My Books ~ December 2016

I’ve read a lot of books this year*. Which might have something to do with my tendencies to procrastinate, because escaping into any story – contemporary romance this year mostly – is so much easier than dealing with the stuff I should be dealing with. From chores to working out or anything else on various to-do-lists.

If you’d ask me about the name of characters or about the plot of these stories I probably couldn’t answer that for more than half the books. So much more mindful reading. Or mindfully doing anything. I’ve pulled the list of books I’ve read this year from the blog menu some time ago, because it didn’t really serve any purpose here. Instead from now on each month I will try to write a few words about the books I’ve read; probably not an elaborate review, just some thoughts and I will try to keep spoilers at a minimum. But mostly it’s for my own reference really, so that by the end of 2017, I will have a quick way to remember names and plots ;-)

*None of these is pictured in the image above, because by now I do 99% of my reading on my Kindle. But an electronic reading device isn’t really great photo material, is it?

#82 Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between ~ Lauren Graham, 2016
★★★★★ 
I love Lauren, as an actress and as woman in Hollywood and I really enjoyed these stories about her life: how she started out as actress, about various acting jobs and of course about the Gilmore Girls back then and now. Some interesting insight into the not-so-glamorous acting business. Lovely and very entertaining read. 

#83 Small Town Shock (Some Very English Murders 1) ~ Issy Brooke, 2015
★★☆☆☆
I really enjoyed the two Lord of the Manor / Old Duke stories from the same author earlier this summer, but I didn’t really get invested in this series. I liked most of the characters all right and would love to see how their lives and relationships turn out, but for some reason I didn’t really get into the whole murder mystery plot.

#84 Can You Keep A Secret ~ Sophie Kinsella, 2003
★★★☆☆
Afraid that the plane is going to crash and they’re all going to die, Emma spills all her secrets to the handsome stranger next to her. No harm done until next day at work this stranger turns out to be Jack Harper, her company’s elusive CEO. 

This was my first Sophie Kinsella novel and I liked it quite a lot for two reasons: the attraction and budding romance between Emma and Jack and the whole subject of secrets and how we would react if those are spilled not just to one strangers, but also to the whole world. It made me think about all the things I hold inside and never confide (tiny Frank Turner reference, sorry, I can’t help it). The end  felt a bit short-circuited and from the start I had no idea why Emma and her flatmate Lissy could ever be friends with Jemima, but all in all it was an enjoyable read.

 #85 Remember Me? ~ Sophie Kinsella, 2008
★★★★☆
It took me a bit to get the right feel for this book, as I wasn’t sure at the beginning where the plot was heading. And I can’t write about it without giving away part of the plot, sorry.

28-year-old Lexi Smart wakes up in hospital after a car accident and doesn’t remember the last three years of her life. Quite a lot has changed in this time, she went from office girl to a managing position, married a rich guy, lives in a stylish loft and has glamorous friends. She tries to be the person she now obviously seems to be, even though she can’t quite reconcile this “new” Lexi with the one she used to be.

The whole “Lexi back at work” plot seemed a bit far-fetched in the way it worked out in the end and some of her husband’s quirks were quite over the top, but that made it quite funny as well, so that added to the entertaining read. I somehow wish the explanation why Lexi had decided to make such drastic changes in her life three years previous, were revealed a bit earlier in the plot, because it kept me wondering and guessing and that distracted me from the actually story a bit.

Halfway through the story Jon, an adorable scruffy architect, who works for her husband drops another bombshell, which gets the story really rolling after all. It turns out that Lexi  and him had been having an affair and were about to start a new life together. Which is something Lexi can even less reconcile with her new or old persona.  She can’t deny the attraction she feels for Jon though, especially in contrast to the lack of anything romantic she feels for her husband.

I’m a sucker for these kind of “inevitable love” stories, in which two people are destined to be together, even if one of them loses all their memory of their time together and they have to start over.  My heart broke for Jon quite a bit, because he was so obviously in love with the “real” Lexi, the one who hadn’t been feeling quite right in her stylish, rich life for some time when they had met a few months earlier. And I was actually quite thrilled to see that Sophie Kinsella in the end didn’t use the cheap plot device of miraculously having Lexi regain all her memories. She never does remember the years she has lost, except for a one tiny moment from her time with Jon, which led to her ending up with Jon after all.  *sigh* Like I said, I’m a sucker for these kind of stories. 

The Undomestic Goddess ~ Sophie Kinsella, 2005
After I’ve enjoyed the previous two Kinsella novels I was expecting to like this one as well, but I had to stop reading after not even 1/3 of the story. To me the whole plot was so over-the-top unrealistic, that I just couldn’t continue.

#86 Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses – Jenny Hale, 2015
★☆☆☆☆
I’ve mentioned in the introduction that I’ve read mostly contemporary romance novels this year. Chick-Lit so to speak and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I enjoy reading an easy, funny, fluffy love story. But there is fluffy and there is being suffocated in cotton candy. This book felt like the latter and I probably wouldn’t have finished reading it, if I hadn’t already aborted the previous book. Giving up on two books in a row felt weird, so I drudged through this one, but honestly only skimmed the last third or even more of the story. 

I might add another review to this post later this week. But maybe I should give reading a break for the rest of the year…. we’ll see.

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