Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What I've Been Reading Wednesday - Quick Book Notes x 5

Turns out I've read enough in the past couple weeks to just throw together a post full of quick reviews!

Someone by Alice McDermott
A stunning short novel that follows an ordinary woman over the course of her life. It is beautifully written, with a simple plot that I'm sure any reader will recognize as honest, truthful, and profound. McDermott's writing is so precise and piercing without feeling stark. But I believe that this book read from a Catholic perspective makes it a work of art. Highly recommended! 

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith 

I've read The Nester's blog for years now and it's always been a wonderful place of inspiration and encouragement to find simple beauty in your home. There is a big difference between making a house perfect, which is what most shelter mags are selling, and making a home beautiful. It's an important part of life to recognize the beauty around us, and to have beauty around us. But more and more I think that cultivating a simple, but beautiful home pays dividends in our lives even if we don't recognize it, and even for our kids. The book is beautiful, well written, and well presented which I think is a feat for a blog-turned-book!

In the Woods by Tana French

A well written novel that could have been one of the best contemporary mystery novels I've read in recent years, if only for more-than-a-few unfortunate sections of story. The central character, Rob Ryan, becomes weaker as the story goes on which is always disappointing. And while not all of the investigative aspects of the crime are realistic, it worked well for the most part.

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

I read this again for the 4th or 5th time for Haley's book club, (which is meeting on Facebook next week - so finish up and join us for good book talk!) which was a great reason to read it again because it had been a year or two. Every time I read this book I find new things to love, new things that speak to me, and new depth to the characters and story. It's a pretty incredible book, maybe not perfect, but so worth reading every so often.

Delicious! by Ruth Reichl

This one was so disappointing. I love Ruth Reichl so, so much - her books are not just books about food but books about people and she has such a great ability to capture people. Unfortunately, where this book fails is in every aspect which makes it fiction. The characters, the plot, the intermingling story lines, the need for editing, all make it a disappointing and boring read. In quite a few instances I audibly groaned at the pat plot twists I could see coming from miles away, or at how characters were left to wallow in the shallows. It's not a terrible book because Reichl can't hide her talent, but disappointing when compared to her culinary non-fiction classics.

And since I've fit in some serious reading of serious literature in the last few weeks I'm officially swearing to only read frivolous chick-lit for the remainder of the summer, but probably just for July because chick-lit will start driving me crazy. We'll see. Got any good ones you'd recommend? Have you read any of these titles and wanna fight me on them?

Linking to Jessica even if she's not having a book linkup today because she just had a beautiful baby and you should head over to congratulate her! And Heather-wha?!-for Five Faves!

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  1. I love how honest your book reviews are :) Now I actually know what's worth reading!

  2. I heard similar things about the latest Ruth Reichl. Did you see I read a grown up book? You and Jen Fulweiler and The Nesting Place, I'll have to check it out.


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