We took a little weekend trip to Florida at the beginning of the month and so I got some quality vacation reading time in (when I wasn’t needed by my four and two year old cousins for quality entertainment, such as lining up dominoes so they can knock them down). So I technically finished Sputnik Sweetheart in February but you can excuse the slight indiscretion of including it here right???
Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
One sentence summary: K tells us the story of his friend Sumire and her strange love affair with older Miu.
This is the 4th Murakami book that I’ve read (Hard Boiled Wonderland & The End of the World, Kafka on the Shore, and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles) and this book is obviously pure Murakami, but it feels kind of boiled down to me. Lots of the same themes and patterns are here too. Cats, the idea of another concurrent world, and even Greek islands. I (obviously) really like the weird and winding world of Murakami but having recently read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles this seems like a short, dip into Murakami especially since this book is so similar. With a mysterious completely put together woman, a Greek island (instead of a woman named after one), a traumatic experience involving sex, and even the mention of cats in trees makes this feel like The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles condensed.
Midnight in the Garden on Good and Evil by John Berendt
One sentence summary: This “true crime” novel gives us a peek into the life of Savannah, GA and it’s quirky and mysterious inhabitants.
I loved this book! I went on a trip to Savannah with some Girl Scout friends (Juliette Gordon Low founded the good ole GSUSA here) a couple years ago and it was a great trip. I think it helps to have experienced the magic of Savannah before reading this book. There’s no open container laws in this beautiful Southern city of charm and I think that helps explain it! Its really hard to believe this is a true story and not a well written novel. From the black drag queen to a rich white antiques dealer living in a huge house, Berendt shows so many interesting people in Savannah and how all their lives intertwine. I don’t know what more to say about it without giving it away but it’s a great book!
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
One sentence summary: Marie-Laure is a blind girl who lives with her keymaster father in Paris in 1942 and Werner is a curious young German orphan who goes to a school for the Hitler youth. This book is about how their lives are shaped by each other. (Okay I know that was two sentences…)
It felt like it took me so long to finish this book! Maybe that’s because it’s over 700 pages but I think it also has to do with Doerr’s writing. It’s very descriptive and it took me a little to get into it. You have to read carefully and pick up every word which can be hard for me because I’m a very fast reader. That said, it’s incredibly well-written and the story is very intriguing. You’re totally invested in both characters, (isn’t weird when a writer makes you sympathize with Nazis!?) and the ending satisfied both the part of me that wants every story to end with everything ending up how you want it to and the part of me that doesn’t want that for being too cheesy and predictable. I won’t go into details and spoilers but I will warn that you don’t like spoilers, don’t look ahead at the chapters- the titles give much away!
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
One sentence summary: Amy Poehler gives you her tips and stories from her life in comedy, improv and love.
Soooo I love Bossy Pants by Tina Fey. I can count on one hand the amount of books that I’ve read more than once (I am just not a re-reader) and Bossy Pants is one of them. (Well I read and listened to it on Audio book but still…) and if that’s what you’re expecting out of Yes Please then you’re going to be disappointed. There are of course funny moments but this isn’t a book of funny stores, it’s a biography and life tidbits (I don’t want to call it a self help book but it does contain lots of advice). It’s always interesting to see how your favorite stars went from a kid to what they are and do today though and I enjoyed Amy’s journey enough…. I just liked Bossy Pants better. What can I say? I’m a Tina girl.
What She Saw… by Lucinda Rosenfeld
One sentence summary: What Phoebe Fine saw in all her boyfriends and love interests from 5th grade in New Jersey to 25 in Brooklyn.
Another book from the Buzzfeed “Books to Read in your 20’s” list. (Did I mention that I’m reading this? It had a bunch of my faves on it already so I’ve been turning to it when I don’t know what to read next). Phoebe’s not very likeable and neither are the boys she dates so it’s hard to really like this book. That said, it’s a good read, it’s interesting how Phoebe can’t see her own issues and has a hard time stepping out of her own shoes. It also seemed to me like the sentences were short and choppy and that made it hard to read sometimes. Two meh books in a row, hoping the next one is good!