Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Quick Lit - May

Making these lists once a month have become a nice reminder at just how fast a month can be.  I feel like I've just written one when it's time to do another.  Also, talking about books is one of my favorite topics and I'm always up for discussing what I have read and what I want to read.

You can find me on Goodreads HERE where I am probably too active.  I told my husband I spend more time managing my reading life than he spends just reading...which is definitely true.

What I've been reading lately...

Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch 
This is a YA novel about a brother, sister, and the brother's internet friend who end up road tripping through Ireland together while their Mom thinks they are in Italy.  As a YA story it had heartbreak and some poor choices, high school problems.  All things I've read in other YA books and this one handled them pretty well.  BUT what I liked most was that the path they took through Ireland largely mirrored the path my husband and I took 6 years ago - Cliffs of Mohr, Dingle, Cobh, Dublin.  I loved reading about places we've been and could picture exactly where the characters were.  That really really added to my enjoyment of the book.  I would have probably liked it regardless but being able to picture all their sights really helped.  3.5 Stars

Limelight by Amy Poeppel 
This book was about a family who moved from Texas to Manhattan, to follow Dad's job.  They have a high schooler, middle schooler, and grade schooler and have to get used to living in a tiny New York apartment (although 2 bathrooms...that sounds dreamy).  Mom stumbles upon a job managing (or basically part-time parenting) a Justin Bieber like character who is making his Broadway debut.  I enjoyed reading about life in New York, how their family handled the move, and behind the scenes of Broadway.  It was a really enjoyable read, just a few content problems that I wish weren't there so I could endorse it more heartily.  But for the most part I really liked it.  3.75 Stars

Brooklyn in Love: A Delicious Memoir of Food, Family, and Finding Yourself by Amy Thomas
I've mentioned the book Paris, My Sweet many times on this blog (another time coming below) and so of course I was going to read the follow-up, this time almost entirely set in New York City, a city I have a little bit of affection for.  I realize I am writing this and you are likely reading it out of order, sorry about that.  This is the story of the author moving back to New York and settling down with an apartment, husband, and baby in Brooklyn.  Still lots of sweets (how many can we pack into our next trip??) but this time with a lot of New York real estate talk, which I find fascinating (and makes me so appreciate the MUCH more affordable area we live).  Worth a read if you are interested in New York City, NYC bakeries, or just sweets in general.  3.5 Stars

L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making Paris my Home by David Lebovitz 
I've read (and own) his ice cream cookbook which is fantastic and I'm always up for stories about people moving to Paris.  This one was a good reminder of why I'll never do that (and for so many other reasons).  His memoir of buying an apartment in Paris and trying to get it renovated sounds like a nightmare.  AND the only home improvement saga that sounds worse than our 6 weeks without a shower and 6 days without a toilet.  Not a story I would recommend trying to top.  Your interest will depend on how you feel about food, Paris, and home renovating, all of which happen to be things I at least like reading about.  3.5 Stars

This Love Story Will Self-Destruct by Leslie Cohen
Perfectly fine fiction of a boy and girl (college students or shortly after graduating) who fall in love in New York City.  What happens is just what the title says will happen but it was entertaining reading nonetheless.   I also happen to enjoy reading about people living in New York.  Reminded me of The Futures but I liked that book more.  Still, not a bad read.  3 Stars

Home Sweet Maison: The French Art of Making a Home by Danielle Postel-Vinay 
In a similar vein to all the books about Hygge (which I still have no idea how to say), except this one is all about French living.  I don't read these because I want to live like other cultures, but rather as an informative "this is how other cultures do things" and find it fascinating.  Obviously plenty of differences to the American way I am used to.  3 Stars 

The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister
A follow-up to The School of Essential Ingredients with some overlapping characters.  I liked the first book more but this one was fine too.  Not as much about food but it does give each character more than one chapter which was nice.  And I liked seeing how they all overlapped.  Perfectly fine reading but doesn't really add to the reading experience of the first.  3 Stars 

The One We Fell in Love With by Paige Toon
Identical triplet sisters.  A cute boy moves in next door.  They all immediately get a crush on him.  One gets first dibs and the others cope with not getting a chance?  I've written this paragraph a few times and none of them make this book sound not-cheesy.  So maybe it just is.  Told through the perspective of all three sisters.  Was this one guy that special?  I'm still not sure he deserved all the attention but sometimes you just want what you can't have.  2.5 Stars

Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas
This was the third time I read this one and have enjoyed it every time.  Memoir of the author's time in Paris, working for Louis Vuitton, having been transferred over from New York.  She struggles with actually living in her favorite city (Paris) and leaving her other favorite city behind (New York).  But there's a lot of sweets and recommendations for sweets in both cities.  Plus, as I've said, I love a good "I moved my life to Paris!" story (and her second book is currently on my shelf waiting to be read.)  4 Stars

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
I was really interested in this because it is an adoption story.  And having just adopted (for the second time), I have a little experience with that.  EXCEPT our adoptions are nothing like what happen here and I hope nobody's ever is ever again.  This is about children who were basically kidnapped from their parents and then adopted by parents none the wiser.  It's based on a true story and "agency" a woman ran less than 100 years ago.  Horrifying but yet fascinating.  My heart broke for these families and what they went through.   4 Stars

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
I probably would have liked this better if I knew really anything about the classic Sherlock Holmes stories.  I really know his name and that's it.  So there was a lot I probably didn't catch in this and, even 300 pages in, I was still having to think about which teenager was Holmes and which was Watson.  It's the first in a series and I don't plan to read the rest.  2 Stars

Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom by Lisa Jo Baker
Did this one on audio, often while feeding my little one at 3am.  A lot of her reflections on being a mother had to do with pregnancy and childbirth.  While I understand that is how most women come into motherhood, it's not something I could relate to at all and it made the whole book much less effective for me.  Also, she lost her mother to cancer (I believe?) at a young age and while I understand how that would be horrible and affect how you see motherhood, it was another part I couldn't relate to.  So...really this whole book was me just not relating but I think it could be helpful for others.  3 Stars

You are a Bad@$$ at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero
I wanted to roll my eyes too many times at all her "just want to be rich and you will be!" instructions.  So maybe that's why we aren't wealthy?  I liked her first book better (recommended it way back here) and I just couldn't get on board with this one.  2 Stars

The Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel
 I really enjoyed this one.  Another World War II novel, another World War II novel set in Paris (you'd think we are getting ready to travel there with all the Paris/French books I've read this month. (we aren't)(That long of a flight with two little ones sounds horrible.  And expensive.)).  An American woman falls in love with a Frenchman, marries him, and moves to Paris.  They end up getting involved in smuggling downed pilots out of France during the War.  It's a slightly different take that I hadn't read before and also didn't make itself too important and thus difficult to read.  One of my favorite World War II books I've read in recent years.  4 Stars

What have YOU been reading lately?  Tell me!

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