It may only be midway through summer, but I have been a reading machine. My list just hit twenty books read since my last update (and I’m more than halfway to my goal of 52 books read this year) so I thought it was time for an update before I completely forget every bit of what I’ve read. Fair warning: I will definitely have to look at book synopses to remind myself of what I’ve read. Many of these books were on our Summer Reading Guide and we’ve noted those with an asterisk.
Summer Reading Roundup – The good, the bad, and the just plain weird
Shockingly, this is the shortest section in this reading list. It’s like I don’t even know who I am anymore.
Listen to Your Heart, P.S. I Like You, The Fill-In Boyfriend – I recently went on a binge of books from Kassie West available via Hoopla. I am very particular about audiobooks, and her books use a few different narrators. I don’t care of the style of one of the narrators, so these are the only three that make the cut. The all follow exactly the same formula and I loved them all. Perfect light, easy summer reads.
The Upside of Unrequited – I am normally a TERRIBLE plane reader. I get so antsy when flying that I can’t take advantage of the chance to read for a several hour stretch. However, on our recent flight to Maui, I read this entire book. If you liked Simon and the Homosapiens Agenda, this book by the same author will probably scratch the same itch.
The Wedding Date – Fun, easy, I think I even cried at one point? I am anxiously awaiting The Proposal, the second book by Guillory, which will be out in September.
When Katie Met Cassidy – This was the highlight of my Book of the Month picks for the year. I read this in the span of one day on vacation and thoroughly enjoyed it. I read a ton of reviews about this book and people are really split down the middle, but for me it was a win.
*Sophia of the Silicon Valley – So I really liked this while reading it, but looking back on the story I didn’t love some of the themes. There are unsubtle references to Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, which is fine, but she spent a lot of time being verbally abused by the men in power in Silicon Valley and when she finds herself in a position of power she…does exactly the same thing. And it’s supposed to be funny I guess, but mostly I felt like, “Really? After all of that and you just…become one of them?” Still, it’s a fun contemporary fiction read with lots of not-at-all hidden references to real pop culture occurrences.
*When Life Gives You Lululemon’s – The Devil Wears Prada is one my two favorite comfort reads, so when the first sequel, Revenge Wears Prada, was released I was thrilled. And then hugely disappointed. Let’s pretend that book never happened because the third installment, focusing on Emily is much better. It doesn’t come close to the genius that is TDWP, but it was mostly fun. I could have done without the fat shaming throughout – outside of the context of the magazine where you kind of understand the obsession with image it felt unnecessary. All told, this gets a solid B+ from me.
*All We Ever Wanted – I’ve read every book Emily Giffin has ever written, and I will say that this book is a step up from her last that I wanted to throw against a wall. At the end of the book I felt like something was missing, although I enjoyed that she tackled a timely issue of cyberbullying and it’s consequences from multiple perspectives.
*The Perfect Couple – Elin Hilderbrand knocks it out of the park, again. Sometimes I wonder how she can write yet ANOTHER Nantucket novel and yet this mystery twist on her classic beach read was perfection.
The Endless Beach – I’m a big fan of Jenny Colgan and her cozy novels. I picked this up not realizing that it is a sequel to Cafe by the Sea. The foreward says that you can absolutely read this on it’s own, and so I did. Following the story was no problem, but I felt zero investment in these characters. I’m not sure if that’s a function of reading the sequel first or just of the book itself. The Bookshop on the Corner is the perfect Colgan if you’re looking for one.
The Status of All Things – The idea was fun, a chance to go back in time and rewrite history, literally, through your Facebook status. However, more than once I wanted to reach through the book and tell her that she was wishing for stupid things! I read several reviews where people abandoned this book, and I saw it through to the predictable end, but ultimately this was not a winner for me.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies – Mostly I’m just mad that I waited so long to read this one. I loved this book and the story that it told from the beginning of Cyril’s life through to the end. This is definitely my favorite book of the year.
Endurance – Normally I find reading books about space to be incredibly stressful, but Scott Kelly’s memoir about his year in space (and everything that it took to get there) was written in a way that was fascinating without being panic-inducing.
The Great Alone – Now, if we want to talk stress, Kristin Hannah is an absolute master at keeping me holding my breath from page to page. This was beautiful, heartbreaking and perfect.
The Alice Network – Pretty much everyone recommended that I read this and everyone was right. Read this. Right now. Even if you think you don’t like books set during WWI and WWII, I still think you should read this immediately.
*The Last Time I Lied – Oh, Riley Sager is GOOD. This is another book from our Summer Reading Guide and while I’m not usually immediately drawn to mysteries and thrillers, this was fantastic. The story sort of sneaks up on you because Sager just weaves the plot perfectly right up until the moment you start turning the pages faster and faster to get to the answers.
The Woman in the Window – I’ve read a lot of comparisons to The Woman in Cabin 10, and I think that’s a great way to think about this book. It’s fun, fast and entertaining. Smarter readers (I am not a mystery guesser) might be able to see what’s happening earlier in the book than I did, but that doesn’t ruin a book for me, personally.
*The President is Missing – I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this from start to finish. It hits a little to close to something that seems like it could potentially happen which made me a touch panicky, but this was so fun.