What I’ve Been Reading…

Recent Reads

It’s time to link up with Steph and Jana for another edition of Show Us Your Books and I have a confession to make: I may be slightly obsessed with getting the Audible Daily Deals. I just can’t stop! Through this, I’ve found a couple of good reads and a couple of duds. Here’s what I read/listened to this month:

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
5/5 stars on Goodreads

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
I had this book on my nightstand for months, I reached the maximum amount of library renewals on it but I’m so glad I finally took the time to read it before sending it back. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. It was an entertaining satire on Seattle culture and definitely made me laugh out loud a few times. This book is about a 15-year old, Bee, searching for her notoriously outrageous mother, Bernadette. It’s written in the form of correspondence between Bernadette and various other adult characters with Bee’s narrative popping in here and there. I fell in love with both Bee and Bernadette and thought the story was funny, cute and heartwarming. A perfect light-hearted read!

The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra 
4/5 stars on Goodreads

The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra
I both loved and not so loved this collection of short stories. I wouldn’t normally think of myself as a fan of short stories but The Tsar of Love and Techno changed that. I will definitely give them a fair shot now and this author in particular is so very talented. This book of stories starts with a censor and a work of art in the 1930’s USSR and takes us back in forth in time between then and now. I loved the complexity of the characters, the vivid descriptions and how the stories all connected in the end. It could have actually passed for a novel. The stories touch on war, love, family and ultimately the power of art. The thing I not so loved was how difficult it was to get through and understand at times because I don’t have an expert knowledge of Russian history. There were points where I was lost and had to Google things. I highly recommend this book but be prepared to work your brain while reading it and to feel a lot of emotions! I received this in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books. All opinions are my own.

Bream Gives Me Hiccups by Jesse Eisenberg
2/5 stars on Goodreads

Bream Gives Me Hiccups by Jesse Eisenberg
This was an Audible Daily Deal for $1.95 and I’ve thought that Jesse Eisenberg is pretty funny in his movies so I thought this collection of short stories would be a fun read. I was pretty disappointed for a couple of reasons. One, although there were a few moments that made me laugh, overall it was just pretty stupid. Two, I could not figure out if the stories were connected or not. Sometimes it seemed like there were overlapping characters and sometimes they were completely random. I’m not sure if the overlapping characters were intentional or if they just didn’t think of new ideas for character personalities. The best story was by far the first one, “Restaurant Reviews from a Privileged Nine-Year Old” that actually touched on some real issues with humor. It was all downhill from there. All of the other stories had a few funny moments combined with mostly outrageous or boring moments. So, it was probably worth the $1.95 but I would say to skip this one.

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes
4/5 stars on Goodreads

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes
This was another Audible Daily Deal and this one, was so so worth it. It’s a compelling work of historical fiction that opened my eyes to a part of American history that I had no idea about. The book is made up of the interwoven stories of two women a century apart, Mei Lein and Inara. I really liked both characters and loved the way the author blended past and present. I think it was a touching, beautiful written story and recommend it!

Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman
3/5 stars on Goodreads

Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman
Another Daily Deal…told you I’m obsessed…this one wasn’t bad but it wasn’t anything special either. It’s about a dirty, vacant lot in a run down neighborhood that is transformed into a beautiful garden after one young girl plants a seed, inspiring her neighbors to do the same. It’s written from 13 different perspectives, neighbors with all different backgrounds and stories. I think this is a good book for kids, it reminds us of the melting pot that is our country and how we can all find common ground.

I’m officially on track with my Goodreads 2016 reading challenge after this month, woohoo! Happy reading!

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  • I’m interested in The Girl Who Wtote in Silk, it sounds like something I’d probably enjoy.

    I loved Bernadette!

  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette sounds so good. Adding it to my TBR list. For some reason, I thought it was a more serious book. I had the same problem as the Jesse Eisenberg book when I read B.J. Novak’s book of stories. I didn’t enjoy them much and they weren’t that funny to me.

    • I actually thought that too when I first read the description but it ended up being a pretty light read. I guess not all comedians humor comes off the same in books, now that I think of it I felt the same way with some other actors books!

  • I thought The Tsar of Love and Techno was very interesting (though I liked the second half of the short stories better for some reason. I think it took me a while to get into it). My parents grew up in the Soviet Union, so I knew all the background info. I can imagine it would be a bit frustrating to have to Google a lot of it!

    • I liked the first few stories and the last few a lot. It was in the middle that I got lost trying to keep up with all the characters stories and all the history facts. But it all tied up pretty nicely in the end! Im sure it helped having the extra background!

  • They are just too good to pass up! I’ve never tried a return, that’s good to know. Thanks Erika!

  • A Mindful Migration

    Where’d You Go Bernadette has been on my TBR for a long time. One of my friends just raves about it. I need to pick it up.

  • Steph Gregerson

    I loved Where’d You Go Bernadette – that was one of my favorites last year!

  • Bernadette is one of those books that confuses me. I read a review and I think “I need to read that!”. I read another and think “meh.” Obviously, I need to give it a look and decide for myself!

    • It’s different, so I think it’s hard to convey what the book is like in a review without giving it all away. Definitely worth a shot though!

  • I loved Bernadette! I know it gets mixed reviews around blogland but I’m glad someone else enjoyed it as much as I did.

    I also really enjoyed Jesse Eisenberg’s book. The restaurant one, which I believe was the opening story, was probably one of my favorites, too. Also the one about the college freshman.

    • I loved Bernadette too! I want a friend like her! LOL
      The restaurant one and the college freshman one were probably my favorites too, the rest just weren’t very memorable for mr.

  • Darcy from A Memory of Us

    I have had that Bernadette book on my read list for like a year. I need to fix that!
    http://www.amemoryofus.com

  • i recently read bernadette and wasn’t the biggest fan of it. it was okay but i didn’t love it. i listened to it though, and the narrator was Kathleen Wilhoite and I don’t mean to be mean, but she has an extremely annoying voice haha (she’s an actress, was in gilmore girls). but anyway. the girl who wrote in silk sounds super interesting! i need to sign up for audible’s daily deal email lol

    • I just googled Kathleen Wilhoite to see which character she was in GG and you’re right, she does have an annoying voice! I think some books are better read than listened to, I sometimes wonder if I would like an Audible book better if I had read it instead…I’m listening to one now called The Days of Abandonment that I think I would like better as a physical book but oh well, another Daily Deal – yes, you need to sign up but Beware! It’s addictive 🙂