Saturday, July 2, 2011

36: A Month of Summer

A Month of Summer by Lisa Wingate, is the story of Rebecca, who leaves her law practice and husband to take care of her aging father and despised stepmother. She comes with a huge chip on her shoulder, but when she arrives and begins slowly unraveling the years of neglect that have occurred, she stays longer than expected, finds that she enjoys her stepbrother, and tries to make peace with her family.

This book was good, and I loved it until about the last 30 pages. Then, it wrapped up too neatly for me. I didn’t like the ending at all (well, I liked it, but I thought it was impractical). I felt so bad for the brother and the dad and when the truth about her family comes out, I felt so bad for Rebecca because she had missed out on so much.

I give this book a 6/10. I think I would have rated it higher if the last part of the book had been written better, but if it felt rushed and smashed together. I wish there was more information about the end and what happens to the characters.

35: The Kitchen House

The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom, was one of those books that was recommended to me a while ago (thanks, Sarah!) and I kept putting off reading it because I knew I was not going to like it and whoa. I was wrong. I FLEW through this book, hardly remembering to feed my child or leave the house every day. I think I finished it in a day. Seriously. I sat in a parking lot and read it just to get a little farther. I absolutely devoured this book, and while it’s not happy (it reminded me of Little Bee with the sadness), I still loved this book.

The Kitchen House is the story of a white girl, Lavinia, who is orphaned on a ship coming from Ireland. Instead of moving into “the big house” with the other white people when she arrives at the plantation, she is sent to live in the kitchen house with the black women. She learns about family and love and of the incredible differences in lifestyles between these two groups of people in this time.

This book completely follows the “what if” questions. What if Lavinia had married someone else? What if the papers had been served earlier? What if… what if… what if?

I give this book a 9/10. While the book is depressing and overwhelming at times, I absolutely devoured it and would think it’s a fantastic book for a book club to read, because the questions that could be asked about what could have been are absolutely amazing.

34: Bossypants

Bossypants, by Tina Fey, is the absolutely hilarious autobiography by one of my favorite comediennes ever. I absolutely love Tina Fey, and we watch 30 Rock religiously, and were big SNL fans when she was on.

It’s hard to review this book. It’s hilarious, it’s so entertaining and it’s just so HER. It’s hectic, funny and awesome wrapped up and presented neatly. You can hear her sarcasm and funny sayings coming through the book and I really enjoyed some of the “behind the scenes” stuff that she talks about with SNL and Lorne Michaels.

I give this book an 8/10. I really enjoyed it. I finished it in 2 nights, which is quick (especially lately…). I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good and funny book.

33: Good Enough to Eat

Good Enough to Eat, by Stacey Ballis, is a very feel-good story. Melanie Hoffman has been married to her husband, Andrew, for ten years. They are both lawyers and both happy, but Melanie is extremely overweight. Through exercise and diet she manages to lose over 145 pounds, but then her husband announces he is leaving her… for someone equally as heavy as she used to be! So, Melanie does what any typical lawyer would do (ha!)… she quits law and opens up a bakery of healthy foods. 

The book goes through her foray into a  new relationship, and Melanie also starts making friends and takes on a roommate. While the book was good, I did not necessarily love it, but I thought it was a good and fun read. I give it a 6/10 stars.

32: Rescue

Rescue, by Anita Shreve, tells the story of Peter Webster, who after helping at the scene of a drunken crash, falls madly in love with the woman, Sheila, who caused the accident. Their affair is brief and intense and they end up having a child together.

The story goes back and forth between present-day and the previous 18 years. Sheila is not involved anymore with Rowan, their daughter, and as the story progresses, you find out the reasons that have kept Sheila away.

I liked this book. I thought it was well written and it kept my attention. I cried in parts, and got mad in parts. I didn’t love the ending, as it wrapped up a little too neatly for me. But overall, I enjoyed the book. I give it a 7/10 and hope that you want to read it too!


I've been absent for a while. I'm still reading, but not as voraciously. We found out that I am pregnant (due in January!) and this first trimester has completely wiped me out. I have my books reviewed and am working to get them up now. I hope people are still reading!

Monday, May 9, 2011

31: The Weight of Silence

The Weight of Silence, by Heather Gudenkauf, is every parent’s worst nightmare. Calli, rent mute by a traumatic event, goes missing in the middle of the night with her best friend, and her voice in the world, Petra. Calli leaves at the arm of her angry, drunk father, and Petra leaves because, the reader assumes, she is following Calli. However, this is not all true.

The storyline weaves through past and present and through flashbacks, and everyone has a voice in the book. I thought the different voices were interesting, and how each character was handling the tragedy, but the whole book just didn’t work for me.

I think this is too close to a nightmare of mine to really read the book and enjoy it. All I wanted to know was make sure that Calli and Petra were okay. I felt like there were parts of the story that should have been expounded on, and that parts were missing entirely (like the whole, “how did Petra get out of the house?”) thing.

I give this one a 6/10. I just did not love it, but again, maybe because it’s such a fear of mine.

30: My Fair Lazy

My Fair Lazy, One Reality Television Addict's Attempt to Discover if Not Being A Dumb Ass is the New Black; Or, A Culture-Up Manifesto, by Jen Lancaster, is about her desire to make herself a better person through wine tastings, operas and other “cultural” activities.

Full Disclosure: I like Jen Lancaster. I think she’s funny, I read her blog and I follow her on twitter. I loved her first book and have laughed at each of her subsequent ones. However, I feel like her books are forgettable. I like them, but they don’t stay with me. And I’m okay with that. They entertain me, make me laugh and then? I put them away and dive into something else.

Anyway, I liked this one. It was cute, and made me think about things that I make fun of, mainly because I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT. Heh. Maybe I should try once in a while!

In the spirit of Jen, I ordered a wine tasting date night for Jeff and I… I’ll keep you all posted as we try wine that costs more than $4.99 a bottle

I give this one a 7/10. Not her best, but enjoyable nonetheless.