I have so many books that I want to discuss with you! I’m not going to mention books I outright disliked, out of respect for authors, and also because there’s not much to discuss. “I hated it.” “Okay?”
Books I kissed and then wanted to break up with later
So, I didn’t put this in the outright “hate” spot in my heart (where it lives with spiky artichoke leaves and the very last bit of Harry Potter) because I liked the writing. At first. But I felt…bored. And then annoyed? And then I kind of didn’t get the point. I think I’m asking someone to explain why this won the Pulitzer.
I actually quite liked this book, except that it’s about a pretentious asshat, and that puts a damper on outright loving it. It was really well-written and I felt sorry for every single woman in this book, but I thought the author had a certain specific point she was trying to get at (feminism has a long way to go? men are asshats? not sure), and it was either not clear enough or it was drowned out by asshatness. Still, it was interesting to see women through the lens of this particular male, and then to see the ending.
So, I loved Fitzpatrick’s first novel, and this was not that. At all. It was less idyllic and more truthful and while the romance in here was nice, it was a little too Pretty in Pink for my taste. But it was a good distraction on a plane.
This book broke my heart. Not because it was sad, but because it wasn’t up to the Rowell standards. Her previous three books were amazing, and this felt like a first draft of something. There were too many questions at the end of it. I think I would have liked it better as a first novel, or if it was by basically anyone else who I didn’t idolize. I will still read everything she writes, forever and ever, but it was just not up to my (too high?) expectations.
Same song, second verse. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is perhaps one of the best pieces of YA literature, and this was not one of the best pieces. It was fine, but it was about really rich white people and one slightly less rich non-white person and it was hard to sympathize with them.
I quite liked the audiobook of this. I heard there were complaints because the romantic hero in this novel was so very, very flawed, but as with almost all heroes, he finds his redemption, and I liked the way he worked to it, and it wasn’t a given. I wouldn’t break up with this book, but it just wasn’t a book I absolutely adored. It was sweet and well-written, though.
This book was really uneven, but the good parts were great. Everything where the narrator talks about his dog, Jasper, is so touching, and if you’ve ever loved a non-human, you will relate.
Books I loved and proposed to and am now in a serious, committed relationship with
Perfect? This book is perfect. I listened to the audiobook driving to and from Portland to visit this lady, and then I sat and listened to it more at two in the morning after I came home because it was so good. It’s about the slowing of the earth’s rotation, and how it effects an eleven-year-old girl’s life. It was so sad and haunting and wonderful, and if you need something to clear our your tear ducts, pick this up.
Has everyone already read this? It’s sweet and short and fun and romantic, and the main character, Don Tillman, is so fun.
I admit this is not a book I would normally pick up (it was for work stuff), but it was beautifully written and I think there’s enough mystery in the ending to make a nice discussion with smart ladies and gentlemen.
If I were wearing my librarian hat, I would say something like, “If you like John Green, you’ll love this novel!” Except I loved it more than Green’s novels. I listened to the audiobook on my commute and the actor who narrated did an AWFUL job of girls’ voices, but other than that, it was so fantastic and it made me cry and I loved the ending.
I liked this much more than her other two characters, perhaps because I identified more with Isla, but also, I think, because it relied less on quirk and more on her (very strong) narrative skills. If you’re looking for a sweet YA romance, I highly recommend this.
This is the kind of novel that I think should win Pulitzers and National Book Awards. It is both literary and entertaining, both funny and insightful, and Zevin makes a main character that is not that likeable and yet totally loveable.
Okay, okay, so I read this series to my kids, but it was so cute and fun. Maybe “loved” is too strong a word for me, but the boys loved it.
Okay, again, I read this series to my boys, but it is so hilarious that we’d often by wiping away tears of mirth. Yes, tears of mirth! It happens.
Right now I’m listening to The Poisonwood Bible on audio (kind of confusing with the switched narrations), and reading Lucy Knisley’s graphic/comic biography, Relish. The boys are making their way through Lemony Snicket’s oeuvre, and adoring Series of Unfortunate Events very much.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Questions? Bathrooms are around the corner. (That’s the most popular reference question on any reference desk. That and, “do you have a stapler?”) (Yes, I do.)