Monday, July 27, 2020

Monday Mini-Reviews

It's been a while since I've actually written a review on some books I've read. My summer reading has been slower than most, yet when I look back and see what I've read, I really have enjoyed some fantastic books.

Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan- I loved his Crazy Rich Asians trilogy and this one does not disappoint.  It is full of over the top extravagance just as Kwan's previous books which I love, as well as his humorous footnotes.  Lucie Churchill attends a friend's wedding where she meets George Zao, and instantly dislikes him. Yet, despite her loathing of George, she finds herself drawn to him... maybe a little predictable but a totally entertaining read.

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner- I worried that I wouldn't enjoy this one because I am not really a reader of Austen's work, yet I really liked this one a lot. I loved the English countryside setting, the charming characters and the way their lives and stories all intersected as they worked to create the Jane Austen Society and preserve this writer's work and legend.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman has been on my shelf for a few years now. In my mind I had it compared to A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, but honestly, there not that much alike at all.  Eleanor is a unique character - some of these qualities are from some childhood trauma she endured while I questioned if she had also been diagnosed on the autism spectrum as well.  I loved this book, which was a touching story with more depth than I had anticipated.

The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin - Giffin has been a go-to author for me since her first book Something Borrowed.  To me, this was not one of her better stories.  The characters weren't likable and by the book's end I still didn't understand why the two main characters were together. I know I'll anxiously await Giffin's next book, but this was a bit of a flop for me.

Sea Wife by Amity Gage- a family decides to take a year's voyage, buying a boat and heading out to sea.  We find out what happened through journal entries from the husband and the wife's narrative.  We also know immediately that the husband does not return from the trip, but it is through the narrative and journal entries that bits and pieces are revealed, finally providing an account of what occurred during this trip.  I loved this one which was engaging and interesting  - and definitely does not give me the desire to set sail.

Don't Turn Around by Jessica Barry  - I loved Barry's first novel, Freefall.  This is a solid sophomore novel of suspense centering around two women, strangers to each other, making an all-night roadtrip while encountering some rather ominous and frightening obstacles along the way.  There is an element of creepiness to this story that I enjoyed, although the actual reason for the trip didn't seem nearly as fraught with peril as it is made to seem.  I turned the pages in this book quickly and wanted to know what the resolution was.

It's been a summer full of good reads.  I've still got three or four weeks of freedom left and I'm planning on finding some time to get some more reading done before we all head back to school (I'm crossing my fingers on that one.....and have lots of reservations about things, yet want to get back and see my students and reclaim some normalcy).


Ti said...

You've been doing well with your reading. I stalled a little over the weekend. Just wasn't feeling it. I hope to makeup or that lapse today.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I loved Eleanor O and The Sea Wife. I like these mini reviews.

Mystica said...

These are lovely books that you've read.

Kay said...

I've already read the Eleanor Oliphant book or rather listened to it. Will reread in a couple of months as I'm leading a book group discussion of it in November. I also have The Sea Wife and think I'll try to get to that one before long as well as the Jane Austen book. Enjoy the rest of your summer reading and here's hoping that things will go very well when school begins again for you guys (whatever it looks like).