Archive | June, 2014

Just as I Thought It Would Be.

30 Jun

Jojo Moyes has done it again. One Plus One is not my favorite of hers, maybe not even my second favorite of the three I’ve read, but it was good.

jojo moyes

Pretty much just what I’ve come to expect from her – sort of how you always know what you’re going to get with Jodi Picoult. With Jojo, it’s just characters you love, a love story you can believe, and a satisfying ending. That pretty much sums this one up, too. It’s the story of a young woman, Jess, who is raising her ten-year-old daughter (math nerd) and her teenaged step-son (goth kid) alone. She works days cleaning houses and nights at a dive bar, has a deadbeat of an ex and basically struggles to get by. When her daughter is offered a partial scholarship to a private school with a great math program, Jess starts trying to figure out a way – any way – to raise the extra tuition money. When the headmaster of the potential new school tells her about this math Olympiad that is taking place, and that the winner would get a boatload of money, Jess knows she has to find a way to get her family to Scotland (from England) for the competition. Enter handsome manĀ  in the form of one of her clients – a man whose house she cleans – Ed Nichollson. Of course Ed has a great story line of his own, but it really gets interesting when he offers to drive Jess, her two children and their massive, flatulent dog to Scotland. I laughed out loud, got a little teary – all in all just what I had expected. Not a disappointment at all – if you like her, you’ll like this! 4 stars.

One for the Weekend

29 Jun

I have been hearing RAVES about this new memoir. RAVES. Memoirs are not right up my alley, but I decided to make a detour and check this one out. Turns out, I pretty much loved it! It is one of those memoirs that could easily be a novel. It’s written so wonderfully that I just sunk right into it.

My salinger year

Pretty wonderful – Joanna reminds me of a grown-up Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. By that I mostly mean that she’s very literary and cool and that the story takes place in New York City. Joanna Rakoff, a young-ish girl about town, goes to work for the literary agency that represents J.D. Salinger. He’s sort of a mysterious client – yelling on the phone when he calls, enforcing his whims upon the staff. Joanna is put in charge of answering all of the fan mail sent his way (he wants nothing to do with it). She finds herself completely enthralled by some of the letters, and deviates from the form letters she is supposed to send in response. These letters/responses are great – but they are only a part of the story. We also get her relationship with Don (who was loathsome, an aspiring writer), her co-workers and boss. Overall it was a perfect summery/stormy weekend read and I’d recommend it – especially to strong fiction readers. 4 stars.

Summer fluff and what’s coming up next

9 Jun

This is one that has been in my stack for a very long time. I probably never would have picked it up if I hadn’t seen (and completely loved) this paperback jacket redesign:

crazy rich asiansCrazy Rich Asians is the perfect summer read – a lot of fluff with some real relationships and tons of humor. Rachel Chu and her boyfriend, Nick Young, live a peaceful and contented life in New York City. When Nick ask’s Rachel to fly to his home in Singapore for a best friend’s wedding, she excitedly agree. What follows is pretty close to a disaster for Rachel – she is blindsided by the incredible wealth of Nick’s crazy family. Not just wealth wealth, but his may be the richest family in all of Asian. And because of that, Nick’s homecoming brings out all sorts of crazy single Asian looking for a rich husband. Think Jane Austen in Singapore. The only small complaint I have about this book is that the cast of characters is HUGE. So make sure to start it when you have a big chunk of time to get the names down. 4 stars.

we are all completelyThis is a repeat, I know. But the paperback is out now, and my book club is reading it for June. I read it so long ago that I thought I’d just skim through it. Well, that skim turned into a full on rereading. It is really so good. Hard to describe without making it seem gimmicky or light. 4.5 stars.

paying guestsI’m about halfway through this new Sarah Waters – The Paying Guests – that comes out this fall. I loved her last one, The Little Stranger quite a bit. Reading the advance reviews for The Paying Guests, I got the feeling that the last one was a departure for her (it was a creepy Victorian ghost story). I haven’t gotten to the crux of this one yet – but I’m enjoying it quite a bit. It’s the story of a woman and her mother who, after the war, need money badly enough to open their home to lodgers. They let much of the upstairs to a younger couple, and so far the story has been about Frances (the owner) coming to terms with sharing her home and also forging relationships with the paying guests. I’m guessing there will be some sort of love triangle and (hopefully) some sort of crime.

vacationersLastly, The Vacationers is queued up next. I’ve been hearing such good things about this – sure to be a smart summer read. And that’s it! My reading may slow down a bit here this summer, but hopefully I will get back into the reading groove by this fall.