Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Books Lately

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The times I actually remember to link up with Steph and Jana are few and far between, despite the fact that they run this every single month (for years.)  Twice?  I think this makes twice - I have to write myself a reminder memo to show up on time.  But here I am, with my books I've read lately!

The Year of Less by Cait Flanders.  This book was already a favorite on one of my Three on Thursday posts in January, so you knew it was coming.  I loved it.  Cait Flanders is the blogger at CaitFlanders.com, formerly Blonde on a Budget, who I have been following for years.  So it's always exciting when someone you 'know' gets published.  I pre-ordered her book way back in July of 2017, but it was just released in January.  I read it in a day.  Not that it's a particularly long read, but still, if I finish it in a day you know it was good.  It's set up as each chapter following a different month of her year long shopping ban, where she not only didn't buy anything new, she also decluttered 70% of her stuff.  It's not just about not shopping though, it's also about her debt struggle, her family life, getting sober, recognizing toxic relationship habits - so obviously a lot more than she ever chronicled on her blog.  I think it stands alone as a good book, but I do think you'll like it more if you've followed the blog and already connected to Cait as a writer.  Most of the 'how to' and details about actually completing a shopping ban have been on the blog, so the book is more memoir about the personal details and struggles of her life during that time than about not shopping.  But I loved that sort of behind the scenes look into her life.

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett.  This book is no joke, it's over 900 pages and part one of a trilogy.  But it's worth it once you dive in, it just looks intimidating but you'll start speeding through because it's hard to put down.  It's historical fiction, which I never read, but someone recommended it and I gave it a try, with good results.  I wouldn't say it's a favorite, but it ranks 4 stars.  It follows the characters through WWI and the amount of historical fact the author weaves in is fascinating, I loved that part.  The main reason I knock a star off the rating is for the huge suspension of disbelief necessary to believe that these 5 families would ever cross paths like the author says.  But if you can ignore that, it's pretty great storytelling about the war that's more about what was happening at home.  The whole overview of the trilogy is that it follows the same five families for 100 years, but I haven't gotten into the other two books yet, so I'll report back on those at some point.  I feel pretty invested in the characters and the drama so I'll definitely finish out the series.  It does flip around a lot, like Game of Thrones, so it can be hard to follow if you're not used to switching your brain like that, but since I've read GoT, this was much easier to navigate.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.  This was middle of the road for me.  Not a favorite, didn't totally hate it but.  It's creepy and fast paced, but there's a lot of plot holes.  Basic premise is that the story follows Todd, a boy in a town of only men, no women.  They've been infected by the 'noise germ' so they can all hear everyone else's thoughts.  Including his dog (who is hands down the best character.)  He knows something is off so he tries to run away and finds a girl who somehow wasn't killed off like all the other women, and he can't hear her thoughts.  I think I just didn't love it because reading it is like riding a roller coaster, it's crazy.  And kind of gory.  It ends on a massive cliffhanger (though every single chapter does too), and I don't know that I'll read the others in the series, I don't think I care enough and there's one big reason why: Spoiler, highlight if you want to see it - mainly I hate this book because they kill off the best character - the talking dog. BYE.  Hate any book/movie that kills off the dog.

And those are my 3 books lately because come on, Fall of Giants was like 1,000 pages of my time.  But maybe I'll remember to link up again in a couple of months and have more to share.  What have you been reading lately?  Link up with your hosts here:

Life According to Steph

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