It was stupid to cancel my Audible account, but there's also a site called audiobooks.com which is essentially the same. Also, I was able to find a groupon for $8 for 2 audiobooks from audiobooks.com, plus their free book for signing up? 3 books for $8. WIN. Siiiigh, I missed the audiobooks for 1 whole week.
Rating scale:1/5 - Hated it, didn't finish.
2/5 - Tolerated it on principle to finish, didn't like it.
3/5 - Eh, didn't love it, didn't hate it. Had some good parts/kept me interested/finished it on principle.
4/5 - I liked it.
5/5 - I LURVED it and I'd read it again.
Skimmers, stick with the bold text (TL;DR* parts).
PS. Possible spoilers included in reviews.
Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking) - Christian Rudder 4/5 (ebook)
This book was interesting to me in the same way Modern Romance was interesting. The author is essentially the data manager at OkCupid or something with a more fancy title. He took the information that he had access to and showed the differences between what people say and what people do. This definitely gives us the ability to see how a person really is vs what they say they are.
Rudder also discussed how the data is used and how he was able to come up with his figures. At the end there was some talk about Snowden and government collection. If you like enjoyed the factual nature of Modern Romance, you might like this book as well.
My only issue with this book was that my version was wonky and I was done with the book at 50% of the way through because the other half of the ebook was footnotes, sources, and an index. That kinda lead to false expectations for me because I thought the book was going to go on and... it didn't. #formatfail
TL;DR: A dude from OkCupid took anonymous data and compiled it to show the difference between how people say they are and how they actually are. The graphs are pretty.
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress - Dai Sijie, Ina Rilke 4/5 (hard copy)
I won't lie, an Asian setting is usually my least favorite. I'm like what is familiar and my knowledge of Asia is limited at best. But this book was a quick, easy read and I enjoyed it. I wanted to know what happened to the boys who were sent to the village to "re-education" and how Balzac (or Ball Sack, if you're me) played into the picture. I definitely didn't expect the ending.
There were parts that were slightly tedious because it almost seemed like they weren't applicable to the story and there were parts of the end that seemed like the author was tired of writing so the story would be wrapped up as quickly as possible. Nonetheless, an enjoyable read.
TL;DR: The Seamstress wins in the end.
After You by Jojo Moyes 5/5 (audiobook)
Of my circle of readers, this book was the 2nd most celebrated sequel released in the past year. The first was the To Kill a Mockingbird sequel that everyone hated. I read some of the reviews on After You and it was a mixed bag of feelings. For me, I loved it. I loved happy endings, even if they are complicated. I love seeing a character come through a struggle and that moment where Lou realizes her difference in the lives of Sam and Will was so poignant for me. It was the link that fell into place that helped her move on, which we'd waited the entire book for.
I enjoyed that this book was still kind of about Will, but mostly about Lou. It's been forever since I read Me Before You, but I remember at times being frustrated with how everything was about Will. I loved the story, but there were definitely struggles. I also enjoyed that this book stood alone. If you hadn't read Me Before You you weren't really missing anything except some references that weren't imperative to the story.
We listened to this on audiobook, and by we, I mean, Teh German and I. He enjoyed listening to the story and told me I couldn't listen without him. He was able to enjoy the story without having knowledge of everything that happened before. There were times that I got something with a deeper understand than he did because I'd read Me Before You, but it wasn't anything that altered the meaning.
TL;DR: If you want to see what happened to Louisa after Will, read this. If you want the Will and Louisa story to remain perfect, don't read this.
- The Children of Húrin – J.R.R. Tolkin, Christopher Tolkin */5 (ebook)
- The Bonesetter’s Daughter – Amy Tan */5 (ebook)
- This Is Where I Leave You – Jonathan Tropper */5 (hard copy)
- James Herriot’s Dog Stories – James Herriot */5 (hard copy)
- All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr */5 (ebook)
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman */5 (ebook)
- Did You Ever Have a Family - Bill Clegg */5 (hard copy)
- Double Edged Secrets: U.S. Naval Intelligence Operations in the Pacific During World War II – W.J. Holmes */5 (hard copy)
- All the Bright Places - Jennifer Niven */5 (ebook)
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon */5 (ebook)
- Bossypants – Tina Fey */5 (ebook)
- Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal – Christopher Moore */5 (ebook)
- A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson */5 (ebook)
- All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten – Robert Fulghum */5 (ebook)
*TL;DR = too long, don't read