Monday, August 8, 2016

What I Read in June and July

     Not really sure what happened to July but here we are in the second week of August. I'm a little behind in posting what I've been reading. There's been a good little mix the past two months. Don't think I'll be doing much reading this month with the Olympics on. Here's what I read in June and July.
June bookmark. Reading was nicely spread out.

The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church
      I loved the first half of this book. The last half... not so much. It's been two months since I finished reading this novel, but I know I disliked how rushed the second half was. The novel follows Meridan Wallace. At the beginning, it is 1941, she is 17 and starting a degree in ornithology at the University of Chicago. She falls in love with a professor who is recruited to Los Alamos. Eventually they are married and she moves there. The first half of the book is about their first years being married and living in Los Alamos and the secrecy of creating the bomb. This was great. Meridan didn't really fit in. It showed how she struggled and eventually made a friend. Then after spending half a book on a few years, it starts jumping forward, years at a time. She has an affair, experiments with drugs, decides to leave her husband, then doesn't, and ends up forming a group to mentor young women. The last half tries to do too much (in my opinion), I missed the detail of the first half. As a writer, I wonder if an editor had something to do with it. Perhaps the book was longer and the author was asked to shorten it. Or it was short and they asked her to add more. Either way, the two don't seem to fit together. However, there was one line I enjoyed so much I wrote it down to share here: "Maybe I couldn't acknowledge that my mother could be fearful, so great was my need to siphon strength from her." (page 126). Isn't that a great line? 

      In the middle of June, I had a mini Buffy binge. Some of Season 10 arrived at our library so all other reading was set aside. I won't give any spoilers but there were a lot of references to the TV series in the 3 graphic novels I read, which was nice.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer : New Rules - Season 10, Volume 1
This is an inside picture due to an interlibrary loan sticker over the front cover.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I Wish - Season 10, Volume 2

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Love Dares You - Season 10, Volume 3
It's always a good issue when Spike is central to the plot.

Happy Family by Tracy Barone
      This novel revolves around Cheri Matzner - her strange birth, her adoption, parts of her childhood and what her life is like as a 40 year old. An enjoyable, interesting read. I'd recommend it but I don't know what else to say about it. Good writing. 

The One That Got Away by Leigh Himes
      This novel is about Abbey Lahey who is a super stressed mother/ wife/ publicist. After falling and hitting her head, she wakes up as Abbey Van Holt, married to the rich guy who asked her out once several years ago but she had said no. Now she is living the life if she had said yes to that date. Unlike most novels with this theme, Abbey remembers her old life and although she enjoys some of the perks of having wealth, she misses her old life. She tries to find ways to go back, but does she? A good read. I'm glad it changed up the theme a bit, allowing Abbey to keep all her old memories and really know the difference between the two worlds she experienced.

Now July. A little less reading. 

The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews
      Of the all the books by Mary Kay Andrews that I've read this summer, this one might be my favourite. Probably because I also like home renovation shows. Dempsey takes refuge in her father's hometown after a political scandal. She spends time fixing up the family's homestead while figuring out what she wants to do with her life. Of course she falls in love and there are several mishaps but overall enjoyable.

Little Bitty Lies by Mary Kay Andrews
       Now this is probably the Mary Kay Andrews novel I liked the least. The storyline is just too unbelievable. I think this is an early novel by Andrews and I don't think her ability to plot a novel is as good as in her more recent novels. Maybe a great beach read or for a lazy weekend otherwise, forget it.

A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan
      This is the second time I've borrowed this novel from the library. I was able to finish it this time. It was a lot more enjoyable than I thought it was going to be. I started seeing it on a lot of must-read lists which, I have to admit, makes me not want to read it. I tend to resist overly popular works (Haven't seen Titanic or read Harry Potter). However, this was good ( I know, I know, maybe things are popular for a reason). This novel is about Alice who was working part-time, starts a new full-time job after her husband leaves his and starts his own law firm. She struggles to balance her home life now that she works so much. There was a lot about this book that I related too. It even brought me to tears when one of Alice's parents die. After all the ups and downs, Alice finds a path she is happy with. A happy ending that felt earned. Highly recommend.

Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews
       Would make a great beach read.  Follows movie location scout, Greer, as she takes over a small town to make the lastest blockbuster. Of course falling in love and having many mishaps along the way. Nice and predictable.

Spider-Woman: Baby Talk
      My husband thought I should read this one. Who knew Superheroes have babies? A fun read. Of course she has to fight Aliens just before giving birth, and right after giving birth, but it's all good in the end. A fun, quick read.

      What have you been reading? Would love some recommendations. I'll have a bit more reading time this fall and am ready for something awesome. Or maybe I'll just read all the Margaret Atwood books I haven't read yet.



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