Imaginary Book Club: Summer Reading!

I've been reading a lot lately.  A couple months ago I got stuck in the middle of several boring books.  I suffer from the tragic "have to finish it if I started it" disease.  I convinced myself that it would be okay to do some skimming in an effort to get my reading pile moving again.  Whatever it takes to get to the good stuff. And for a change, there actually was some!  Yeah!

Writing Movies for Fun and Profit by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon. Eh. I think Reno 911 is funny. So when I saw this book mentioned in some magazine while sitting in a doctor's office and it said it was funny I decided to try it. Some of it was very funny. Some of it bored me a great deal.  And then I lost interest and stopped reading it for six months. And then I got tired of seeing it cluttering up my nightstand.  So I decided to just finish it. So I did. I bet these guys would be a lot of fun at happy hour. I bet this book is way more interesting to someone in showbiz or maybe someone trying to make it in showbiz.  Six months on my nightstand.  Enough said.

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson. Thumbs up.  I enjoyed it.  I must confess I don't know a lot about Internment Camps during World War II so I found all of that very interesting.  It was well written and I wasn't sure how the story would end.  Always a plus.  Amazon recommended it for me based on other books I've bought.  Amazon was right.

The Wife by Meg Wolitzer. Amazon recommended it to me based on something else I read.  I'm here to tell Amazon, I figured out the big "secret" pretty much from the beginning and I spent most of the book confirming my suspicions and being annoyed that the couple stayed married that long.  Skip it.

The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain. Thumbs up.  I liked it enough that I’m planning to read another one of her books.  It was a quick read and I was busy trying to find out how and why stuff happened.  It was well written but I hated one of the main characters. Like above average did not understand how or why that main character operated. But I still liked it.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.  Blah.  Skip it.  It's well written and Olive seems like a complicated female.    But it just didn't engage me.  Olive was complicated but I didn't like her or care about her or care about what happened to her.  Then ending was the most interesting part.  But it took way too long to get there and required some skimming after I stalled reading it and wanted to get it off my nightstand.

First Marathons by Gail Waesche Kislevitz. Interesting. For about three months now, I've been mulling over making a go at a full marathon.  I saw this book mentioned on some website as an interesting read about a variety of different people’s experiences with running a marathon for the first time.  All different kinds of first time experiences ranging from professional runners that had won the Boston Marathon to a lady that walked one to someone that took up running to get some exercise. I was very moved by the Kenyan runner talking about what a way of life running is where he’s from and how naturally it comes to him. I was also very struck by the people that knew halfway through their marathon that they were in a bit over their head and dying a slow death trying to finish.   26.2 miles is a really, really long way. I have nothing but mad respect for the distance. This book increased my respect for it. Gave me a lot to think about as I continue to mull over the full.

The Opposite of Me by Sarah Pekkanen.  Hated it.  Cutesy.  Predictable.  Tried too hard.  And didn't like how things worked out at the end. 

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. I made the mistake of starting this as fluffy summer reading.  It's not.  It's long and you have to really pay attention and it's a winding road of a story.  It's also heavy on the medical stuff.  But if you successfully wade through it, the end is very striking.  I was just attempting finish it by the time I got there but ended up crying and moved.  It's well written but long.  Not for everyone but a grudging thumbs up from me I guess.  If you're at Target and it's the only thing left in the fiction aisle you haven't read, I guess I'd tell you to get it.

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight. Thumbs up.  Suspenseful.  I did not have everything figured out halfway through either.  It went quick.  Well written.   I was slightly intimidated to read it because it involved the death of a child.  I typically avoid those sort of books like the plague.  But once you get past that it doesn't weigh you down the way I thought it would.  It moves on to just quality suspense. 

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. Thumbs up.  Nowhere near as up as Kite Runner.  And I like A Thousand Splendid Suns better, too.  But thumbs up.  The beginning was great.  There was a lull in the middle I thought dragged on a bit.  And then the ending actually managed to catch me off guard in a way I hadn't anticipated.  And then I cried.  He writes beautifully in a way that paints a picture and makes the characters three dimensional people you can walk around and see from different angles. That's a wonderful thing. 


LaynahRose said...

Dang, you're a regular book critic! I need to start reading as much as I used to.

Shan said...

I suffer from that same disease! And sometimes it's just a giant pain in the ass.

Midnight Cowgirl said...

Oh, I need to add some of these to my to-read list :)

Dana Hemelt said...

I was considering a few you gave a thumbs down to, so thank you for that! I used to stick with a book until the end, but then I decided that there are so many good books out there. Why waste my time reading one I don't like? I give a book at least 100 pages before I decide whether to abandon ship.

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