Summer reading and my reviews | The Life of K: Summer reading and my reviews

Monday, September 10, 2012

Summer reading and my reviews

As the summer comes to a close I wanted to write up a quick review of the books I read. I think I did pretty well. I read some autobiographical, some romance, some smut, some young adult, a running book, and a historical documentary. All over the map. Seriously.

And what is it about trilogies? Doesn't it seem like there are so many of them these days? I'm not complaining, I like being able to get into a book and then have another and another to sate my appetite.

(I've included links to all the books at the bottom of the post in case you're curious and want something new to read. The links all go to Goodreads.)

Back in April ("summer", go with it) I read The Hunger Games trilogy - The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. These books are for young adults so they are easy to read and go by quickly. I thought the story was interesting and unlike anything I'd read before. It kept me interested through the three books. I'm looking forward to watching the movie.

Then I read a romance, Natural Born Charmer. Definitely not my typical read and I put it down over and over in favour of other books, but I finally got into it enough, got invested in the characters enough, that I wanted to know what happened.

I decided to try out Fifty Shades of Grey next. I couldn't resist the hype, that everyone was talking about it. I had to know what it was all about. I had pretty low expectations after reading about how the writing was so poor and the story was not great and repetitive, but it really wasn't so bad. I actually quite liked the story and am looking forward to reading the next two books to find out what happens to the characters. Is it great writing? Maybe not. Does it matter? Probably not.

I picked up Bloom by Kelle Hampton of Enjoying the Small Things next. I've been reading her blog since she wrote about her reaction to the birth of her second child and was quite interested in the rest of the story, things that aren't on the blog. I wasn't disappointed. It read a lot like her blog - it made me laugh and cry. Pretty emotional stuff.

Getting back in to running got me to pick up Run Like a Mother but I was disappointed with this one. Two female runners got together and wrote a book. They're both way more runner than I will ever be and their habits and experience make their stories not resonate with me. I guess I was looking more for a somewhat runner to talk about how hard it is to find time to get out running.

I picked up Three Day Road next. I had been given the book by J's mom. It was an interesting story about two native americans from Canada who went over to Europe for the war. I am not into history or war books but this was such a great story that I got right into it. I could really picture what life was like for these characters and appreciated that view of life in the war.

The Lost City of Z was another book I was given and wouldn't have picked out for myself. It's about the Amazon and the history of explorers going to that area. It was interesting and made me want to throw some clothes in my pack and hop on a plane to South America. I was constantly telling J random facts I learned from the book, which was part documentary and part historical.

I got my hands on Divergent and Insurgent next, which are the first two books of another young adult series like the Hunger Games. And like that trilogy these books are of a dystopian future that is both appalling and intriguing: people are sorted into factions, or groups, based on their personalities. I can't wait for the third book and the movie that I'm sure will be made.

On the lighter side of things I picked out Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling, a writer and actor for The Office. It was light and funny but meant for adults. A nice break from what I had been reading and a great book to take to the cottage.

After that I dove back into the Fifty Shades trilogy. I was looking forward to finding out what happened to the characters but got pretty annoyed with the writing. About half way through the third book I just wanted to be done. I'm quite pleased with how the series ended and am glad I've read the books. Glad too that I don't have to read them again.

So with all those books under my belt over the past 5 months, I'm getting back into the required readings for my doula course coming up in November. Reading about pregnancy and breastfeeding is quite the change of pace and I'm sure I'll soon be craving some fiction again. With the return of most tv shows soon I doubt I'll be reading as much as I did this summer.

I hope you might have found a new book to pick up from my list. I think I need to find myself a book club.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
Divergent and Insurgent
The Lost City of Z
Three Day Road
Run Like a Mother
Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed
Natural Born Charmer
The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay


  1. I read the Fifty Shades trilogy as well and I agree with you, pretty good but I wanted the last book to be over with. I read Where We Belong, by Emily Giffin, about a woman in her 30s who gave up a child for adoption and what happens when they 'find' each other again. Written from both perspectives (mother and child). It was an easy, emotional read. I'd recommend it. I think I'll check out the Mindy Kaling book too, sounds fun.

  2. I read a random one lately called Drowning Ruth that I liked for a summer read. I didn't make it to the 3rd 50 shades book, 1 and 2 were enough, but glad to hear it had a good ending!
    Think I'll pick up Bloom though - her blog looks great!

  3. Thanks ladies, I requested both books from the library. You'll have to let me know what you think of Mindy Kaling's book and Bloom.

  4. I like to read at Chapters. A) They ALWAYS have a copy of the latest bestseller available. B) They let me.
    This summer, I read "Why We Broke Up" by Daniel Handler, which was far more awesome than I ever expected it would be. I also started a Young Adult book about a dystopian future called "The Uglies" by Scott Westerfeld, I am dying to get back to finish reading that one.
    I've also recently read "On The Island" by Tracey Garvis Graves, which I highly recommend.
    In non-fiction, I have been reading "Starting Your Career as a Freelance Editor" by Mary Embree, "Writer for Hire" by Kelly James-Enger, and "HTML&CSS design and build websites" by Jon Duckett.
    On my "To-Read" pile: "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" by Lynne Truss, "How To Write A Sentence And How To Read One" by Stanley Fish, "Get Your Articles Published" by Lesley Brown and Ann Gawthorpe, "The First 50 Pages" by Jeff Gerke, "The Canadian Style" by Dundurn Press Limited, "Stylebook" by The Canadian Press, "the summer we came to life" by Deborah Cloyed, and "Then Came You" and "certain girls" both by Jennifer Weiner.
    As you can see, like you, many of the books on my "To-Read" list are for career development.
    Based on your recommendation, I think I'll look for "Divergent" and "Insurgent" as well.

  5. Wow, thanks Erin! So many great books I'll check out!