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.
As usual, I’m joining The Show Us Your Books link-up hosted by Jana and Steph. Be sure to check it out and see what great (and not-so great) books everyone read last month.
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!
Confuzzled Bev says
I have never read a J.D. Robb book. I also just found out recently that J.D. Robb is Nora Roberts and my mind was officially blown. I had NO idea!
Yup, Nora Roberts is J.D. Robb. For a period of time, it actually used to say Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb on the book covers, although it just has J.D. Robb on new releases. If you are familiar enough with Roberts, you can definitely see her writing style in the Robb books, especially since she no longer writes strictly romance-only books under her real name.
Nancy @ NY Foodie Family says
Becoming was a popular read this month! I also read and loved it. Good for you for getting your reading mojo back!
Such a great book. I admired her before reading it and admire her even more afterwards. I’m so excited to find myself reading more and more these days. It feels good!
Kasey Holloway says
You know a book is amazing when it makes you cry! LOL
So true! And I am not a crier by nature … errrr … generally not. 😀
My aunt is a huge Nora Roberts/JD Robb fan.
I’m glad Michelle Obama’s book was an amazing experience!
We JD Robb/Nora Roberts fans are legion, although I lean more JD Robb than Nora Roberts fan. But then again, I have read and own a fair number of Nora Roberts books too. It’s just the whole 48 book series sorta trumps all. Becoming was so, so good. I walked around just hugging the book and it made me feel better.
Becoming was sooooo good! And yes, so emotional and nostalgic and oddly uplifting even when I was angry lol (at the thought of the current presidential administration v. the Obamas).
YES! It made me so angry and depressed at what’s currently happening and still hopeful because there are so many good people, like the Obamas, out there. And it was such a good reminder of the goodness still in the world.
I cried while reading Becoming too. So many emotions. I also loved that she was honest about her dislike of politics. When I saw her here in Austin people were chanting 2020 and she was like nope, my feelings about politics have not changed!
Okay, I’m glad that I wasn’t the only one because I felt a little weird initially when it happened the first time. But by the end, I didn’t care. It had become cathartic. I always hoped that she would want to run but it was clear from the book that politics isn’t in her heart. I’m sad for us but respect her for honoring her heart.
Congrats on reading three books – and good ones too! I really need to read Becoming sometime soon. I love Michelle.
Definitely read it! It’s so good. A bit of sanity during insane times.
Kay R.D. says
I still have to read Becoming! So many good things have been said about it and now I just want in on the hype hehe
LOL! I hear you! It lived up to the hype for me because she’s just so damn amazing.
Rebecca Jo says
3 books – that’s awesome!! That’s what I average in a month anyways but I know you’re getting the reading mojo back so that’s really great.
I want to do the Obama book in audio to hear her read it. LOVE her!
I’m honestly not sure if I could have handled hearing Michelle read her own book. Not because it wouldn’t be amazing (I imagine it is) but I think the water works would have flowed from first word to last word.
I also heard Becoming is even better in audio. That’s definitely on my to-read/to-listen list!
Design by Sydnee | A Lifestyle Blog ?
I believe that 100%. Not sure if I could do audio personally (I’d be nonstop tears) but I bet it’s wonderful on audio with her speaking in her own words in her thoughtful, confident and assured manner.
wooo!!! you go girl. cheering over here for you. high five for you and books! i cried so much in Becoming. we read it for book club and we all kept talking in our group chat about how we were crying lol. 48?!! it still blows my mind. i’m up to book 6 or 7? and instead of getting back into it, i decided to start all over and have re-read books 1 and 2. GAH. love!!!! i’m going to try and read one every other month so they stay in my brain a bit better than they were when i had spread them out so much.
and yes, it is law that all hold books come in at the same time and they are popular so can’t renew. how does 3 weeks fly by so fast? i blink and they are due back. pretty sure i keep my library in business with my late fees. kidding, kidding..
Man, I feel a lot better knowing so many other people also shed tears reading Becoming because I initially felt a little weird that I was so emotional while reading it. But it was emotional. And good. And I miss both her and Obama so much. LOL! I started with book 25, then went back to the beginning and read a new book every week or two until I caught up … so I basically binged them. I read a lot back then but not the variety of books I try to read now, which made it possible to do. Plus 25 books is a lot but 48 does seem almost overwhelming! I had a late fee recently and it irritates me so much because the main library branch is literally a block from my home but it’s closed for renovations and find it annoying to drive to an actual library to pick-up and return books. I know boo-hoo me.
That is so true that all the books one reserves, all come in at the same time!! That happened to me a few weeks ago; I went to pick up one book that I had reserved that had came in and when I got to the library, the other 8 books that I had requested, were available for pick-up, they just hadn’t emailed me yet!! 😀 Needless to say, they did not all fit in my one flimsy bookbag…
There are 300 plus people ahead of me in line for Michelle Obama’s book at the library. I look forward to SOMEDAY reading it, lol 🙂
Whoa. 300 people in front of you. That’s crazy!! It took several months for me to get it too, which is rare, and my library has 30 copies of the book. To be fair, we also have a Michelle Obama Library Branch, so she is beloved in my city. 😀 Seriously, though, why do all books have to come in at once? It’s so unfair. Sometimes it’s funny because I’ll get an email that a hold book is now available and I have zero recollection of placing the book on hold or what it’s even about!
Book #48? That’s some commitment!!! I will have to check the series out.
It is a commitment but I love that series. And it helps that I started when it was only 25 deep. LOL!
Thanks for the tip on JD Robb. I always see these in the library, and have never picked one up. I like crime/detective books so I’ll give it a try. Tanya – The Other Side of the Road
I think you’ll really enjoy the series. It’s one of my favorites, obviously!! But I do love the characters and the world she’s built. They seem like friends after 48 books.
I’m a librarian and always wonder about those J.D. Robb books because they’re still so popular and I have to order a boat-load of copies of the new ones whenever they come out. I seriously wonder if it’s the longest running series to date. So have you read them all? I know you said you started at 25. Have you gone back and read the earlier ones?
Yes, I have read them all. I started with book 25 because I randomly selected it at RiteAid because I needed something to read and their selection was tiny. And I loved the story and went back to #1. I haven’t read all her In Death novellas (she typically does one for an anthology in the Fall). Now you have me curious how it ranks in longest-running series. I think there might be a western series (totally blanking because not my jam) that was hugely popular with a ton of books.
Jana @ Jana Says says
I loved Becoming as well. She’s inspirational and human and magnificent.
Yes, she is. I would love to meet her, although I’d probably forget how to speak and just stand there, scaring her Secret Service officers with my weeping.
I’m having the library holds issue right now too! But still waiting on my copy of Becoming, because I’m holding out for the audio version. Happy to see such another positive review of it, because I love her!
I’ve heard the audio version is fantastic and well worth the wait!
That happens to me with library holds too. Even more so with e-books because I don’t keep as much of an eye on my overdrive account and it can move quicker sometimes. Speaking of holds, I am # 92 for Becoming on audio right now so that will be fun someday. 😉 I’m glad you loved it. I fully intend to pick up more of the In Death series sometime (I’ve only read the first) but i keep forgetting. I’m glad they can be picked away at here and there.
I experience the opposite with Overdrive in most instances and typically wait longer to receive books than I do with physical books. But my library tends to only get one electronic copy, unless hugely popular, and multiple physical books. I am a ride-and-die fan of the In Death series but it’s nice series to have in your back pocket for plane rides, etc. because you can really just jump in anywhere.
Hahaha I know, WHY do they all become available at once? That’s the story of my life! 🙂 I cried during Becoming too. My heart hurt with missing the Obamas and all the good they brought to the white house.
I cried too. And I even felt anxious when she was so anxious and worried about the results from the second election, even though I knew he won! LOL! But you just connect with her on such a deep level and I miss them too.
lauren // laurenalforddesign.com says
I really need to read becoming.
Yes! It’s a book I recommend to everyone.
Yay three books this month!! I just added Becoming to my library hold list today! I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to add it/read it! I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
You know what? I did the same thing. I actually though I had put the book on hold and one day I checked to see where I was in line and discovered that I had not actually requested the book. Oops. It’s worth the wait!