January Reviews- It's Almost 2014

[We want these, yes? Source: Anthropologie Relevance: Minimal]
We're one-twelfth closer to 2014, folks! We're almost there! Jury's still out on whether or not 2013 is shaping up to be better than 2012. We'll see. 

While looking at my January reads it occurred to me that three of the five weren't really my picks, so to speak, but ones I read for either Penguin/Viking or Amazon Vine. Frankly, I don't really love that. My personal TBR pile is a beast and agreeing to take on books to review isn't helping the cause. On the other hand, who can refuse free books that have actual potential?

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
384 pages
I already did a fairly extensive review here, but in a nutshell it's about a young, unemployed English woman who ends up working for a quadriplegic who has a death wish. 

Verdict: I thought I was going to hate it, that it would be too sentimental. It is, but in the right way. It was a nice surprise.

Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
288 pages
I reread this (it had been about 12 years) for work and definitely have more of an appreciation of the novel this time around (I'm going to assume everyone has read it and spare you the blurb). I plan on doing a more extensive post on the difference between reading it as a teenager and teaching it as an adult here in a few weeks. 

Verdict: You have to at least once.

Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
304 pages
I wanted so, so desperately to fall head-over heals in love with this book. I was prepared to be enamored and make some room on my top ten list. Unfortunately, it was a little bit of a mess. The premise, a man who begins working at a 24-hour bookstore that is really just the front for a code-breaking secret society is pretty fantastic. The execution left something to be desired.

Verdict: With a heavy heart and teary eyes, I have to say no.

The Antagonist by Lynn Coady
304 pages
This short novel is about an ex-hockey player brute that realizes an old college buddy has turned his life into a novel. Understandably, he's pretty pissed and decides to write email after email to the author, while simultaneously crafting his own version of events. 

Verdict: Wasn't perfect, but it definitely had some really interesting parts (and is a fast read). Nothing kept pulling me back, though- it wasn't going to keep me up at night or prevent me from going to yoga. 

Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles by Ron Currie Jr
352 pages
I already wrote about this here, but I have to say again it was a really great read. There were a few parts where I had to double-take, since the narrative isn't linear, but I prefer the occasional moments of challenge over boredom and ease any day.

Verdict: It's probably not for everyone; it's a little crass and the main character can be a bit frustrating ("get off the island, stop drinking, and get back to life!"), but I'd definitely recommend it. 

1,632 pages

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to hear your experience reading CitR as a student vs. teaching it. I read A Christmas Carol as a 7th grader and later re-read it when I was teaching 7th grade! I was able to appreciate the rich descriptions more as an adult, but I ended up reading it so many times (6 classes x 5 years = Dickens overload) so I probably still don't fully appreciate it as I might otherwise.*