July Reviews Written in 15 Minutes… Go!

Thoughts on Recent Books

Thoughts on Recent Books and Typed Up Fast

or…  All the Books I Read or Attempted in July of 2018.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Despite all the authors who don’t want readers to give books poor ratings and how much I really do want to participate in that when I can appreciate that some books just don’t meet the needs of all readers, I do also want to say that SOMETIMES a low-rating or a ‘dislike’ can actually help a book because sometimes, a review reader will say to themselves, “Hey – those things you didn’t like are things I often DO like so I’m going to give it a try.”  or, they might appreciate that some books have detractors which is good because a book that is universally liked by seemingly everyone must be suspect. It’s good to find that some people didn’t find it awesome like everyone else. It makes people curious. Right?

I did not like The Immortalists. It was not for me. I just didn’t buy some of the characters’ behavior and thought it tried to cram everything and the kitchen sink into the plot line. If it had been just the first 25%, I might have really liked it. But the 3rd and 4th parts didn’t work. Too much. Too unbelievable. Wearying. But hey; LOTS of people loved it so give it a try if it sounds good to you. Maybe you’ll love it. In fact, I hope you do. Caveat – I didn’t like the narration so maybe try the print.

By Our Beginnings by Jean Stubbs

A gem! a true and lovely literary wonder!  It checked all the boxes for me. Set in England, romance between mature and smart individuals, family saga, historical, clash of classes and culture, story swept me away…  

AND, to be totally honest, I expected it to be boring boorish dull. So a pleasant surprise! I was captivated within the first two pages. 

My mother-in-law got me this for my birthday. xoxoxox

Nantucket Nights by Elin Hilderbrand 

I doubt I ever read another book by Hilderbrand. But I do like and enjoy and admire this author based on her Twitter presence. 

Brief Encounters with Che Guevara by Ben Fountain DNF – I’m going to have to try this again sometime. I didn’t capture me.

A Brief History of Seven Killings by  Marlon James – FASCINATING!  Too long, though, and very violent. I just couldn’t bring myself to continue the audiobook and wanted to cry. 

A Gate at the Stairs / Lorrie Moore 

I’ve heard SO MANY interesting things about Lorrie Moore and every interesting thing makes me think I would love her books. I discovered this book was in my immediate possession so I read it and I enjoyed it very much if enjoyment is the right word. She tackles tough stuff. I wish I could articulate my thoughts but I’m a coward when it comes to crazy good stuff and my inadequacies of explaining what exactly I found impressive or thought-provoking. 

My 15 minutes are up.

Have you read any of these? Do share!

 

 

 

 

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18 thoughts on “July Reviews Written in 15 Minutes… Go!

  1. Agree with your assessment of The Immortalists! If the story would have ended after Simon’s, it would have been a phenomenal book. I didn’t care enough about the other siblings, and I didn’t buy into their stories as much as I did his.

  2. Yay for bookish surprises – glad your mother in law’s gift was a hit!

    I read the print version of Marlon James’s book and loved it, which really surprised me. He just NAILED all those different voices and I was in awe of that. It was one of my favorite books that year. I can’t wait to see what he does next! But, YES, his stuff is very violent. I’ve read his previous two novels and they are both hard to handle.

    1. I know, I know. I do want to read the Marlon James book and if I had had it in March, I bet I would have made the time. But … summer? can I blame summer?

  3. I love being surprised by a book that I expect will underwhelm me like you were with By Our Beginnings! This is why it is important to read widely and try different things, right? 🙂

    I am with you on The Immortalists. I read it in print and I found it to be OK. Far-fetched, but if you strip the gypsy mumbo-jumbo away, just a well written family saga and I wanted it to be more than that.

    A Brief History of Seven Killings is a tough read. I did it partially in audio and partially in print. It made me think of the 1970s in a whole different light.

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