Monday, October 31, 2022

Mini Book Reviews: October 2022

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I've been in a bit of a reading slump this month. I've found myself struggling to get through several books that were actually very good, and even DNFing one that just didn't grab me. You know how much I love to read and this has troubled me. Interestingly, an article in this month's Bookish newsletter addresses the reading slump and gives suggestions to help break out of one. One of the tactics, changing genres, is exactly what I plan to do for November! I've got a few nonfiction books on my TBR and have declared it 'Non-Fiction November'. Hint hint, that's what I'll be doing next month. Does anyone want to join me?



I bookfess...
somehow I forgot to include Mika in Real Life along with my other September reads. So forgive me for including it here. I was reminded of what a good book it was by Liz when she published her review. This is the story of a woman who receives a call from the child she gave up for adoption 16 years ago. Ashamed of her life, she embellishes details and builds herself up to be something she's not. Of course, the truth comes out and Mika is left to do some soul-searching and pick up the pieces. Mika's deception made me uncomfortable and that made the book all the more compelling. 

A young woman travels to a small island in South Carolina to live in her deceased mother's condo, which has been waiting for her since she was 7. The condo building is populated by a collection of quirky characters who mostly keep to themselves. As the story unfolds, one of the residents dies, and this serves to draw everyone out. Central to the story is the dellawisps, small birds who inhabit the condo complex. They react to the happenings around them and it was fascinating how the author wove them into the story. There are other elements of fantasy but not so much that it takes over the story. Other Birds is such a sweet, beautiful story--the style of writing made me feel as if I was on this little island and I could almost feel the sea breezes as I read it. 

The Fortunes of Jaded Women
is a multigenerational story of Vietnamese-American women living in California. While I understand that this story is a reflection of the culture, the constant bickering and dysfunction were a tough sell for me. I kept getting lost in the large cast of characters. I wanted to love it, but I finally gave up at about 50%. A messy book about messy women and it just wasn't for me. Let me know if you read it and what you thought.





Our Missing Hearts
is a dystopian novel that clearly was inspired by the events of the past couple of years. In this book, there is a new world order under the guise of PACT, rules intended to preserve American culture. Books are banned, Asians are targeted, and children are taken from unpatriotic parents. A 12 year old boy, living a low-key life with his father, leaves in search of his Asian mother who disappeared several years ago. He finds her and learns the reasons behind her disappearance. This one hit a little too close to reality for me and serves as a warning that we need to pay attention to current events. Beautifully written, this would be perfect for a book club. 



More Than You'll Ever Know is the story of a true crime writer investigating a decades-long murder. A woman is, married to 2 men, one in Texas, and the other in Mexico. When her double life is revealed, one of the men dies. The story alternates between the writer, who is having her own relationship issues, and the subject. There are also alternating timelines between the present and the past. While the story itself was interesting, what didn't work for me is that this book was just too long. The style of writing reminded me of a telenovela--very dramatic and drawn out. I'm not sure if that was intentional, but for this reader, I was more than ready to be done with the story. It's still worth the read to find out who really did the crime.


What have you read this month? Any recommendations? Have you ever been in a reading slump? Will you be joining me for 'Nonfiction November"?



I'm linking up with Kim and Zenaida for Tuesday Topics.





14 comments :

  1. Oh but it IS Nonfiction November - see my blog post from yesterday and there's a whole set of prompts if you fancy them, or a hashtag! Have fun! Thanks for the mention re Mika - I loved that one, too. I've never read Sarah Addison Allen as I can never work out if she's too fantastic for me, but that sounds about right.

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    1. Heading over to read your post! I've noticed a lot of books with 'magical realism' lately and can I just say NO!

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  2. Well, I probably won't join you for Nonfiction November- but I agree that switching genres can break you out of a slump. I've been trying more sci fi/fantasy lately- currently reading Babel by R.F. Kuang. Sounds like you had some hits and misses this month- the Celeste Ng one sounds really interesting.

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    1. The Ng was definitely my favorite. But yeah, I'm kinda lukewarm on all of them.

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  3. Nonfiction November sounds pretty cool! In looking at the current unread books on my bookshelf, none of them are nonfiction. I should change that.

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    1. Well, I have a non-fiction book that you will love...stay tuned!

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  4. I read a lot, but seem to be in a major book slump (which has lasted for a few years, LOL). I just don't make the time to sit down and read an actual book. I'm more of a magazine or short story reader. Oh, and then there's blogs...

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  5. I have a big stack of books (some that you recommended) ready to take to Aruba with me next month. I have been watching too much tv and not reading enough lately

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  6. Great books to add to my list! I have two from the library that I am ready to read. The telenovela comment made me laugh. Yeah, those are long and dramatic too. I used to be a fan but now cannot stand them. 😀

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    1. I've watched them too, and the dramatic emphasis is amazing!

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  7. I love your honest book reviews! I couldn't have finished "The Fortunes of Jaded Women" either, I don't like messy books full of negative people.
    I mostly read non-fictional books.Unfortunately, I sometimes pick really difficult ones where I have to focus. If I read these at night, it's a battle to stay awake.
    Right now I'm reading "Thinking fast and slow", a book by psychologist Daniel Kahnemann. It describes the two systems in our brain that are fighting over control of our behaviour and actions.

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    1. Sounds like an intriguing book! I hate to think of what is going on inside my brain, lol

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