Mini-Mini Reviews #2

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I decided to go back and do a bunch of mini reviews for all the books I read but failed to review over the past two years. This will make me feel sort of caught up and refreshed and maybe will help me be motivated to keep up with reviewing what I've read this year! Some of these will be very mini since I can't remember them that well. This is batch #2.


Title: This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage
Author: Ann Patchett
Genre: Non-fiction; Essays
Publisher: Harper (Harper Collins)
Pub. Date: November 5, 2013

I read this in April of last year and really wish I had written a review then. I enjoyed this one but, ugh, I'm sorry, again I don't remember too much about this. I remember really enjoying some of the essays. What I liked was how Patchett emphasized the difficulty of being a writer and said, no, not every can do it. If I remember correctly, she sort of mocked the concept of characters just having a life of their own and was big on, no, they do exactly what you say and create them to do which I thought was funny and so true. I feel like she contradicted some other writers in what she said but, to me, she was more realistic and truthful in that she really focused on the skill and hard work that goes into being an author. I have read and enjoyed her books in the past, especially Bel Canto and State of Wonder (this being one of my favorites!), and reading her essays made me want to go back and read them again. And also it made me interested in reading the book she wrote about her friend, Truth and Beauty, which I never had any desire to read before. She almost, but not quite, made me feel interested in opera (in talking about how she grew to love it), but it did make me want to re-invest in some of my interests. I've been enjoying essays lately, and I will probably go back and read this one again someday.

Title: Eleanor and Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Pages: 331
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Macmillan)
Pub. Date: February 26, 2013

I found this cute and, at times, laugh out loud. I don't necessarily know if I thought it was that realistic, but I did feel like my teen self
would have related well to the teens in this book.

Titles: Divergent

Author: Veronica Roth
Pages: 487; 525; 539
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult; Dystopian
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (Harper Collins)
Pub. Dates: May 3, 2011
                     May 2, 2012
                      October 22, 2013

This was an interesting series, and I did enjoy reading Divergent, but overall I felt sort of "meh" about this series. I know this is an unpopular opinion. I feel like everyone I know who read this is gaga over Four, but I just didn't care that much. I sort of felt these books were a little repetitive. I've heard this referred to as a mix between The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, and I have to say I like those two series significantly more than this one.


Title: Unsung Lullabies
Subtitle: Understanding and Coping with Infertility
Authors: Martha & David Diamond, Janet Jaffe
Pages: 229
Genre: Non-Fiction, Psychological; Self-help
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Macmillan)
Pub. Date: June 28, 2005

This was written by three psychologists who had experienced infertility themselves, two of them who are married to each other. I, personally, didn't find anything new or amazingly helpful and thought it was pretty general, but it is entirely possible that I already think in the way they talked about because I am a counselor for a living, maybe? I will say, if I remember correctly, they all had success eventually and I have been so tired (for a long time now) of reading books fiction and non that always have a successful ending. My husband and I have reached the end of our journey, unfortunately unsuccessfully after even the most invasive treatments, and this makes it even harder for me to relate to these books now. *I will say I have read that many women did find this book immensely helpful*.

Title: The Things They Carried
Author: Tim O'Brien
Pages: 246
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Broadway (Random House)
Pub. Date: March 28, 1990

This is a modern classic about the Vietnam War. I have been super into books about war lately, so I was glad I read this. It is a bunch of short stories that are connected. I read this for book club a while ago so I don't remember details, but I do remember thinking the writing was different -- not so different that it was difficult to read, but just almost unique. The first chapter was interesting and then annoyingly repetitive (detailing, literally, the things they carried), but overall I enjoyed the book and can see why it's a classic.


Michelle Pelletier said...

I have never wanted to read a war book because I always feel like the subject is too big to take on. There would be a ton of unanswered questions for it things I don't "get" because I've never been interested in war stories. The Things They Carried sounds really interesting though! I read The Monuments Men which kind of skirted alongside the war so that might have enticed me a bit to start those kinds of books one day.

Ti said...

Eleanor & Park was so sweet at times but sooooo much angst. OMG. So happy I am over that stage of my life.

Jenny said...

Ti, oh me too!!!

Jenny said...

Michelle I just replied and it didn't post? Anyway yeah I think you would like it especially since you read monument men. I also think you would like billy Lynn's long halftime walk because it is a satire about war and how we react to it so it isn't too heavy on the actual war stuff.

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