Audiobook Review: Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

3_DiscoBalls

3 disco balls

Published: June 5, 2018 by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing
Narrator: Phoebe Strole (whom I just discovered was Penny on Glee)
Length: 8 hours, 46 minutes
Category: Young Adult, Supernatural, Mystery, Thriller

Plot:  2.5 disco balls
Narrator:  4 disco balls

I recently downloaded Penguin Random House’s Volumes app on my iPhone and registered as an audiobook reviewer. I like to listen to at least 1 – 2 audiobooks a month during my short drive to the Path train, and especially while doing laundry. I hate folding laundry but audiobooks somehow make it more doable. But I digress.

My first audiobook through this program was Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl, which my friend recently read and recommended. I am not sure if I would have had a different experience with the story had I chose to read it versus listen to it; there was too much going on. I found myself losing interest and it was almost a DNF had I not wanted to figure out what the heck was going on.

I will preface my review with: I typically do not read supernatural and found myself feeling the story was a bit farfetched, but still with a rather interesting concept so I was intrigued. I know I need to make up my mind.Read More »

Saturday Spotlight: She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

Introducing Saturday Nite Reader’s weekly meme: Saturday Spotlight! Each Saturday I will spotlight a book I have read or am currently reading; and, of course what I think is special about it. I invite you to participate as well! Just link back to my weekly post and don’t forget to add your spotlight link in the comment section for all to see. Happy Sharing! XO, Nikki

61smmv40pilThis Week:
She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

Published: August 24, 1992 by Pocket
Category: Fiction, Contemporary, Coming of Age

Ever read a book and remember you had strong feelings for it and would go on to say that it was one of your top reads of all time…and then time goes by (a lot of time) and you forget the story but know it was good (or at least you felt moved when you read it)? BTW – how long did I make that sentence, holy heck. Well that is me and She’s Come Undone.

I read this book in high school, and remember being so in tuned with the story; a relation not felt due to similarity of situation, but knowing what the main character, Dolores, may have been feeling on an emotional level. Man, do I need to reread this book again. I am hoping it will bring back memories from when I first experienced it.

I always thought I would not reread books: why would I want to waste time reading something I already experienced when there are so many good books out there? But, I was wrong. I read this book almost 20 years ago – and hundreds of books since – that how can I possibly remember the full, detailed story? I will be rereading this one very soon.

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Mid-Year Review: My Top 10 Reads from January – June

I was inspired to join in on Top 10 Tuesday by my fellow Facebook Book Bloggers Group  members Book Tales by MeThe Limit of Books Does Not Exist, and Bloodthirsty Little Beasts. Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic was Best Books I’ve Read in 2018 (So Far).

I am obviously tardy to the party by posting so late (though it is still Tuesday!); I wanted to share my Top 10 list because this year has been my best reading year yet!

Here are my Top 10 Reads from the first half of 2018 (January – June):

Want to know why I loved this group of books so much? My review links can be found all in one place here: https://saturdaynitereader.com/book-reviews-a-to-z/

What have been your stand out books that you read this year? Have you read any of one’s I listed above and agree/disagree with their top 10 status? Can’t wait to hear how your reading year has been!

You may also find me here:
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Book Review: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

3_DiscoBalls

3 disco balls

Publish Date: July 17, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press
Category: Thriller, Psychological Suspense, and what I consider Horror

Anyone remember this 90s movie? You have no idea how fitting this reference is, but if you read Baby Teeth you will soon find out.

Long story short: Suzette thinks her 7 year-old daughter, Hanna, is straight up trying to kill her. Only thing is her husband, Alex, has a hard time believing her. Hanna is only her creepy, demonic self when with her mother – or strangers – but never Daddy. Suzette isn’t Mother Teresa – you will wonder about her a bit – but no one can hold a candle to Hanna. Read More »

Saturday Spotlight: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Introducing Saturday Nite Reader’s weekly meme: Saturday Spotlight! Each Saturday I will spotlight a book I have read or am currently reading; and, of course what I think is special about it. I invite you to participate as well! Just link back to my weekly post and don’t forget to add your spotlight link in the comment section for all to see. Happy Sharing! XO, Nikki

img_9728This Week:
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Published: May 22, 2007 by Riverhead
Category: Historical Fiction
British Book Award for Best Read of the Year (2008); Book Sense of the Year Award for Adult Fiction (2008); California Book Award for Fiction (Silver) (2007); Exclusive Books Boeke Prize Nominee (2007); Lincoln Award Nominee (2011)

My Future Mother-in-Law would gift me this book during one of my first trips to meet her. Once I started it, I could not put it down. I do remember it was right before dinner and the polite house guest in me (plus someone newly introduced to the family) should have been helping, but I couldn’t step away from this book. My husband (then boyfriend) called me in for dinner, but my future MIL responded along the lines of: leave her alone and let her finish, the book is that good. Thanks Mom 😉 

A Thousand Splendid Suns is the first book I recommend to anyone when asked to recommend my favorite book: I don’t even have to think about it, I just spit it out (not literally, don’t worry).Read More »

Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

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4.5 disco balls

Published: June 11, 2013 by Doubleday
Category: Fiction, Contemporary

This was a super fun read. It was like I was reading a soap opera versus watching one; with a plethora of characters who were just what the book described: crazy! Overbearing, meddling and judgy moms whose circles run the same.

My goodness the things some of these characters do just because of what everyone thinks, not what they want. You kind of feel bad for them, but at the same time lack empathy for them – as they are super rich – and would trade places with them any day (you think).Read More »

Saturday Spotlight: The Rainmaker by John Grisham

Introducing Saturday Nite Reader’s weekly meme: Saturday Spotlight! Each Saturday I will spotlight a book I have read or am currently reading; and, of course what I think is special about it. I invite you to participate as well! Just link back to my weekly post and don’t forget to add your spotlight link in the comment section for all to see. Happy Sharing! XO, Nikki

img_3004This Week:
The Rainmaker by John Grisham

Published: April 28, 1995 by Doubleday
Category: Fiction, Legal Thriller
New York Times Best Selling Author

I read The Rainmaker in HS for fun – this was not a normal activity. I could barely read my required English assignments, but for some reason I would visit my school library and select books that I thought were more worth my time. That is another story for another day, as I had quite the reading preference (i.e. Girl, Interrupted; She’s Come Undone, a Janis Joplin biography = teen angst down pat). I picked up The Rainmaker after reading A Time to Kill. I thought I wanted to be a lawyer: the kind of lawyer in both Grisham novels that would fight for the underdog – the less powerful – and obviously prevail in defeating “the big bad man” in the end every single time.Read More »

Book Review: Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

4_DiscoBalls

4 disco balls

Published: June 5, 2018 by Doubleday
Category: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery

You know how most thrillers keep you on edge a bit throughout the book and typically towards the end there is that “hold your breath” moment. Well, for me this happened at the halfway point of this book and my heart and chest hurt right until the very end.

It wasn’t an overwhelming, constant pulse – but more a slow and growing build up of “how the heck is this going to play out?!” I was on the edge of my seat most of this book, not waiting for a twist: waiting for the ball to drop.Read More »

Audiobook Review: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Yes, an audiobook you can sink your ears into – since teeth obviously do not make sense.

5_DiscoBalls

5 disco balls

Published: November 15, 2016 by Audible Studios
Audiobook runs 8 hours 50 minutes, narrated by Trevor Noah himself (love that accent!)
Category: Memoir, Autobiography, Nonfiction,  Coming of Age

#8 Most Read on Amazon Charts
Highest-rated new book of 2016 by Audible customers
Winner: Audible’s Best of 2016 – Celebrity Memoirs

I prefer reading books versus listening, but do enjoy an audiobook while driving or doing chores. But, for an audiobook to keep my attention the narrator has to be on point. To me, this book is better as an audiobook since the author is the one reading his story. Trevor Noah knows how he wants his story to come across, and delivers his message with a tone and authenticity that makes it hard to push pause…plus, hello that accent – swoon!Read More »

Book Review: Playing with Matches by Hannah Orenstein

4_DiscoBalls

4 disco balls

Publish Date: June 26, 2018 by Touchstone
Category: Chick-lit, Coming of Age

I was looking for a quick read to breeze through the weekend, and Playing with Matches did not disappoint. Fun and fresh, it makes a perfect vacation read; or, if you need something light to break up those ugly cry drama reads – well then, why not pick up this one? It is available for purchase on Tuesday, June 26th!Read More »

Saturday Spotlight: The Red Bandanna by Tom Rinaldi

Introducing Saturday Nite Reader’s weekly meme: Saturday Spotlight! Each Saturday I will spotlight a book I have read or am currently reading; and, of course what I think is special about it. I invite you to participate as well! Just link back to my weekly post and don’t forget to add your spotlight link in the comment section for all to see.Happy Sharing! XO, Nikki

img_7898This Week:
The Red Bandanna by Tom Rinaldi

Published: September 6, 2016 by Penguin Press
Category: Nonfiction, Biography, Inspirational

I purchased The Red Bandanna after I saw an ESPN piece on Welles Crowther (below). Welles saved at least ten people in the South Tower on September 11th, but would not make it out alive. After reading the book in one sitting I was more than just moved: I had to tell others Welles’ story.img_2884This past 2017, on the anniversary of September 11th, I book fairy dropped two copies of the book with a red bandanna tied to each one. One was left on the Path train and the second in locker 19 (Welles’ number) at my local Soulcycle. This would be the first time I was a book fairy, and an important one at that. I didn’t have the book fairy stickers just yet so I printed out my own message and taped it to the book in hopes that someone will read this book and gift it or book fairy drop for another to read: spreading Welles’ story further.

It wasn’t just a book to me, it was Welles’ story: one that he could not tell himself. I think of Welles from time to time; men like him restore my faith in humanity when I need it most.

In 2017, a full documentary called Man in Red Bandana was released. It is narrated by Gwyneth Paltrow and runs 1 hour and 19 minutes.

Goodreads Stats:
4.19 average rating   *   1,284 Ratings   *   217 Reviews
Saturday Nite Reader rating: 5 disco balls
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