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October 09, 2018

Reading Lately

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my sweet girl keeping me company while I read Elsewhere Home last Saturday

Usually when the legal reading goes up, the leisure reading goes down. That's typical for me. I still read every evening to clear my head though (typically on the couch next to Danny as he watches movies or series) and I managed to get through seven books this month - even with me hitting the ground running at work. I consider that a win.

I'm trying to clear out my Netgalley stash so that I can get back in their good books ... ergo a lot of this month's stash came from Netgalley. Im not complaining. There were some really good ones in there.

Here are the books I've read since last month's post:

Loved it:
The wife before me ~ Laura Elliot
(received from Netgalley for an honest review)

This book was so good. Disturbing, dark and a touch eery but good. A psychological thriller / Noir at its finest. TBH Im not sure it fits one single genre. it started off like a romance (maybe a chapter or two), was definitely a thriller / noir for most of it and even had some paranormal stuff mixed in at the end. All done well by the author I think. We've seen the past wife / new wife story before but this book had so many twists and turns and I absolutely devoured it.
Only a few things: If you're triggered by domestic violence, this one isn't for you. There's a lot of it. Arguably too much of it. Second, the author switches from past to present tense rapidly and sometimes this could be confusing. there were times I thought a memory was happening and it was the present. Finally, the touch of paranormal probably wasn't necessary. Still Good.
4.5 / 5 stars
Goodreads link here

Mostly Sunny ~ Jamie Pope
(received from Netgalley for an honest review)

Hands down my favourite book of the month. The main character was a child social worker who was herself abandoned as a kid in a pretty horrible way. The book centers around her search for her birth mother and the reasons why she began her search. The writing and the way the author wrote mainly about the present but with small glimpses of the past, just worked.
Genre wise its a drama/romance but I'm actually afraid to say romance because I don't want to deter anyone from reading it. Its not fluffy or all about the romance at all. It dealt with some deep issues: child abandonment and effects, foster care, adoption. The romance was almost a secondary story. I loved it. Its a series and the second one comes out in April. I pre-ordered it. I'm not at all generous with my 5 stars. I gave all 5 to this book.
That says a lot.
5 / 5 stars
Goodreads link here

Liked it:
Tampa ~ Alissa Nutting

It's hard to review this one as I in no way condone pedophilia ... so I'm almost embarrassed to say that I really enjoyed this book. I almost hate that I devoured a book about an adult preying sexually on adolescents in a few hours. Its an uncomfortable book and you will feel icky while reading it. 
This was however, in my opinion, an excellent debut novel for Nutting (though its quite a few years old at this point). The topic was sickening and disturbing and being inside a sociopath / pedophile's mind for 250 + pages was not fun ... but it worked. I hated the main character Celeste (she's one of the most unlikable characters I have ever read with little by way of redemptive qualities) but I realized pretty quickly that it was through no flaw of the author. Its just that the author seemed to portray her perverted, deeply troubled nature so well. It won't be everyone's cup of tea but I enjoyed it for what it was.
3.5/5 stars
Goodreads link here


The Cafe at Seashell Cove ~ Karen Clarke

Chick Lit at its finest. It passed the time fine and was just what I needed after reading two heavy disturbing reads. Its about a successful event planner finds herself in her childhood seaside town after some work turmoil. As is the nature of Chick Lit there is a cute love story that emerges too.
Nothing groundbreaking and no big twists but it's a quick easy read if you're looking for something light and fluffy to pass the time. A feel good good read and the lightest thing I read all month.

3/5 stars
Goodreads link here




Elsewhere Home ~ Leila Aboulela
(received by Netgalley for an honest review)

So I really wish I knew this was a short story collection. I don't mind short stories but need to be in a mood to read them. I trudged along though and in the end I'm glad I did, even though I honestly was not in the mood.
Each story was told from the perspective of Muslim immigrants from the African continent (Sudan, Egypt etc) living in the UK (London and Scotland mainly) and just gave a glimpse of the social complications as a result. Life, Love, just existing with, marrying two cultures in everyday life etc. I loved that most of the stories took place in both the UK and African continent. 

3/5 stars
Goodreads link here


The Idiot ~ Elif Batuman

I have a very complicated relationship with this book. On the one hand I'm not really afraid of giving spoilers for this one since nothing twisty / or of any significance happened. On the other hand it is literary genius. The linguistic ability of this author is crazy. Thing is, I think I'm only able to appreciate it and the musings of the 1990's Harvard college student for 492 pages because I studied English as my undergrad degree. This would be a perfect book to  dissect for the pure art of the writing. As a leisure read though, it probably wouldn't stand up to critique. The writing is complicated and prone to double entendres and satire.
It was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize so maybe give it a shot if you want a longer not so typical read. I also encourage you to read the reviews on Goodread. Both good and bad are spot on.

3/5 stars
Goodreads link here


Not my vibe:
This is you, This is me ~ Renee Blossom
(received from Netgalley for an honest review)

To sum this up in five words: it bore me to tears. It took me incredibly long to read because every time I opened it I got sleepy or fell asleep. Not kidding: it cured my insomnia. I also didn't care for the format at all - it not so fluidly switched from conversation to introspection. 
The story followed a successful couple (musician and model) with marital secrets that began to unravel after their kid gets sick
(I still couldn't tell you what the kid was sick with). My personality doesn't allow me to DNF (unfortunately) but this was definitely as close as it gets. If I wasn't getting some good sleep out of it I would have chucked it. There were some quotable moments  but imo it would have done much better as a short story.
2/5 stars
Goodreads link here

Up Next: 
Im starting another Netgalley pick tonight. 

Anyone read it?


PS: Follow me on Goodreads

Linking up with Steph and Jana for the 4th anniversary of Show us your books!

Have a great Tuesday!!

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