Reading Recap: October 2019

I had the joy of doing SO MANY book-related things in October! Ann Patchett spoke at the Louisville Free Public Library and I was blown away by her thoughtfulness, eloquence, and wisdom. She was so interesting and entertaining! Then Jojo Moyes came to town and was interviewed about her new novel called The Giver of Stars which is set in Eastern Kentucky in the 1950s. While her interviewer was terrible, I thought Jojo was great. Her love of Kentucky and her story was evident. I got to shake her hand, and she signed my copy of Me Before You.

Then finally, I attended an interview of Barbara Brown Taylor at Carmichael’s–my local independent bookstore–despite having never read anything she’s written. I know she’s beloved and prolific and wise.

I’ve been in quite the book slump since finishing The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, and I’m actually okay with it. Sometimes I get stressed about being in a #readingslump because I feel the need to constantly be finishing books! But I’m okay with this lack of reading motivation. I’ve watched a lot of the Great British Bake Off, and I’m accepting the slump. I started re-reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, so we’ll see how that goes 🙂

If you want to know more about what I’m reading, you can follow my Bookstagram @thelazybookshelf. Or you can follow me @heymeff for general silliness and sporadic posting.

I really loved Peace Like a River, Enger’s debut novel. This book felt similar to me, but it wasn’t as compelling. The characters were quirky and I could easily picture the small town in Minnesota where Virgil lives. There isn’t much plot, so if you don’t mind that, and are interested in small town, midwestern culture, give this one a try! (But I highly recommend Peace Like A River)

I wish I could remember where I got this recommendation! I was on the hunt for a British detective novel and this one was pretty good! It’s not a series (but maybe has plans to be?). The detective isn’t the most likable character, but she’s unique and the story isn’t solely about her. I would say solid B+ mystery. The ‘+’ is because the narrator was British 🙂

I’ve thought about this book so much since I finished it! I posted on Instagram about how I think it’s possible to know a book is great but still not like it. That’s where I am with Red at the Bone. It was totally original, the writing was poetic and the structure was very unique, but can I say I ‘liked it’? I really don’t know! Read it if you want a unique experience.

I had pretty high expectations for Jojo, (we’re on a first name basis now) and they were pretty much met! I feel like she really captured the spirit of Kentucky. There were plot points I didn’t see coming and ones that I 100% saw coming. It wasn’t perfect, but overall it was a really satisfying read. I was rooting for the women in this story, and the plot kept a good pace. She also did a great job writing the ‘villians’ in this one–I *hated* a couple of the characters!

Please see my comments about Red at the Bone. This book was good but did I like it… I probably wouldn’t have picked this up if it weren’t for Ann Patchett’s amazing speech at my library. I didn’t like Bel Canto, arguably her most popular novel, and haven’t read Commonwealth. I’m not sure if it’s her writing style or the actual content of the book that I didn’t like but I just don’t know about this! I think it would be great for book club because it bring up a lot of social and economic issues.

I flew through this on audio! Mainly because the story was so captivating AND because I had a lot of time in the car at the end of October. I am really interested in journalism and reporting and found the research and writing on The Harvey Weinstein story fascinating. Tracking down sources and corroborating stories is hard work! And the New York Times reporters at the center of this book (and the authors) do such a good job of walking us through what happened and how the story came to light and was published.

What did you read in October?

What else do you want to know about the books I’m reading?

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