One star = did not like it at all
Two stars = eh, it was okay
Three stars = liked it
Four stars = really, really liked it
Five stars = absolutely loved it
*The Remains of the Day (Fiction, Kazuo Ishiguro)
I really wanted to like this book. But, it just wasn’t for me. I did not like Stevens (the main character). He just had zero personality. And no guts. And I found all of his reminiscing stories about his previous ‘lordship’ boring. I was expecting it to be more ‘Downton Abby’-ish. But instead it was just Stevens going on and on about how much he didn’t like his new American boss and how he wished he was still the butler for his former English boss. I don’t know. It just wasn’t my thing.
(owned, will donate)
*Reading People (Non-Fiction, Anne Bogel)
This is another book that I REALLY wanted to like. But I didn’t. Basically, Anne compiles all of the personality tests that are out there and summarizes each one. But throughout the whole book, I just couldn’t figure out WHY. I get that it’s good to know why we’re all different, especially in relationships, but to me this book just felt like a compilation of a bunch of information that can easily be found online. Plus….it was just soooo overwhelming. She lays out all of this information and then does nothing with it. I think Gretchen Rubin’s personality framework (the Four Tendencies) is so much better and easier to understand and SIMPLE. Ironically, The Four Tendencies personality framework was not included in Anne’s book. ? However, I still love Anne and her podcast is one of my favorites (What Should I Read Next).
(listened to the audio version free on Hoopla)
*Artemis (Fiction, Andy Weir)
I was excited about this book because I loved The Martian. And this book started out strong, but quickly fizzled. Too much science stuff (yes, I know it's a book about the moon) and the main character grew increasingly unlikeable throughout the book.
(owned, will donate)
***To Capture What We Cannot Keep (Fiction, Beatrice Colin)
I picked up this audio book (on CD) at the used bookshop for my road trip to see my family. I started it on the way there and finished it on the way home. It kept me entertained, and had an interesting plot: the caregiver of two teenagers in the 1800’s live in Paris during the construction of the Eiffel tower. One of Gustave Eiffel’s architect’s falls in love with the caregiver. At times the plot was a little slow, but I enjoyed it for the most part.
(owned audio book, will donate)
***Dot Journaling (Non-Fiction, Rachel Wilkerson-Miller)
I am a sucker for all things bullet-journal related. A lot of people criticized this book because they said the author was ripping off the ORIGINAL bullet journal creator. But that is so far from the truth. She even credits him in her book for creating the original bullet journal. But the original bullet journal creator did not talk about pretty weekly spreads, monthly trackers, other trackers, how to make it pretty, how to make nice banners, etc. And that’s what this book does. It is full of illustrations and REALLY good ideas for different layouts. I liked it.
****Year of Yes (Non-Fiction, Shonda Rhimes)
One of the BEST memoirs I’ve ever read. Shonda Rhimes is the creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, For the People, etc. She is HILARIOUS. And wise. And YOUNG for everything she’s accomplished. She references soooooo many characters and moments in Grey’s Anatomy that made me laugh out loud and also tear up. She is brutally honest about her fear of public speaking and being the center of attention. She is brutally honest about how working mothers in Hollywood claim ‘do it all’ (spoiler alert…they don’t, even though they tell people they do. They have loads of help/nannies/house cleaners/cooks, etc.). She was honest about everything. It was a great book.
****Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls (Non-Fiction, Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo)
An extremely non-traditional bedtime story book. The book contains 1 page stories of notable women from all time periods and from all over the world. Brave women that accomplished things. Some are more widely-known than others (Helen Keller, Julia Child, Jane Austen, Cleopatra, Simone Biles, Hilary Clinton, etc.) but most of them I had never heard of before and couldn’t believe that I had never heard of them especially after I read what they had done. Each story was accompanied by an illustration done by multiple women all over the world. It was just such a unique and beautiful book. I learned a lot! Side note: it was one of the most successful kick-starter campaigns ever, which is why it was published. I believe another volume is coming out soon. Great for kids (and adults!)
****The Story of Arthur Truluv (Fiction, Elizabeth Berg)
Elizabeth Berg is BACK. She USED to be one of my favorite authors (The Pull of the Moon is one of my favorite books). But for the past few years, her books have been awful and I haven’t even read a lot of them. Which hurts me a little. But when this one came out, it was getting really good reviews (similar to her early book reviews years ago), so I picked it up. And couldn’t put it down. It’s not a deep read or super ‘literary’ or anything, but I loved the story. It reminded me a lot of AJ Fikry (which I loved). Likeable characters, good plot (although extremely predictable). It’s an easy, light- hearted read, perfect to read in between ‘deeper’ books.
****Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living (Non-Fiction)
This was a delightful little book, along the same lines of the Hygge book that was popular last year. Lagom is all about balance and frugality. And it was such a pretty little book too. I mean, look at the beautiful BALANCED cover:
****The Hundred Dresses (Fiction, Eleanor Estes)
This is a children's book and I can't believe I had never heard of it before now. And talk about a classic, this one won the Newberry award in 1945. It tackled bullying and it's consequences and forgiveness. All in 37 pages. A beautiful little story.
Total Books Read: 10 (5 non-fiction, 5 fiction)
Real Books: 8
Abandoned books: 0
A decent month, with 5 four-star reads!!!