Wednesday, July 31, 2013

100 Books: July Update

This month, I discovered the joy of putting books on hold at the library.  Until now, I have been renting new releases for $2 whenever I can snag a good one, checking out armloads of 14-day old new release books, ordering brand new books from Amazon, occasionally buying specific titles I am seeking at Barnes and Noble, or, since my birthday, downloading books on my iPad.  No more!  Instead, I have about 20 summer reads that Oprah thinks I'll like on hold, and as they trickle in, I am supplementing with Jodi Picoult because damn!  She has written a ton of books, and there are always some to choose from in the P's.

I read 10 books this month, and they were all really good.  It's hard to pick a least good, that's how great my July reading list turned out to be.  Plus!  July gave me the far and away best book of the year so far, and I was doubtful that anything could beat The Interestings.

10.  Lost in Suburbia by Tracy Beckerman:  I loved Erma Bombeck, and this woman is a syndicated humor columnist who is often compared to Bombeck, but really?  There's no comparison.  I laughed out loud a few times reading this book, but it was not as funny as I had hoped.

9.  Heaven Is Here by Stephanie Nielson:  The LDS mom blog craze is huge, and I admit I read The Nie Nie Dialogues.  This book was a quick, interesting, and genuinely touching read.

8.  Woke Up Lonely by Fiona Maazel:  I appreciated the way this book was crafted, and it was laugh out loud funny in a zany way, but I never really fell in love with the main characters, a spy and a cult leader.

7.  Good Kids by Benjamin Nugent:  This book was funny and pleasant and touching, a sweet coming-of-age story about infidelity and  struggling relationships.

6.  The Shelter Cycle by Peter Rock:  So weird!  So creepy!  Totally engrossing story of two people who were kids together in the same culty religion and meet up after they're grown.  The ending is especially weird and gripping.

5.  The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult:  Major Holocaust tear-jerker downer but really pretty good.  I don't think Jodi Picoult is as good of a writer as she seems to think she is, but her books are totally entertaining.

4.  Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman:  I read this in 2 hours late one night-- a good mystery/thrillerish book-- you know I am a sucker for those.

3.  Rules of Civility by Amor Towles:  Great book!  New York in the late 30s-- lots of martinis and trips to 21, the Rainbow Room, the Stork Club.  And a touching story with fantastic writing.

2.  The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker:  Wow-- I read this early in the month, and I am still thinking about it.  The Earth slows its rotation with terrible consequences for humanity.  But this book is mainly a coming of age story and one of the most haunting ones I've ever read.  A must read for sure.

1.  Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple:  Such a fun and compelling read!  Hilarious!  Also, it is laid pout in a really fun and creative way-- please read this book-- you will not be sorry.

OH MY GOD!  EDITED TO ADD THAT I TOTALLY FORGOT that I read Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman!  It was definitely #2 on the list, and if you like the show, read the book!

Edited again to say that I didn't forget I read it-- I forgot I read it this month


  1. If you like Lippman, I recommend "What the Dead Know," if you have not already read it.

  2. Anonymous12:53 PM

    I loved "Where'd you go Bernadette" too. I live in Seattle though, it was definitely a "laugh at yourself" read for us. I was curious how it would be received elsewhere, glad to hear it "travels" well.

  3. Books in hold is my favorite thing ever. I used to use it when taking ins of babies out of the car to browse the library was too much work, and now I use it because our local branch s TINY and never has anything good. It's perfect until I forget how many things I've requested and end up with 5 books I can't renew and only a few more days to read them.

    I wasn't super keen on The Rules of Civility when I read it last year, but everyone I know loved it. Guess I missed the point on that one.