Archive for the 'capsule book reviews' Category

2015: A Bookish Year in Review

Yes, ideally a reflection on the year’s reading gone by is done before the year is over, but better late than never, right?

In 2015, I read 86 books in total, which is an all-time record for me, and blew past my annual goal of 65 books! I’m not really sure what to credit for this huge leap in numbers, other than 1) I received a Kindle, which makes it easier for me to immediately begin a new book after finishing an old one, 2) I have a long subway commute to work, and 3) a loss in my family resulted in me reading near-constantly for a week or so in order to cope with some of the stuff I was thinking and feeling. Reasons both good and bad, then.

The average length of the books I read in 2015 was 341 pages, with the shortest read being Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant, and the longest being The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. My average star rating was a 3.3, or pretty average. (Still wishing there were half-star options on Goodreads, argh!)

There are a ton more interesting stats on my Goodreads Year in Review page. I encourage you to check it out!

What I think is a bit more telling of me and my reading style, though, are the 2015 books that I gave 5 stars to, 6 out of 7 of which were written by women. Mini-reviews of each can be found after the jump!

Continue reading ‘2015: A Bookish Year in Review’

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Capsule Book Reviews: June and July 2012

I have read a lot in the past few weeks. Chalk that up to 1) having completed graduate school and 2) being unemployed. For perhaps the first time, I’m actually ahead of schedule in terms of finishing 50 books this year!

However, I wasn’t really feeling up to writing longer reviews for various reasons. Instead, I’m going to try out some capsule reviews. I figure it’s better to only write one or two sentences about a book I’ve read than struggle to write a full review and end up with nothing at all! (The titles are linked to the books’ GoodReads pages, in case you’d like to read others’ thoughts!)

Room, by Emma Donoghue: It feels sort of weird to say I enjoyed a book about a woman kidnapped and held in a room for seven years, during which time she has a child who grows up thinking the room is a world unto itself, but I did. The voice of Jack, the child, ranges from sweetly innocent to precocious to angry, but the narrative device never feels stale. Despite what I felt were a few missteps in the latter half of the book, this was a well-done novel and it’s definitely earned all of its critical praise. Four out of five stars.

The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWitt: I can appreciate a good send-up of a genre, but for some reason, this didn’t work for me. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. There were some flashes of brilliance, such as the brothers’ encounter with a mysterious old woman, but I suppose I wanted a more concrete/less meandering storyline. Three out of five stars.

The Murder of the Century, by Paul Collins: I was actually much more interested in the yellow journalism side of this story as compared to the murder-mystery aspect. Learning about Pulitzer and Hearst and the general newspaper arena in the early 1900s was really engaging, and really informative. If you’re a fan of Newsies, you’ll probably like this. A solid three out of five stars.

Continue reading ‘Capsule Book Reviews: June and July 2012’


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