I don’t mean to brag but … I read three REAL books! That’s right, three REAL books, not two books and one cookbook but THREE books. My reading mojo is slowly coming back in spurts. A day or two of intense book love followed by a week or two of ambivalence towards all things book-related. But that’s okay because I read three books. And I even liked them. Maybe even loved one. Let’s hear it for me! And books!
The Books I Loved, Liked and Loathed in March
I don’t want to jinx the whole thing and say I’m back to my old book loving self but it feels like I’m inching towards becoming that person again.
The Books I Loved
These are the books that remind me why I love to read.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Book Description: Michelle Obama’s memoir — do I really need to say more?
Book Review: I’m not going to lie — I cried throughout reading this. It’s not that her prose was especially transcendent (although perfectly fine) but for what she and Barack meant to me. I remember mentally saying “Obama” with every step to my polling place in 2007, as if by doing so, I could will him into the White House. Thus, it’s no surprise that I enjoyed her memoir, even though I’m typically not a fan of memoirs, due to how romanticized they can be. And it would have been easy for her to do and for us — her fans — to accept a rose-tinted glimpse into her life. But she was honest. From her initial what’s the big deal about this guy attitude towards Barack, to her reservations and outright resentment at times to his political aspirations, and to her determination to make her time as FLOTUS mean something, she told her truth without apology. Something many women, including me, struggle to do. I related to her more than expected and my admiration of her strength, excellence, and compassion continues to grow.
To Read or Not To Read: Yes. There was much to dissect and one take-away that I’ll be discussing a bit more in a future post is swerve.
The Books I Liked
These are the books I liked, from most liked to like. If rating with stars, these books would rate between 4 to 3 stars.
Connections in Death by J.D. Robb
Book Description: When a recovering addict overdoses, Lt. Dallas Eve’s spidey sense tells her something more is going on.
Book Review: This is book #48 in the series. That’s right FORTY-EIGHT. I did not stutter in my writing! It’s my ride-and-die series that I’ve been reading for 13+ years. This falls into the okay category, which the past few books all have unfortunately. It’s hard for me because most of the series falls into the very good to excellent category. But at 48 books, still writing okay books in such a long-running series is honestly — a little amazing.
To Read or Not To Read: I know. I know. A 48 book series terrifies people. Totally get it. Also know it’s a lot like SVU or any procedural on TV, you can jump in pretty much anywhere and get the lay of the land quickly. My first In Death book was Creation In Death, aka #25 in the series. It was excellent.
The Plotters by Un-su Kim
Book Description: Reseng, an assassin, joins forces with an unlikely trio to take on the plotters, the masterminds behind every kill.
Book Review: I was drawn to this book for two reasons: it’s written by a Korean author (and I am Korean) and the premise reminded me a bit of the movie Wanted. Well, Kim can definitely write beautiful prose and I appreciate his dark humor, especially when directed towards himself. “Dictionaries are great. No mushiness, no bitching, no preachiness, and best of all, none that high-and-mighty crap that writer’s try to pull.” I laughed when I read it and laughed again at the end because Mr. Kim pulled off that high and mighty crap. My only real quibble is that I expected an action-packed, fun read (they are assassins!) but it was more introspective than I expected (maybe more than I wanted) with a somewhat convoluted plot but I still enjoyed it.
To Read or Not To Read: Sure. It’s really nothing like Wanted though. No awesome curved shooting or flipping cars, but it does include two Siamese cats named Desk and Lampshade, so even stevens in my book.
TL;DR: What I Recommend
What I recommend: all of them. But not necessarily all of them for you, dear reader. Hey, we all got different tastes so it’s cool if murdery books or memoirs or twisty thrillers ain’t your jam. I mean I secretly wonder what’s wrong with you (and I assume you do the same to me with my love for murdery books, which is inevitably followed by my why people gotta be so mean and now I’m depressed whining) but it’s cool. You do you; I’ll do me.
Anyhoo — love procedurals? Try an In Death book. Seriously, start anywhere. Book 1 or Book 32 (a personal favorite) or Book 48. Want to remember what sanity felt like? Read Becoming. Maybe with a box of tissues. Think an introspective (and possibly depressed and anxiety-ridden) assassin undergoing a mid-life crisis (or evaluation of life choices or existential crisis or all of the above) is your jam, then add The Plotters to your TBR.
To More Great Books
Overall I had a great reading month so no complaints. Okay, maybe one complaint because I can’t help myself. Is there some unwritten rule in the universe that all hold books must come available at the same time? And then also be popular so the renew option is unavailable? I’m excited for the all books sitting on my nightstand, but it’s a little overwhelming for someone whose reading mojo is still a little wonky. Okay, rant over.
What great books do you read last month?
P.S. Last month I reviewed Cravings: Hungry for More by Chrissy Teigen and as promised, I did share her recipe for blueberry cream cheese pancakes. So delicious and worth the effort!