Patience’s Book Reviews

You won’t find a long-winded, in-depth, or even literate dissection/summary of what I read. Just what I think! I’ll try not to use the self-aggrandizing compliment/insult sandwich tactic but it’s difficult since books are a mixed bag. Please know that if I list a book here, it affected me in a positive way. Because I read books for a living, I don’t have much time to read outside of work. I fight for every extra word I read. Here are the books that I am loving right now.

Lost Connections by Johann Hari

I saw this author on Bill Maher and ran to the bookstore (pressed click to buy). It’s a life-changer if you deal with depression. Many lives are so much better because of depression meds and I say Yay to that. Many deal with depression in non-Rx ways–and I say Yay to that. This book is a thoughtful, well researched, and heartfelt discussion of what can lead to depression and how reconnecting helps. I went into this feeling skeptical yet hopeful and, at the end, very motivated to get off the couch–even though the political landscape remains dismal. Be warned, it does not read like a self help book. This girl usually loves an easy fix with quick answers, but here, I got data, examples, experts, and a strong narrative.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman needs to read Lost Connections. God help me, I love a drunk agoraphobic protagonist so I read every page with sheer delight–well, except for where the villain is revealed and you get that “I did this because of this and in this way and now you’re going to die. Ahahahaha.” Then again, I read so much suspense that you can’t shock me anymore. I am digging for the bad guy from pg. 1, even with an unreliable narrator, so no surprises here. And yet, this writer is masterful with his twists, characters, and nods (more than nods, outright hugs) to movie classics. A gorgeous character study that will resonate with those who prefer to stay indoors at all times (I’m not naming names). I bought the hardcover, read it, then hauled it in to work to loan to a colleague. Colleague read it and gave it back to me. Because I didn’t want to carry it home, I loaned it to someone else. How dare these authors write beyond the usual 250 pages!

Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates

I’ve been too intimidated to tackle Oates–I took no English classes at Oberlin, there I said it–but considering that I have a milestone birthday coming up (effing fifty!) and she’s a must-read, what the hell am I waiting for? Now that I’ve started Blonde, I’m wondering why it took me so long. This will take forever for me to finish because I want to savor it all. Blonde is just lovely prose, a  journey on every page. I can almost see the author blasting away, immersing herself in description. “Norma Jeane” comes to life. I’m only on p. 53 out of 700+ so it could take a tragic turn….

Jewels: A Secret History by Victoria Finlay

I didn’t care that much about jewelry until my husband gave me an engagement ring–my very first diamond. Now I love looking in the window of Barneys and seeing all the things I can’t buy. So much sparkle! I started with Stoned by Aja Raden (amazing!) and she mentioned Jewels. Here, Finlay delves into assorted vignettes of renowned stones: diamonds, amber, jet, emeralds, etc… Beautifully written and if you love history, travel, science, and gems, you might fall in love. I am only on the jet chapter, but considering I didn’t know that jet existed until now, my mind is already blown. Did you know that an insect caught in amber could be 10K years old? What other treasures do I have yet to discover?

Behold, gorgeous covers.

5 thoughts on “Patience’s Book Reviews”

  1. I hear there’s another good paranormal romance and urban fantasy out there :-). Actually, I just finished a fabulous book called Julie and Romeo Get Lucky, by Jeanne Ray. (It’s the follow up to Julie and Romeo, which was also great.) I’m not sure what you’d call it–women’s fiction, maybe? It’s not typical anything. The two protagonists are in their 60’s with complicated families. Just lovely.

  2. I absolutely love reading! I used to read about 60 books a year but then all my free time seemed to disappear and now I am lucky to read 2-3 a month. You are so lucky to be able to read for a living. That would be my dream job!

    1. Carolyn, 2-3 books is pretty awesome as long as you love those books. Life sure gets busy, huh? I am very lucky I get paid to read, but at the same time, a lot of what I do is not reading. I take what I can get. It’s lovely that there is no shortage of amazing stories to read.

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