Category Archives: Reason: Book Club

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing is a slow moving book. I generally do not care for books like that, but for this one it totally worked. It just fits the vibe and makes you kind of feel like you’re in the marsh, living a little slower, noticing things happening around you. The character development in this book is phenomenal. Even some of the side characters grow and change. The descriptions of things living in the marsh are incredible and vivid. The ending is both surprising and, when I think about, just what part of me hoped for. Kya learning to read so quickly and being able to comprehend high level textbooks is somewhat questionable as is her ability to so easily communicate with others even though she was so young when her family left her and spends long periods of time all alone. I recommend this book to adults who enjoy contemporary fiction.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 83
Pages Read in 2022: 29,583
Graphic Novels: 2

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reason: Book Club, Reason: Grim Readers

The Do-Over by Bethany Turner

The Do-Over by Bethany Turner

The Do-Over is a really cute book that is more or less predictable, but in all the ways you want a romcom to be predictable. While I found it easy to put the book down as needed, I did look forward to picking it back up when I had more time to read. While the end was perfect, I wish there had been a little bit more and it kept going for at least a few more pages. I recommend this book to adults who enjoy clean romantic comedies.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 73
Pages Read in 2022: 26,404
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Book Club, Romance

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

I have loved every book I’ve read by Ruta Sepetys. They are meticulously researched (there were several pages of sources at the end of I Must Betray You) with amazing writing. She managed to capture the paranoia of living in a society where you never knew who might be informing on you. I knew what happened in Romania in December 1989 before I read the book and as the time got closer and closer to the revolution I found myself feeling very nervous about what would happen to the characters because I cared about them very much. While the book has a happy-ish ending, it’s not tied up all nicely in a bow. The bow is kind of lopsided and not totally cute because that’s what life – and the fall of communism – is like. I very highly recommend this book to teens and up who enjoy historical fiction. Romania’s story isn’t one that’s regularly told, but it deserves to be known.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 55
Pages Read in 2022: 19,898
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: Book Club, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

I’m not a huge fan of the writing style of Anxious People. I usually enjoy books that jump around the timeline going into the past and back to the present multiple times, but this one does it without always making sense. It is often very ambiguous which actually is the most amazing thing about the book, but every so often it’s too ambiguous and seems like it is saying something it’s not. I really don’t care for books that go “There are two policemen. One is young and one is old. The old policeman did not want his son to become a policeman. The young policeman is the old policeman’s son.” like this one does. I just don’t like the sentence construction or that method of storytelling. The moral and ending were great. It really makes you think about the ripples we cause by every little action and how we affect others, for good or bad. Above all, this book reminds us that we are all connected and does it very creatively. I’ve concluded, though, that I’m just not a Fredrik Backman fan (this is the second book of his I’ve read and rated three stars). His books are just so-so to me. For people who like his books and writing style, Anxious People is a great choice.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 51
Pages Read in 2022: 18,501
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reason: Book Club

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novak

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Spinning Silver was my book club’s choice for March. I finally finished it the day of my April book group get together. Sometimes I wish I had the ability to abandon books but I just can’t do it. Plus my friends said the last half was better than the first half, and the last chapter was incredible. They were wrong, and it wasn’t. I didn’t hate it on a Red Badge of Courage level, but I definitely didn’t like or enjoy it much. I absolutely judge books by their cover and Spinning Silver has one of the ugliest covers I’ve ever seen. It’s very long, over 450 pages. Now, a long, good book can be extremely enjoyable. This was just a slog to get through. The book is written in first person, but the narrator changes regularly right in the middle of chapters. There is no indication this is happening other than a little scene change sort of symbol. It does not indicate who the new narrator is. You just have to keep reading, confused for the first several sentences, until you figure it out. Some narrators appear quite often, some very rarely, and there is no pattern to when they appear. When I started reading it a couple weeks before our March book group gathering, I found myself finding every excuse not to read it. For like a week I barely read anything. On the plus side, my house was exceptionally clean even with twin toddlers and a preschooler constantly wreaking havoc. I just didn’t care about most of the characters. I found the majority to be annoying. I really didn’t care if they stopped the Staryk creating eternal winter or not. It moves so incredibly slowly. Maybe if it was half as long and things actually happened at a reasonable pace it wouldn’t have been so bad. I did like how all the many storylines converged and the house that was in both the real world and the Staryk world at the same time was very creative. Thank goodness for small things that made it slightly less dreadful. I do not recommend anyone read Spinning Silver.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 39
Pages Read in 2022: 14,106
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Book Club

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

Donald Miller learned a lot about making your story the story you want it to be while working on adapting his memoir into a movie and decided to share those lessons in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. In the process of intentionally choosing his own story, he lived a full life. In addition to his own experiences, there are lots of anecdotes from others who intentionally created their own story with their lives. It’s a quick read and a good reminder to really live your life rather than letting life pass you by. I recommend it to all adults.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 37
Pages Read in 2022: 13,181
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Memoir, Reason: Book Club, Self-Help/Motivation

Lovely War by Julie Berry

Lovely War by Julie Berry

I love how these two love stories were told in turns by various Greek gods. They each had their own distinct voice and contributed very different parts to the stories. The book reads very fast. I was surprised to see how long it is after I read it. The love stories are sweet and sometimes heartbreaking. I found myself caring very deeply about the characters. It’s just an all around excellent book. I highly recommend Lovely War to anyone who enjoys historical fiction/clean romance with a bonus if they also like Greek mythology.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 15
Pages Read in 2022: 5751

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: Book Club, Reason: We Be Book'N, Romance

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

I very much enjoyed What Alice Forgot. As I read it, I found myself imagining what it would be like to lose ten years of memories and wondering how I have changed in that amount of time and whether I’d recognize my life as my own (answers: absolutely insane, probably a lot, probably not even sorta). I thought how she got her memories back a little bit at a time in snippets and later in a rush and mostly related to sounds and smells felt very realistic. I didn’t love some of how it was wrapping up, but it was acceptable, just not what I had been rooting for, and I still would’ve rated the book the same, but the epilogue made it all perfect for me. I especially liked how when things needed to be explained that didn’t involve Alice or involved things she had no memory of, it switched to Elisabeth journaling as homework for her therapist or Frannie writing to her friend. That allowed me to get to know those characters better and to understand what people meant when talking to Alice about things that had happened in the last ten years. I highly recommend this book to adults who enjoy contemporary fiction.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 4
Pages Read in 2022: 1232

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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: Book Club, Reason: We Be Book'N

Frederica by Georgette Heyer

Frederica by Georgette Heyer

Regency romance is not a genre I typically read or enjoy. I read Frederica for my book club. I definitely would not have read it otherwise. It is very long and drags on, though the phrasing of things is often very cute. I knew for the most part how it would end before I had finished a quarter of it. If I enjoyed this genre, I likely would have given it five stars, but because I really don’t, and often found reasons NOT to read it (and barely finished it in time for my book club meeting), I gave it three because I didn’t hate it and found it enjoyable enough. I recommend it to people who enjoy regency romances.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 84
Pages Read in 2021: 27,137

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Filed under Reason: Book Club, Romance

A Solitude of Wolverines by Alice Henderson

A Solitude of Wolverines by Alice Henderson

A high school I went to had wolverines for their mascot. We used to make fun of that. Wolverines were little and pretty cute. That didn’t sound like the fighters the other high school had. Boy were we wrong! Now, thanks to this book, I know wolverines are vicious little critters and probably the fightingest fighters of all mascots in existence. And it’s barely about wolverines. Sometimes I found it hard to keep reading because of the suspense. I was downright scared on occasion (granted I don’t do scary things and situations well, but this was so well written I felt like I was in the scenes with Alex and I was so worried for her). I actually gasped aloud at a couple points because I seriously didn’t see some things coming. As soon as I finished I looked to see if the second book is out yet (it is) because I will definitely be reading it. I very highly recommend reading A Solitude of Wolverines to adults who enjoy thrillers heavy on suspense.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 72
Pages Read in 2021: 23,261

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Filed under Reason: Book Club, Thriller