Book Review: Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson

img_3276img_0686

4.5 disco balls

Published: June 1, 2018 by Lake Union Publishing
Category: Fiction, Chick-lit

I love music just as much as I love books and every Saturday share my Top 5 Saturday Nite Jams in my Instagram stories. This week’s post I thought I would review my latest book club read: Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson and dedicate my weekly jam list to the book. After my review you can check out which 5 songs I would pick to describe this book. Enjoy!

This darling of a book was exactly what I needed to round out the majority of heavy reads I completed this month. It was simply delightful: filled with a humor and that butterflies in your stomach feeling. If this book was a living thing I would want to hug it (and if you know me, I hate hugs).Read More »

Book Review: The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

Before I get into the review of the actual book I would be remiss if I did not state how fascinating these women’s stories were. I can’t believe I had never heard of their suffering before picking this book up for book club. How did I not learn about this in history class?! More on this after we discuss book details.

img_2938

3_DiscoBalls

3 disco balls

Published: March 6, 2018 by Sourcebooks
Category: Non-fiction, History, Science

I do appreciate Kate Moore for bringing this story to my attention. I do wish the book was written and edited better. I am not afraid of big books (this one clocked in 406), but this one did not need to be that long. It was often repetitive and didn’t have a consistent flow. But, I learned so much. I was often angry and repulsed by what I learned and wondered how some of the executives, doctors and lawyers, etc. slept at night? My goodness. All the angry feels.Read More »

Book Review: Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

3_DiscoBalls

3 disco balls

Published: October 3, 2017 by Scribner
Length: Hardcover, 438 pages
Category: Historical Fiction
National Book Award Nominee for Fiction (2017), Women’s Prize for Fiction Nominee for Longlist (2018), Andrew Carnegie Medal for Fiction (2018), Walter Scott Prize Nominee (2018), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Historical Fiction (2017)

I alternated back and forth between reading the hardcover and listening to the audio (which had 3 narrators). I liked to do that with books so I can optimize my reading time, especially when I have book club deadlines!

I liked the story, but at the 70% mark it just became okay to me. It wasn’t terrible, but I wasn’t moved in any way by it. The author did a good job of capturing the different dynamics within families, communities and the workplace (whether that workplace was legit or not). I always find the sign of the times of historical fiction fascinating. Read More »

Audiobook Review: My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, narrated by Julia Whelan

img_1848Overall Story:

2_DiscoBalls

2 disco balls

Narration:

5_DiscoBalls

5 disco balls

Published: July 10, 2018 by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 7 hours 14 minutes
Category: Literary Fiction, Contemporary

What did I just listen to? If it weren’t for narrator Julia Whelan I probably would have canned this one. (She was brilliant!) Well actually who am I kidding, no I wouldn’t. It was a book club pick and I don’t like showing up to book club unprepared so I would have suffered reading this one (thank goodness it was an audio instead).Read More »

Book Review: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

4_DiscoBalls

4 disco balls

Published: January 9, 2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Category: Contemporary Fiction

What an interesting concept for a book! Four siblings – during their youth – will visit a fortune teller who will tell them each individually the date of their death: no sibling telling the other. How they live the rest of their lives may- or may not – be dependent on “knowing.”Read More »

Book Review: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

img_1230
BFS –> Paris

4.5 disco balls

Published: February 6, 2018 by Algonquin Books
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Family Life

I started this book in Belfast, brought it with me to Paris and Avignon, and wound up finishing it in Nice. I could say that this book is quite the world traveler.

img_1359
Nice, France

I am tardy to the party in reading this book; mainly due to the fact that love triangles make me uncomfortable and I try to avoid them like the plague. What forced me to read this – and thank goodness for it because I was missing out – was my book club’s August pick.

Three’s Company? More like three’s a crowd. 

The 1+1+1=3 equation is as follows: Andre and Celestial are childhood best friends, Roy and Andre are college friends, Roy and Celestial meet through Roy. VoilàRead More »

Book Review: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

img_0685

3.5 disco balls

Published: March 7, 2017 by Riverhead
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Magical Realism, Fantasy
Man Booker Prize Nominee (2017); Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Fiction (2017); National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee for Fiction (2017); Andrew Carnegie Medal Nominee for Fiction (2018); Folio Prize Nominee (2018); Kirkus Prize Nominee for Fiction (2017); Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fiction (2017); Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize Nominee for Fiction (2017)

This book is deep dude.
But, in all seriousness, author Mohsin Hamid did an exceptional job at conjuring up my inner psyche and putting it to work. The first half of this book I was sucked in and kept stopping and thinking “wow, what would this be like for me?” and even more so “this is all too relevant and that is scary.”Read More »

Book Review: Girls’ Night Out by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

margarita-cocktail-realistic-glass-lime-slice-isolated-white-background-vector-illustration-46380747.jpgmargarita-cocktail-realistic-glass-lime-slice-isolated-white-background-vector-illustration-46380747.jpgmargarita-cocktail-realistic-glass-lime-slice-isolated-white-background-vector-illustration-46380747.jpgmargarita-cocktail-realistic-glass-lime-slice-isolated-white-background-vector-illustration-46380747.jpg

4 margaritas

Published: July 24, 2018 by Lake Union Publishing
Category: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense

But were they really?

Three long time friends (Ashley, Natalie, Lauren) take a girls vacation to Mexico. Three is a crowd. Two are always competing for the leader of the pack’s attention: while loving and hating her at the same time. Make up your darn mind ladies! Anywho, Ashley goes missing after getting into major blows with Natalie and Lauren (separate fights that Natalie and Lauren don’t know all the details of…hmmm).Read More »

Book Review: On Beauty by Zadie Smith

img_0685

3.5 disco balls

Published: June 4, 2005 by Penguin Books
Category: Contemporary Fiction

On Beauty by Zadie Smith is 442 pages. A very, very slow 442 pages in which you need to be fully engaged and present while reading. This is not a book you can breeze through, as the book would mention of certain characters: it is intellectual. There is no doubt that Smith is a talented writer, I just struggled a bit in establishing a reading pace with this one.

On Beauty follows the Belsey family: an interracial couple, Howard and Kiki, married thirty years living in an upper middle class town with their three children, Jerome, Zora and Levi.

  • Howard is an art history professor at a local liberal arts college who is hard to like; he always has an opinion (its most always negative) and he’s always right (or so he thinks)
  • Kiki used to be a beautiful spitfire but has gained a significant amount of weight; still a spitfire but that magnetic confidence doesn’t exude from her like it used to (I blame Howard)
  • Jerome is a young man trying to find himself in religion and grapples with adulthood and his relationship with his family; he is the rational one of the bunch
  • Zora is Howard 2.0 with the spunk of Kiki; she yearns to be accepted but her approach in getting what she yearns for is more alienating than endearing
  • Levi is sixteen and going through an identity crisis; he is passionate and loyal and trying to find something worth fighting for (his family doesn’t understand him – as any teenager would say)Read More »