Reading Lately: November 2018
While November was a wonderful month for me personally, it wasn't great in terms of literature. I had a lot of of stops-and-starts this month, with books I'd put on hold with every intention to read and then found I didn't want to pick up or finish. Florida by Lauren Groff, an author I know I don't enjoy yet insist on giving a new chance every few months. All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin, which sounded interesting but just felt like too much after hearing so much about the election. The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa, which just wasn't my cup of tea. A lot of half-read and unopened novels on the shelf this month.
But! It was a fantastic month besides. I helped run a tech conference early in the month, and got to spend time with wonderful people whom I don't see enough of. Thanksgiving was perfect; my parents joined Eli's family for the big meal, and it was the best weekend of relaxation, food, good company, laughter, and joy that I can remember having in a while. And through it all, here's what I was reading:
I feel like I should have liked this book more than I did. There's nothing about it I didn't like - I enjoyed the main characters, felt like they developed and changed in interesting ways, and the information reveals throughout kept me reading. It just fell a little flat, for whatever reason, and was more sad than I was anticipating (in a good way!). Shrug. I hope they make it into a movie, because it's set in the South of France and I think would be visually stunning and emotional in real life rather than a novel.
Balli Kaur Jaswal
I loved this book! I found each character's story so compelling, of course loved the strong cultural and feminist tones, and thought the mystery kept things interesting and timely. This was very nearly a perfect Lucy book.
This one might not be for everyone, but I've recently taken an interest in wordplay and enjoyed the wit and humor in this book. It is, of course, full of puns and approaches the subject of wordplay and language development with curiosity and whimsy. But it also details a (euro-centric) history of how wordplay was culturally perceived, and important moments and characters in the development of the pun. A great gift for the english major in your life.
Besides 'little one' being THE WORST pet name in the history of romance novels, this is a pretty good romantic read. It's not a hate-to-love trope, which already puts it in like the top 10% of romance novels. And on top of that there are interesting and very realistic conflicts around relationships amid fame, and romance with your brothers friend. This was a layered read that was really more a great rom-com with steamy sex scenes. As long as you can get past 'little one', which I would understand if you couldn't.
Another book I thought I would like more than I did. Diverse characters, a strong, sassy, independent female lead with an equally strong-willed and compassionate male lead. The conflicts were totally believable, the story was cute and compelling. All the elements are there! I'm not sure why I wasn't head-over-heels for this modern romance, but for whatever reason it was just ok for me.