7.06.2013

What I Read - May/June Edition

May and June were quiet months on the reading front as we dove head first into summer. Gardening, bike riding, cookouts, park visits, swimming, and the like have kept us busy and kept me from reading a ton. That and the fact that the book I started in May was a million pages long (ok, 600, but still).


This was a long book. LONG. It had been on my To-Read list for awhile and then I found a deal for it on BookBub for my Kindle. The book follows Eveline as she finishes up high school and enters adulthood. It is written from her perspective and often gets lost in her complicated mind. She has many friends, admirers, and always has a boyfriend yet she is never content. She never feels understood, not even by her self. She seemingly stumbles along in life without direction until Rourke enters the picture. They begin a tumultuous relationship that plays itself out through the entire book, even during long absences from each other. You're never sure where their relationship is going but it is resolved by the end.

The beginning of this books sucked me in and I didn't put it down because I wanted to know what happened to the characters. But at the same time I didn't really like Eveline or Rourke. I liked their humanity, but they both just seemed to over complicate their lives unnecessarily to the point that it just got annoying over the 600 pages. I liked the writing style and the glimpse into Eveline's mind, but the characters were just too unrelatable for me to fully enjoy the book. And it was a huge time investment. I don't think I would recommend this one.


I first discovered Kelly Oxford when I start blogging on Tumblr a few years ago. She was one of the first blogs I followed because 1) she was a mom and 2) she was funny as hell. She documents conversations with her three kids and husband that can be laugh out loud. Did I mention she's Canadian? Bonus! She has been writing on the blogosphere and Twittering for years yet as she has stepped into the spotlight more recently she has received a lot of criticism. The same kind of criticism many female comedians seem to get: too full of herself, not funny, a condescending bitch. I disagree with all of it.

If you read any of the things Kelly has written either on a blog or on Twitter, you will love this book. It is a collection of essays spanning her lifetime, a mini memoir of sorts. It is fun and funny and makes you glad you didn't buy a van and move to a tiny Canadian island with your best friend to smoke pot all the time and hang out with loggers until your money ran out. I like her style of humor because it's blunt without pushing it to the limits of South Park. It's relatable. Body image (who doesn't feel fat after having three kids?), parenting, teenage shenanigans, being too hungover to have brunch with David Copperfield in Vegas. We've all been there, right? I think her cockiness is much more tongue in cheek than her critics give her credit for. I enjoyed this book and will continue to read what Kelly puts out. Also, you should follow her on Twitter. She has some nice responses for her "biggest fans" sometimes. And she tweets at Drake to no response. If that's not baller status then I don't know what is.


This is one of the first books I've picked up close to its publication date in a while. I'm usually pretty far behind on the new releases but this one was getting such good reviews I went ahead and splurged. It tells the tale of fourteen year old June and her Uncle Finn. It is set in the eighties and Finn ends up dying of AIDS. This sets off a sequence of events that alters June's perspective on her entire world and ends up shaping her entire family as well. I couldn't put it down and was glad that there were breaks every few pages so I could cram in reading it whenever I had a spare few minutes.

As I put the book down I realized something: I felt a little hollow. As I thought about it, Brunt did a great job developing the hows of the characters. How their idiosyncrasies manifested themselves in the characters lives, how they interacted with each other and their world, how they thought. But there was very little why. Why did Greta begin to hate the spotlight and turn to alcohol? Why did Toby let his VISA run out and end up basically in hiding? Why did June isolate herself so much from those around her? There were some weaker explanations for the whys, but I didn't end the book feeling like I really knew the characters. It felt shallow. Still, it was a great book. The story really makes you think and evaluate your own relationships. Are you holding any grudges that are hurting no one but you? Are you being honest and open with those closest to you?: This book illustrates the lesson that pride can get in the way of so many things. But sometimes there is enough time to make it right before the end.
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No idea what I'll start next, though the unread pile of books on my shelf and Kindle is long. What have you read lately?

[Disclaimer: If you click on the above Amazon links and purchase anything I receive a small commission from Amazon. Like a few cents. Buying from Amazon is awesome, but your local library is pretty cool too.]

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