Whew! February has kind of been a rough book month for me. This month, I read a 4 books. While there was 1 book that stood above the rest, there really wasn't one book that was a complete home run. But oh well. Some months are better than others. So if you have any great recommendations, please send them my way!
Signal Fires – Dani Shapiro (A)
I usually love character driven books that have beautifully flawed characters, interwoven stories and overarching themes that we can all relate to, but this particular book just fell flat for me. I think it had to do with the style of writing – it often times felt directionless, bouncing from one character to another and back and forth timelines. It was confusing, especially as an audiobook, to follow those jumps and kept me from becoming invested in the characters. I do wonder if I would have enjoy this book more if it took more of a chronological path or if I would have read it with my eyes. 2.5/5 stars
Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging – Sebastian Junger (B)
I went in blind on this book, knowing nothing about it, and it turned out to be a book that met me right where I am. Love it when that happens. This author has articulated so many things about our current society that I have hypothesized about and wrote about in such a hard-hitting way. Using history, psychology and anthropology to make his case, the author suggests that, as a society, we have moved away from our tribal nature and that is causing so much suffering in today’s world. He focuses a lot of his book on veterans, and even more specifically, the challenges that veterans face when they return home. A must read, in my opinion, for anyone who struggles with our current society’s way, broken systems, and has a feeling that things are not as they are supposed to be. I think this would make an excellent book club pick. Because even if you do not believe in all the points he makes, the conversation that would come out of it would be fascinating. 4/5 stars
The Paris Apartment – Erin Sterling (A)
Meh. I was pretty bored for almost 70% of it. But then towards the end, it definitely picked up and got a lot more interesting. I don't want to give too much away - it's basically about a woman with a troubled past who goes to Paris to visit her brother, only her brother is missing when she gets there. If you are okay with a very slow-burn thriller, then you might enjoy this one. I just don't know if the last few pages (which were great) make up for the slowness of the rest of the book. 2.5/5 stars
These Silent Woods – Julie Clark (A)
Another very SLOOOWWW burn sort of book. The premise is interesting – a man and his young daughter live isolated in the woods with no electricity or conveniences of the modern world. It is clear that Cooper, the dad, is hiding from something in his past… but how long can this isolation from society last. It is suspenseful in that it has a heaviness to it... I kept waiting for a big "oh-no" moment. I listened to this book and ended up speeding up the narration quite a bit. Once I did that, I enjoyed it much more. I enjoyed the storyline and the relationship between the father and daughter. But this is one of those situations where I wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I read it with my eyes. Now I am in no way suggesting that narrator was bad. He has an easy-to-listen to voice that is very in tune with the main character’s voice and style. But he spoke very slowly and I was impatient to get to the meat of the story. I wonder if I would have loved this story more at a different time of my life when things were more leisurely and I could get swept up into the story. 2.5/5 stars
B – Physical Book
A - Audiobook
As always, you can see a consolidated list of all my book reviews HERE.
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