Books

A list of the books that I’ve read thus far in 2017 (and eventually, links to all of the reviews!)

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

2016

Missoula by Jon Krakauer – A fair and honest look at sexual assault in the 90s, and the failure of one college town to address it.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed – Like Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, but not quite as good.

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer – The harrowing but strangely uplifting story of a tragic ascension to the peak of Mt Everest.  

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower – Five short stories and each one is fantastic.

White Teeth by Zadie Smith – A generational tale of different races.  A little long in the tooth, but with spots of brilliance.

Me Before You by Jojo Moses – Yes, it’s a sob fest, but it’s still a delightful read.

Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova – A dependably good book about mental illness, this time focusing on Huntingtons Disease. Unlike her other novels, this one provides more insight into the family, and a little less into the individual suffering.

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson – Cinematic in scope with evocative language that puts you right in the mist-drenched islands of the Puget Sound.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – A thriller with a very human aspect.

All The Light We Cannot See – Two sides of the coin from WWII; a blind girl in the siege of France and a soldier in Germany.  Bittersweet through and though.

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens – Quick and easy read, and surprisingly engaging.  Mystery, romantic comedy, and family drama all wrapped up in one package.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson – Fun for the first 500 pages, but then a slog to finish it out.  3/5.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – Delightful, light-hearted romantic comedy with a unique and interesting narrator. 4.5/5

2015

The Circle by David Eggers – Technology and kind satire.  Dependably good writing from a dependently great author. 3.5/5. 

The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty – Not a romance, but a romantic romp. Heavy chick lit. 3/5. 

Unbroken by Laura Hildebrand – Great story, but pedantic story-telling.  Worth it for the message. 2/5. 

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk — Do not read this before flying cross-country on a plane.  3.5/5.

You Shall Known Our Velocity! by Dave Eggers — Dave Eggers’ prose is as wry as ever, but the plot meanders and there’s little heart to this one.  2/5.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – Starts off as a fun little fantasy romp, but midway through an overly long debut, it meanders into tired romance tropes with an unnecessarily disturbing and off-tone ending.  2/5.

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova – Another fascinating study of the brain. As ever, Genova’s intelligence shines through even when the plot and theme are a bit tired.  3.5/5

Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby – A love song for soccer (football for Hornby) sung with all of Hornby’s regular passion. 4/5.

All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman – A weird pseudo-young adult satire, droll and adorable at times, just bewildering at others. 3/5.

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll – Hailed at the next Gillian Flynn, it’s a good beach read but lacks the depth or sociological significance of Gone Girl. 3/5.

The Children Act by Ian McEwan – More proof of why McEwan will forever be my favorite writer.  Achingly tender and sad by turns.  4/5.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple – A clever, well-written story with a few plotholes but enough heart to cover them. 3.5/5.

Station Elevan by Emily St. John Mandel – So close to being genius with a nice twist on the post-apocalpytic world, though it falls apart a bit in the third act. 3/5.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout – A series of short stories woven together through the strength and weaknesses of the title character – stellar writing. 4.5/5.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline – Cliched and overdone, but a pleasant read with zero surprised. 3/5.

Redeployment by Philip Klay – Fantastic book about the aftermath of war – romanticized at points, but primarily realistic and with multiple angles. 5/5.

Fearless by Eric Blehm – A memoir not about what a man did, but who he was. 4/5.

Thank You For Your Service by David Finkel – Harsh but fantastic.  Possibly the best book about war and its’ impacts that I’ve ever read. 5/5.

I Suck At Relationship So You Don’t Have To by Bethany Frankel – Guilty Pleasure? 2/5.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling.  – A more enjoyable guilty pleasure. 3/5.

 

2014

Kiss & Make Up by Katie D. Anderson – For teenage girls and those who wish they still were teenagers. 4/5. 

Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell – Compelling and horrifying – a dark memoir detailing stirring heroism by Americans and foreigners. 5/5.

Things We Set On Fire by Deborah Reed – A dark look at family, women, and the ties that bind. 3/5.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Too dark for young adult, too light for adult – fascinating narrative structure. 3.5/5

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen –

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Paper Towns by John Green

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

2013

The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Twelve by Justin Cronin

Possession by A.S. Byatt

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano

Under the Dome by Stephen King

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

Midaq Alley by Naguib Mafouz

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

The Green House by Mario Vargas Llosa

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Still Alive by Lisa Genova (First Half) (Second Half)

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding

After the Workshop by John McNally

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (Part One) (Part Two)

Faking It by Elisa Lorello

Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

The Husband’s Secret by Lianne Moriarty

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

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