Book Review: Montana 1948 by Larry Watson ★★★

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“That’s not the way it works. You know that. Sins—crimes—are not supposed to go unpunished.”

I’m really glad I finally read this book! You know when a cover just sticks out to you and you can’t seem to help but get drawn to a book, because of it? That was Montana 1948 for me. I saw it so many times at thrift stores and finally picked it up, because I just love that cover! I am very happy I got to it quickly after that and I enjoyed the story. I ended up giving it 3 stars.

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Book Review: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami ★★★★

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“I would stare at the grains of light suspended in that silent space, struggling to see into my own heart. What did I want? And what did others want from me? But I could never find the answers. Sometimes I would reach out and try to grasp the grains of light, but my fingers touched nothing.”

This book was so simple, yet so powerful at the same time. It was transparent and open, but also layered. This was my first Murakami and I was deeply moved by his way with words, his symbolism, and his knack for making a little love story mean so much more than that. It was also incredibly sad, but so meaningful and poignant. I will 100% be seeking out more of his work. Spoilers below!

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Book Review: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple ★★★

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“’That’s right,’ she told the girls. ‘You are bored. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it’s boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it’s on you to make life interesting, the better off you’ll be.’”

I don’t think I would have picked this one up on my own. But, my best friend was reading it and loving it, and I wanted to read it with her. And I’m really glad I did! Granted, I did listen to the audiobook since the wait for the physical book was heckin’ long at the library. And I enjoyed it! I’m so glad I gave this book a chance. 3.5 stars.

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Book Review: Bunny by Mona Awad ★★★

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“What do you think, Samantha?” Fosco asks me. That it’s a piece of pretentious shit. That it says nothing, gives nothing. That I don’t understand it, that probably no one does and no one ever will. That not being understood is a privilege I can’t afford. That I can’t believe this woman got paid to come here. That I think she should apologize to trees. Spend a whole day on her knees in the forest, looking up at the trembling aspens and oaks and whatever other trees paper is made of with tears in her languid eyes and say, I’m fucking sorry. I’m sorry that I think I’m so goddamned interesting when it is clear that I am not interesting. Here’s what I am: I’m a boring tree murderess. But I look at Vignette, at Creepy Doll, at Cupcake, the Duchess. All of them staring at me now with shy smiles. “I think I’d like to see more of the soup too,” I hear myself say.”

This book was very odd. I went into it knowing that and looking forward to that. Based on reviews I had heard and my own high expectations, I really thought I’d love it. And yeah, I loved parts of it, but overall, I was left feeling disappointed. 3.5 stars.

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Book Review: The Secret History by Donna Tartt ★★★★★

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“Why does that obstinate little voice in our heads torment us so? Could it be because it reminds us that we are alive, of our mortality, of our individual souls – which, after all, we are too afraid to surrender but yet make us feel more miserable than any other thing? It is a terrible thing to learn as a child that one is a being separate from the world, that no one and no thing hurts along with one’s burned tongues and skinned knees, that one’s aches and pains are all one’s own. Even more terrible, as we grow older, to learn that no person, no matter how beloved, can ever truly understand us. Our own selves make us most unhappy, and that’s why we’re so anxious to lose them, don’t you think?”

Wow wow wow! This book was absolutely amazing. I loved everything about it. 5 stars!!

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Book Review: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel ★★★★★

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“But these thoughts broke apart in his head and were replaced by strange fragments: This is my soul and the world unwinding, this is my heart in the still winter air. Finally whispering the same two words over and over: “Keep walking. Keep walking. Keep walking.””

Oh my god. This book. It was so amazing. I was expecting to like this book, but I had no idea it would be so moving and powerful. It is beautiful. 5 brilliant stars.

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Book Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah ★★★

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“She was crying for it all at last–for the pain and loss and fear and anger, for the war and what it had done to her and to all of them, for the knowledge of evil she could never shake, for the horror of where she’d been and what she’d done to survive.”

Hmm I liked this book. I liked it, but it certainly wasn’t the best thing I have ever read and it didn’t really meet my expectations – expectations that were heightened because of all of the hype surrounding it. Overall, I would give the book 3 stars.

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Book Review: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn ★★★

“I’m a self-didact. (Not a dirty word, look it up.) I read constantly. I think. But I lack formal education. So I’m left with the feeling that I’m smarter than everyone around me but that if I ever got around really smart people—people who went to universities and drank wine and spoke Latin—that they’d be bored as hell by me. It’s a lonely way to go through life.”

This was an okay little novella. I picked it up on a whim and I really enjoyed the beginning, but the end fell kind of flat for me.

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Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan ★★

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“That’s what I want for my kids. I want them to love their family, but to feel a deeper sense of pride in who they are as individuals, not in how much money they have, what their last name is, or how many generations they go back to whatever dynasty. I’m sorry, but I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of being around all these crazy rich Asians, all these people whose lives revolve around making money, spending money, flaunting money, comparing money, hiding money, controlling others with money, and ruining their lives over money.”

I really went into this with an open mind. I was excited to read it and I wanted something different from what I normally read, a light, fun, contemporary about a culture I am not overly familiar with. I gave it my best effort, but I just didn’t care for it 🤷‍♀️. Glad I only spent a dollar on it!

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Book Review: The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova ★★

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“I was filled with angst in college, that I struggled with the question of my future, the meaning of my life – spoiled sheltered rich girl collides with great books and is devastated by her own banality.”

What a disappointment! I read Kostova’s other novel, The Historian, ages ago and I really enjoyed it. I found a beautiful hardcover copy of The Swan Thieves at Goodwill for $3. I was still riding my “art-thriller” high thanks to The Goldfinch. Everything was lined up perfectly for me to LOVE this book!!

But did I? Sadly, no. No I did not.

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