Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Book Review Bonanza

You may remember that I started off 2010 with a 2010 Reading Plan, to encourage me to read more books this year.

I'm happy to report that 6 months into 2010 and and I've read 7 books!

I did book reviews on the first two books of that I read in 2010 here but I wanted to bring your all my reviews of four more.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

I read almost this entire book on the plane ride back from Europe. This book chronicles the lives of two best friends over 20-something years.

In my mind this book had three parts... the first third of book was such cheeseballs with cheese sauce on top that I almost couldn't keep reading. The second third of the book was pretty good. And the final third was bawling, ugly-cry sad. Like, seriously, I was crying like a baby on my American Airlines flight.

I know this book a fan favorite in the blogsphere, and I liked it a lot, but I can't say it was one of my favorite books ever.

My rating: 4 stars out of 5

Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner

I read this because I loved the books Little Earthquakes and Good in Bed by the same author. This book is about a suburban stay-at-home Mom trying to solve her neighbor's murder. It was just OK for me. I thought the main character was really whiny and really unlikable. The murder-mystery plot kept me turning the pages, but the characters were all pretty much stock characters.

My rating: 3 stars of out 5

What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell

It's a well-documented fact that I'm a huge Malcolm Gladwell fan. This book was a compilation of his articles from The New Yorker. Some were fantastic, and some were just OK, which is why I liked but didn't love this book like I did Outliers. The articles on Enron, Birth Control, homelessness, and criminal profiling that are in What The Dog Saw are really outstanding and worth the read.

My rating: 4 stars out of 5

The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan

I saved the best review for last...

The Middle Place was an absolute gem. The book is a true story of a young Mom who find out she has cancer and the same time her own Dad finds out that he has cancer. "The middle place" is that short time in life when you're both a Mother and Daughter. The characters were so real, funny, and relatable. "Greenie", Kelly's Dad, is so lovable that I just kept wishing that I knew him in real life.

My rating: 5 stars out of 5

Did you read any of these books? What did you think?


Vee said...

I read Firefly Lane a month or so ago and you hit the nail on the head with your review, from the cheeseball part to the ugly cry. I finished the book one afternoon in the living room where my husband was sleeping. He was SLEEPING, and I STILL left the room to go bawl and finish it. Ugly-cry-face, tissues, the whole shebang.

Strangely enough, it seems that the books that make my cry are not necessarily the books I like the most. I did like this one, about 4 stars worth (which is I think what I gave it on Goodreads), but the Time Traveler's Wife also made me cry in the end, but I thought that book was kinda crappy. Too heavy on the punk culture references. But I digress.

I also really like Malcolm Gladwell - I've read Blink, and the Tipping Point is in my To-Read stack.

California Wife said...

I definitely see what you're saying about Firefly Lane, but I still loved it! I haven't read The Middle Place, but it definitely looks like something I would love! I'll have to add it to my Shelfari list!

Sweet Simplicity said...

I love when people do book reviews. I have been contemplating Firefly Lane, but I don't really want an over the top book. It will stay on my list, but not high up there. :)

Rachel said...

I love book reviews! I love Jennifer Weiner's books. Haven't read Goodnight Nobody, but I might add it to my list!

And The Middle Place...SO wonderful!

Sara said...

I've only read The Middle Place of these four. But, I loved it! I remember relling everyone to read it. I really didn't want it to end.

Lindsay said...

Way to go! Such an accomplishment!

Linda said...

I agree with your assessments of Firefly Lane & Goodnight Nobody. I'll check out What The Dog Saw and The Middle Place.

Lo said...

For about the last half of Firefly Lane I was hiccup, runny-nose sobbing. Not my favorite book in histoy, but it touched a nerve like no book I've read in long time.

P.S. I just re-read The Red Tent. Loved it again, but I think I cried at different parts. Funny to think of how I've changed since I first read it 8 years ago.

Crazy Shenanigans said...

I haven't read any of these books! They all look so good!

Anonymous said...

I haven't read any of those but I leave reading reviews because it gives me an idea of what to read next! I have another book by the author of Firefly Lane that my mom gave me to read. It's on my list.

Mrs. Dew said...

I think I'm adding Firefly land to my must read list!

Classy Fab Sarah said...

I have been waiting for somebody - anybody - to read The Middle Place since I became obsessed with it last year. I was afraid I was the only one who loved it!

I am SO glad you loved it... and I definitely need to check out Firefly Lane!!

Camille said...

I read Firefly Lane while studying abroad in Spain. I too didn't feel like it was that great of a book, but offered a good cry. I was so at a lost when I first got to Spain and this book was my small patch of normalcy because I am from the Pacific Northwest.

I picked up The Middle Place ages ago, but have yet to start it. I am looking forward to reading it once I don't have school work in the way.

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