Book Reviews

The Quarter of the Subtitle

I can tell I read a lot of non-fiction this quarter because good heavens, there are many long titles on this list. My wrists are a little stiff from all that typing (Ruby Oliver, your ridiculously long titles didn’t help matters either).

  • The Beach Trees by Karen White
  • This book was really quite fantastic until the last twenty pages. When you write a mystery novel, the resolution of the mystery shouldn’t make you want to throw the book. At least, if I was writing a mystery novel, I wouldn’t want that to happen.

  • Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese
  • This is one of my favorite food books I’ve read. Hilariously funny guide to which foods are worth making from scratch and which ones you should just buy at the store. Look for a review next month.

  • The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs, and Me, Ruby Oliver by E. Lockhart
  • Look, it’s no Frankie Landau-Banks, but I found myself quite delighted with these books. Quick, fun reads.

  • Between by Jessica Warman
  • I was surprised by how much I LIKED this book about a girl who dies mysteriously and is sent back to observe her life and figure out what happened. I didn’t see the twist coming at all, because I am slow like that.

  • The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them by E. Lockhart
  • There really is very little to say about these – for the first time, I’m regretting reading the whole quartet, simply because now there are four of them to talk about on this list. 

  • The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon – and me, Ruby Oliver by E. Lockhart
  • Ditto.

  • Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
  • This book about Lithuanian labor camps during WWII has been raved about and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it picks up some awards from ALA come January. I liked it. I just didn’t LOVE it.

  • Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren’t Complicated, I Wouldn’t Be Ruby Oliver by E. Lockhart
  • Oh dear. I just. . . have  nothing more to say about these books. They were fun! I liked them! The end!

  • Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire: The Methods and Madness Inside Room 56 by Rafe Esquith
  • These books were very inspiring. I think I’ll re-read them in a couple of years.

  • Spousonomics: Using Economics to Master Love, Marriage, and Dirty Dishes by Paula Szuchman
  • BAH, HUMBUG. This book had a great premise (and a long title), but it kind of fell flat for me. I’ll just have to fail at love, marriage, and dirty dishes.

  • Lighting Their Fires: Raising Extraordinary Children in a Mixed-up, Muddled-up, Shook-up World by Rafe Esquith
  • By far my least favorite of his three books. Go directly to one of the other two.

  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • The most memorable part about this book is how I downloaded the audio and somehow missed part 7 of 8, which was deeply irritating. Not really the dystopian novel for me (words I never expected to say).

  • The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
  • This book meandered all over the place. Also, the jacket copy was terrible – totally misrepresented the book.

  • Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry by Lenore Skenazy
  • A fantastic

  • Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  • I got this audiobook for free. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. So dumb.

  • Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
  • Another complete loser of a book.

  • The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman by Meg Wolitzer
  • I desperately wanted this book to be like The View from Saturday. Needless to say, it was not. 

  • The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
  • I read this for a bookclub I used to belong to. It was quite good, about two women from vastly different social classes in modern India.

  • Wish You Well by David Baldacci
  • I am ashamed how long it took me to finally finish this book from Tell Me What to Read. Once I FINALLY got around to it, I liked it quite well.

  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • I can’t believe I’d never read this before.

  • The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker
  • Such typical trite YA. Every cliche in the book. Luke was really the only redeeming part of this book and I felt bad for HIM for even being in the book.

  • Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
  • It was truly unfair to this book to listen to it while I was reading Falling for Hamlet. This story was so crazy; Romeo and Juliet have spent the last seven hundred years inhabiting other bodies and trying to save (or in Romeo’s case, destroy) true love. Bizarre.

  • The Summer of the Great-Grandmother by Madeleine L’Engle
  • Read this for book club – we had a great discussion about death, family, and old age. I need to read more L’Engle books.

  • A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan
  • After Across the Universe and Divergent, I had low expectations. And, behold, it was pretty good!

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  • Reply RA September 30, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Yes! You need to read more L'Engle books! You do!! (Two-Part Invention! Certain Women! A Rock That is Higher!)

  • Reply Melinda September 30, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Thanks Janssen!! I really enjoy your reviews- it is nice to read your recommendations because you are normal and therefore awesome at telling it like it is!

  • Reply Reading (and chickens) September 30, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    E. Lockart. I just love her.I think I'd read her grocery lists.

  • Reply Kristi October 2, 2011 at 3:55 am

    These are probably my favorite posts you do. Perfect for a fair weather reader like myself. You do the dirty work and I read your favorites!

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