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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Books I've Read: August 2015

Two books from the library, plus one on the bottom of the stack that's been on my bookshelf for several moves since I found it on the bargain shelf at a Barnes & Noble once upon a time.  I started it, got about 15 pages in, and then both my library requests came through, so I read those first.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie KondoI posted about my ventures into the KonMari method of organizing, but here are a few more of my favorite quotations from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

"Effective tidying involves only two essential actions: discarding and deciding where to store things.  Of the two, discarding must come first."

"The best sequence is this: clothes first, then books, papers, komono (miscellany), and lastly, mementos.  This order has also proven to be the most efficient in terms of the level of difficulty for the subsequent task of storing. [...] If you can dramatically accelerate the speed of the decision-making process just by changing the order in which you discard, don't you think it's worth a try?"

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.  I've been trying to request books from the library that are on my Goodreads list, and I wanted something by Rainbow Rowell, who I've heard good things about.  This wasn't my first choice, but it was the only one of hers that the library had, so I went with it anyways.  It was okay.  There are some YA fiction books that are really relatable and make me think back fondly on high school and my teen years.  This one just made me feel like too much of an adult, if that makes sense.  It was a quick and easy read, but I think there's a reason it wasn't my first Rainbow Rowell choice.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.  I didn't even know this book existed until a friend posted something on facebook lamenting how far down the library wait list she was.  I looked up the book and the description looked interesting, so I requested it from the library, and it came almost immediately (sorry Erin! wish you had better luck!).  This was another quick read, and it was an interesting concept for a story - a woman kind of sees something from the train, and becomes involved in a missing persons case.

The problem was that none of the characters were really likable.  I kept trying to root for the main character, but I just couldn't.  She kept making stupid life choices and I kind of wanted to smack her upside the head.  I figured out what was going to happen about halfway through the story, and I was right.  The writing style was descriptive without being overly wordy, and the plot moved pretty quickly, even with multiple character points-of-view.  I liked that.  I just didn't like the characters.

The History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig.  I got this book a looong time ago in the bargain bin, and at the time, I thought it was part of a trilogy.  I added it to my Goodreads account and discovered that the 12th book in the series came out this year.  Yikes!  Anyways, this was a good, easy historical fiction read.  I really enjoyed the story within a story aspect of it, although sometimes I'd get so caught up in the history part that the jump back to the present day was a bit jarring.

I am always impressed with historical fiction that flows like this one.  The author has to be really well versed in the time period they're writing about - the culture, current events of the times, how people dressed, and so on.  Most of that may not even make an appearance in the book, but they have to know it to write it properly.  I did also appreciate Willig's historical note at the end of the book that laid out what was historically accurate and what wasn't, and the few things she changed.  I wouldn't have known the difference, honestly, but it was nice to have that as well.  My library system has the next two books in the series, and then I'm on my own.  We'll see if I end up reading more...

Total books read this month: 4. Total books read this year: 13

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