I’ve been on a reading binge lately — I can’t get enough of it. Reading has been one of the great joys of my life, and when I’m not into a book, I feel a little lost. I like to read a blend of books from different genres and time periods, and I thought I’d share what I read last month with you. Some are winners, some are losers, some are in between. Here’s what I read last month, and what I thought about it all. I’d love to hear what you’re reading in the comments, and whether you’re liking it.
The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
I have been hearing a LOT of buzz about this book and was very excited to get my hands on it when I spotted it at our local used bookstore. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan — I found the plot, about four adult siblings and the effect an expected inheritance has on their lives and relationships, to be dull and predictable and I kept waiting for something unexpected to happen, but that something never came. The Nest isn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Tell the Wolves I’m Home, Carol Rifka Brunt
Skillful writing and a well-drawn cast of characters elevates this coming-of-age novel about a teenage girl coming to terms with her uncle’s AIDS diagnosis in the late 1980s, when panic over the virus was at its height. Brunt really captures the feeling of that time and manages to immerse the reader in 14-year-old June’s life and emotions . It’s not a perfect book — Some loose ends at the novel’s close bothered me — but it’s definitely worth a read, both for adults and for older teens.
American Housewife, Helen Ellis
I’ve seen this book of short stories prominently displayed in bookstores for months, so I was excited to finally read it — While it’s an easy read and mildly entertaining, it wasn’t anywhere near as good as I’d hoped it would be. In American Housewife, you’ll find darkly humorous tales about stereotypical housewives, but too often, I found that the joke was rooted in the author’s idea of a housewife’s lifestyle rather than the reality, and her ideas seemed to come from too much time spent on Pinterest. I read this book a few weeks ago and already can’t remember most of the stories described in the synopsis, if that tells you anything! In other words, American Housewife is forgettable.
Wild Montana Sky, Debra Holland
I haven’t read a romance novel since I was a teenager, which is exactly why I decided to read Wild Montana Sky, a historical romance about a wealthy young woman from Gilded Age Boston, who comes to Montana to seek out a new life for herself and perhaps find the man of her dreams. Reading Wild Montana Sky is like watching a Hallmark movie — It’s simple, heartwarming and engaging, and while at times I was a little overwhelmed by the schmaltz and predictability, overall it was a delightful mindless read that fans of the genre will find enjoyable.
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy Schumer
If you’re an Amy Schumer fan, you’ll definitely want to read this book. If not, you should probably skip it. I loved Amy Schumer’s HBO special and hoped this book would be equally hilarious– Instead, I thought Amy came off as strangely unlikeable, particularly when she was bragging about her generosity or her celebrity status. The book certainly has moments of hilarity and it was interesting learning about her childhood and experience trying to make it as a comedian, but overall, I wasn’t impressed. Read Bossypants instead.
The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield
If you liked Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, you will LOVE this book. I couldn’t put it down. A young bookseller in England is forced to confront her past after she’s hired to pen the biography of a mysterious British bestelling author, whose own history is a gothic horror wonderland. Crumbling manors, untimely demises, insanity, and ghosts combine to make for one scary and satisfying read. The Thirteenth Tale is not utter perfection, but it certainly comes close.
Cheaper by the Dozen, Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr.
This classic memoir about the boisterous father in a family of 12 kids is utterly delightful, and gives the reader a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of a (mostly) average American family in the 1920s. You’ll laugh, marvel at the accomplishments of the Gilbreth parents, feel like the Gilbreth could be your next door neighbors, and then, (WARNING if you’re finishing this book in a public place like I did), cry your eyes out at the very end. I’m just about to start the sequel, Belles on Their Toes.
What are you reading right now? Please share!