What I’m Reading: January to February, 2012

I love books. I love when you’re reading and you get to the meat of the book and you don’t want to put it down. I love when you get so invested in a character that when the book ends, your experience with them doesn’t. In January and February I read a lot of books, so instead of covering the books I read in a three-month time span, this year I’m going to attempt to do it in a two-month time span. January and February featured a couple of mediocre books, but it also featured some of my favorite finds in awhile. Let’s dig in.

Julie & Julia. Ever since I saw the adorable flick starring the ever endearing Amy Adams and the always amazing Meryl Streep, I’ve wanted to read this autobiography. The best thing I liked about the book was that it invoked my culinary side. I am still craving Julia Child’s crepes and plan to whip up a batch very soon. However, the pacing was a little off. The book was based on Julie Powell’s blog, and you can tell that she had some difficulties adapting her daily musings into a novel format. I much preferred the movie. 2 1/2 STARS

Poison Study. I love a good young adult fantasy book every once in awhile. They’re usually fun and easy to read. But this particular book far exceeded my YA expectations. It featured a very strong heroine, which is something that I always admire, especially in a book geared toward young women. Yelena is scheduled to be executed, but instead is offered the role as food tester for the Commander, a job that merely postpones death as she risks her life tasting possibly poisoned food every day. I know it doesn’t sound very exciting, but it is. There’s poison, magic, fighting, romance and really well-written characters. 4 STARS

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Simply put, Mindy Kaling is hilarious. If we met, I just know in my heart that we would become life-long friends. This book is part autobiograpy, part random musings from a very funny woman. Mindy is most popular from her role on the NBC sitcom The Office where she plays the pop-culture queen in customer service, Kelly Kapoor. Mindy starts her book as many memoirs often do, chronicling her childhood, her awkward teenage years and her journey to fame. Then she trails off into list making, many of which were hit and miss. My favorite, however, was titled Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities. She states that best friends must respect one another, be honest and gentle about their choice in clothes, and attempt to like each other’s boyfriends at least five times. Pick this book up if you’re a girl who likes to laugh. 4 STARS

A Dirty Job. This book came highly recommended to me by a friend, but I just didn’t get the same magical feeling from it as she did. Although I enjoyed it, most of the story didn’t feel sincere in places that I felt sincerity was necessary; and a lot of the writing didn’t make me laugh in places that I knew the author assumed laughs were guaranteed. However, the author (Christopher Moore) creates an interesting mythology about death and the passing of souls that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about. If you’re a Christopher Moore fan, check it out. 3 1/2 STARS

The Grammar Devotional. It took me about two years to get through these 365 grammar tips, but I finally finished it. As an editor, it was nice to take a little time out of each day and brush up on my grammar. Check it out if you have the same nerdy tendencies as me. 5 STARS

Now & Then. I read this book because it’s about time travel—a plot device that I gobble up every time. However, this was a tough one to get through. With a plot device that should draw a reader like me in at every turn of the page, I was left feeling underwhelmed most of the time. I think it was because I didn’t fall in love with the characters as much as I would have liked to. Anna O’Shea accidentally travels back in time with her nephew Joseph to 19th century Ireland. The two get separated and live completely opposite lives until they finally find one another in this foreign land and attempt to return to their 21st century lives. Anna never felt like a strong enough character for me, and I never really connected with Joseph, as he always seemed bratty to me. I don’t know. The characters went through a lot in the story, but I always felt very “blah” toward them. (A very technical term, I know.) 2 1/2 STARS

An Offer from a Gentleman. Oh Julia Quinn. You do it every time. You write a romance novel so compelling and so fun that you leave me wanting more. Although this wasn’t my favorite in the Bridgerton series (as it was a little too mushy) I loved it all the same. The story is based on the Cinderella fairy tale, but with a small twist. Sophie, the bastard daughter of an earl, is left to live with her evil step mother and her two daughters. (Sound familiar?) She is given one night away from them in secret by her house maid where she meets Anthony Bridgerton at one of the famous Bridgerton balls. You can guess where the story goes from here. 4 STARS

Attachments. I am so happy that I stumbled upon this book. Attachmennts is about Lincoln, a man who seems to have lost his way. Set in 1999, Lincoln takes a job as an Internet security officer. He’s not too comfortable with the job and knows that it’s not something he wants to do on a regular basis. His job consists of monitoring company e-mails for a local newspaper in Nebraska. As e-mails get flagged for “inappropriate content” or “misuse of company time,” Lincoln reads them and sends the offenders a warning. In his e-mail reads, two best friends constantly appear in his flagged folder: Beth and Jennifer. However, he enjoys reading their e-mails so much that he can’t bring himself to send them a warning. Instead, he finds himself reading their back-and-forth on a regular basis. Then he finds himself falling for Beth. What comes before love at first sight? 🙂 Seriously, though. I loved this book and thought it was such a cute story. Lincoln is a great character, and I could read Beth and Jennifer’s e-mails forever. They are such great friends. I wish my work e-mails were just as witty. 5 STARS

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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6 Comments

Filed under Books

6 responses to “What I’m Reading: January to February, 2012

  1. peytbaldwin

    I just finished the Hunger Games series. I’m glad you did another book post though because I love getting my next read from recommendations. 🙂

  2. confessionsofafauxmaterialsscientist

    Hey Gina–

    Thanks for posting your latest reads! I’ve been curious about the book Attachments and now I think I’ll check it out! The best two books I’ve read this year are Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and Rez Life by David Truer. Some people have very strong negative opinions about Great Expectations, but I loved it. It’s a great coming of age story with some mystery and a touch of romance thrown in. Rez Life has been the most pleasant suprise of the year for me. I found out about it via Shelf Awareness (I don’t know if you subscribe to that newsletter or not), and I had a really hard time putting it down. It’s basically a history of the modern Indian reservation and stories of contemporary Indian life (written by a professor of creative writing at USC who grew up on an Indian Reservation). It’s a nice blend of memoir, history, and journalism. It might not be your cup of tea, but I thought it was great.

    Looking forward to hearing about your next reads!

  3. Great recommendations! I LOVE Mindy Kaling’s book! She was cracking me up! Just as much as Tina Fey’s book.

  4. Pingback: My Travels: A Day at Del Mar Beach | San Diego, California |

  5. @peytbaldwin I’m so excited to hear that you read this. Now we can talk about it at length. Get to reading the other two now. 🙂

    @confessionsofafauxmaterialsscientist I had a feeling that was you, Heather. 🙂 I need to pick up a classic like Great Expectations. I haven’t read one probably since college, or at the very least since Mrs. Davis assigned us one. 🙂

    @themoodiefoodie1 Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I loved Mindy Kaling’s book just as much as Tina Fey’s, if not more. 🙂

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