S and O reads

Today I have another set of book recommendations for you guys! I’ve been keeping up the pace and in September I hit my Goodreads goal of reading 30 books over the course of the year. So, I decided to raise my goal and now I’m attempting to read 40 books this year. I’m happy that I’m keeping up with my reading, since it’s really important to me. As you know, I will be hopping on a plane to Mexico early tomorrow morning, so I’ll have plenty of time to read during my travels. If you have any recommendations for me, I’d love to hear them in the comments! (click the titles below for links to each book)

Man Repeller

About- It’s a collection of stories by Leandra Medine, the founder of the popular fashion blog, Man Repeller.

Why I picked it- This was sent to me by the publisher, and honestly I probably wouldn’t have bought it on my own. However, I was curious and it looked like a quick read, so I decided to give it a go.

Grade B- As part of the fashion blogging community, I’m definitely aware of her blog, but I don’t read it regularly. I thought this book was ok. Some anecdotes are a bit funny, but I don’t always love her writing style. To me it seems like she uses some words just because they sound fancier, when she would be better served by a simpler word. Sometimes I felt like there were issues with her sentence structure too. Gosh, I sound like such an English teacher, but these are the thoughts that came to mind when I was reading this book. If you’re a fan of her blog and looking for something light, quick, and easy to read, then you might like this.

Someday Someday Maybe

About- A young actress trying to make it in NYC.

Why I picked it- It’s written by Lauren Graham, aka Lorelai Gilmore, aka Sarah Braverman. I’m such a fan of her acting that I had to find out what her writing would be like.

Grade A I really enjoyed this. This was another light and breezy read and I was a little sad when it ended. I liked the main character Franny and anytime she talked about struggling to get by in NYC, I could totally relate. If Lauren Graham decided to make a series of Franny’s life and continue the story, I’d definitely read it.

The Sweet Life in Paris

About- Another food memoir set in Paris.

Why I picked it- I will never get tired of these. First of all, it’s set in Paris. Secondly, it contains many recipes throughout that sound absolutely delicious. Also, remember how my friend recommended a different Paris food memoir to me and I read the wrong one? This is the one I was actually supposed to read!

Grade Like I said, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of this genre. For a little while I’m transported to another country through the author’s narrative and this helps ease my wanderlust a bit. Next on my list in this category- Mastering the Art of French Eating.

Fangirl

About- A young girl who’s more interested in living in a fictional world than the real world.

Why I picked it- I loved loved loved Eleanor & Park, so I was pretty excited when I heard the author was releasing a new book.

Grade B+ I find Rainbow Rowell’s work very engaging. I get invested in the characters and I want to see them grow and be happy. She left the ending somewhat unresolved, which can be frustrating as a reader, but I think I do understand why she did it. I also learned about fan fiction, which was a term I’d heard before, but didn’t really know much about.

Attachments

About- Falling in love with someone without ever meeting them.

Why I picked it- It’s another Rainbow Rowell book.

Grade B- This was my least favorite of her books. First of all, the premise is a little creepy: an IT guy at a company is tasked with checking employee emails for inappropriate behavior. He basically snoops on one of the employees and finds out all of these personal details about her and slowly falls in love with her. The catch is that he’s never met her in person and she doesn’t know he’s reading her emails. I mean, that’s a total invasion of privacy, right (he keeps reading her emails, even when they’re not flagged with anything inappropriate)? Also, I thought her characters were a bit flat and not as fleshed out as they tend to be. However, I believe this was her first book, so I can cut her some slack here; her other books are much better.

The Orchardist

About- An old man who takes in two orphan girls and does his best to protect them.

Why I picked it- This was our latest book club book, so I actually didn’t pick this one.

Grade B It was a little difficult to write what this book was about, because there’s not really much as far as plot goes. The book was really well-written and the author described things excellently. When we were discussing this in book club, one of my friends mentioned that it was an short story idea that turned into something much longer. I can see how it’d be difficult to pare this down into a short story, but I also thought it was too long. There are whole portions that I thought could have been cut because nothing was really happening. Then again, it wasn’t really about what happened, but more about certain ideas that the author wanted to convey. So I guess I’m torn. It’s not a book I would have picked up on my own, but that’s the whole point of our book club- to expand our horizons and read outside of our preferred genres.

Americanah

About- A young woman who moves to America for a better life and in the end returns to her home country.

Why I picked it- I’d been on the library waiting list for this one forever, so I was really excited when it was finally ready. The author is Nigerian and my family is Nigerian, so I thought I would definitely be able to relate to the story. I’ve only heard good things about her work too, so I was really looking forward to this one.

Grade A This book didn’t disappoint. I don’t think there are really a ton of books out there written from this perspective- a Nigerian-American. I feel like I got an extra kick out of this book because I knew about a lot of the Nigerian things she was referring to, but I do think any one from an immigrant family could relate to this. She brings up lots of interesting points about race and describes what it’s like to acclimate to American life. I definitely found this book interesting and I look forward to reading more by this author.

The Secret History

About- A group of students at a liberal college who murder one of their own friends.

Why I picked it- A friend told me that she was reading this book and that it was really great. A little later, I saw this on Flavorwire on a list that was called something like “The 20 Best Books You’ve Never Heard of.”

Grade A- From the very beginning of the book, you know that one of the main characters is going to die, but you don’t know how or why. That’s a pretty great way to hook the reader in. This book is a bit long and dense, but I wouldn’t ever say I was bored. There are layers upon layers, and slowly the author pulls them back to reveal what’s underneath. You can also tell that the author is extremely intelligent from the way she references classical texts thought the novel. It’s not pretentious though- you don’t have to know every reference to understand what’s going on and it is in line with the story since the characters are studying classical Greek. She recently released a new book, The Goldfinch, and the critics are raving about it, so I’ve added that to my to-read list as well.

Thanks for reading all the way through! I won’t be posting while I’m in Mexico, but I’ll see you back here this time next week!

Disclaimer: Man Repeller was provided to me by the publisher for review purposes, but these are my honest thoughts and opinions about the book.

  • Katherine

    Great reviews on the books :) I want to read the sweet life in Paris :) Sounds like an easy read and has my love of food in it :)

    katattack2000.wordpress.com

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      Thank you Kat! The Sweet Life in Paris is a fun read. Let me know what you think if you do pick it up!

  • http://www.cocorrina.com/ Corina Nika

    darn it girl! you really love books!! wow i do too, sometimes i wish i had some time to read. The moment’s i don’t work, i work on something else, or cleaning the house. Or want to go out for some fresh air! but i do try and get some time to just sit on the couch and read my book :)

    those ones look really awesome. you must have an amazing library

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      I really do love books! haha :) My library is not as awesome as I wish it were. Over the years I’ve had to give away books for moving/space issues, and I wish I hadn’t!

  • sartorialsidelines

    I’m reading The Returned right now and really enjoying it. It’s got my recommendation!

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      I’m going to look that one up- thanks Courtney!

  • Hope Shores

    Lauren Graham’s book and both Rainbow Rowell books are on my list! Also The Secret History. I’ve read Tartt’s The Little Friend and really enjoyed it, so I want to read that one and her newest, The Goldfinch. I’m about to start Seating Arrangements for a book club!

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      Ooo, let me know what you think of LG’s book and the Rowell books! I haven’t heard of Seating Arrangements- I’ll check it out :)

  • heather

    I didn’t realize that Lauren Graham was a writer. I love Parenthood…maybe not the biggest fan of her character but love the show. But now I want to read her book. Anyway I feel the same way about the Man Repeller. She was one of the first fashion blogs I came across when I started blogging but never could get into her writing. It was like she was trying to be overly witty. I dunno that’s just me.

    <3
    heather
    fashionistanygirl.com

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      Yeah, I feel the same way about her character on the show- can be annoying, but still, I think she acts the role well.

      Yes, that’s totally it with the MR’s writing- she’s trying sooo hard and it doesn’t feel natural.

  • Nikki Odeluga

    30 books?!? I’m at a whopping .75!

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      Well you’re in school! You’ll have more free time over the holidays maybe :)

  • http://shendovestyle.blogspot.com/ ShenDove

    I’m definitely adding some of these to my to-read list. I’m currently reading Americanah and am enjoying it so far. Have a great trip!

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      Thank you! I thought Americanah was great too. Also, thank you for including me in your link round-up earlier!

  • m

    i’m reading Gone Girl! So good! :P

    And going to be a movie soon!! Heads up! xo

    xx.M

    http://www.bellesandrebelles.blogspot.com

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      Yeah, I heard it was being made into a movie- I can’t wait! :)

  • http://iamchiconthecheap.com/ Lyddiegal

    It’s silly, but I hate the man repeller. I had no issue with her until she announced she was engaged and then got married. guess that man repelling isn’t working out too well now, is it?

    I would probably like to read lauren grahams book as long as the main character is nothing like lorelai or sarah. because as much as I love them, their love life decisions hopelessly frustrate me.

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      Yeah, I feel like people have pretty strong opinions about the MR- either love or hate.

  • Chynna

    Ah, new books for me to read! I love the sound of Fangirl… just because I am a ‘fangirl’. Haha. Also, I think I’ve read Attachments before, the plot sounds vaguely familiar. The Secret History sounds intense as well. Definitely adding those two to my reading list!

    - http://theinvisiblechild.info

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      Yeah, glad you could find some new book recs! Thanks for coming by Chynna! :)

  • http://delayedmissives.com/ Alex

    I totally never read fiction any more… I have to start again. There are so many books that I have never heard of, or have heard of and no nothing about… sigh.

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      I totally never read non-fiction! Kiet’s turn for book club will be coming up and I’m sure he’s going to pick some nonfiction book that I’d never pick on my own ;)

  • http://www.thrifteye.com/ Eli

    Gah!! So many books, way to go!! I’m currently reading three books and have decided I’m not going to burden myself with more until I finish all three. Otherwise I’d pick up another as soon as I finish one. I wish I had more time to read :(

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      Thanks Eli! You’re my reading motivator! :) I’m pretty bad at reading several books at once- I usually have to do them one at a time. I wish I had more time to read too- why can’t there be more hours in the day?!

  • http://www.modlychic.com Katy Rose

    I need to read more books! This weekend I finally sat down to read Divergent. So hopefully I’ll make my way through the rest of the series before the month is over. Might need to read some of the books you graded highly. – Katy

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      Fun- let me know what you think if you do start any of the ones I mentioned :) I’m in the mood for fantasy and someone else recommended Divergent to me as well, so I think that will be my next pick.

  • Amber

    Interesting reviews. I, too, need to read more books. I didn’t even know that Man Repeller had a book! Fangirl sounds interesting, though!
    Great reviews here. Thanks :)

    amber
    http://wheretheresdesign.com

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      Thanks Amber! Hope you’re able give some of these a try :)

  • http://cocoandmingo.com/ Jessica (Coco/Mingo)

    Oh thank you, hun! I was just needing some great book recommendations as I just finished Cloud Atlas :) I’m gonna bookmark this!

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      Yay, glad to be of assistance! What did you think of Cloud Atlas?

  • Emma Lock

    I thinks its great that you have read 30 books in the last year! I love to read but it is hard to find the time! This came at a great time actually my post tommorow is a little about books, wouldnt it be great to have an online book club?

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      Thank you Emma! I think an online book club would be totally fun!