I read an embarrassingly number of books, for someone who works outside the home, has two daughters, a husband, and a very active life on Instagram, Still I find time to ignore everything and read, because that is exactly what happens. I ignore everything else in life and spend my days and nights reading. Laundry, dishes, dinners not found in a box or a freezer? All ignored as I get through my next tome. It's nothing new. The Hubbs is always saying, "What are you reading now". Because I usually have my nose in a book or in front of a screen. Sadly this doesn't include the time I take to read the six magazines I receive monthly. It's no wonder if you showed up at my house I'd make up a lie on why you couldn't come in... Reading is an addiction... and I'm ok with that.
Here is a brief review of what I read over the summer. I have to say, I already have a few to share with you for the month of September. Scary, right? Please leave me a comment if you have read any of these. I'd love to know what you thought.
The Wife, By Meg Wolitzer; The Interestings, By Meg Wolitzer.
I read two books by Wolitzer over the summer. I did this because The Interestings didn't wow me like I had expected. When it was released about a year ago, every magazine was going wild for it. It was a masterpiece, it was such a saga, so I was excited to find it at Target. I dove right in, and I have to say, I wasn't that crazy about it. It starts out in the 1970s and that I liked. It is fictional but there are parallels to the events of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. I liked that the story centered on a group of friends and what happens when friends grow up. Unfortunately, the only character I found likable was in the book for about one hundred pages. The rest of the characters weren't very likable, and I have to say that I really forced myself to finish the last half of the book. When I did finish, I was disappointed. Like I said it didn't wow me.
I gave Wolitzer a second chance with The Wife. The story got me from the beginning, and I was completely interested. That was until I figured out the plot twist by chapter three. The Wife was well written and the main character was very likable. But it's hard to read a book where you already know whats going to happen eventually.
If I had to choose, I'd say read The Wife first. Then if you really want a challenge or a sweeping saga over three decades, read The Interestings. Just know that the story never really has a happy ending, or happy people for that matter. I guess that's life, but sometimes I just want my books to end with a warm fuzzy feeling.
Looking for Alaska, John Green.
I am a huge fan of A Fault in Our Stars. I re-read the book all the time. This time Costco forced my hand with a copy of Looking for Alaska for under six bucks. I really liked this book, but I didn't fall in love with it like I did with Stars. The main character is my kind of people, the boarding school he attends is like a meeting of the minds and the misfits. The story was well written and sad, as I'm sure is an MO for John Green. It's a great book to get you all nostalgic for high school and first loves and tragic endings. Not as good as Stars, but I'm looking forward to reading all of John Green's work.
Family Pictures, Jane Green.
I'm a huge Jane Green fan. If you haven't read Jane Green, please go out and start with Jemima J., Babyville, or Swapping Lives. All are delicious and you will devour them in a day. Promise. The same is true for Family Pictures. It's the story of two families that have one thing in common, but they have no idea that they do. It's part mystery, part study in family, lies, and relationships. It was a quick read for me and I enjoyed every minute of it. I love that Green's characters usually go through some sort of metamorphosis, and in the end make you love them more than you thought you would. My mom read this one first, then passed it to me, and now it's at my neighbors. A great selection for a book club.
The Matchmaker, Elin Hilderbrand
Let me start by saying that I spent last summer reading every book Elin Hilderbrand wrote. I wasn't sorry. Between my mom's Kindle and the used bookstore, I was a happy camper. I love Hilderbrand's tales of Nantucket, so much so that I want to spend one week of summer there one day. Just so I can tour all the spots and restaurants and beaches she writes about. That said, The Matchmaker wasn't my favorite. I'm not saying it wasn't good, or beautifully written, it just wasn't my favorite. The main character is ill, her first love comes back, her daughter is on the cusp of getting married. All recipes for disaster. It didn't have a terrible ending, and it wasn't a tear jerker from start to finish, it's just that I didn't love it as much as her others. If you want to dive in and read Hilderbrand for yourself, start with Summer People, Silver Girl, or The Island. Those three are my favorites. They will transport you to Nantucket in a way that you can almost feel the surf on your face.
Like how I didn't give anything away? No spoilers here, you have to read those on your own. What have you read lately? Have any recommendations for me? Leave them in the comments, I'd love to hear them!