- Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri- This book was so good. I love Indian culture and enjoyed reading a book written by an Indian writer. I got especially excited when Durgapur was mentioned in the book because that's one of the main cities we visited when I went to India for a study abroad trip in college. The book left me thinking and wondering. I keep trying to place exactly what Gogol's issue was, if he was resisting his culture and family because he didn't want to be different or if he felt like he didn't belong because he was born in America but raised by Indian parents. It was interesting to think about how difficult that would be and how it would be this huge pull between your family's culture and traditions and the culture and traditions of your friends and neighbors. At times my heart ached for his mom living so far from her family and raising small children without family nearby. Lahiri did such a wonderful job making the reader feel deeply for multiple characters who were so different and struggling in such different ways. I want to read all of her books now.
- The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion- I absolutely loved The Rosie Project so when I realized there was a sequel I was so excited and immediately put it on hold at the library. There were still parts of the book that were incredibly funny and had me laughing in bed while Ty snored along beside me, but overall I was disappointed. I felt like since the author didn't have a big over-arching conclusion to work toward he engineered issues that weren't really organic to the characters. I hated that pretty much the moment Rosie became pregnant she turned on Don and their relationship began to fall apart. Even with the happy ending, it was much too stressful for me. I think the book could have been as dramatic and interesting without the marital strife, but that may just be me. I don't regret reading it but I wouldn't recommend it to someone who had read the first book and loved it.
- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden- This book started off slower but was still enjoyable. Then the last 50ish pages of the book were super action packed. It was interesting that the story was told through the lens of the depression and World War II. I've only ever read or learned about that time period from America's perspective so it was interesting to see it from Japan's perspective. There was so many surprises in the book and it was one that kept me up past bedtime a few times. Ty said he's pretty sure they made it into a movie so now I'll have to watch the movie!
- The Stranger by Albert Camus- I was looking for a shorter book to read while I waited on some books I had on hold. This was perfect as it was under 200 pages and it was on my books you must read at some point in your life list. I didn't read anything about the book so I had no idea what it was about, just that I should read it and it was a short book. Once I started it, I couldn't stop and read it in one day. Even less than 200 pages is a lot for me to read in a day because I typically only read for about 15-30 minutes at bedtime and maybe a little at naptime if I have time after my chores. With a really good book I'll read bits here and there when I'm brushing my teeth and getting dressed. I started this book while brushing my teeth and kept finding time to read bits and pieces like as I switched the laundry over. It was fascinating and so well written.
- My (not so) Perfect Life by Sophia Kinsella- I love Sophia Kinsella. Her books are always fun and light hearted so when I saw this book had come out, I put it on hold for a fun ebook after some heavier reads. There was a huge wait list so it took me a long time to get it. By the time I got it, I had forgotten I put it on hold. I really enjoyed it and it was the perfect, fun and light hearted read while I read Namesake which was more of an emotional read for me. I loved the emphasis on social media and how people's lives look so different through the lens of social media. That is definitely a very prevalent issue in society today and I loved the way she approached it in such a fun way. It was perfect to read as an ebook because I typically only read ebooks as I'm rocking Elise before nap and bed. I didn't mind reading it in short bursts. I wanted to know what happened next but wasn't desperate to continue.
- Love and Friendship by Jane Austen- This was a collection of unpublished short stories Austen wrote early in her life. They were more satirical than her published stories. I'd consider them more of a comedy. I didn't like the first story very much outside of the jokes about fainting but thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the stories.
- Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan- This was hilarious. I had heard a lot of the jokes from watching his stand up but they were still funny in the book and there was a lot I hadn't heard before. It definitely made it better hearing it read by Gaffigan himself. His material is just so hilarious as a parent because you can relate to so much of it!
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami- I saw this one on a book list and thought it would be a fun one to listen to during a solo long run I had. It was a good book but I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. I really just wanted to hear about his life as a runner and wasn't as interested in his life as a novelist so I lost interest during the segments when he talked about his life outside of running. I also didn't agree with a lot of what he said about training, it seemed to me he wasn't well versed in different training methods but then talked about how training worked and it wasn't necessarily accurate. My favorite part of the book was when he talked about running the Athens marathon as a training run by himself when he was in Greece.
- Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow- I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting to learn about how Washington overcame his lack of education through a personality that was well suited to leading. I've found it fascinating how so many of the presidents I've read about have shared the ability to work with others without holding grudges and allowing people a second chance. I think that is a quality that is very important in a leadership role. The presidents who have been remembered as great such as Washington, Jefferson, and Kennedy had that ability whereas John Adams who did so much but held grudges and made enemies is not remembered with as great of respect as I feel he deserves and I wonder if that has to do with the fact that he made enemies so his legacy was tainted when it came to reporting on his contributions.
- One More Time by B.J. Novak- This book was a group of short stories. Some of them were really funny and others were just kind of strange.
- The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger- At first I wasn't really into this book and thought about not finishing it because I thought it was so weird when he time traveled to visit his wife when she was a child. It kind of creeped me out a little bit like in Twilight when Jacob imprints on Bella's baby daughter. That's just creepy! But I stuck with it when I may not have had it been a regular book I was reading. I finished the book but was never really into it where I wanted to fold laundry and do chores just to finish it. I actually took a break listening to it multiple times to listen to other audiobooks I'd had on hold that came in while I was working my way through this one. But now that I'm finished with it, I keep thinking about different parts of the book. I especially liked the genetic aspect of his time travelling and found that interesting. This wasn't a book I would recommend and say I really enjoyed but it was an interesting concept and I liked it.
- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris- This was one my mom had recommended. I got through it pretty quickly because I listened to it in the car during our spring break trip when Elise was napping and Carter was playing on his tablet. There were times when I had to put my hand over my mouth to stifle my laughing because I was worried I'd wake Elise up. It was so darn funny. I'd say it was on par with some of the best comedians' books I've read. I especially loved how he wrote the sections where he was speaking French in broken English, translating what he'd said in French. It was hysterical!
- I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron- I liked Heartburn so much I decided to listen to this one too. It was a great one to listen to while I was waiting on a different one I had on hold because it was short. It was narrated by Ephron which I thought would be neat. I enjoyed Heartburn but thought this one was even better. It was so funny in some parts I was laughing really hard. The end was a little sad but that didn't change the fact that I loved this book! I felt like the first few essays weren't quite as funny as the subsequent ones but overall loved the entire book! I was excited when I found out that Ephron was an intern at the white house while JFK was president and then later when I discovered she loved Jane Austen. It made me love her even more!