reading, books

The Weekly Reading Fix: June 19th – 25th

This week I’ve been making a dent in my TBR stack, with a few books I’ve heard great things about. The good news is, they did not disappoint!

Standard Deviation by Katherine Heinystandard deviation, katherine Heiny

Graham used to be married to Elspeth, but that was before Audra came along. Now Graham and Audra have been married for twelve years, and have a ten year old son with Asperger’s. When they run into Elspeth and her new boyfriend, Audra decides that the four of them should all be friends. Hilarity ensues.

This is the perfect beach read. It was so funny that I literally laughed out loud, not once, but multiple times (my family was giving me weird looks). There’s enough of a plot to keep you interested,  but not enough to make you think too hard. There was even an “I really didn’t see that one coming” moment halfway through the book.  The characters are fun, quirky, and sometimes just plain weird, the way your friends in real life actually are. If you’re looking for a fun book you can read in a day, this is it.

Rating:

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The Dry by Jane HarperJane Harper

Reasons I loved this book:

1. It’s set in Australia (In my mind, I read everything in an Australian accent!)
2. There are two mysteries in here, not just one.
3. Really great characters, and since this is titled “Aaron Falk #1”, I’m looking forward to seeing at least one of them in her next book.
4. Very satisfying ending, with believable conclusions to both mysteries.
5. The above mentioned conclusions were not given away too early (I hate when I can guess the ending in the first few chapters!)

Rating:

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria SempleMaria Semple

I have been told that I HAD to read this, and I’m glad I gave it a try. It’s the story of a wacky woman, Bernadette, who used to be a famous architect. After a project disaster many years ago however, Bernadette hasn’t created anything, and instead hides away in her enormous house with her husband and teenage daughter. While planning a trip to celebrate her daughter’s good grades, Bernadette goes missing.

The structure of this book threw me for a loop at first, but once I got used to it, I enjoyed it. The book is made up of emails, letters, articles, and some narration by Bernadette’s daughter, Bee. The story takes place after Bernadette has disappeared, and all of these documents are Bee’s way of trying to piece together what has happened to her mother.

It took me a while to figure out what was happening in the book, as far as where in the storyline I was. I think the details in the beginning were drawn out much more than the ones at the end; it seemed a quick ending. Overall, however, it was an interesting, fun read, and I will definitely be checking out Semple’s  latest book, Today will be Different.

Rating:

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Ann Kidd Taylor

The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor

This is the PERFECT summer reading book! It’s an easy read, set in Florida, there’s family drama and the choice between rekindling an old flame or starting a new romance.

The main character, Maeve, was bitten by a shark when she was twelve. Now thirty years old, she is a marine biologist who studies sharks. Home for the summer between research projects, she runs into her ex-fiance and sparks fly. But Maeve is also interested in one of her co-workers, who will be joining her on her next research trip, to Africa. Add in a grandmother who owns a reading themed hotel (I loved this part!) and twin brother who is starting off his writing career with a novel about Maeve’s love life. It’s a complicated summer.

 

Rating:

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She Rides Shotgun by Jordan HarperJordan Harper

Nate just got out jail after five years for armed robbery. The day before his release, the leader of a gang put out the order to kill Nate, his ex-wife, and their daughter, eleven year old Polly. Nate finds Polly and the two of them set out first to hide from their pursuers, and then to attack them.

This is a fast paced thriller; I read it in one sitting. (Dinner was a little late that night!) The narrative is told mainly by Polly and Nate, with some chapters featuring the thoughts of other minor characters. Nate goes from not knowing his daughter at all, and feeling just a general sense of obligation towards her, to loving her and being willing to put his life on the line to save hers. Although this is a plot driven book, I thought the characters were well developed and likable. The ending, which could have gone many different ways, was completely satisfying to me.

Rating:

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It’s been a great reading week! What have you been reading lately?

3 thoughts on “The Weekly Reading Fix: June 19th – 25th

  1. Hey Kim!

    I have been looking at “The Dry”…how intense is it? I’m always nervous about content that is too graphic or triggery. Any input without giving away major spoilers would be great!

    1. Hi Nicole,
      I’m usually a bad judge of this, because I can read just about anything. My one exception is missing kids or people hurting kids. Having said that (and this is not a spoiler) there is a murder of a man, his wife, and his son in this book. They are all shot, but the book doesn’t go into gruesome detail about it. The characters in the book who find the family have a hard time dealing with the boys death (of course) and that is talked about a bit, but overall I don’t think it’s too bad. The focus is more on solving the mystery of who killed the family than on the actual murders. Hope that helps!!

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