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!

Recently Consumed

A list of things consumed by my head, heart, eyes, ears and stomach lately.

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Carrot Hummus at The Pig and The Sprout

We chose this spot for our Tuesday Date Night and when they posted a picture of this luxurious looking carrot hummus on Instagram that day, I KNEW I had to order it and see what was up with those “funyun” chips.  Turns out there’s no chickpeas involved in that hummus, hence the creamy texture and those chips DID have the exact flavor of Funyuns.  We dug it!

Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino

Forgot to mention our March book club read!  Probably because I really wasn’t into it.  Basic Plot: Grad student/aspiring writer borrows a very buzzed about book from her roommate and discovers it’s about HER (very troubled) past and was written by her long lost childhood best friend turned first love.  Ugh, just writing that description reminded how annoying this book was.  The entire cast of the book seemed to cater to this very selfish and immature main character and I was not about it.

Girls Final Season

The highest respect to TV writers who had reviews of the final season of Girls out the night of the finale.  It’s been weeks and I still can’t make sense of my feelings on the show in its entirety.  I meant to write about the finale and I didn’t.  I meant to post about my favorite episodes from all six seasons and I didn’t.  I meant to figure out why I’m so conflicted about this show and I haven’t.  I will say, that final scene between Hannah and Adam was easily one of my favorite moments of the entire series.  They said so much by saying so little and though it was heartbreaking, it felt right.  Also, I will continue to pretend “Goodbye Tour” was actually the finale because Hannah and Jessa reuniting (even if only temporarily) was so touching and the whole dancing scene interspersed with snapshots of Hannah’s future was really the only ending I needed.  Plus I really hated “Latching.”

Well that “quick blurb” certainly got away from me…

Broken Angels by Gemma Liviero

This book reminded me A LOT of both All the Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale, both in the setting (Europe during WWII) and the formulation (characters from different sides of the aisle whose stories eventually combine).  That being said, I felt the effect was damaged because I kept thinking “I’ve read this all before!”  And I liked the writing in both of those other books more than this one.  Still, I liked this one well enough and wouldn’t dissuade anyone from picking it up for themselves.

Sweet Corn and Zucchini Pie

Well I’ve mentioned this recipe on the blog approximately 7,000 times, sooooo HAVE YOU MADE IT YET?  If not, I don’t know what you’re waiting for, but I’m actually not waiting for summer to eat corn and zucchini.  JOEY cooked this for ME and even though we were short a few ounces of cheese, it was still SO GOOD.  So that’s probably why I’ve talked about it so many times.  Paired with the best sweet potato fries (Joey makes them so much better than me!) and I think this meal actually willed the sun out of hiding that day.

Beloved by Toni Morrison

GUYS.  OMG.  LITERATURE!  I tried to explain to Joey — in a lengthy and cocktail induced speech — the difference between what I read in book club and actual literature and how damn refreshing it was to know within seconds of starting Beloved that is was the latter but he was probably mostly hoping I’d just stop talking 🙂  But seriously, the writing is so poetic and the story is so deeply painful and beautiful and I don’t know why it took me this long to finally pick this novel up but I’m so glad I finally did.

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Happy Friday/Cinco de Mayo/Birthday to my mother-in-law!  We are celebrating all those things the best way we know how… with burgers, fries, beer and a Rockies game!  Bet you thought I was going to say tacos and margaritas, huh? 🙂  What are you up to this weekend?