Guess who’s back?
Kim is back…
tell a friend!
I did a lot of reading in prep for my CAE exam in December and it put me off from pleasure reading for a while. Which is okay! I knew the desire to read would return eventually and in March it quietly knocked on the door and I let it back in. While I didn’t even set a Goodreads goal for 2022 I’m just going to play this by ear. Don’t force yourself to do things you’re not into and call it pleasure, okay?
Goodreads, bless its heart, is still suggesting I set a modest 12-book goal.
Onto the books! I use the Goodreads rating system, which is:
- One star: did not like it
- Two stars: it was ok
- Three stars: liked it
- Four stars: really liked it
- Five stars: it was amazing
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I bought this book last year when it was on sale and I knew that if I had to get back into reading, a juicy Taylor Jenkins Reid book was the way to go. This is the story of legendary Hollywood actress Evelyn Hugo and Monique Grant, the young woman who Evelyn recruited to write her authorized biography. As in any story that features seven husbands, there are all sorts of scandals and terrible, complicated situations. And as in any Taylor Jenkins Reid book, there’s a “ooooooo” twist toward the end. Even though I knew it was coming, it still knocked me for a loop. Don’t let older people lie to you — all of today’s societal ills existed back in the golden days too. But it was so juicy. Evelyn was a gutsy dame. Content warning for domestic violence, homophobia, and suicide. Four stars.
The Lightmaker’s Manifesto by Karen Walrond – I have been reading Walrond’s blog Chookooloonks for a very long time. She’s one of the OG mom bloggers who managed to springboard herself out of that mom blogger pigeonhole and created another career for herself.
At this point all I look for from these kind of inspirational self-help-but-not-really books are a few gems that I can remember for more than an hour after I finish the book. And that’s what I got. It didn’t knock my socks off like it did for many on Goodreads and I think it’s because of the conversational first-person narration. I don’t need to know if the person she was talking to leaned in and whispered conspiratorially. But this was fine. Three stars.
Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland – another entry in my favorite genre of “rich, privileged families and all of their trashy secrets.” Two men open a resort hotel in the Catskills which entwines their families for three generations. But like all Catskills resorts of that era, time was not kind to the Golden Hotel and in 2019 their families have to come together to decide on whether to sell to a casino developer.
It was sweet and sentimental and was cruising toward a four-star review but then she wedged in a “babies fix everything” plot device that wasn’t even necessary. It did nothing for the plot except artificially elevating a character to SAGE PARENT which made the family not think of them as so much of a sad sack anymore. It didn’t even do anything for the parents’ relationship. Person just continued making their side piece a main piece and had a bonus baby a few days a week. There were also some unsavory actions revealed that were handwaved away because it was “for a baby” and that didn’t sit right with me. But I understand I can be touchy about that kind of thing.
There were plenty of body-shaming comments too, which I know was meant to show how catty one of the characters was, but there are many other ways to show cattiness. She did this with the Floating Feldmans as well. Three stars.
Currently reading: Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting by Lisa Genova
It’s good to be back. 🙂
All of my book lists and reviews are on Goodreads.
This a part of the Show us Your Books linkup from Jana Says and Life According to Steph. If you want to read more bloggers gush about the books they’ve read this month, click the button below and have fun!
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