Book 10 :: Paris Letters by Janine MacLeod
I loooooooooved this book. I started it on Tuesday morning and finished it on Thursday evening.
It helped that I had arrived back from Paris just a few days before I started the book and recognized every last thing she was referring to. I mean, the “butcher boyfriend” worked on Rue Mouffetard which is the same street I bought my new gray jeans and black pants. She eats a meal in the same restaurant that Jen and I had that fateful extra glass of wine on our last night. It’s because of this book that I went to Laduree today.
But even without all these Parisian references I would have loved it.
Exhausted and on the verge of burnout, Janice poses this questions to herself as she doodles on a notepad at her desk. Surprisingly, the answer isn’t as daunting as she expected. With a little math and a lot of determination, Janice cuts back, saves up, and buys herself two years of freedom in Europe.
A few days into her stop in Paris, Janice meets Christophe, the cute butcher down the street—who doesn’t speak English. Through a combination of sign language and franglais, they embark on a whirlwind Paris romance. She soon realizes that she can never return to the world of twelve-hour workdays and greasy corporate lingo. But her dwindling savings force her to find a way to fund her dreams again. So Janice turns to her three loves—words, art, and Christophe—to figure out a way to make her happily-ever-after in Paris last forever.
I know it sounds a bit twee but seriously it’s good.
Should you read it? Hell. Yes.
Book 9 :: Night Road by Kristin Hannah
I really enjoyed quite a few of Kristin Hannah’s books. Night Road was ok. The story line was completely unoriginal and all the language about how much two of the characters love each other was eye rolling-ly annoying. But I read 90% in one sitting (on the plane back from Iceland) so I guess it couldn’t be that bad.
Should you read it? Nah, there are way better books out there.
Rating: 2.5 / 5
Book 8 :: Flash Boys by Michael Lewis
This book got a lot of press when it was released a few weeks ago. It’s prominently displayed in every book store I’ve walked into recently. It has great reviews on Amazon. And it claims the stock market is rigged. Color me intrigued.
I found the whole thing verrrry interesting (although it did drag a bit towards the end).
I did some googling after I finished the book. Before completely forming my opinion I wanted to do some additional research. At the end of the day this is one author’s opinion on the topic so perhaps it isn’t entirely true. The book has certainly ruffled some feathers across Wall Street. I loved watching this on air argument between the President of BATS Exchange (I personally thought he came across as a total wanker), Brad Katsuyama (who is the hero of the book) and the author Michael Lewis. I love a bit of on-air mud slinging.
Where do I fall on the topic? Those high frequency traders are smart as hell for figuring out how to cheat investors out of $$ in a completely legal fashion but frankly they are common thieves and I’d very much like to see it made impossible for them to continue what they are doing (and no I’m sorry but the argument that they provide liquidity to the market is a bunch of crap).
Should you read it? If you work in finance - definitely read it. If you have an interest in the stock market - definitely read it. If you have zero interest in either - don’t read it.
My rating - 4/5.
Book 7 :: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
I kept hearing about this book. I had it on my amazon wish list where I keep track of all the books I want to read. But I had never pulled the trigger because it sounded a bit too……chick lit-ish.
It’s set in Australia but you’d barely know it. There was nothing particularly Australian about it other than a handful of references to Australian towns. The language was completely American in my opinion.
MEET DON TILLMAN, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. And so, in the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.
Rosie Jarman is all these things. She also is strangely beguiling, fiery, and intelligent. And while Don quickly disqualifies her as a candidate for the Wife Project, as a DNA expert Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on the Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.
You see what I mean? The description above did not entice me to read it. However I wanted something light to read on the flight to Paris and this fit the bill perfectly. I read almost the entire thing by the time I arrived.
It’s definitely chick lit. But I really liked it.
Should you read it? Yep. Rating: 4/5
Book 6 :: You Before Me by Jojo Moyes
My co-worker was rattling off all the books she has recently read and liked and we quickly realized we have the same taste when it comes to reading. And also shoes. We both have three pairs of exactly the same shoes. And also bikinis. I sent a link to her the other day asking her opinion on a bikini. She liked it so much she bought it herself. And then obviously I bought it too. Anyway, the point is that my co-worker with great taste (!) recommended this book and so I read it.
At first I thought it was going to be terrible. The writing was a bit so-so to begin with. But very quickly I became hooked and loved it. I cried. Always a good sign.
They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose …
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.
Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.
I give it 4 out of 5.
Book 5 :: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Secret History by Donna Tartt is one of my all time favorite books.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is one of my all time un-favorite books.
OMG it was so terrible and boring and never-ending. I finally gave up when I was 54% finished and I’d really like to get a refund of all those hours I wasted. Because it did takes hours and hours to get to 54%. I kept waiting and waiting for it to take off but it just never did. I read Wikipedia to find out what happens in the end and concluded that I made the right decision to give up.
This book has about eleventy-billion reviews (ok, more like 5,000) with an average 4 star rating. What am I missing? I scrolled down to read some of the reviews to see what other people loved and found that the top few reviews were all 1 star with the following subject lines:
Could have been good, AT HALF THE LENGTH
Overrated, overblown, overlong
I have never wanted to burn a book……until now
Yep, pretty much agree on all counts. If you loved it (or even liked it!) I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!
My rating: 0 / 5
2014 Books :: Book 4
From the New York Times best-selling author of Commencement and Maine comes a gorgeous, sprawling novel about marriage—about those who marry in a white heat of passion, those who marry for partnership and comfort, and those who live together, love each other, and have absolutely no intention of ruining it all with a wedding.
So I was kinda meh about this book. I didn’t like the fact that there appeared to be a bunch of completely unrelated story lines. The constant chopping and changing between them was annoying. I did like learning about the marketing that was behind the booming diamond engagement ring industry.
I give it 3 out of 5 and probably wouldn’t recommend it.
2014 Books :: Book 3
Jen have me this book as a Christmas present.
I loved it.
It’s about a young woman who moves from Nigeria to the U.S. for college. It talks a lot about race (which is very interestingly told from the perspective of a “Non American Black”) but at its core is a love story. However in no way is it a romance novel! It is so fantastically well written alternating perspectives between the two main characters.
It is highly rated on amazon and was on the New York Times Book Review’s Ten Best Books of the Year. But perhaps more telling for me - Jen and I both loved it and we don’t always have the same taste in books!
2014 Books :: Book 2
I started reading Americanah and then realized my Book Club is meeting next week so i had to switch over to The Lost Wife and attempt reading it in less than a week. Done and Done. It was so good that I wanted to do nothing but read.
Description from Amazon:
In pre-war Prague, the dreams of two young lovers are shattered when they are separated by the Nazi invasion. Then, decades later, thousands of miles away in New York, there’s an inescapable glance of recognition between two strangers…
Sounds so cheesey, right? And some of the the love story part is painful to read but overall I loved it.
I give it 5 stars.
2014 Books :: Book 1
I LOVED THIS BOOK!
It’s an amalgamation of emails, faxes and notes cobbled together to explain the disappearance of the main character Bernadette. Normally I would hate this format but it works so well in this book.
It’s creative and fun and funny (like, laugh out loud funny) and I raced to finish it but at the same time I didn’t want to end.
I give it 5/5.