Books Lately

I’m home sick with a cold and I am SO SAD to miss work today because we have a team building event that includes a Loblaws Japanese cooking class. We have this delicious menu planned and I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks! I was really torn this morning, I thought a Tylenol cold might suppress my symptoms enough for me to make it, but nope. It’s doing jack all. I’m sneezing all over the place and my nose just WILL NOT stop running. No one is going to want to cook around this mess. I really enjoy my coworkers and, delicious food aside, I was excited to hang out with them doing something fun. I missed going to a play with them last night also, and I also missed my blogger book club on Wednesday, STUPID COLD. Hasn’t been the best week, but things are looking up. My pal Cely just reminded me that The Crown starts on Netflix today so I know what I’m doing while I wallow on my couch of pain surrounded by Kleenex.

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Since I haven’t been up to much this week aside from being sick, here’s a book update.

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I do!

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child

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Synopsis:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

I loved it. Obviously, it’s Harry Potter, I knew going into it there was no way I wouldn’t love it. I enjoyed the storyline but I wish it was released as a novel rather than a script. Though I’d love to see it play out on stage (I really hope to one day!), it was a play, and it read like a play. That format was missing the detail that I love about the rest of the HP series, and to me it felt a bit like Harry Potter fan fiction. Also, the plot was very simple and everything wrapped up just a little too neatly…but again, it’s a play. So I get that. I loved it, but I can understand where the disappointed reviews are coming from.

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

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Synopsis:

Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She’s quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn’t get out much. Not because she’s not pretty. She is. It’s just that, well, Sookie has this sort of “disability.” She can read minds. And that doesn’t make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill. He’s tall, dark, handsome–and Sookie can’t hear a word he’s thinking. He’s exactly the type of guy she’s been waiting for all her life….

But Bill has a disability of his own: He’s a vampire with a bad reputation. He hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, all suspected of–big surprise–murder. And when one of Sookie’s coworkers is killed, she fears she’s next.

I completely forgot I read this until I was looking through my recent reads on Goodreads, so I can’t say it was memorable. I watched the TV series before reading this and it’s basically exactly the same as season one of True Blood (as far as I can remember but it’s been a while since I watched it so I may be forgetting some details), so I knew what was going to happen and there were no surprises for me. That might affect my opinion, if I had read this before knowing much about the characters and the storyline I may have enjoyed it more. It did make me miss the early seasons of the show! I sooo missed Tara and Lafayette as characters – Lafayette is in the book but doesn’t have much of a role.

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He’s the best.

It’s a fun, sexy read and I enjoyed it. Will I continue with the series? Ehh, maybe one day.

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

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Synopsis:

Sophie Honeywell always wondered if Thomas Gordon was the one she let get away. He was the perfect boyfriend, but on the day he was to propose, she broke his heart. A year later he married his travel agent, while Sophie has been mortifyingly single ever since. Now Thomas is back in her life because Sophie has unexpectedly inherited his aunt Connie’s house on Scribbly Gum Island — home of the famously unsolved Munro Baby mystery.

Sophie moves onto the island and begins a new life as part of an unconventional family where it seems everyone has a secret. Grace, a beautiful young mother, is feverishly planning a shocking escape from her perfect life. Margie, a frumpy housewife, has made a pact with a stranger, while dreamy Aunt Rose wonders if maybe it’s about time she started making her own decisions.

As Sophie’s life becomes increasingly complicated, she discovers that sometimes you have to stop waiting around — and come up with your own fairy-tale ending.

I have really been liking Liane Moriarty books lately. I think she’s a talented storyteller and author. This was not my favourite book of hers, but I still enjoyed it. It’s well-written with a decent mystery component. I’m not one who typically figures out the mystery before it’s revealed and the ending was a surprise for me. I also liked that she wrote about post partum depression. It’s a tough subject and one that I think needs to be talked about more often. It was a charming and entertaining book and I’d recommend. Also, I wouldn’t mind living on Scribby Gum Island.

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

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Synopsis:

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the future they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

So many people seem to just rave about how great this book is, but I do not get what the big deal is. I was reading the prologue and thinking “Yes! I’m going to love this book!” but it sort of went downhill for me from there. I know I’m in the minority. I guess I expected more than just dysfunctional family dynamics between shallow, whiny characters. It’s not a terrible book but it didn’t live up to the hype for me.

The Storyteller by Jodi Piccoult

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Synopsis:

Sage Singer befriends an old man who’s particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone’s favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses… and then he confesses his darkest secret—he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter? Sage’s grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.

What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who’s committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren’t the party who was wronged? And most of all—if Sage even considers his request—is it murder, or justice?

Loved this book. Minka’s tale of surviving the Holocaust was totally the highlight and I could not get enough of her story. So heartbreaking. I do wish that Sage had been explored more, particularly her friendship with Josef. I also could have done without the typical “she’s so beautiful but she’s insecure and doesn’t know it” storyline about Sage. It’s been done so many times. But I still loved it and once again I did not see the twist coming. It was so good!

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6 responses to “Books Lately

  1. Sick too. Gilmore Girls binge fest. Can’t taste anything which for some reason makes me starving.

  2. I’m pretty sure you mentioned The Storyteller a couple book posts ago. You’re getting old my friend.

    I just got a hard copy of The Nest (for free at least!). Your review is not making me excited to read it.

  3. I love your book recommendations!! I actually just finished The Girl With All The Gifts based on your review.. it was so great!

    I think I must be a fan of post-apocalypse books because my last favourite was Station Eleven.. have you read it? If not you must!

  4. I was not impressed with The Nest either!!! I read osme review that was like “you won’t be able to NOT root for every character!”

    In a word: false. None of the main characters had any redeeming qualities which made it hard for me to get on board.

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