Category Archives: Uncategorized

Weekend Update

Greetings from the ice planet Hoth! I know that Baltimore fared a lot better than most East Coast cities, but we are currently dealing with subzero wind chills, so I do feel justified in complaining.

I’m hoping to finish the rest of the January 2 releases and then dive in to the January 9 ones (so excited! I am really psyched for The Chalk Man and The Immortalists especially but they all sound amazing). I’m also hoping to really make a dent in my movie watching. I’m planning to see I, Tonya today. I haven’t decided what tomorrow’s movie will be, but there should definitely be a better MoviePass update on Monday.

I’m already sick of winter and we have so much of it to go.

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The Woman in the Window

Finished The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn. I received a copy for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

“What did she see?

It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.

Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers.

But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?”

Yes, this is essentially Rear Window meets Copycat with a bit of Girl on the Train. It had me at all the classical movie references. I want to re-read and (a) see if it still works now that I know everything and (b) create a “Movies I Need to Watch” list.

But this is also an absolutely insanely good book. It’s clever and fun, and by the end, so intensely creepy that I literally almost threw my Kindle across the room at one part. (It was an involuntary jerking maneuver and I almost lost it.)

I know there are a lot of these books lately (so much so they’re even a subgenre, “domestic thrillers”) and you may be sick of them. Even if you are, read this one. You won’t be sorry.

Highly recommended.

TBH, This is So Awkward

Finished TBH, This is So Awkward by Lisa Greenwald. I received a copy for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Told entirely in text messages, this addictive new series from the acclaimed author of My Life in Pink & Green is perfect for fans of Lauren Myracle and Wendy Mass.

To be honest, middle school is rough! Cecily, Gabby, and Prianka have been BFFAE since pre-K, so it’s totally natural when they don’t include the new girl, Victoria, in their plans and group texts.

Between organizing the school Valentine’s Day dance, prepping for their first boy-girl party, and trying to keep their texts so boring their moms won’t use spy apps to read them, the friends only have time for each other.

But when Victoria is accidentally sent a hurtful text message, the entire sixth grade gets called out for bullying, cell phones are confiscated, and the trio known as CPG4Eva is forced to figure out just how strong their friendships are IRL.”

There are middlegrade novels that will transcend their intended audiences. This is not one of them (and that’s okay). I think the target audience will find a lot to enjoy here and there’s a good lesson (even if it’s not really a subtle one).

The idea of cyberbullying isn’t a new one, but this book discusses the blatant kind (one of the girls accidentally says something mean about another in the wrong group chat text) and the insidious kind (exclusion without any overt meanness attached). I think it’s easy to consider only one kind of behavior bullying, but ignoring people can be almost as bad.

I think young readers will still enjoy it, even though the format by its nature keeps the book fairly superficial. It’s a fast, easy and fun read.

Best of 2017: Adult Fiction

(These are listed in the order I read them.)

  1. The Young Widowers’ Handbook by Tom McAllister

2) The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak

3) On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman

4) I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

5) Fallout by Sara Paretsky

6) The Widow of Wall Street by Randy Susan Meyers

7) The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger

8) Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King/Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King

9) The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

10) Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

 

Best of 2017: YA

(These are listed in the order I read them.)

  1. Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

2) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

3) We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

4) Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

5) The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

6) Saints and Misfits by SK Ali

7) The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

8) They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

9) The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz

10) Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

 

“The alphabet ends at Y”

Sue Grafton died last night; the news broke for the rest of us a few hours ago.

I’ve loved Sue Grafton (and Kinsey!) since I was in high school. It’s one of the longest literary relationships in my life (I think there are only three authors I’ve read longer) and it feels like someone I know has died.

If you haven’t read her books, you should. I’ve read all but Y is for Yesterday. I’m grateful that I still have one unread book.

The world is worse now. And I want to have some McDonalds in Kinsey’s honor.

Best of 2017: Nonfiction

(Listed in the order I read them)

  1. March Trilogy by John Lewis

2) Hallelujah Anyway by Anne Lamott

3) Off the Cliff: How the Making of Thelma & Louise Drove Hollywood to the Edge by Becky Aikman

4) Morningstar by Ann Hood

5) The Girl in the Show by Anna Fields

6) Hunger by Roxane Gay

7) Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello

8) What Happened by Hillary Clinton

9) The Museum of Broken Relationships by Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic

10) Promise Me, Dad by Joe Biden

Weekend Update

Welcome to the last weekend update of 2017! (I will not be sorry to see it go.)

What I’m reading: The books I got for Christmas! I loved Promise Me, Dad (by Joe Biden) and over the weekend, I’m hoping to read the newest Kasie West, Little Fires Everywhere (Celeste Ng) and The Disaster Artist (I loved the movie). It’s ambitious but we’ll see.

What I’m watching: My mom’s in town so the short answer is “Nothing I want, and also a lot of Big Bang Theory reruns.” I have hopes that we’ll get to the movie theater this weekend, though. We’ll see. I also need to hit MoviePass hard again, because there are SO MANY movies I want to see.

 

Best of 2017: Middlegrade

(These are listed in the order I read them.)

  1. The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish

2) Hello Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

3) Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper

4) Chester and Gus by Cammie McGovern

5) One Hundred Spaghetti Strings by Jen Nails

6) Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia

7)  Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee

8) Keys to the City by Lisa Schroeder

9) Things That Surprise You by Jennifer Maschari

10) Patina by Jason Reynolds

 

Weekend Update

Happy holidays!

My mom is in town and I’m hoping to see some movies with her. So far, the most likely contender is Jumanji, but I think we’ll end up seeing something else, too.

Not sure what else is happening, but I know we’re going to go visit a friend of mine in the hospital tonight and again on Sunday and Monday (everyone should see people on Christmas, right?).

I’m currently reading Otherworld by Jason Segal and Kristen Miller and it is SO GOOD, guys. I’m a huge fan. (It was a Christmas present but I was authorized to open it early so I did. I am a child.)

I hope you have a great weekend!