Booked Vol. 1

August 11, 2015


You guys, I'll be honest, last month I felt like the girl who got picked last for dodge ball. Seriously. Reading and seeing all of your book posts gave me major FOMO. I had no idea when this link up were taking place, but I, along with the rest of you, am a huge fan of reading. I finally got my blogging act together and am ready to rock!

I feel like I was a reading machine in July. There were the books I read for the first half of the Literary Ladies challenge and now all of these. I also decided to grade the books on a simple scale: A {love}, B {enjoyed it}, C {ehh}, D {disappointment} and F {this will be reserved for books I didn't bother to finish}.

Captivated by You / Sylvia Day Grade: B
Even though I finished this in June, I'm adding it here because I can. Before I picked up Saint Anything I was in the middle of reading Captivated by You by Sylvia Day. This series is basically riding on the fame that of 50 Shades. It's similar but different. This doesn't apply to the challenge, but I read it, so I figured I'd mention it.

Pride & Prejudice / Jane Austen Grade: F
I can honestly say I avoided any book by Jane Austen because I feared they were huge, lengthy reads. P&P was confusing at times. Take this sentence for instance... "Would Mr. Darcy then consider the rashness of your original intention as atoned for by your obstinacy in adhering to it?" I kid you not, I had to read that 3 times and I still have no idea what it means. I admit I put this down around page 76 and didn't look back. Sorry Kristen!!

The Diary of Darcy J. Rhone / Emily Griffin Grade: D
I never actually read Something Borrowed because I saw the movie long before I realized it was a movie. I figured I'd give this a try because a) it was super short, and b) it was free. It's a good thing because this was almost painful to read. If you're familiar with Darcy's character as an adult, I'm sure you can imagine how she was as a teen. This little novella just reconfirmed how irritating she is.

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives / Gretchen Rubin Grade: B
This book was all about change. Throughout life we attempt to change a lot of things. We want to eat well, exercise regularly, perform beneficial habits. The problem that most of us have - how do we change our habits? Rubin attempts to answer that question here. I enjoyed this book. It wasn't a cure-all where I'm suddenly acing every habit I've tried to make, but it did point out aspects of my personality and how that can help/hinder my progress.  

The Dinner / Herman Koch Grade: C
I read it for the literary challenge and I didn't love it.  However, it reads quick and that was a plus to me. I didn't find any of the characters to be likable and disliked the way the author, and subsequently the character narrating, mention things but then don't discuss them. One of the characters gets very sick and is in the hospital, by description I can only assume they're referring to cancer. The check for the meal comes but the amount is tip-toed around. The concept is interesting enough, the entire book, aside from the flashbacks, takes place over the course of dinner one evening. I'm pretty indifferent to this book. No love, no hate.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying-Up / Marie Kondo, Cathy Hirano Grade: D/F
I listened to this book through Hoopla {free audio book apps that work through your local library} because - fast and free - but unfortunately I found it to be incredibly boring and lecture-y. I'm not sure if it was the reader or the book itself but it made the author come across as a condescending know-it-all. When I was halfway through I truly considered just giving up on the book but I kept listening. I was a little into the last hour and I couldn't take it anymore. I decided to give up.  Skip this book!

Second Street Station: A Mary Handley Mystery / Lawrence H. Levy Grade: A
This was one of my Blogging for Books options this month. Pickings were slim honestly, but as this took place in Brooklyn I decided to give it a try. Plus it's a mystery and I'm a sucker for those. The story takes place in 19th century New York. I was slow to get into this but I knew if I kept with it the story would pick up at some point. In truth the story picked up as soon as I gave it a chance. Go figure... The one thing that truly bugged me was that I felt like the author was trying to show his experience with a thesaurus. So many words were unnecessary and could have been replaced by something more common. I mean who uses "unctuousness"? I had to look it up. One thing I did like, relatively short chapters and the story involved historical figures such as J.P. Morgan and Nikola Tesla.

Angela's Ashes / Frank McCourt Grade: A
A friend of my recommended I read this several years ago, and although I added it to my list, I never got around to reading it. Typical. Once I actually started listening to it I enjoyed it immediately. For one, the reader had an Irish brogue, but he also read in a way that was entertaining. It's interesting to me because Frank McCourt was 66 when Angela's Ashes "burst onto the literary scene" and then he won a Pulitzer Prize for it. He also wrote two follow-up books that I plan to read.

Not That Kind of Girl / Lena Dunham Grade: C
I've heard everyone rant and rave about Girls and Lena Dunham for months. I finally decided to give this a try... for the literary challenge. I listened to the audiobook, which I liked because it was read by Lena. Personally, this just wasn't my kind of memoir. I didn't hate it, but I certainly didn't care for it either. In my opinion, it was a 'Hey, here are some essays of my sexual history and my thoughts on other random things'.

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