Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Winter Reads: short & sweet book reviews

I get some of my very best book recommendations from other bloggers, so I like to spread the love and share details about what I've been reading, in case anyone else is looking for a good book to pick up.

I've just started a brand-new annual reading challenge on goodreads (be my friend!) - I really like logging each book I read and seeing my progress, as well as that of my friends. My goal for last year was to read 30 books, and I finished with a grand total of 33. Based on that, I've set a 2015 goal of 35 books. I finished my first on the plane home from Nashville, and I've already started the second. Wahoo!

To be honest, I kind of got burnt out on reading towards the end of the year, so the ones I'm sharing with you today are actually what I read in November, December, and the beginning of January. There were some real winners, though, so I hope you'll check them out!

To me, the best review is a short review - so I'll try to keep these simple!

The Double Bind// Chris Bohjalian has become one of my favorite authors, and I love the way he twists his stories multiple times throughout the book. This one, featuring a plot line where nothing is as it seems and the characters are not who you think they are, may very well be one of my favorites of his so far.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane// This book got tons of great reviews this year, but it wasn't what I was expecting at all. I'm not much of a fantasy reader, but this one held my interest, regardless of the monsters and madness happening in the story.

Help for the Haunted// I liked this book all the way up until the very end - the final "whodunnit" answer was not what I expected or what I wanted. The story moves back and forth in time, which is a style that I generally like, and also features several sub-plots that I found interesting. It made for a good plane read.

Beautiful Ruins// Another that received tons of great reviews this year - I didn't love, love it, but it was pretty good. Another that jumps from time to time and character to character, so I felt a little lost at times, but the characters are well-developed and very realistic (to me, anyway!). I really connected with the characters' flaws and hopes.

Yes Please// I cannot say enough good things about this book. I feel like I know Amy personally, and I feel like she gets me - she is hilarious and honest and real about her life, and I finished this book in one sitting (and it was a fabulous way to spend a Sunday)! Highly recommend.

So there ya have it. Next on my list is Big Little Lies - a book I have been dying to read because I really like everything Liane Moriarty has written, but haven't gotten around to doing yet. Oops! Time to start.

What are you reading right now? What is the best book you read in 2014? I think mine was Every Last One by Anna Quindlen - it shook me in a way that I haven't really recovered from yet, and I still think about it regularly. Not many books are like that for me!

**affiliate links above


Aileen Metcalf said...

I'm glad you posted your reviews of those books. I've thought about reading Ocean at the End of the Lane and Beautiful Ruins, but I may rethink it, haha. Nate and I both tried reading American Gods...and we just couldn't get into it. Too freakin' weird.

Stephanie @ My Freckled Life said...

Love this! I haven't read any of these, but I have been looking for some new books to add to my list. I also love the idea of the book challenge - I'm going to have to sign up ASAP!

The Lady Okie said...

I haven't read any of these, but I've heard about some of them. Thanks for the recommendations!

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

I actually have Beautiful Ruins downloaded and ready to start. I'm trying not to have majorly high expectations because people have definitely been raving!