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What I Read This Month: April 2017

Woo hoo, it’s finally Friday! Even though this week was a short one, it has straight up worn me out, so I’m very much looking forward to a quiet weekend at home.

Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent “When Isabel meets Edward, both are at a crossroads: he wants to follow his late wife to the grave, and she is ready to give up on love. Thinking she is merely helping Edward’s daughter–who lives far away and has asked her to check in on her nonagenarian dad in New York–Isabel has no idea that the man in the kitchen baking the sublime roast chicken and light-as-air apricot soufflé will end up changing her life.”

I liked this book, but I wish there was more to it! I didn’t really feel like their relationship was explained well enough for the reader to get it. I’m not sure if it being longer would have helped or if the author needed to focus more on the interaction between her and Edward. I finished it and felt incomplete.

You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero “If you’re ready to make some serious changes around here, You Are a Badass will help you: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, blast past your fears so you can take big exciting risks, figure out how to make some damn money already, learn to love yourself and others, set big goals and reach them – it will basically show you how to create a life you totally love, and how to create it NOW.”

I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this one, but saw so many people reading it that I had to try it. And I’m really glad I did! Most self-help books are a little much for me, but this one didn’t come off as preachy. It was entertaining and I definitely took a lot away from each chapter. I’d recommend this one for people who don’t normally like self-help books.

The Vacationers by Emma Straub “For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. The sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, its tapas and tennis courts, also promise an escape from the tensions simmering at home in Manhattan. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated.”

I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, I hated 95% of the characters and could not bring myself to root for them in any way, shape or form. On the other hand, Lawrence and Carmen were two characters who I actually really liked. But the author didn’t give me enough of them, instead choosing to focus on the whiny characters for most of the book. I don’t think I’d recommend this one to friends.

The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close “When Beth arrives in D.C., she hates everything about it: the confusing traffic circles, the ubiquitous Ann Taylor suits, the humidity that descends each summer. At dinner parties, guests compare their security clearance levels. They leave their BlackBerrys on the table. They speak in acronyms. And once they realize Beth doesn’t work in politics, they smile blandly and turn away. Soon Beth and her husband, Matt, meet a charismatic White House staffer named Jimmy, and his wife, Ashleigh, and the four become inseparable, coordinating brunches, birthdays, and long weekends away. But as Jimmy’s star rises higher and higher, the couples’ friendship—and Beth’s relationship with Matt—is threatened by jealousy, competition, and rumors. ”

One description of this book called it “brilliantly funny”, but I probably would change that to “generally predictable”. The characters turned out to be exactly who you expected them to be: good, bad or somewhere in between. I actually wish the story had been told from Ashleigh’s point of view as she actually seemed to be more interesting than bland Beth, whose lack of passion was actually a bit frustrating for me. But it was a fast and easy read that was pretty entertaining.

What have you read this month?

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