Tag Archives: top ten tuesday

TTT: 10 Running Books I’ve Recently Added to my TBR (to be read) List

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week it is about 10 books in a particular genre that you’ve recently added to your TBR list.  I recently read Born to Run and loved it.  I found it very inspiring and it has changed my whole perspective on running.  Born to Run by Christopher McDougall is probably the most acclaimed and  most widely read book on running out there. Not only does it have great running tips within it, but it is a fascinating story.  As I’ve been running more as a result of that book, I had added other running books to my TBR list hoping to give added inspiration and motivation to continue running.  Have you read any of these?  Did you enjoy them?  Are there any other running books you’ve read and enjoyed?

  1.  Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner
    by Dean Karnazes – a memoir of a ultra-marathoner
  2. An Accidental Athlete: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Middle Age by John Bingham – a memoir of an unlikely marathoner
  3. Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek, Steve Friedman – a memoir of Scott Jurek’s running experiences and whole food plant based diet

4.  What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (Translator) – acclaimed contemporary writer talks about the effect running has had on his writing
5.  Confessions of an Unlikely Runner: A Guide to Racing and Obstacle Courses for the Averagely Fit and Halfway Dedicated
by Dana L. Ayers – humorous memoir of an unlikely runner6.   My Year of Running Dangerously by Tom Foreman – a memoir of a man who, at the age of 51, rekindles his love for running7.  Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsleya memoir of a woman in her 30s who turns her life around with running8.  Running with the Mind of Meditation:  Lessons for Training Body and Mind by Sakyong Mipham A book about incorporating mindful meditation into running to take it to the next level9.  Night Running: A Book of Essays about Breaking Through by multiple authors – a book of essays on running focusing on the power of running to make us feel more and see our lives in a new perspective, with an emphasis on female voices.10.  Run the World by Becky Wade – a memoir by Olympic hopeful about exploring the geographic world of running and unique cultural approaches to it

TTT: Top 10 Most Anticipated Books to be Published in the Second Half of 2017

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is about books we are looking forward to in the second half of 2017.  This was a fun post for me investigating all the books that are about to come out and getting excited for them!  Which of these appeals to you?  What is on your list?

  1.  We Shall Not Sleep by Estep Nagy“The entangled pasts of two ruling class New England families come to light over three summer days on an island in Maine in this extraordinary debut novel.” – Goodreads.  Expected publication date:  July 4, 2017.

Why? It is interesting sounding debut novel about two WASPish families sharing an island and interconnected history off the coast of Maine.

 

 

2.  Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward“In Jesmyn Ward’s first novel since her National Book Award winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. Drawing on Morrison and Faulkner, The Odyssey and the Old Testament, Ward gives us an epochal story, a journey through Mississippi’s past and present that is both an intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. Ward is a major American writer, multiply awarded and universally lauded, and in Sing, Unburied, Sing she is at the height of her powers.” – Goodreads.  Expected publication date:  September 5, 2017.

Why?  I’ve not read anything by this author before, however, she has won the National Book Award in the past, and this is being touted as her best work yet.

3. Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang “Centered on a community of immigrants who have traded their endangered lives as artists in China and Taiwan for the constant struggle of life at the poverty line in 1990s New York City, Zhang’s exhilarating collection examines the many ways that family and history can weigh us down and also lift us up.” – Goodreads.  Expected publication date:    August 1, 2017.

Why?  This is a collection of short stories about adolescent girls from China and Taiwan living in NYC. It sounds fascinating.

 

4.  A Catalog of Birds by Laura Harrington“Lyrical and affecting, Laura Harrington has written an artful family drama about innocence lost and wounds that may never be healed. This is a tale of forgiveness: of ourselves, of those we love best. Illuminated by grief and desire, the novel is full of spirit, wonder and the possibilities of the future.” – Goodreads.  Expected publication date:  July 11, 2017

Why?  A novel set in the 1970’s, a family drama that sounds uplifting by an award winning author… yes please!

 

 

5.  High Heel by Summer Brennan“Fetishized, demonized, celebrated and outlawed, the high heel is central to the iconography of modern womanhood. But are high heels good? Are they feminist? What does it mean for a woman (or, for that matter, a man) to choose to wear them? Meditating on the labyrinthine nature of sexual identity and the performance of gender, High Heel moves from film to fairytale, from foot binding to feminism, and from the golden ratio to glam rock. It considers this most provocative of fashion accessories as a nexus of desire and struggle, sex and society, setting out to understand what it means to be a woman by walking a few hundred years in her shoes.” – Goodreads.   Expected publication date:  September 7, 2017.

Why?  This is the only non-fiction book on this list.  It is an essay about high heels and is part of an essay series published in partnership with The Atlantic.  I am curious to see what conclusions the author draws on this subject.

6.  The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld“Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight years old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as “the Child Finder,” Naomi is their last hope.” – Goodreads.  Expected publication date:  September 5, 2017.

Why?  Rene Denfeld’s The Enchanted  is one of my favorite books.  I’m very excited to read this new novel of hers.

 

 

7.  Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng “When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.” – Goodreads.  Expected publication date:  September 12, 2017

Why? Having really enjoyed Everything I Never Told You I’m really looking forward to this new novel of hers.

 

 

8.  Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan“Manhattan Beach opens in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Anna observes the uniformed servants, the lavishing of toys on the children, and some secret pact between her father and Dexter Styles.” – Goodreads.  Expected publication date:  October 3, 2017

Why?  I never read Jennifer Egan’s The Goon Squad, but had heard such great things about it.  I’m really looking forward to reading this next novel of hers.

 

 

9.  The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas -“Epic, propulsive, incredibly ambitious, and dazzlingly written, The Resurrection of Joan Ashby is a story about sacrifice and motherhood, the burdens of expectation and genius. Cherise Wolas’s gorgeous debut introduces an indelible heroine candid about her struggles and unapologetic in her ambition.” – Goodreads.  Expected publication date:  August 29, 2017.

Why?  The description alone is thoroughly enticing to me.  Also, the reviews I’ve seen thus far have been glowing.  This is the author’s first novel.

 

 

10.  Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss – “One of America’s most important novelists” (New York Times), the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The History of Love, conjures an achingly beautiful and breathtakingly original novel about personal transformation that interweaves the stories of two disparate individuals—an older lawyer and a young novelist—whose transcendental search leads them to the same Israeli desert.” – Goodreads.  Expected publication date:  September 12, 2017.

Why?  Having loved The History of Love,  I’m very much looking forward to this new novel by the same author!

TTT: Beach Read Recommendations

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  Anyone can play, so go ahead and check it out.  With Memorial Day rapidly approaching, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is based around the theme of beach reads.  What is a beach read?  Most people think of beach reads as light books that are not to emotional or mentally taxing as to distract from the vacation.  However, what people choose to read on beaches varies greatly.  I agree that I’m not interested in reading anything incredibly academic while attempting to relax, but I prefer to avoid overly light and fluffy as well.  I enjoy well written, emotionally and mentally engaging works of literary fiction when I relax on the beach.  Normally, I very much enjoy non-fiction and historical fiction, but I avoid these on vacation.   If you are like me, you might enjoy some of these too!  If you have any to recommend to me based on my beach preferences, I’d love to hear your recommendations!  Next to each book, I’ve included a brief excerpt from the Goodreads description of each.  I’ve also linked to my review for those of which I’ve written reviews.

  1.  Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – “Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.”
  2. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Temple -“Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.  Then Bernadette disappears.”
  3. Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout – “Written in tandem with My Name Is Lucy Barton and drawing on the small-town characters evoked there, these pages reverberate with the themes of love, loss, and hope that have drawn millions of readers to Strout’s work.”
  4. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler – “Brimming with all the insight, humour, and generosity of spirit that are the hallmarks of Anne Tyler’s work, A Spool of Blue Thread tells a poignant yet unsentimental story in praise of family in all its emotional complexity.”
  5. Commonwealth by by Ann Patchett – “One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.”
  6. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld -“This version of the Bennet family and Mr. Darcy is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.”
  7. Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler – “A lush, raw, thrilling novel of the senses about a year in the life of a uniquely beguiling young woman, set in the wild, alluring world of a famous downtown New York restaurant.”
  8. The Girls by Emma Cline – “Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted.”
  9. The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti – “After years spent living on the run, Samuel Hawley moves with his teenage daughter, Loo, to Olympus, Massachusetts. There, in his late wife’s hometown, Hawley finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at school and grows curious about her mother’s mysterious death. Haunting them both are twelve scars Hawley carries on his body, from twelve bullets in his criminal past; a past that eventually spills over into his daughter’s present, until together they must face a reckoning yet to come. This father-daughter epic weaves back and forth through time and across America, from Alaska to the Adirondacks.” 
  10. Ways to Disappear by Idra Novel – “Deep in gambling debt, the celebrated Brazilian writer Beatriz Yagoda is last seen holding a suitcase and a cigar and climbing into an almond tree. She abruptly vanishes.”

TTT: Favorite books about Motherhood & Identity Crisis

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is about motherhood.  I have chosen the theme of identity crisis in motherhood.  This is the first time I have strayed away from using ten books, but I could only think of 3 great ones that fit the bill.  Please help me and add some others!  I know there are lots more out there and I’d love to hear from you.

  1.  Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple – This is a hilarious book about a stay-at-home mother who disassociates herself from the social niceties of the other private school parents.  She had been an incredible revolutionary architect, but her dreams were dashed by a neighbor who bulldozes her award winning design.  She abandons her career as they move to Seattle with it’s uninspired architecture.  She is married to a Microsoft guru and starts to feel small.  She finally disappears.. to Antartica.
  2. Forty Rooms by Olga Grushin – This is the story of a little girl growing up in Russia with big dreams and aspirations of becoming a poet.  She moves to the United States for college.  She ends up marrying and then having children without fully intending to.  The line between reality and fantasy becomes blurred as she is not sure of who she is, what she was, and if she ever was destined to be a great poet.  My review.  
  3. Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki – This is a novel about art, identity and motherhood.  It is about identity perceptions and truths behind the perceptions.  It is about mothering different children differently.  It is about questioning one’s one identity and decisions.   My review.

TTT: Top Ten Things that Will Make Me Not Want to Read a Book

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is about book turn-offs.  Here is a list of 10 reasons I might choose not to read a book.  This meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  It is a weekly meme always centered around a top ten list.  Anyone can join in.  What do you agree or disagree with on my list?    What was or would be on your list?

  1. Zombies – Ok, I have to admit I was hooked on ‘The Walking Dead’ for a brief period, though I’m not sure why I got into it.  Somehow, I will watch things on television I wouldn’t dream of reading about.  I think I would have a hard time devoting reading time to zombies.
  2. Vampires – There have been so many books and book series based on vampires and yes, I know many love these books.  Again, I cannot go there.
  3. Erotica – I love a beautiful romance in an otherwise well written plot heavy book, but I’ve never gotten into reading erotica.
  4. Political Propaganda –  I don’t mind reading a book that involves politics or sheds light on political history or current events, however, there are many political books out there that seem to be propaganda.  They are trying to persuade others of their way of thinking and I prefer less bias.
  5. Werewolves – Ok, this is for the same reason I’m not going to read books about zombies or vampires.
  6. Cheesy romance – I see these romance books with a woman in long flowing dress and I am immediately not interested.
  7. Chick lit – The kind of book I know ahead of time I will not like, is the super fluffy, containing little of real substance book.  Unfortunately many of these book best fit into the genre “chick-lit” or “women’s literature.”
  8. Strongly religious – There are many amazing books that relate to religion.  However, I do not want to read a book solely about religion or a book that in any way wants to persuade me of a certain religion.
  9. Self-help – I avoid books that try to make me a better, happier, wealthier, smarter, more well liked person.  I do read books on parenting, gardening, cooking, etc – books in order to do something better, but not to inherently change myself.
  10. Bargain books – Amazon offers a free book every month for prime members.  I sometimes download these, yet never have read a single one.  I want to choose my own books out of many not just the 4 that amazon is pushing that month.  I do read netgalley’s ARCs, but there are so many to choose from.  I often actually hear of a book that I want to read and then go looking for it on netgalley.

TTT: Top 10 Unique Books I’ve Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week has a different theme.. all based around a top 10 list.  This week’s topic is the top ten unique books I’ve read.  Each of these is unique for different reasons.  This is a somewhat ambiguous topic, so I chose books that I felt stood out to me as having elements I’ve not seen in other books.  Did any of these make your list?  What did or would make your list?

  1.  Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
  2. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  3. The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood (My review)
  4. The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
  5. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  7. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  8. Magic America by C.E. Medford
  9. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  10. Nicotine by Nell Zink (my review)

 

 

TTT: Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR List

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday will feature 10 books on my spring to be read list.   Next to each book, I will add the publication date (or expected publication date), a blurb copied from Goodreads’ description of the book and the reason why it is on my list.  This is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Have you read any of these?  What is on your spring TBR list?

 

  1.  Hillbilly Elegy:  A Memoir of a Family and a Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance – published June 28, 2016 – Part memoir, part historical and social analysis, J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy is a fascinating consideration of class, culture, and the American dream.

Why?  This is my book club’s pick.  So many people have asked me if I’ve read this, so I’m excited to get to this finally.

 

 

 

2.  The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti – expected publication date March 28, 2017 – Both a coming-of-age novel and a literary thriller, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley explores what it means to be a hero, and the cost we pay to protect the people we love most.

Why?  I have never read anything by Hannah Tinti, but her books have been so well received in the past that I requested an ARC of this book from netgalley.

 

 

 

3.  We Shall Not Sleep by Estep NagyExpected publication date July 4, 2017 – Vividly capturing the rift between the cold warriors of Jim’s generation and the rebellious seekers of Catta’s, We Shall Not All Sleep is a richly told story of American class, family, and manipulation—a compelling portrait of a unique and privileged WASP stronghold on the brink of dissolution.

Why?  I read an article about what an amazing book this was, so I requested it from netgalley.

 

4.  Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Published July 7, 2015 – From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

Why?  This is not my usual genre and I will probably hate it, but I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised.  I am intrigued by the ‘Sliding Doors’ aspect to this book.  This is my other bookclub’s pick.

 

5.   Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout – Expected Publication Date April 15, 2017 – Written in tandem with My Name Is Lucy Barton and drawing on the small-town characters evoked there, these pages reverberate with the themes of love, loss, and hope that have drawn millions of readers to Strout’s work.

Why?  I love Elizabeth Strout and want to read everything she writes.  I loved ‘My Name is Lucy Barton’ and am excited to read this counterpart to it.

 

 

 

6.    Woman No. 17 by Edan LepuckiExpected Publication Date May 9, 2017 – A sinister, sexy noir about art, motherhood, and the intensity of female friendships, set in the posh hills above Los Angeles, from the New York Times bestselling author of California.

Why?  I have heard exciting things about this book, so I requested it from netgalley.  It is a little outside of my usual box, but I’m super excited for it!

 

 

7.  The Gift of Failure:  How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey – Published August 11, 2015 – Providing a path toward solutions, Lahey lays out a blueprint with targeted advice for handling homework, report cards, social dynamics, and sports. Most importantly, she sets forth a plan to help parents learn to step back and embrace their children’s failures.

Why?  One night a friend and I were discussing parenting dilemmas, strategies and favorite parenting books.  Shortly afterwards, she sent me this as a gift.

 

8.   A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway – Published 1929 – In 1918 Ernest Hemingway went to war, to the war to end all wars. He volunteered for ambulance service in Italy, was wounded, and twice decorated. Out of his experiences came A Farewell to Arms.

Why?  I chose to read this book for Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge.  It will fulfill the following requirements:  A book published between 1900 and 1950, A book about War, and a book that has been banned or frequently challenged in your country.

 

 

9.   Ill Will by Dan Chaon – Published March 7, 2017 – “We are always telling a story to ourselves, about ourselves,” Dustin Tillman likes to say. It’s one of the little mantras he shares with his patients, and it’s meant to be reassuring. But what if that story is a lie?

Why? I’d heard great things about this author, so I thought I’d give his new novel a try and requested this through netgalley.

 

 

 

10. The Legend of Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Origins by Renae De Liz, Ray Dillon (illustrator) – Published December 13, 2016 – In the beginning, there was only chaos. But Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, saw a better future–and eventually, her daughter would be destined to bring that new world to life. Before her ultimate fate unfolds, though, Diana of Themyscira must learn the important lessons of an Amazonian childhood.

Why? This will fulfill the following requirement in Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge:  Read a superhero comic with a female lead.

TTT: Top Ten Debut Novels I’ve Read in the Past 3 Years

This week’s top ten Tuesday will highlight 10 favorite debut novels (in no particular order) I’ve read in the past few years.  This meme is usually hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, however, they are taking a break.  So, this one is blogger’s choice.  I love reading debut novels!  It’s always a gamble, but it can be so satisfying to find a new author’s work to love.  Have you read any of these?  What are your recent favorite debut authors/books?

 

  1.  Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – A family in Ghana divided by slavery, sweeping over 300 years.  (2016)

 

 

Yaa Gyasi, born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama.  She spent 7 years writing this novel which was published when she was only 26 years old and has won numerous awards for it.

 

2. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng– A Chinese American family searches for the reasons behind their daughter’s death. (2014)

Celeste Ng grew up Pittsburgh, PA and Shaker Heights, OH.  She graduated from Harvard and from the MFA program at the University of Michigan.

 

 

 

3. The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld– A fantastical novel exploring death row and the humanity of an inmate there. (2014)

Rene Denfeld had authored several non-fiction works prior to this first fictional novel.  She is a death penalty investigator and a mother to 3 children adopted from foster care.

 

 

 

4.  The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker – A novel about the power of art to heal. (2017)

Kayla Rae Whitaker has received a BA from University of Kentucky and an MFA from NYU.  After living in Brooklyn for many year, she and her husband have returned to her home state, Kentucky.

 

 

 

5. I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh – A thriller with twists, so the less said the better.  (2015)

Clare Mackintosh spent 12 years working for the police, including time on the CID.  She left in 2011, and now writes full time.

 

7.  Red Rising by Pierce Brown – A dystopian novel of epic proportions.  (2014)

Pierce Brown grew up in seven different states.  He graduated from Pepperdine University in 2010.  He wrote 6 novels and face rejection from over 120 agents prior to selling Red Rising.

 

 

7.  Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho – A magical, fantastical world set in England containing politics, romance and diversity.  (2015)

Zen Cho was born and raised in Malaysia, but currently lives in England.  She writes full time.

 

 

8.  The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson – A novel about the dangers lurking within in a wealthy Marin high school, particularly cyberbullying. (2017)

Lindsey Lee Johnson grew up in Marin County.  She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband.  She holds a professional writing degree from the University of Southern California.

 

 

 

 

9.  Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler – A novel about the secret thrilling life of waitstaff inside one of NYC’s most famous restaurants. (2016)

Stephanie Danler waitressed in NYC after graduating from Kenyon college.  She later obtained a MFA at the New School and drew on her waiting experience in the writing of this novel.

 

 

10.  Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey  – A quirky, humorous mystery novel set in Brazil. (2016)

Idra Novey grew up in a small mining town in Pennsylvania, but has lived in Chile and Brazil.  She has translated the work of several Brazilian authors prior to publishing this book.

 

TTT: Books I Loved Less than Everyone Else

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is about books bloggers loved more or less than everyone else.  Sorry to be so negative here, but I am going to talk about 10 books I loved less than everyone else.  How did you feel about these books?  What books would be on your list?  Feel free to argue against me!  Tell me why you loved these books or agree with me.  I welcome your thoughts and opinions!

  1.  The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein – I hated this book which is written from the perspective of a dog.  The plot is horrible!! There is a false accusation of rape and the father loses visitation rights with his daughter, blech! The dog somehow is able to tell of events occurring in courthouse and other locations he was not in.  Race car driving becomes a metaphor for life.  This was a huge bestseller, promoted by starbucks and has a goodreads average rating of 4.19.  I don’t get it!
  2. The Rent Collector by Camron Wright – This historical fiction novel takes place in the slums of Cambodia, a country which the author has never visited!!!  He was inspired to write this novel after his son traveled there and made a documentary.  The whole thing rings as false.  You must take a huge leap of faith to go along with this story.  Yet, this too, was a best-seller and has an average goodreads rating of 4.23.  My review.
  3. The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner – This is the only book by Jennifer Weiner that I’ve read and I’ve heard some of her other books are better.  I thought this was pretty terrible, lacking any degree of depth whatsoever.  It’s about a young girl trying to make it in Hollywood.  It was literally painful to read and I’m pretty sure I did not make it to the end.
  4. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty – I really disliked this book.  It is typical emotionally manipulative chick-lit.  I hated the focus on the nuclear family above all else.  I hated the spiteful relationships between the women in this novel.  Of course, we all know this was a huge best seller and very loved by many.
  5. Magic America by C.E. Medford – After listening to an interview with the author on NPR, I decided to read this book.  It involves biker angels, fairy godmothers, radioactive cats…  The problem was the story was underdeveloped and the book didn’t really take off, it just fell flat.  Not many people read this book, but you’d be surprised at all the 5 star reviews on goodreads.
  6. Bossypants by Tina Fey – I know I’m not going to be popular for putting this one on my list.  I LOVE Tina Fey, but I didn’t love this autobiography.  I love her humor and my favorite parts of this book were transcripts of some of her SNL skits.  The rest felt like scattered tidbits relating to her life.  So, I really couldn’t love this memoir.
  7. The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton – This is a book that got a lot of attention and was hyped as a great book club book when it came out, so my book club read it.   I found the storyline dull and the characters flat.
  8. On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan – Yes, Ian McEwan is an amazingly talented writer.  I just hated this story and am still shocked and amazed that this was a Man Booker Prize nominee.
  9. The Martian by Andy Weir – Yes, this novel is impressive on so many levels.  It is excellently written and the science element is fascinating.  However, it made me want to pluck my eyelashes out, because there was not enough human interaction.  It’s about a man alone on Mars.  I need more interpersonal interactions in my books!
  10.  Divergent by Veronica Roth – Having really enjoyed the Hunger Games series, I decided I’d give this book a try.  For me, Divergent did not live up to the hype.  It greatly paled in comparison to Hunger Games.

**  Before posting this I realized the actual meme is “Books I loved more/less than I thought I would.  I liked the way I had already created it, so kept with this slight variation.

TTT: 10 Books I Didn’t get to in 2016 but Wish I Did

This week’s meme on The Broke and the Bookish has to do with romance.  Sorry to go against the Valentine’s theme, but, I don’t read much in the way of romance novels, so I figured I’d take the opportunity to do this top ten theme I’ve been hoping to do before too much more time elapses.  Here are the top ten books I really wanted to read in 2016 that I did not get to.   Next to each title I’ve also put in a sentence taken from the goodreads description of each.  Hopefully, by putting them all in a list here, I’ll get to most in 2017.

  1.  Portable Veblen by Elizabeth Mckenzie “Set in and around Palo Alto, amid the culture clash of new money and old (antiestablishment) values, and with the specter of our current wars looming across its pages, The Portable Veblen is an unforgettable look at the way we live now.”
  2. The Nix by Nathan Hill – “It’s 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson—college professor, stalled writer—has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. He hasn’t seen her in decades, not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy.”
  3. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood – “As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible “adult” around. “
  4. News of the World by Paulette Jiles“In the aftermath of the American Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this morally complex, multi-layered novel of historical fiction..”
  5. The Vegetarian by Han Kang – “…when splintering, blood-soaked images start haunting her thoughts, Yeong-hye decides to purge her mind and renounce eating meat. In a country where societal mores are strictly obeyed, Yeong-hye’s decision to embrace a more “plant-like” existence is a shocking act of subversion.”
  6. Christodora by Tim Murphy“…Christodora is home to Milly and Jared, a privileged young couple with artistic ambitions. Their neighbor, Hector, a Puerto Rican gay man who was once a celebrated AIDS activist but is now a lonely addict, becomes connected to Milly and Jared’s lives in ways none of them can anticipate.”
  7. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch“…Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.”
  8. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley“With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the tragedy and the backstories of the passengers and crew members–including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot–the mystery surrounding the crash heightens.”
  9. LaRose by Louise Erdrich“North Dakota, late summer, 1999. Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence—but when the buck springs away, Landreaux realizes he’s hit something else, a blur he saw as he squeezed the trigger. When he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighbor’s five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich.”
  10. The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan “When brothers Tushar and Nakul Khurana, two Delhi schoolboys, pick up their family’s television set at a repair shop with their friend Mansoor Ahmed one day in 1996, disaster strikes without warning. A bomb…”

Have you read any of these?  Thoughts?  Any I should skip or move to the top of my list?