Thursday, December 3, 2015

Oct/Nov Reads

I feel like the theme for this year's posts has been focused on my lack of posting.  I'm busy, as is everyone else, but I'm not any busier now than I was a year ago so why am I not writing more.

Well the year has been tough and my writing really started declining after my injury in Fall 2014 and then other life issues have occurred and more decline of writing has occurred. 

I have loved my blogging and it has introduced me to many other people out there, but I'm not sure that I will continue to write posts in the year to come.  So with that said here are my reads from Oct/Nov (since I am so behind decided to combine them).  I plan to post a Dec reads post at the end of the month and then revisit whether I want to continue posting. 

November Books:
The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughn
This was a multi-character story line.  The premise was four different ladies and one gentlemen vying for a baking prize through a baking competition.  The competition was based on a past baker and wife of a grocery store chain who was also an author of a cookbook.  This cookbook and the recipes were the ties between present and past for these ladies, and gent.  I found all of the different stories the ladies brought to the table intriguing.  The man's story was present, but he was really not a main character as the book's purpose I felt was to show how these four ladies (present day) and the fifth (past baker and cookbook author) changed their life paths and some of them their ways through baking and being a part of this competition.  The ladies' ages varied and so it really gave a nice picture of different changes/stresses/ and happening women experience throughout their lives.  I highly recommend this read for those who love baking, cookbooks, recipes and for those who just love stories about women, friendship and adversity.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer
This was our book club read, and we just discussed this book at last night's book club.  I felt the consensus was: well liked book, maybe not loved by all, and many who just "liked it" felt the writing along was so beautiful and well done that it made up for not "loving it".  A story that takes place during WWII with two main characters being children/teens.  One is a Hitler Youth and through his story I had a better understanding of what it was like to not truly have much of a choice, but to become a part of this side of the war.  The other character Marie-Laure is a young lady who became blind mid elementary years and who lives in Paris at the start of the war and then has to move to Saint-Malo a city along the sea where her recluse great uncle lives.  Their two stories only converge in the physical tense for one afternoon otherwise their stories are running in parallel giving a different picture of what occurs during this war.  Again I was beautifully wrote and the writing was so descriptive I can visualize what the set of this motion picture (have a feeling it will be made into a movie) would look like just by the detail of the writing.  For me it was 4 star for the overall writing and story, but I think I was surprised it wasn't a 5 star for me because of my love of reading of WWII and the two characters being teens/children as story's main characters. 

October Reads
For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible by Jen Hatmaker
This one was a disappointment for me.  I have read blog posts by Jen Hatmaker and really liked them, but this book was just too fluff for me.  However, towards the end of the book there was some redemption as I felt she started getting to some "meat" of real life discussion and writing.  I think I was hoping this book was going to be similar to Glennon Doyle's Carrior on Warrior, but it wasn't at all. 

After You by Jojo Moyes
This is sequel to Me Before You- one of our book club's favorites.  For a sequel I felt it was very well written and believable, but for me the story didn't have the depth and the "pull" that Me Before You had.  I still recommend reading it if you enjoyed Me Before You.

The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny
Another Armande Gamache mysteries and I liked it, but didn't love it.  When you love an author and so enjoy their books it is hard to find every book they write as good as your favorites of theirs.  I think we as readers come to the table with our favorite authors expecting the best to continue and sometimes the story line or characters just aren't as good as past books.  I found that with this book.  Louise went out on a branch with this one, because the character who is killed in this story is a young kid.  I don't know if that is why I didn't embrace this story as much, but I definitely think it was unlike her previous Armande Gamache mysteries.  I will of course continue to be eager for her next book in the series to come out, but will put this as one of my least favorites from the series. 

I was a bad book clubber in October and started Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich. I got about 80 pages into the book and just wasn't enjoying it at all. So I put my big girl pants on and chose to put the book down.  Sometimes you just have to walk away.

Hope everyone has a final month of joyous reading to end 2015.