Book Reviews: November 2015

November Book Reviews, fates and furies review, heidi review

fates-and-furies-review This was my favorite read of the month. My library hold finally came in last month, but I wasn’t able to finish it before it expired, so I ended up purchasing the book. In this novel, we get to see both sides of a story. Lotto and Mathilde are the golden couple. They are happily married and together they can face any obstacle. The question is though, can you ever truly know someone? The first half of the book is told from Lotto’s perspective, and then we read Mathilde’s perspective.

With a buzzy book, there’s always the risk that the book is not actually worth the hype, but I really enjoyed this one. Groff’s writing style is so interesting and expertly done. She often addresses the reader in brackets and I liked these asides because it made it seem a bit like an oral history. It also recalled instructions and insights that you might see in a play, which is a clever nod to one of the character’s profession.

It’s hard to choose which part I preferred. Lotto’s section sets the stage nicely, but by the end I was desperate to learn more about Mathilde because she’s so enigmatic in the first half. Her section surprised me- it was not what I was expecting.

Fates and Furies is an amazing character study. The author explores the life of an artist; the need to create and be recognized for your creation. We also read about the walls that people build and the outward personas that they present. I think that Mathilde was my favorite character because she was the most complicated. Through Mathilde, Groff shows us that sometimes we only see what we want to see. I’d definitely be curious to hear what you thought if you’ve read this one!

heidi-review This year, for my birthday, I treated myself to a few more Puffin in Bloom editions in order to complete my set. I’ve seen the Shirley Temple movie adaptation of Heidi, but this was my first time reading the book. Heidi is orphaned at a young age and is cared for by her aunt. When her aunt receives an opportunity to work in Frankfurt, she decides to leave Heidi with her grandfather. Due to circumstances in the past, Heidi’s grandfather has become something of a hermit and the villagers are worried that he won’t be a suitable guardian for Heidi. However, Heidi is just the right person to show her grandfather that life is worth living and people aren’t so bad after all.

This book was very sweet. The story is somewhat as I remember, although I think the movie adaptation that I’ve seen varies a bit. Heidi has such a positive attitude. She faces several difficult situations as a child, but in each case, she tries to make the best of it and be a positive influence on the lives around her. In one section of the book, Heidi is very homesick and she just wants to return home; I think we’ve all felt that at some point. There some religious overtones, which I don’t mind, I just prefer that they be more subtle (although this is a children’s novel, so I suppose the author wanted to make sure she got her point across). This was a feel-good read and it’s just what I was in mood for at the time.

Weird-Things-Customers-Say-in-Bookstores-Review I follow Jen Campbell’s youtube channel and the videos that she makes about books are just fantastic. I picked up my copy of this book earlier this year at the Brooklyn Book Festival. Jen has worked in a bookstore for several years and during that time has had many interesting interactions with customers. She started to document the weird things that people say on her blog, and that later evolved into this book. The book features quotes from Jen, and also other booksellers around the world (including one from my local bookstore in CA!). This is a super fast read and I thought it was hilarious. I can’t believe people actually said some of these things. This book was delightful and would make a great gift for any book lover.

Blue-Lily,-Lily-Blue-Review Towards the end of the month, I wanted to read something fast and engaging and then I remembered that I hadn’t yet read the third book in the Raven Cycle series (there’s one more book, which comes out next year). I was a bit disappointed after I finished the second book. I really liked the first book and felt that the second one was a bit of a deviation from that. Happily, my complaints about the second book are fixed in the third book. We’re back to following the characters as they continue their quest together. We also get more of Blue and her family, who I missed in book 2. I think the magical elements of this story have become even more interesting because we’ve seen the characters develop and learn more about themselves throughout the previous two novels. Also, I have to mention again that I enjoy the author’s writing. She’s really able to capture certain feelings; in particular, there was a description of grief that I just felt was spot on. I’m really glad the third book was more like the first one and I can’t wait to read the next installment.

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  • sartorialsidelines

    Some of these are on my reading list too – I’m excited for the holidays as I always power through a ton of books during that period!

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      Yes, me too! I get a lot more reading done when I don’t have to go to work :) I’m hoping that I can push through and meet my goal of 55 books this month!

  • http://iamchiconthecheap.com/ Lyddiegal

    Sounds like you had some good reads last month, I’d be on board with ‘weird things customers say in bookstores’

    • http://starcrossedsmile.com/ Nnenna

      Weird Things is a really cute book. It’s a breeze to read and it’d make a great gift! :)

  • http://www.ihaveadegreeinthis.com/ Kimberlee

    Weird Things Said in Bookstores sounds HILARIOUS lol

    P.S. Super adorable that you go to the library still :)

  • http://www.thebooksatchel.com Resh Susan

    Heidi was one of the first books I read. It is so lovely. Would love to read it again. Weird things customers say is pretty funny too. I havent read the whole thing, just snippets that other book lovers have forwarded to me

  • Ailsa

    http://www.keoughelectricco.com

    Lovely post! The photos are amazing!

  • http://www.fashionyfab.com/ Maru | Fashiony Fab

    I was just about to write down my reading list for 2016 and immediately thought about your blog. I’m following your reviews! :)

  • Ellie

    http://www.patagoniaoutletonlines.com

    Wishing you a lovely day.

  • m