Summer Reading Wrap Up

The only thing I miss about my old commute -an hour train ride into the city- was the crazy amount of reading it afforded me. With over two hours a day of pure, uninterrupted reading time, I was flying through books at an impressive rate. Now, I’m lucky if I get fifteen minutes before bed; usually I’m so tired by 9:30 my normal adult bedtime of 11pm that I fall asleep as soon as I climb into bed.

If I’m really into my book, I’ll make more time for it, like the book I’m reading now, which I’m thoroughly enjoying (Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan). If not, w/out that solid reading time on my commute, it’s a real struggle to get through a book I’m just lukewarm about. This summer has been a mix of both books I’ve enjoyed and ones that were just “eh.” 

As I present these summer reads, consider that they’re not necessarily a “summer read,” like a carefree beach book you’d devour w/ your toes in the sand w/out really having to think about; they’re summer reads in the sense that I read them this summer. Some of them are no-brainers and some were a little heavier (and probably on my “forget it” list, b/c who needs that when it’s summertime and the living and reading should be easy?)

Favorites:

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Sign me up for any tale about a dysfunctional family. Not dysfunctional like incest and molestation and anything dark and disturbing, but adults who can’t get their shit together? With affairs and sibling rivalry and some bribery to boot? Check, check and check.

Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger
I think I have a soft spot for this one b/c it was my first crack at an audiobook and I was instantly hooked. The storyline was nothing short of predictable, but the Devil Wears Prada author has a formula that seems to be working for her and this one doesn’t stray too far from it. Set in Manhattan, a girl gets a job she ends up hating but is determined to stick out, yada yada yada, you know the rest. It’s what I was looking for at the time, the exact definition of a summer read, so I really can’t complain.

Falling by Jane Green
This one I really could complain about, but I listed it as one of my favorites b/c I devoured it in like three days. I lounged on our deck on our new patio couch and gobbled up this story that, again, was a little predictable. Jane Green is always great for an easy read and her characters are just so likable, so even though this one took an odd direction near the end, I was entertained. 

Least Favorites

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
The first Jojo Moyes book I read was Me Before You, and since that, I’ve been going through her books, hoping that Me Before You wasn’t just an amazing one-off, that her books really will be worth the read, but this one once again proved that Me Before You was the exception to the rule. The rule being that her books aren’t anything great. Jess really bugged me, the whole plot was just ridiculous, and it seemed to drag on and on and on when it should have just ended. 

Room by Emma Donoghue
This book has probably never been on a summer reads list, and for good reason. For one thing, it’s not at all light and breezy and the kind of plot you want to envision when you’re footloose and fancy free on Martha’s Vineyard. For another thing, it just wasn’t a good read. It was told from the view of a five year old, and while I commend the author on the bold choice, it was a highly annoying perspective by the end of the first section. I think the main letdown here was all the positive feedback I’d heard about this book; I had my sights set pretty high, and this mediocre read just couldn’t deliver.

Teacher Man by Frank McCourt 
This was by far the most disappointing book I “read” this summer. “Read” is in quotes b/c it was one of the audiobooks I listened to, which was even more disappointing b/c the author himself narrated it, so it should have been killer, right? If it wasn’t for that ambling Irish brogue, I probably would have stopped listening after the first disc. It was a compilation of McCourt’s time as a teacher, which had all the makings for an interesting memoir, but nothing about it worked. I didn’t feel anything for McCourt or his students and I didn’t find any humor in the anecdotes about their lives; it was all rather boring and if we’re being honest, probably wouldn’t have been published if not for the huge success of Angela’s Ashes.

All those downer books to schlep through and we didn't even win anything from the library summer reading program. I really had my fingers crossed for the Crayola Big Box.  

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