Summertime is Reading Time

Some people don’t read much in the summer – they are busy going here and there, spending time outside, catching a tan, and so forth.

I hate heat, I hate sweating, I hate summer….so I stay inside a lot. And read. 🙂

Here is what’s caught my attention lately….


All the Time in the World by Caroline Angell was a review copy from the lovely folks at FSB Associaties, and is being pitched to folks who enjoy JoJo Moyes or Jonathan Tropper (both of whom I LOVE)! Charlotte is a nanny to an upscale family in New York City, having set aside her dreams of becoming a composer. When tragedy strikes (which was so incredibly predictable), Charlotte must decide how to proceed in helping the family to whom she has become so attached. I didn’t see any echoes of the wit or plotting of Moyes or Tropper, but the story was fine enough…IF you enjoy endless conversations between youngsters and nannies, which is what about 80% of this book is. Yes, it tried to capture that coming-of-age feel, but with disjointed stories about betrayal (uh, what?), totally unconvincing romantic possibilities, growing up, and lots and LOTS of nannying, I just wasn’t feeling it. This novel, for me, lacked the humor of The Nanny Diaries, and the emotional investment of Me Before You; it just…is. I did enjoy the way the author played with the timeline of the novel, forcing the reader to be nimble in figuring out where we are in the story, but otherwise, this one left me pretty disappointed, because with the plot, it could have been GREAT. I wanted to like it so much more than I did…

Grunt by Mary Roach is her latest foray into uncovering science in unusual places – this time, in our military. Roach fearlessly tackles sexy topics like diarrhea, bugs, uniforms and BASH (Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard). I adore Roach in all her dorkiness in covering these stories, interviewing folks, and making science reading fascinating, funny and endlessly informative. Each chapter tackles a different topic, and this is not the type of book you read start to finish – instead, reading a chapter here and there. Roach is approachable, readable, hilarious and I love the way she inserts herself into the story, even though it’s nonfiction. Anything by Roach is a gem – pick one out and get to reading!

The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen was a review copy from Engelman & Company – Pekkanen is always a solid recommendation for reader’s of smart women’s fiction and is popular around my library. This time, Pekkanen takes us to idyllic Newport Cove, one of the safest communities in America…where everyone has a secret. Emotional infidelity, Congressional races, remarriage, and a new couple to the neighborhood who have the biggest secret of all round out the story. I always enjoy Pekkanen – she’s easy to read, has realistic female characters, and moves things along…but this one felt a little empty for me. I’m afraid that in a few weeks, if you ask me about the characters or the secrets, I won’t remember any of them! That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it – I did! – it just didn’t “stick” with me the way some of her earlier works have. I DID love the “neighborhood listserv” that opened every chapter, which brought great humor and “small town feel” to the novel! Pekkanen is easy to recommend to readers in my library, and this one is no different for folks looking for a read-alike for Liane Moriarty or Emily Giffin.

I also read Nookietown by VC Chickering, which had a fantastic premise but didn’t hold up for me (it just got a bit too twee, and had entirely too many female characters floating around), as well as Hopeless by Colleen Hoover, who ALWAYS seems to stretch the bonds of plausibility to the breaking point – is that really what New Adult fiction is about? I think we can do better….

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