Thursday, June 30, 2016

June Wrap-Up

2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge progress: 24 out of 40 
Total books read so far this year: 26
Books completed in June: 3

June was a good reading month - I completed 3 books and am about halfway through the serious chunkster (800+ pages) Winter, and I enjoyed all of them a lot!

Completed 6/6/16:

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge #28: A book written by a comedian
Rating: 4 out of 5

I love Tina Fey. I love her even more after reading this book. She's so down-to-earth, smart, and real. And she's from my home state of PA, which I didn't know. She's the kind of person I could imagine myself being friends with in real life, which sounds a lot more creepy/stalkerish than I mean it to. 

I will say that the book wasn't quite as laugh-out-loud funny as I expected it to be. I felt like the humor was a bit forced in the beginning of the book (even though I still found it enjoyable). I'm not sure if I just got used to her style as the book progressed or possibly she just got more comfortable with telling her story.

Overall, I'm glad I read it and would recommend it. 

Completed 6/9/16:

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge #38: A satirical book
Rating: 4.25 out of 5

I had no idea what to read for the satire prompt, since satire typically is not my favorite genre. This slim book turned out to be the perfect choice for me and I would definitely recommend it if you have a degree in English (I do) or you work in a higher education setting (I don't, but there was a time that I wanted to).

It consists entirely of a year of letters (letters of recommendation, mostly) written by a cantankerous novelist-turned-professor in a shrinking English department at a fictional mid-tier school. It makes me really, really glad that my teachers always gave me copies of the letters they wrote about me and also makes me really, really glad that I am no longer in the position of having to ask anyone for a recommendation. It's also funny as hell, with a bit of a twist at the end. 

Completed 6/20/16:

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge #11: A book that's becoming a movie this year
Rating: 4.25 out of 5

I really enjoyed this book. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever enjoyed a book so much when I didn't really like the characters as people all that much.

I really liked the flow of the writing, and I actually liked the multiple narrators/jumping of times (surprisingly, since I usually hate multiple POV stories). I just found the book compulsively readable.

I was pretty sure of what happened at about 75% in after suspecting it for a while. After that point, it declined slightly for me. I think the denouement could have been a little more interesting, and the final wrap-up chapter was entirely unremarkable.  The author did an amazing job with developing all of the characters except the villain, in my opinion.  Certain things about this character just seemed "off" to me.

Overall, this was probably one of the more enjoyable books I've read this year, but I'm not sure that it will hold up well in my memory over time (if that makes any sense).

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