Rachel's Reading
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The WivesTarryn Fisher12/31/191/3/20Domestic DramaKindle Library BookTruly a mess. All over the place.
Every Wild HeartMeg Donohue1/3/201/4/20Mother/DaughterKindle Library BookCute simple story. Liked the friend's mantra of "om shalom". The stalker part was really unneeded. Strangely defined "stan" incorrectly and said that phrase "a great defense is a good offense" was not the correct saying?
The Other's GoldElizabeth Ames1/4/201/4/20Female FriendshipKindle Library BookWhat a strange group of women! Many references to them faking who they are and nearly everyone did some bizarre harmful thing to child. Yet, I never really felt like I knew the characters.
In the Dream HouseCarmen Maria Machado1/5/201/5/20MemoirKindle Library BookGreat memoir. Oddly written but interesting and insightful.
A Song For You: My Life With Whitney HoustonRobyn Crawford1/5/201/5/20MemoirKindle Library BookReally glossed over some details post 1990 or so. Mentioned their romantic relationship a lot even though it seemed relatively short lived.
Heroic Measures Jill Ciment1/6/201/6/20General Fiction Kindle Library BookOdd little book about a dachshund.
The Silence Between Us Alison Gervais1/7/201/10/20Young AdultKindle Library BookCute story of a deaf girl going to a hearing school.
ReputationSara Shepard1/10/201/10/20MysteryKindle Library BookA big mess Referred to broccoli as "leafy"
Closed for the Season Mary Downing Hahn1/10/201/10/20Middle GradeKindle Library BookVery cute! Liked the fictionalized Enchanted Forest setting!
All the Pretty ThingsEmily Arsenault 1/10/201/11/20YA Mystery Kindle Library BookExcellent! Lots of layers, loved the amusement park setting. Butters fresh fried dough and sprinkles with cinnamon sugar?
Act of GodJill Ciment1/11/201/12/2020Fabulist Fiction Kindle Library BookVery odd little book. The Russian character was almost offensive. Real downer in the end. Strange mushroom was interesting but it ended abruptly and seemed pointless. Not sure why the book description said it was a "suspense" novel. It was weird people and a made up killer mushroom.
One Day in December Josie Silver1/12/201/13/20Rom-ComKindle Library BookVery cute. The ten year time span seemed long though and it was hard to keep track of how much time passes.Delaney St Special Sandwich: mayo, roasted chicken, blue cheese, cranberry sauce, bread also holy breakfast trinity of bacon, beetroot and mushrooms"
The Two Lives of Lydia BirdJosie Silver1/13/201/14/20Fabulist FictionKindle ARCIt was cute! I liked the back and forth between timelines and that it wasn't just a romance. The author has some major issues with partner work travel! It's a huge sticking point in both of her novels. Bacon and beetroot sandwiches!
Monday's Not ComingTiffany D. Jackson1/14/201/15/20Young AdultKindle Library BookSo good but really sad. It really felt like DC! I guess they say "lunchin'" like we say "geekin'". I though the part at the end where Claudia didn't realize two years had passed was weird and unnecessary. It would have been better without it. .
The Last AffairMargot Hunt1/15/201/18/20Domestic Drama Paperback Library BookI felt like they didn't explore Gwen enough—I would have liked more about her past if they were going to bring it up at all. They mention fig bars from Cape Cod in detailed manner but when I looked them up, they don't really seem to exist.
Remain SilentSusie Steiner1/15/201/19/20MysteryKindle ARCI forgot how funny the Manon Bradshaw books are. The afterward is so sad, the author has the same cancer my mom has. Made chicken bhuna because of this book! Also want to make Lithuanian lazy cheese dumplings
Be Everything at Once: Tales of a Cartoonist Lady PersonDami Lee1/23/201/23/20Graphic NovelPaperback Library BookCute collection. A lot came directly from her Instagram though.
Into the WoodsTana French1/19/201/25/20MysteryKindle Library BookAs good as I remembered but I feel like it was overly long. He really only started to put it together when the book was more than 3/4 over. I also feel like she didn't plan to write another book after the long wrap up at the end.
The Likeness Tana French 1/25/201/31/20MysteryKindle Library Book I wonder if Cassie might come back? Why did they jam this together with the first book for the the series? And make a mess of it? The ending is so much better in the book
The Body in QuestionJill Ciment1/31/201/31/20General FictionKindle Library Book She is a strange morbid woman. Always so much weird death and now twins twice. This time the woman was married to an old man like she was in real life.
Faithful PlaceTana French1/31/202/2/20MysteryKindle Library BookI forgot how sad it was. So good but so sad. Smoked(!) cod and chips??!?
Half A LifeJill Ciment 1/31/202/2/20MemoirHardback Library BookWhat a life. I don't even know where to begin. I can't wait for her new memoir I heard about on TAL. This explains her weird books and her relationship with the old man.
Ghost of HarvardFrancesca Serritella2/3/202/5/20Family DramaKindle ARCCute concept (ghosts! Harvard! Schizophrenic brother! Russian spies) but couldn't really pull it off in the end. Emerald beef at Harvard dining hall?
Tell Me Your SecretDorothy Koomson2/5/202/7/20SuspenseKindle ARCNot her best work. I still don't understand how she pronounces Pietra as "Peter", British or not.
Inferno: A Memoir of Motherhood and MadnessCatherine Cho2/7/202/7/20MemoirKindle ARCClever memoir about postpartum psychosis
The Miraculous Journey of Edward TulaneKate DiCamillo2/7/202/8/20Children's FictionKindle Library BookImagine an even more depressing version of the Velveteen Rabbit.
Sweet Tamales for PurimBarbara Bietz2/11/202/11/20Children's FictionPJ LibraryCute story. Apparently based on a real event.
Love and Other WordsChristine Lauren2/8/202/12/20Rom-ComKindle Library BookNot bad but a little lightweight.
After Long SilenceHelen Fremont 2/12/202/12/20MemoirKindle Library BookFascinating story. I don't understand why she didn't ask her mom what her original name was. I understand if her aunt didn't remember because of the trauma but even if her mom changed it a few times, it was after she was 20. Looking forward to the sequel.
A Good Girl's Guide to MurderHolly Jackson 2/12/202/14/20MysteryKindle ARCVery cute but sort of a ripoff of Serial. I also thought the author might be British despite it taking place in the US and I was right!
Open BookJessica Simpson2/14/202/17/20MemoirKindle Library BookHonest and funny! Gossipy in a good way.
The Secret HistoryDonna Tartt2/17/202/20/20Friendship Gone WrongKindle Library BookBoy that was long. Could have cut the whole funeral week. Clearly an inspiration for The Likeness by Tana French. These kids were so out of time it was jarring they watched tv towards the end. Also: why the fake movie names and countries? Says "wacky cake" was a frightful dessert. It's just chocolate cake. What was she thinking of?Duck in Campari?
Sorry I'm Late, I Didn't Want to Come: An Introvert’s Year of Living DangerouslyJessica Pan2/21/202/21/20MemoirKindle Library BookIt was cute. Didn't expect so many footnotes/citations, especially when they were for things like pop songs and brownie recipes. Super up to date pop culture references. I don't know how they had time to edit it before publication.
Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in AmericaNefertiti Austin2/21/202/22/20MemoirKindle ARCInteresting but she came across as very defensive about her choices the entire book. She seems like a good, thoughtful mom so I'm not sure why she came across like that.
The Prized GirlAmy Green2/22/202/23/20Mystery Kindle ARCJust a mess. Could have been good—half sister finding her teen sister's killer but was written at a second grade level and was so cheesy.
The Sun Down HotelSimone St James2/29/203/1/20Mystery/GhostsKindle Library BookSo good! I think it would make a fun movie. Lots of good women characters.
Heads of the Colored People: Stories Nafissa Thompson-Spires3/1/203/1/20Short StoriesKindle Library BooksI liked the stories a lot but her wording was a bit stilted
What My Mother and I Don't Talk About: Fifteen Writers Break the SilenceMichele Filgate (editor)3/1/203/1/20Essays Hardback Library BookSome were better than others but on a whole, good.
Dear DaughterElizabeth Little3/1/203/3/20MysteryKindle Library BookCute concept and characters but a little try-hard. Not surprised the first line in the author's bio is that she went to Harvard.
You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time: Rules for CouplesPatricia Marx & Roz Chast3/4/203/4/20Graphic NovelHardback Library Book Eh. I think Chast's solo work is much better.
The Jetsetters Amanda Eyre Ward3/3/203/4/20Domestic DramaKindle ARCGreat characters and a fun setting but all of her books are a bit of a downer.
RoomiesChristina Lauren 3/4/203/5/20Rom-ComKindle Library BookCute. Sort of silly
Twice in a Blue MoonChristina Lauren3/6/202/8/20Rom-ComKindle Library BookFeatherweight plot
Fifteen Beverly Cleary3/8/203/8/20Young AdultKindle Library BookI think her "old" dad was like 36. Cute scene in Chinatown. School activity was a "steak bake" where they cooked steak over an open flame?!
Who Will Ask the Four Questions?Naomi Ben-Gur3/10/203/10/20Children's FictionPJ Library BookVery cute!
Graduates in Wonderland: The International Misadventures of Two (Almost) AdultsJessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale3/11/203/11/20Memoir in LettersPaperback Library BookBackstory to Jessica Pan's memoir about being an introvert. So much travel! How does she know so many people who live abroad?
The TenantKatrine Engberg3/12/203/15/20MysteryKindle Library BookIt was okay. I think the translation wasn't great.
Almost American GirlRobin Ha3/15/203/15/20Graphic MemoirHardback Library BookWhat a rough upbringing! Great job telling her and her mom's story.
My Dark VanessaKate Elizabeth Russell3/15/203/17/20Autobiographical FictionKindle Library BookVanessa seems really out of touch with the world in general. Not just the abuse but not knowing about things like coworking places. It's odd and I'm not sure what the point is. The book reminded me of the Jill Ciment memoir and how she wants to rewrite it after #metooHer teacher makes her Ukrainian pampushki
Brother & SisterDiane Keaton3/17/203/17/20MemoirKindle Library BookIt was okay but I don't really know why it was published. It seemed more like a journal than a memoir.
Filthy Beasts Kirkland Hamill3/18/203/19/20MemoirKindle ARCI don't really understand why he got a book deal. It wasn't that compelling of a story and I got the impression he thought it was funny but it wasn't. The epilogue was abrupt and lame. Apparently he lives in Baltimore now? AND he won't stop whining about my bad review on GoodReads, thus reinforcing my opinion. What a mess.
Lost Restaurants of Baltimore Suzanne Loudermilk and Kit Waskom Pollard3/19/203/19/20Local HistoryKindle Library BookIt was neat seeing the pictures of old Baltimore but the entries were mostly summarized old Baltimore Sun reviews and a few interviews. I don't know what I was expecting but it wasn't that.
We Met in December Rosie Curtis3/20/203/21/20Rom-ComKindle Library BookCute! Lightweight but very Britishy.
Follow MeKathleen Barber3/22/203/22/20Friendship Gone WrongKindle ARCI enjoyed it but I felt like the final chapters were a bit rushed.
In Five Years Rebecca Serle3/23/203/23/20General FictionKindle Library BookCute. Tired of cancer storylines. Cheese hoagies with oil and red wine vinegar from Sack O'Subs in Ocean City, NJ. A real place owned by the Sacco family.
Funny, You Don't Look AutisticMichael McCreary3/23/203/23/20Memoir Kindle Library BookIt was okay but didn't really go into detail about anything. Why was he obsessed with the California Raisins when he born in 1996?
What You Wish ForKatherine Center3/24/203/24/20General Fiction Kindle ARCIt was silly but fine until the really hokey ending involving a whale. Why was she she ashamed of having epilepsy? She only had seizures once a year and wasn't medicated.
The Honey-Don't ListChristina Lauren3/25/203/25/20Rom-ComKindle Library BookThe new thing in these books seems to be a woman with a disability of some sort.
The Daylight MarriageHeidi Pitlor3/25/203/26/20Domestic DramaKindle Library BookOdd book about a marriage after wife disappears.
The Bus on Thursday Shirley Barrett3/27/203/27/20Comedy HorrorPaperback Library BookVery odd book about a woman going to teach in a weird small town in Australia
Father's Arcane DaughterE.L. Konigsberg3/27/203/27/20Children's FictionHardback Library BookI remember reading this in 6th grade reading but not much of the plot. '70s books for children were a lot more grown up than current ones. Darker.
Everything is Under Control: A Memoir with Recipes Phyllis Grant3/27/203/28/20Memoir Kindle ARCMore of a series of vignettes than a memoir. I wish there was more connective tissue. Ice box brownies
You Think It, I'll Say ItCurtis Sittenfield3/28/203/29/20Short StoriesKindle ARCThe first half had the better stories.
If You Lived Here You'd Be Home By Now: Why We Traded the Commuting Life for a Little House on the PrairieChristopher Ingraham3/30/203/30/20MemoirKindle Library BookBad, weirdly racist and unaware. https://rachelreadsbooks.com/2020/03/30/if-you-lived-here-youd-be-home-by-now-why-we-traded-the-commuting-life-for-a-little-house-on-the-prairie-by-christopher-ingraham/
The SwapRobyn Harding3/30/203/31/30Domestic DramaKindle ARCNot bad exactly but an odd mix of characters. They kept describing a girl as having "a bushel of hair"??!
Wow, No Thank You.Samantha Irby4/1/204/2/20Essays Kindle Library BookMy least favorite of her books. A ton of lists.
Darling Rose GoldStephanie Wrobel4/2/204/4/20Domestic DramaKindle Library BookRe-telling of Gypsy Rose case but she doesn't seem to acknowledge this.
If We Were VillainsM.L. Rio4/4/204/6/20Mystery Kindle Library BookNot very good. I'm not sure what the point is of including whole pages from the various Shakespeare plays the characters are in. It’s very tedious and doesn't add any depth to the book. The random quotes they use in their conversations with each other make more sense but I don't need to know every single line of dialogue while they are on stage.
Make Your Home Among StrangersJennine Capó Crucet4/7/204/8/20Family DramaKindle Library BookA lot of the first gen college stuff really hit home. Didn't like the lack of quotation marks. Didn't feel like the Ariel storyline was needed exactly. That should have been in a second book. Still really enjoyed it .
I Will Judge You by Your BookshelfGrant Snider4/9/204/9/20Graphic NovelPDF ARCOddly pretentious for basically a coffee table book
Redhead on the Side of the RoadAnne Tyler 4/10/204/10/20General Fiction Kindle Library BookIt was okay. I didn't see the appeal of the girlfriend at all. The woman he helped who inherited the house seemed like fun.
Gossip GirlCecily von Ziegesar4/12/204/12/20Young AdultKindle Library Book Can't believe I haven't read it before. Sort of dated and the writing is stilted.
You Know You Love Me (Gossip Girl, #2)Cecily von Ziegesar4/12/204/15/20Young AdultKindle Library Book They are written in such a odd way with weird asides. Why do they focus on Jenny's chest so much even when it is Dan talking about her? How did she get this made into a tv series?
Pretty As A PictureElizabeth Little4/15/204/17/20MysteryKindle Library BookA delight! Better than her first and fun characters
The Escape ArtistHelen Fremont4/17/204/19/20MemoirHardback Library BookWhat a strange family! The author seems less stable than she did in her first memoir about this.
White Ivy Susie Yang4/19/204/21/20General FictionKindle ARCOdd story of a social climber with one random murderTalked about spending all day "stewing" "Italian" cioppino and having to shuck mussels??
Invisible GirlLisa Jewell4/22/204/24/20MysteryKindle ARCInteresting characters. Slightly flimsy plot.
Missed Translations: Meeting The Immigrant Parents Who Raised MeSopan Deb4/24/204/26/20MemoirKindle Library BookInteresting peek into his family. I don't quite understand what prompted the book.
My Wife Said You May Want to Marry MeJason B. Rosenthal4/26/294/27/20MemoirKindle Library BookSad but not maudlin. I miss her work. I appreciated the parts about his dog.
My Favorite Half-Night StandChristina Lauren4/27/204/28/20Rom-ComKindle Library BookCute if flimsy
The Girl From Widow HillsMegan Miranda5/4/20MysteryKindle ARCA lot of fun. Good mystery. Somewhat abrupt ending.
The FlatshareBeth O'Leary5/6/20Rom-ComKindle Library BookSuper cute. Unexpected prison storylineMade UK style rocky road several times in the book
The Silent Patient Alex Michaelides5/6/205/9/20SuspenseKindle Library BookReally terrible. Horribly written
Long Bright RiverLiz Moore5/9/20MysteryKindle Library BookVery good but the lack of quotation marks was very off-putting
Big SummerJennifer WeinerMysteryKindle Library BookI don't know why she made this a mystery. The book was cute enough without it and the mystery was really poorly done.
Minor Feelings: An Asian American ReckoningCathy Park Hong MemoirKindle Library BookA little disjointed but she made good points.
Days of Distraction Alexandra ChangGeneral FictionKindle Library BookQuiet story of a trailing partner and what that's like
Sigh, Gone: A Misfit's Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit InPhuc Tran5/13/205/14/20MemoirKindle Library BookA little too much quoted dialogue from 30+ years ago but very good. I hope he does a post college one.
High Achiever: The Shocking True Story of One Addict's Double LifeTiffany Jenkins5/14/205/15/20Memoir Kindle Library BookWay to drag out a short, boring story. She was alternately super naive yet also dealing deftly with criminals and hiding her addiction for years
All Adults HereEmma Straub5/18/20Family DramaKindle Library BookIt was okay but rambly
Pretty ThingsJanelle Brown5/20/20SuspenseKindle ARCHokey
This Is Big: How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World — and MeMarisa Meltzer5/21/205/22/20MemoirKindle Library BookDidn't delve into enough about either woman's life. I wrote a whole blog post about it.https://rachelreadsbooks.com/2020/05/22/this-is-big-how-the-founder-of-weight-watchers-changed-the-world-and-me-by-marisa-meltzer/
Perfect TunesEmily Gould5/22/205/22/20General Fiction Kindle Library BookInstantly forgettable.
Girls of BrackenhillKate Moretti 5/22/205/23/20MysteryKindle ARCSlightly spooky mystery. Not terribly thrilling but I like the castle-house. I wanted to know more backstory about who built the castle and why her aunt inherited it but not her mom.
Such a Perfect WifeKate White5/23/205/24/20MysteryKindle Library BookNo idea it was like 8 books into the series. Fun mystery, cute characters.
A Body to Die ForKate White5/24/205/25/20Mystery Kindle Library BookNot as good as the more recent one but cute.
Til Death Do Us PartKate White5/26/205/28/20MysteryKindle Library BookI liked how one of the clues was recipe related.
Clarence's Topsy-Turvy ShabbatJennifer Tzivia MacLeod & Jennie Poh5/30/205/30/20Children's FictionPJ Library BookVery cute but otter doesn't rhyme with water!
If Looks Could KillKate White5/29/205/30/20MysteryKindle Library BookOddly dated. Cute mystery though.