In case you missed them, here are some links to my recent posts:
- Top 5 Books I Didn’t Get to in 2019
- Last week’s edition of My Week in Books (12/4/19)
- Top 5 Surprising Reads of 2019
Also, don’t forget about my Gift Giving Guide for the Bookworms in your life!!
What have you been reading (and loving) this week?
Last Week’s Reads:
The Starless Sea by: Erin Morgenstern (Doubleday) – Pub Date: November 5, 2019
This book took me F O R E V E R to get through, especially the last 100-150 pages! The first 300 pages were interesting and held my attention (though it required A LOT of effort on my part to keep the various storylines straight. The book was a solid 4 star read for me up until I hit the wall around 350 pages. It pains me to say, but I feel like I’m being generous even giving this 3 ½ stars at this point.
There are enough similarities to The Night Circus to allow me to recognize that this is the same author. Morgenstern is masterful at creating atmospheric reads, and for that reason alone this book sustained my attention. I get so fully immersed in these worlds Morgenstern creates and there’s a part of me that wishes these places were a reality. I also loved Morgenstern’s ode to lit lovers – the references to books and authors and reading were absolutely wonderful. But the interwoven stories and characters proved to be a lot to remember and eventually the payoff for that effort started to dwindle.
Ultimately, this book won’t be for everyone. It just demands too much from the reader and I fear it’ll be very polarizing – you’ll either love it or hate it. Maybe with some tighter editing it would be a bit more successful, but I’m so sad to say that this was more a miss than a hit for me. If you’re curious about Morgenstern and her creative genius, choose The Night Circus (my review here) over this one!
Opioid, Indiana by: Brian Allen Carr (SoHo Press) – Pub Date: September 17, 2019
I picked this one up strictly on the looks of the cover…so let’s just say I didn’t get what I was expecting. Honestly, I thought it was going to read like Dopesick by Beth Macy. Umm…😂😂😂. Not even close!
It’s a YA book about a seventeen-year-old who lives with his drug-addicted uncle in the Midwest. It’s goes deeper than just looking at the drug epidemic of present day, and quite honestly, it’s a little depressing. It explores many issues – Trump, school shootings, texting, and drugs – but it’s really a coming-of-age story for the main character, Riggle. His voice is authentic and, had it not been for him, I would have DNF’d this one. There’s a side ‘fable’ of how the days of the week got their name and I hated that part…I’m sure there’s some underlying, metaphorical reason for including it, but I did not enjoy it. Overall, I think this one missed its mark for me…but I could see (older) teenage boys enjoying it.
Yesterday, I posted about The Top 5 Books I Didn’t Get to in 2019, and this book was on the list. Maybe just pulling it off my shelf was all the motivation I needed because I started it yesterday!I’m twenty pages in…and hooked!
*** Africaville by: Jeffrey Colvin (Amistad) – Pub Date: December 10, 2019
I had to step away for a minute. Unfortunately this one calls for a review, so I’ll have to come back to it, but I would definitely DNF it if I were reading for pleasure. Because it’s multi-generational and the timelines jump around A LOT without any real explanation, it’s pretty confusing to keep the story straight or to forge any connection to the story. I’m hoping it comes together in a more cohesive way soon! 🤞🏼
Still making my way through this one. I like it, but I’m just not listening to audiobooks a lot right now. They’re requiring more focus than I’m able to give. I may try to check this one out of the library instead…