Liane Moriarty has become my go-to author when I want a quick and engaging read that doesn't require much effort. This book fit what I was looking forLiane Moriarty has become my go-to author when I want a quick and engaging read that doesn't require much effort. This book fit what I was looking for. I know it won't stick with me, but I enjoyed it....more
This book is a collection of short stories, most set in a more technological, sometimes dystopian future. Some of my favorites:
Saying Goodbye to Yang:This book is a collection of short stories, most set in a more technological, sometimes dystopian future. Some of my favorites:
Saying Goodbye to Yang: A family deals with the grief of losing their broken down robotic child. The imagery in the story captured the very real grief of loss, even the loss of a robot.
The Cartographers: Focuses on an company that lets people purchase memories of various life experiences which are beamed into the customers' brains. The boundaries between real life experiences and these memories become blurred, creating an intriguing story.
Children of the New World: Another story dealing with loss, but this time loss of a virtual experience, which still feels just as raw and painful.
Migration: In this world, no one leaves their houses anymore, as all life is lived virtually and online. A family with a young son is trying to figure out how to live in this world. The imagery of an abandoned (yet still fully populated) world is haunting.
When I started writing this review, it was a 4 star book, but as I looked back and experienced the strong emotion several stories still evoke a few weeks after finishing the book bumped it up to 5 stars.
*One warning: a lot of these futuristic worlds do have some strange sexual things, so just be warned if you decide to read it*...more
This book is about a British woman who works for MI5, the British intelligence organization, in the 1970s. Her super thrilling spy mission is to workThis book is about a British woman who works for MI5, the British intelligence organization, in the 1970s. Her super thrilling spy mission is to work with an author to fund him (without his knowledge) to publish books that while not directly propaganda, will support the views of the British government against communism. Nothing like a spy thriller about book publishing, right?
SORT OF A SPOILER BELOW. * * * * * * * I really disliked this book for most of it. I thought the characters were so flat and boring, especially the female protagonist (which I blamed on the fact that it was written by a man). However, a twist at the end threw all of this into question and led to some great discussion with my new book club. Still not sure this made it worth the read, but I would maybe give it 3.5 instead of an even 3 stars.
Does mentioning the fact that there is a twist count as a spoiler? Was my spoiler warning necessary? I don't know. ...more
This book is a series of postcards between two women, Giorgia and Stefanie. Each postcard visually represents some kind of data that the women collectThis book is a series of postcards between two women, Giorgia and Stefanie. Each postcard visually represents some kind of data that the women collected for one week in their daily lives. Topics ranged from cataloging each scent they smelled or each animal they saw to recording feelings of envy or desires. It was really amazing the amount of detail they recorded each week. As as example, one week they collected data on times when they were nice. The postcard not only recorded instances of being nice, but categorized the act of niceness into several categories (for example- physically helped someone, smiled, showed affection, etc., etc.). It also showed for whom the nice thing was done, how it made them feel, and also if the acts were connected (and several other factors). All of this was done through visual representations, such as lines, dashes, color codes, and swirls. I especially liked seeing the friendship grow between the two women (who barely knew each other in real life) through their data. Giorgia had a special pink pen she would use whenever something in her data set involved Stefanie and was usually accompanied by a smiley face. So, for example, there would be an extra pink dot on the postcard when she interacted with someone who knew Stefanie or when she called or texted Stefanie on the week they tracked phone use.
I really don't have anything negative to say about this book. It was really interesting to see how they represented their data and mind boggling how much detail was in each card, but even with all the data, they were still so beautiful. I liked it a lot, but didn't love it, so I'm going with 3.5 stars. ...more
This book is the story of four teenage girls who are super fans of a boy band called The Ruperts (because they are all named Rupert). Each Rupert hasThis book is the story of four teenage girls who are super fans of a boy band called The Ruperts (because they are all named Rupert). Each Rupert has fulfills a type: the bad boy, the cute one, the talented one, and the uncool one. The girls end up kidnapping one of the members of the boy band (the uncool one) and things spiral out of control and get quite dark from there. This book probably appeals to a very narrow window of people and I don't think anyone would appreciate it who wasn't obsessed with a boy band at one time or another. However, since I do fall into that category, I really enjoyed this book. It was funny, dark, and just a little mysterious. It also raised some social questions about why teenagers love boy bands so much. ...more
This is a non-fiction comic about a group of young people who go to Turkey, Syria, in Iraq to better understand the implications of the war in Iraq onThis is a non-fiction comic about a group of young people who go to Turkey, Syria, in Iraq to better understand the implications of the war in Iraq on the region with a focus on the refugee crisis. The group is made of four Americans, two of whom are reporters, one is an Iraq war veteran, and one is the artist who wrote this book. There are many conversations among these four about their role in the war, implications of the war, and the role of journalism in the face of such destruction and a huge humanitarian crisis. It was interesting to learn more about this region, especially about the Iraqi Kurdish population.
What was most heartbreaking about this books was reading it with the knowledge of the current state of Syria. This book takes place before the Arab Spring and before the Syrian civil war. It was especially heartbreaking to see the depictions of Syria just a few years ago and compare it with the news of today. Damascus was such an international city with so many people coming from all over the world to learn Arabic, work with the Iraqi refugees, or for other business or educational reasons. The Syrians and Americans alike in this book walked alone around Syria with no fear or threats. It is heartbreaking that all of that is now destroyed. The humanitarian crisis of all the Iraqi refugees is now multiplied as these Iraqis are now refugees again in addition to the millions of Syrians who have now become refugees.
This book focused a little more on the role of journalism and the feelings of the characters in visiting the region than on the actual history and situation of the countries, but I still learned a lot and am glad I read it. ...more
I've read a few books by Liane Moriarty and while none of them have been amazing books that I would necessarily recommend, I've found them all very enI've read a few books by Liane Moriarty and while none of them have been amazing books that I would necessarily recommend, I've found them all very engaging and entertaining. While I also read this book very quickly, I didn't find it as engaging as the others. There was a lot of mystery for the first half of the book as all the characters referenced a major event that happened at a barbecue. The story goes back and forth in time between the day of the barbecue and several weeks after the barbecue. The barbecue was referenced with what was supposed to build suspense, but instead just annoyed me. Every other thought the characters had seemed to include a line like "but after what happened at the barbecue...." or "but that was before the barbecue changed everything...." When suspense is done well, I don't want to skip ahead in the book to find out what happened because the joy is in experiencing the story as it unfolds. In this book, however, all I wanted to do was flip ahead to find out what happened at the stupid barbecue. I even decided that if I didn't know what happened at the barbecue by a certain page I was going to stop reading the book because it was just so painfully drawn out. Eventually you do find out what happened (after a few false starts where a chapter would end with someone at the barbecue screaming for a reason that turned out to be nothing) and I liked the book much more at that point. Once the mystery was revealed, I liked the book a lot more as it seemed like the author was better able to just focus on the story and characters without working so hard to keep up this aura of mystery around the barbecue.
(I wish I could add sound effects to a review. If I could, I would add a dramatic "da da duuuuun" every time the word barbecue is used)...more
This book is unlike anything I would normally pick to read. It's set at the time of the Protestant Reformation and is the story of Dismas, a relic hunThis book is unlike anything I would normally pick to read. It's set at the time of the Protestant Reformation and is the story of Dismas, a relic hunter who makes his living buying and selling relics (perhaps the fragment of a bone of a saint or a thorn from the crown on thorns). He ends up on a quest involving the ultimate relic - the burial shroud of Jesus. When I read the back of this book, it sounded super boring, but it was actually quite engaging. It was written with a humorous tone and it had enough action to keep me interested.
This book is the story of a single mom struggling to get by with her two kids. She takes a road trip across from England to Scotland with a wealthy teThis book is the story of a single mom struggling to get by with her two kids. She takes a road trip across from England to Scotland with a wealthy tech guy who has also fallen upon hard times. While some of it is predictable, the characters all had their quirks and there were some twists and turns that made this an enjoyable read. I liked the characters and was rooting for them to succeed. This book reminded me a lot of the movie Little Miss Sunshine - maybe too much, in that I pictured all the characters looking exactly like their Little Miss Sunshine counterparts. ...more
I liked this book way more than I thought I would. Set in Victorian England, this book tells of the Shadowhunters, a group of people protecting the woI liked this book way more than I thought I would. Set in Victorian England, this book tells of the Shadowhunters, a group of people protecting the world from the forces of evil. There are vampires and warlocks and other supernatural characters. As I expected, I was annoyed by the romance, but I don't think it's possible for me to read a young adult and not be annoyed by the romance as teen romance is just annoying. As the first book of a trilogy, this left me with a lot of questions, so I think I will complete the series - especially since I think this may also fall into the Steampunk genre, which I need to read in 2017.
Because it's nearing the end of the year and I still needed to read a book about the Olympics (and many other books) to complete my reading challenge,Because it's nearing the end of the year and I still needed to read a book about the Olympics (and many other books) to complete my reading challenge, I decided to listen to the "Young Reader's Adaptation" of this book. I think I may have liked it more if I read the adult version. I was interested in the historical parts of the story, including the backstory of one of the rowers, Joe Rantz, growing up in poverty in rural Washington and the history of Germany covering up the oppression and atrocities of Nazi Germany before the Olympics. I was not interested in the descriptions of rowing and the accounts of the races. I think the adult version may delve more into the history, so I think I'll try to read some of the adult version as well, which may knock this up to a four star book. ...more
Meh...this book was fine. I feel like the book tried to cover too much so that there was no real depth to any of the characters or story. There was aMeh...this book was fine. I feel like the book tried to cover too much so that there was no real depth to any of the characters or story. There was a lot of potential, but everything just felt so rushed that I didn't really care about any of it too much. It was a quick read, but even just half a day after finishing it, I've forgotten a lot about it already. ...more