The big reading news for June is this: I listened to my first audiobook. Yes, totally did. And talked about it here (go say hi to #collaboreads), but I wanted you to know that I'm a convert. I'm an aubiobook convert because of Helene and her wicked awesome hook-up for some free Audible.com books.
So, now on to reviews:Semi-Charmed Summer Reading Challenge says I need to finish up a novel that's more than 550 pages so I had to keep reading and I did.
I did read it all and my mind was blown. I sat on the couch at the end of the book and talked Jason's ear off about the merits of The Book Thief. The richness of the characters, the beautiful heartbreak of the plot line, the honest depiction of a dark time in the world's history had me broken all over the place. Honestly, I was flattened by the terrifying truth contained in this novel to the point that no other book would do. I picked up a half a dozen other books to follow this one up with and just couldn't manage to feign interest (much less be truly engaged in a new cast of characters).
Basically, if you haven't read it, you need to. If you know someone who hasn't read it, MAKE THEM.
(Also, Jason is reading the book right now and has been staying up WAY too late each night because it's THAT good.)
Except it fell short. It fell really short. Earl, the best friend of the main character, was hilarious but vulgar. The writing was casual -the way a teenage boy would write- to a fault. Every one who's been touched by death in one way or another takes something away from it, something that is profound -even if not completely obvious. But this lacked that and more. I found myself laughing -almost out of embarrassment- at the vulgarity of Earl, but come the close of the novel, I wanted more.
Also, it seems important to share: I listened to this as an audiobook. It was the first time I made it through an entire novel (the whole 13 hours) and found the two narrators to be wonderful. They embraced their roles beautifully and were the perfect balance between rich, white girl and her black slave. The writing is gorgeous, the plot wonderful, and my only difficulty was the narrators didn't talk as fast as my little heart wanted them to because GIMME ALL THE GOOD WORDS.
I know there was a lot of fanfare about this book. I know we're supposed to hate it or love it and have all kinds of big feelings. I know that. But I missed that train and was late to the #Girlboss party. And, quite honestly, I'm thankful for it because I really, thoroughly enjoyed this book. Before you have a heart attack over my poor taste in business books, let me share why:
- I was expecting Amoruso to be annoying and elitest. I found her very approachable and interesting.
- The NastyGal brand does nothing for me, but the woman who started it does.
- This rag to riches story wasn't candy coated, she struggled, she learned the hard way, she succeeded, and now she's sharing.
As I finished the book that I'd borrow from the library, I decided I wanted a copy of my own. I felt Amoruso was daring me to work my ass off and chase the wildest dream my little heart can fathom throughout the course of the book. Still waiting on Amazon to drop my copy off on our porch.
And an update on the reading challenge:
(This month was harder because of the 550 page book I decided to take on,
but I'm hoping to be done with the challenge next month!)
A book you have never heard of before (10 points): DONE
A book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years (10 points): DONE
A book that won a 2014 Goodreads “Best Book” award (10 points): DONE
A book by an author who is completely new to you (15 points): DONE
A book by an author you have read before (15 points): DONE
A book with "light" or "dark" in the title (15 points):
The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise by Matthew Crow (296 pages)
A book with the name of a city, state or country in the title (20 points):
The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst (261 pages)
A book with an animal on the cover (20 points): DONE
A book that is part of a series with at least four books (25 points):
The Giver by Lois Lowry (240 pages)
A book that is longer than 500 pages long (25 points): DONE
A book with an alliterative title (30 points):
I had a struggle this month because all kinds of book recommendations came my way and that makes me frantic in setting reading priorities. Regardless, I knocked a couple books off and I'm ending the second month of the Semi-Charmed Life Summer Reading Challenge with a total of 110 points!