Fleishman is in Trouble

So, I chose this book because it made a lot of the “Best Books of 2019” lists and received some significant hype. I just finished it and can’t decide how I really feel about it yet.

The book is broken down into 3 sections and I loved the shift that came at the 3rd section. Towards the middle of the book, I resorted to skimming a little bit because I felt some of the back story/past that the novel got into was boring and unnecessary. Overall, I liked the ending and I liked the perspective shift and the way it made you think… I found some of the switch between Toby and narrator confusing and think some of the fluff could’ve been removed in between chapters.

Here is the blurb description from Wikipedia:

Toby, a 41-year-old hepatologist, is undergoing a bitter divorce from his wife Rachel, a successful talent agent in New York. One day, she drops off their children, 11-year-old Hannah and 9-year-old Solly, at Toby’s house while he is still sleeping and takes off. She does not respond to texts or calls from him for the following weeks. The story, narrated by Toby’s college friend Libby, a former writer for a men’s magazine, follows their lives over this period and the events that led to the breakdown of their 14-year-marriage, as well as reflections of Libby’s own life.

The Good Daughter – Karin Slaughter

And enter my introduction to Karin Slaughter… I can’t believe it took me this long to read one of her books! I am now a big fan!

The Good Daughter is a well written crime drama with a strong female lead character. The book starts back in time and tells the story of a traumatic past experience the main character lives through. The book then brings us to present day where the main character again bears witness to a traumatic tragedy and has to get involved in solving the crime and the small town corruption that comes along with that.

The book is well written and dives deep enough to give us strong character development and background on our characters. Although a bit graphic for some, I think it accurately depicts a graphic crime story and gives the reader the details they want when reading crime fiction.

Here is the Book description:

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father – Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney – devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself – the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again – and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized – Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime which destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…

The One by John Marrs

Wow! This book is really great. I stumbled upon the recommendation from a Book club online group and read it had been extremely successful in the UK.

The book takes place in a world where almost every single person has been “matched” by their DNA to their perfect person. Some people love it, some hate it- but the novel follows the lives of 5 characters as they go about meeting and finding their perfect match. Each chapter alternates between a different character’s story which makes the suspense of what is happening to each character really be drawn out across the novel. I loved this book, I truly didn’t see some of the twists coming and thought the character development and storyline was extremely well executed.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Also worth mentioning- I am normally a fast reader and this book actually took me a few days! (Which is a good thing!)

Here is the blurb about the book:

A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner—the one you’re genetically made for.

That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.

Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…

Maybe you Should Talk to Someone- Lori Gottlieb

This book had some really mixed reviews online, but I’m glad I chose to give it a chance. I really enjoyed this book and I really enjoyed the look into therapy! I would categorize this book as part memoir, part insightful tip- like book.

The book follows Lori in present day as she goes through a horrible break up and seeks out the help of a Therapist while also treating her patients as a Therapist. I particularly liked the build up and development of the patients she was treated. The book also offered flashbacks and insights into Lori’s past and how she got to be a Therapist. There were a couple stand out sections and some eye opening revelations that I really enjoyed. I would highly recommend this book and really enjoyed reading it.

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

This book follows the lives of two sisters, Jo and Bethie, from their youth through adulthood. The book started a bit slow for more but progressively gained steam. I really enjoyed the last half of the book and thought all of the characters were wonderfully developed. The writing was excellent and purposely wove a great story. I chose this book based on reviews, many of which hated the ending. I liked the way the story culminated and ended and felt like it matched the overall story and theme.

I liked that the book didn’t necessarily have a “happy” ending, but more of a “hopeful” ending.

Where the Crawdads sing

Okay, woah. This book is a yes.

At the start of this book, I almost put it down because I really wasn’t into the swamp/nature theme and intense descriptions of the wildlife. The writing was excellent, just swamp wildlife isn’t my vibe. However, the story picked up and I decided to keep reading… and now, I get it.

I totally get why this book is a bestseller and I totally get the hype. I really feel the need to talk to people about the ending and the book. My only complaint is that I feel the ending was too quick. I wanted to know more about her writing, etc.

The book is truly an excellent piece of literature and written in an extraordinary way. The background setting wasn’t my cup of tea, but I appreciate great work. I wish the trial had started a tad bit earlier in the book giving us a little more of life after the trial as opposed just going to the end.

Without spoiling anything, I won’t say anymore, other than that I highly recommend this book.

Maybe in Another Life- Taylor Jenkins Reid

I’m a huge Taylor Jenkins Reid fan, as one of my favorite books is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, so I was super excited to finally get my hands on this novel.

I loved it and I loved the characters, I felt like I knew them and they were so well described. The book takes on dual story-lines and goes back and forth between 2 different choices the main character chooses to make.

The premise that the Universe always works out in our favor, no matter the choice, is something I do believe. However, I felt slightly conflicted with the ending of the book, because I felt like it didn’t exactly match up to the rest of the storytelling.

SPOILER ALERT:

The other characters, like Gabby, no matter their choices- receive the same ending. Hannah, the main character, I was expecting the story to be different but  the ending to be the same. She gets two different endings with the two different story-lines. I liked the book, but I’m curious to know why it had two different endings when everything was leading up to the conclusion that there would be one ending- no matter what choices she made.

 

The Year of Less- Cait Flanders

The year of less : how i stopped shopping, gave away my belongings, and discovered life is worth more than anything you can buy in a store

So this book was a bit different than I expected, but I really enjoyed it. I was expecting more of a “how to” book, but the book reads more like a memoir.

As someone who over shops and has consciously started to minimalism, I really liked that the Author took a deeper dive into the reasons behind craving material things. A lot of her points resonated with me and I truly agree with her that we can all live with much less. The idea of not shopping for an entire year definitely makes me frightened (haha) but I love the idea of being intentional when buying things and really only buying replacement items or items that are a NEED, not a want. No one needs 4 pairs of black boots, right?

Overall, the book was an interesting look into consumerism and what drives us to always want more. Highly recommend.

I liked my Life- Abby Fabiaschi

Wow, I really loved this book. From the get go, I knew it was a book about a woman who surprisingly commited suicide, leaving her family to wonder what in the world had happened. I dove right into it because I was super intrigued by the narrator, Maddy, the woman telling the story after death. Although there are multiple viewpoints and narrators throughout the novel, hers lays the groundwork for the story line and opens the book.

I was curious what happened and why, of course; so I started the beginning of the book reading quickly. Towards the middle of the book, I got a bit antsy and annoyed by some of the overly detailed story points that I didn’t think mattered. There is one chapter that talks about the Husband (Brady) going off to find long lost relatives. I thought this was super boring and frankly, irrelevant to the story at hand. Was it just added in for word count?

Overall, I really enjoyed the story and found the writing to be excellent. It was sprinkled with just enough humor to keep the grief feeling real. The characters were well written and relatable. The ending was perfect and without giving anything away, I really like happy endings and I felt this book gave the reader the happy ending they deserved after a somewhat somber novel.

I would definitely recommend this book!

Here is the description from Amazon:

Maddy is a devoted stay-at-home wife and mother, host of excellent parties, giver of thoughtful gifts, and bestower of a searingly perceptive piece of advice or two. She is the cornerstone of her family, a true matriarch…until she commits suicide, leaving her husband Brady and teenage daughter Eve heartbroken and reeling, wondering what happened. How could the exuberant, exacting woman they loved disappear so abruptly, seemingly without reason, from their lives? How they can possibly continue without her? As they sift through details of her last days, trying to understand the woman they thought they knew, Brady and Eve are forced to come to terms with unsettling truths.

Life will be the Death of me- Chelsea Handler

I enjoyed this book, but it was much different than I expected. I was expecting a humorous book weaved full of stories that would make me laugh. Instead, I got a very introspective look into Chelsea Handler’s life with a handful of laughs. I thought I would laugh more, but instead the book takes a look into Chelsea’s life as she documents her time spent with her therapist. Clearly, she has some issues that have impacted her that she is trying to work out and weaves the stories around her issues, largely her past.

Overall, it was an interesting look into her life and a good read, but it wasn’t the light and humorous book I was expecting.

Stories I only tell my Friends- Rob Lowe

I love non fiction, especially autobiography style books. I always find it interesting to be able to take a peek inside of someone else’s world and learn about their story.

Rob Lowe’s autobiography, Stories I only tell my Friends, was entertaining and enjoyable. It was a good read. Not my favorite ever, mostly because I couldn’t relate to all of the movies and time period he spoke of. Overall, I would definitely recommend it though!

Here is the description from Amazon:

A teen idol at fifteen, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at twenty, and one of Hollywood’s top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences as a painfully misunderstood child actor in Ohio uprooted to the wild counterculture of mid-seventies Malibu, where he embarked on his unrelenting pursuit of a career in Hollywood.

The Outsiders placed Lowe at the birth of the modern youth movement in the entertainment industry. During his time on The West Wing, he witnessed the surreal nexus of show business and politics both on the set and in the actual White House. And in between are deft and humorous stories of the wild excesses that marked the eighties, leading to his quest for family and sobriety.

Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last twenty-five years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.

The Lost Man- Jane Harper

This novel was superbly written. The detail and characters were excellent. The story itself was sort of a “Who dunnit”, with a death early on and the remaining characters left to figure out what happened. I was intrigued to read and find out what happened to the brother who died, but I had trouble connecting with the story because the wild outback and Australian desert didn’t peak my interest as a reader as it would for some others.

I thoroughly enjoyed the ending and felt like it tied the entire story together very well.

Overall, it was an extremely well written book, the characters were developed perfectly, and it’s definitely worth reading. It felt like the outback and place where the story occurred was it’s own character. Those that like the outback and nature would definitely enjoy this book more than city folk like myself.

Here is the book description from Amazon:

The Australian outback has never looked as bleak and dangerous as it does in Jane Harper’s latest, The Lost Man. The stockman’s grave is a dark local landmark, the origin of urban legends, and now the site of another mysterious death. There is no detective chasing a killer in The Lost Man; only Nathan, the dead man’s brother, trying to work out how his sibling ended up where and how he did. Family history plays an important role in the story: Nathan, his brother Bub, and their now-dead brother Cam were raised in a house beset by violence. Their father is deceased, but all three brothers have stayed on to work and live in the incredibly harsh surroundings. Cam was the solid one, always responsible, the brother everyone liked. So how did he, of all people, end up dead? Deceptive twists sneak up on the reader, and with The Lost Man Harper has crafted another slow burn mystery that catches the reader unaware right up to the surprise ending