Thursday, January 22, 2015

Laurealism Library: Volume 3

My previous two Laurealism Library posts were very well received, so I plan on continuing to share what I've been reading with you. Here are ten of my recent reads, in the order that I read them.

For reference, the rating scale:
1- So many grammatical errors, I couldn't get past page one.
2- Skip it. I likely didn't finish it.
3- A solidly good book. If this is in a category you usually like, read it!
4- Must-read in your lifetime list.
5- All time, personal favorite books.

I also started including how the books rate on Goodreads, which may sway your opinions one way or another. Also please note, while this post contains Amazon Affiliate links, I purchased, borrowed or read every one of these books, and ratings are my own.

Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell
Pick this up if: You need an easy-to-read, innocent love story.
Similar to: The Fault in Our Stars,  The Perks of Being a Wallflower
My Rating: 3/5
Goodreads Rating: 4.17/5
Notes: A sweet story, with good writing, but for me: not life-altering.

The Aviator's Wife, Melanie Benjamin
Pick this up if: You devour historical fiction.
Similar to: The Other Boylen, The Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Paris Wife
My Rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 3.86
Notes: I vaguely knew the story of the Lindbergh Family, but this book frustrated me because of this woman's relationship with her husband (though I realize it was probably common for the time.) This was also hard for me to read because I have a baby at home, and well, you know the history of the Lindberg baby, right?

Middlesex, Eugene Jeffries (Laurealism Book Club Pick)
Pick this up if: You need an eccentric literary novel to really delve into.
Similar to: I literally have nothing to relate this to (which is uncommon for me!)
My Rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 3.94/5
Notes: This was a beautifully written book, and very intriguing. I highly recommend if you haven't picked it up yet.

The Thirteen Clocks, James Thurber
Pick this up if: You want something that you can enjoy, but also read aloud to your kids.
Similar to: The Princess Bride
My Rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 4.08/5
Notes: This is a non-sensical story which requires imagination, but is written wonderfully. It was a lot of fun to read.

The Husband's Secret, Liane Moriarty (Laurealism Book Club Pick)
Pick this up if: You want a bit of dramatic chick-lit.
Similar to: What Alice Forgot, The Vacationers
My Rating: 3/5
Goodreads Rating: 3.88
Notes: Liane Moriarty is amazing at creating characters. Every single person her novels, you'll think you know in real life!

A Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness
Pick this up if: You like a good fantasy novel, with a pinch of historical fiction
Similar to: The Magicians, Twilight
My Rating: 4/5
Goodreads Rating: 3.98
Notes: Witches, Vampires, Demons and time travel? Yes, please! I listened to this on Audible and was thoroughly entertained. Plus, this is sort of a book about a book, which is my favorite genre.

The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
Pick this up if: You want a longer read to really dive into, with very well developed characters.
Similar to: The Red Tent, One Thousand White Women
My Rating: 3.5/5
Goodreads Rating: 3.98/5
Notes: I think I would have come to like this book more if I'd had someone to really discuss it with, which is why it falls between a 3 and a 4. It was a little hard for me to get into, but complex and emotional. Which would likely be the same way I'd describe picking up and moving to Africa, so I suppose that's fitting.

A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness (Laurealism Book Club pick)
Pick this up if: You like books written in a child's perspective.
Similar to: The Glass Castle, Room
My Rating: 4/5
Goodreads Rating: 4.25/5
Notes: This was a completely creative book. I want to call it fantasy, but it was more dream-like than fictional. A quick, but meaningful, heartfelt book. And slated to be a movie, so you better pick it up before it hits theaters! Warning: Have the tissues nearby.

Pick this up if: You love historical fiction or you're looking for something for your book club. This book is so much better when discussed, because there are likely things other's would have picked up on that you missed.
Similar to: Hansel and Gretel, Book Thief
My Rating: 4/5
Goodreads Rating: 4.24/5
Notes: I tend to shy away from war-related historical fiction, but I ended up reading this for a book club I belonged to. I liked it well enough, until we discussed it... and then I loved it. This book has so many facets, so much depth and so many connections. It might even be worth a re-read.

Pick this up if: You like historical fiction related to art.
Similar to: The Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Swan Thieves
My Rating: 3/5
Goodreads Rating: 3.64/5
Notes: I wanted to read more Chevalier because The Girl with a Pearl Earring is one of my all time favorites. This didn't impress me as much, but it was still an imaginative book, that was easy and enjoyable to read. It's always interesting to imagine the story behind the art!

Sadly, there were no 5's on this list. Here's hoping I find a few more for next time! What have you been reading? Would you recommend it?

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