50 Books Update: Books 10-21 of 50
So, maybe 50 books in one year was a little too aggressive of a goal. It probably wasn't wise to start with the Outlander series (easily 3 'normal' books per 1 Outlander book), but I loved those too much to stop. I am happy to say that I'm still trucking along. Books 10-21 were all read from December 2014 - August 2015, and are mostly in order below.
10) The One by Kiera Cass - This is a trilogy of The Bachelor meets Hunger Games. Twenty or so random women are chosen to compete to become the new Queen of this post-apocalyptic world. Definitely a YA series, but I loved it. As always, there's something deeper than just the game to become Queen. I've read the other two books in the trilogy, and I thought the last book did a nice job of tying it all up. It's enjoyable, and a very quick read.
11) The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - To tell the truth, I still haven't finished this one. I'm 70% done, but for some reason I have no want to finish it. Which, is sad because it won a lot of awards and really is beautifully written. It's still on my Kindle though, so maybe I'll finish it.
12) Yes, Please by Amy Poehler - Obviously, this was amazing. This was our first book we read for our new Book Club. A lot of girls in the club read this through Audible, and said it was much better than reading the book because she brings in special guests (hello Seth Meyers) and adds little extra commentary in.
13) I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes - I loved reading this. It's suspenseful thriller, and you're kind of not sure how all of these different stories relate. It's a little close to home these days with all the recent terrorist activity, however, I thought it was really beautifully done. It was also written by an old US intelligence officer, which I thought was interesting. I"m sure this will be developed into a film before 2020 (MGM bought the rights)..
14) The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki - This is a historical fiction book about “Sisi” the Austro-Hungarian Empress and captivating wife of Emperor Franz Joseph, set in the 1850's. It was a beautiful and heartbreaking story of love, duty, royalty, and motherhood. Not going to lie, I cried during this. There were some really heartbreaking things that happened to Sisi that I was literally so mad and sad and wanted to scream at some of the other characters. What also made it to heartbreaking was remembering that these events actually happened to her in real life. If you're into history, royalty, and a love story, I highly recommend.
15) The Love Affairs of Nathanial P by Adella Waldman - This was our second book for Book Club and I couldn't finish it. It made me SO mad and angry at this Nathanial character. It provided awesome discussion at Book Club, but I hated the character with a passion. I guess you could say that was the aim of the book, maybe? But, it made me just really dislike the 20-something male sex. It was written by a woman but for a man's point of view, which adds so many questions and thoughtstarters. If you're in a Book Club, and you're in your 20s, I would highly recommend reading since it created such great discussion.
16) The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - This was overly hyped up. It's been dubbed as the next Gone Girl, but it's no where near as creepy and conniving as Gone Girl was. With that said, it was still a good read. Everyone in this book is severely messed up in some way, but it was a good reminder of "Never judge a household based off their neighborhood".
17) Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan - I really enjoyed this book! It was a non-fiction account of a journalist's severe brain trauma. Be prepared to think that you will also be diagnosed with this! At the time of reading this, I had some extra gnats in my apartment due to my plants, so I literally thought I was coming down with her symptoms for awhile. Very thoroughly, and as accurately as possible, written. It makes you think twice about mental problems and issues, and the importance and strength of family ties.
18) All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - My historical and romantic soul wanted to be obsessed and over the moon about this book. It was really well written, and the characters were beautiful. But, I wanted more from the ending. I wanted a certain ending to happen, and it didn't, which always bums me out. I've read a lot of books about WWII, both fiction and non-fiction, and I've never touched one that mentions what after the war was like for people living in Europe. Especially for other non-fighting Germans, or the French too. The ending at least opened up a little of that reality.
19) A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin - If you're a GoT fan, obviously you have to read the books. I started watching GoT on HBO a couple years ago, but I was never interested in the books. I think it was the length, which obviously I didn't care about anymore due to Outlander. The first book of the series is almost identical to the first season of the show, which I think really speaks to how much respect the show creators have for Martin's work. There is a lot of detail, and a lot of names and people that I have most definitely forgotten. But, I still enjoyed it.
20) Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari - I just want Aziz to become my best friend who I have frequent texting conversations with. Initially, I thought this was going to be 100% comedy, because, well duh, Aziz. But, it turned out to be 70% serious research and 30% comedy. It does a really great job at looking into why dating and mating is like it is today. He goes back to examine how people of the past found their partners and relationships, and how it's so vastly changed over the years. We read this when the Tinder article heard 'round the world came out, so definitely perfect timing.
21) Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - This was so great. I'm convinced this is actually going to happen in our time, and I already have an escape route mapped out in my head, and I'm terrified of that reality, BUT, this book does give you hope. Told from multiple characters that all relate around this one famous actor, this takes place after most of the world has been wiped out due to an unstoppable virus, My favorite type of books are those told from different characters, all ties being tied by the end, so for me, it was touching to see all the pieces connect.
Today is also 9/11. Let's never forget those who lost their lives that day, and their loved ones. Thank you to all of those who helped others on that day.