Happy Thanksgiving, American friends! I hope you have a wonderful holiday – however that may look for you and your family.
What a crazy year this has been!
Onto the books I read last week…
Last Week’s Reads:
*** The All-Night Sun by Diane Zinna
Lauren Cress is a charismatic professor that is liked well enough by her students. But she also harbors a lot of grief and depression as both of her parents were killed in a car accident, leaving her alone in the world. She quickly becomes close to one of her students, Siri, and they have an all-consuming (perhaps inappropriate) relationship. When she travels to Siri’s home in Sweden, Lauren quickly becomes entangled with Siri’s and her friends’ lives.
With themes of female friendship, grief, and loneliness, I was instantly sucked into this debut novel by Diane Zinna. She is a powerful storyteller that nailed the angst and mystery that keeps a reader interested. Admittedly, this book will be too slow-paced for some readers, but I personally found the writing and experience to be captivating and mesmerizing. Reminiscent of Marlena, Zinna flawlessly nails the unsettling and mysterious undertone and I was compelled to find out what happened as fast as possible.
Also, that cover? 😍 Even better in person! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
*** The Companion by Katie Alender
I’ve read a lot of creepy books this year (more than I ever have!), and this one fits right at the top with the creep factor. Margot loses her parents and sister in a tragic car accident and becomes an orphan. But one day, a rich family decides to take her in so she can be a companion to their sick daughter. They live in an enormous house and Margot reluctantly takes on her role. It becomes obvious quite quickly that something more is going on, and Margot has to figure out what it is.
This is definitely a creepy nook that held my attention, but I also felt like nothing much happened for much of the book. I was too invested to give up, but I wish the pace would have been a bit faster. I could see many of the twists long before they were revealed, but it was still enjoyable enough. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
A Promised Land by Barack Obama
Having just gone through an election, I have been totally fascinated with the first third of this book which covers Obama’s own election to the presidency. While I understand there’s a lot of strategy behind-the-scenes, I am downright shocked (though not surprised) at how intriciate every single decision is. It also seems that politician’s minds are intricately designed to remember every single slight that ever takes place.
Part of the reason this book is taking so long for me to get through is because I’m doing reading and listening to the audiobook. I started out just reading, but listening to Obama tell his own story adds a certain quality to my experience. I didn’t listen to Michelle Obama’s and I regret it. (I may still do it as a re-read though!) I also wanted the book for my shelves and to underline his amazing way with words. If you don’t care about that, I think listening to this one would be wonderful!!
DNF (aka: Not For Me and/or Skipping For Now):
*** Fairest: A Memoir by Meredith Talusan
Talusan is extremely direct in her coming-of-age memoir about being born in the Phillipines as an albino male. Never comfortable with her biological gender, Talusan also dreamed of immigrating to America some day. Talusan is an incredibly gifted writer and I was really hoping this would be a story I couldn’t put down.
But while this one started out strong, I felt like a lot of it was repetitive and it felt like I was heading into a reading slump. I downloaded the audiobook to see if that would help salvage this one for me, but it didn’t. Unfortunately, I DNF’d around 50%.
*** A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost
Jost’s book made the final round of the Goodreads Choice Awards, so I’m afraid this is more a me problem than it is a book/author problem. I’m a huge fan of Jost on SNL, but for some reason, I could not connect with his book. I hardly ever find comedian’s books funny…and there were few things in this one that even made me smirk. I did love the chapter about his mom and September 11…enough that I may try this one again in the future in hopes of finding the more of the same substance that that chapter had.