Recent Reads

My new thing is carrying a book around with me — to the couch, to the hammock, to bed — then playing on my phone instead.  It still counts as reading, if you have a book near you, right??  The writing just enters your brain via osmosis, I think.  Okay, but in all seriousness, I have still been a lunch break/before bed reading machine and I finished these two books recently and wanted to share my thoughts with you.

As always, SPOILER WARNING!

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The Unseen World by Liz Moore

A lot of times, I think I have my mind made up on a book and then I go to book club, hear so many good points made by the other ladies in the group and re-think my whole opinion.  That was the case with this book.  I originally rated it four stars but after discussing it, I came to the very real conclusion that it had way too much going on plot-wise.  I went home and tried to give Joey a quick synopsis and 10 minutes later, I was DEAD SURE this book had too much going on.

It’s about a young girl (Ada) and her single father (David) who, very bright himself, raises her to value intelligence over everything.  He home-schools her and every day she works alongside him and his team in the computer science lab he runs, until Ada discovers her father has Alzheimer’s.  Suddenly, all sorts of questions about David’s past (that he cannot answer) come up and it turns out his name and all the stories he’s told Ada about his life before she was born were a cover up.  Factor in a secondary plot line about a virtual reality program, a love story and jumping back and forth between time periods and you have the makings of a unnecessarily complicated story.  Just writing that paragraph was stressful!

If this book had just been about a socially inept single father raising a daughter who had to navigate the real world once her father developed Alzheimer’s, I would have liked it so much better.  That being said, the relationship between Ada and David was really beautiful, the character development was well done and the writing was enjoyable so it really wasn’t a pain to get through this one.

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The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales by Kirsty Logan

One of my Read Harder Challenge tasks was to read a collection of stories by a woman and this one was only a few dollars on Amazon so I went with it and ended up LOVING it!  They’re all short stories so I could get lost in one over lunch and WHOA, did I love that.  I just kept thinking “why don’t I read more short stories?!”  The format is so approachable and I’d end up blown away by the plot/emotion that could come through in just a few pages of writing.

They’re, as the title suggests, somewhat like a fairytale, but also jarring and heartbreaking and delightful and never what you expect.  I didn’t love every single story, but I can genuinely say they were all interesting and some of them I straight adored.  Favorites were “The Rental Heart,” “Underskirts,” “The Broken West,” “Coin-Operated Boys,” “The Gracekeeper” and “The Light Eater.”

What are you reading right now?

Have you ever read a collection of short stories?  I’d love another recommendation!