise a family.  Becoming gives an insider's view of what it's like to be watched by the world when you really didn't want that life.  Michelle was real and raw and funny.  Regardless of your political views, this book is a delight from start to finish.  

So that's what I read in October.  What did you read?  What's on your radar for this month?

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