Booking It: March 2014

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It’s the end of the month, so it’s time for another round-up of what I read. I’ve enjoyed doing these posts so far in 2014! My goal is to read one book a week, and GoodReads tells me I’m one book ahead of that goal for 2014. I read two LOOOONG books this month and then two pretty quick reads.

{After basically years of ignoring it, I joined GoodReads this month. And of course, I love it. So friend me there if you use it!}

The Amish Bride by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould is the third in the Women of Lancaster County series, after The Amish Midwife and The Amish Nanny. I am a fan of Mindy Starns Clark, which led me to start the series. I adored The Amish Midwife, but found the second in the series a little blah. I’m glad I picked this one up for my Kindle, though, because it was much better. There’s a reason Amish fiction is so popular; their traditions, history, and customs make for an intriguing read. I loved seeing Ella’s transformation from The Amish Midwife to the end of The Amish Bride.

Ten Years in the Tub by Nick Hornby is a complete collection of Hornby’s “What I Read” column from The Believer magazine. He starts each column with a list of books he bought and ones he actually read. (I’m tempted to do that here! What do you think?) Although I’d only read a small percentage of the books he talks about in his columns, I just love to read about books. I’m a bibliophile to the core. I loved how Hornby pieced books together, followed his reading path during a time frame, and has a wide range of interests. I did start skimming toward the end, because ten years of columns is a lot to read back-to-back. Had it not been a library book, I think reading it a little at a time would have worked much better.

As you can see from the cover, Hollow City is Ransom Riggs’s follow-up to his very successful Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I was curious if it was a rushed sequel; but no, Miss Peregrine was published in 2011 and Hollow City just released in January. While I did enjoy reading this sequel, it just didn’t have the spark and excitement of the first book. My husband, who was the one who INSISTED I read Miss Peregrine last summer and reserved this one at the library months ago, couldn’t even get into it and returned it to the library unread. I found it took me until the halfway point to really want to continue reading. Some parts felt more contrived, like the author was picking up his photographs at random and writing about them. In one instance, I think he simply forgot a character was there. Yet I gave it four stars out of five on GoodReads because the last fifty pages or so were dynamite.

Have we established that I will read anything about China? Lisa See is one of my favorite authors. On a recent car trip, I made everyone listen to In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. I was a Chinese minor in college and did a study-abroad in China, and basically I will read anything set there or about the Chinese.

So I hate to say that I sort of wished I’d just stopped reading The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan. It was very, very long for a book that I didn’t absolutely love. Tan writes beautifully, but as my friend Melissa put it, this book is about 200 pages too long.

Still, I only finished it yesterday and I feel like I am still processing the story and characters. Historical fiction can be hard to swallow, knowing that the characters in the novel mirror real people, real people whose lives were actually this awful and depressing. Also, I am a prude and I don’t enjoy reading things with graphic scenes, which this definitely has.

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So, that’s it for March! My first book for April will be Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson, because I’m reading it for a book club. What have you read lately that you’d recommend?  

2 thoughts on “Booking It: March 2014

    • Glad you saw the review! I liked it, but I didn’t love it. And it was a big time commitment for something I didn’t love. I did like the last bit, though, when it goes into flashback.

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