This should have been the perfect year for reading. We've been ordered to stay home as much as possible. I work from home and have a job that, unlike my last one, does not require any external preparation or work done outside of my Monday-Friday, 8-4:30 hours. I'm not in school, teaching, or doing anything that requires any type of solid commitment. The list goes on and on.
(I think I'm just going to use that to explain away anything or justify why I haven't been productive in certain areas of my life.)
I had a lofty reading goal this year - 150 books. I started the year pretty strong, but now I've stagnated, and Goodreads tells me that I'm currently around 65 books behind where I should be to reach that goal. I'm not surprised. I've had so much trouble reading and focusing on things. I know I'm not alone, but it's frustrating because I love to read, but I'm falling short on actually doing it. I'm trying to give myself some grace and get back into the swing of things, so I'm joining this linkup for the first time in a while! Maybe this will help me jump back into reading again and knock that snarky little message off of my Goodreads tracker...
Disclosure: If you click on the picture of the book, then it will take you to an Amazon purchase link. If you choose to buy the book from that link, I will earn a few pennies from it. It won't cost you anything extra, so it's a win-win situation! 😉 If you click on the title of the book, it'll take you to a Goodreads link for the book. Last thing - if you want to be friends on Goodreads, add me!
Number of books read in October: 7
Number of books read in 2020: 64
1. Too Much and Never Enough by Mary Trump
I had high hopes for this one. I wanted her to dish some dirt, spill some tea, give up the scoop, etc. Unfortunately, I found it kind of meh. She did reveal some history about the family that I wasn't aware of, but there wasn't a ton of information about Trump himself. She gave good information about how his personality was shaped as a child due to his family, and there were some other interesting parts in the book, but overall I didn't find it as scandalous or controversial as I expected it to be.
Recommended for: nosy people like me who enjoy reading about public figures (I almost said celebrities, but so help me, I can't call this man a celebrity...).
2. Melania and Me by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff
The three Trump-related books that I requested from my libary's eBook app all came in within a day of each other. There's an option to delay holds, but since I'm trying to get back into the reading habit, I went ahead and checked this one out as well. This one was more interesting than Too Much. Wolkoff spent time explaining her relationship with Melania and providing insight into her as a person; well, as much insight as she could. It turns out that Melania is kind of a closed book. Shocking, right? There was a lot of political talk in this since Wolkoff worked in the administration, so I glossed over those parts, but I did enjoy the personal insights.
Recommended for: same as above - nosy people. Also, people who have wondered about the dynamic of POTUS' and FLOTUS' relationship. This book doesn't tell much about it, but it gives a tiny bit of insight into their lives.
3. The Art of Her Deal by Mary Jordan
The final book of my Trump-related trio! This book focused on Melania's background and how she went from being a fledgling model in Europe to the wife of the 45th president of the United States. There were a couple of themes that came up, such as her being very focused and serious about things, as well as her neglecting people from one stage of her life each time she moved on to the next stage. This book gave me a better picture of how and why their relationship works.
Recommended for: see above two statements!
4. The Farm by Joanne Ramos
Now for a palate cleanser! Ha! I can't decide if I really enjoyed this one or if I'm kind of meh about it. The concept of it seems unique and a little terrifying (check out the description by clicking on the title or image above), but there were a few things that just didn't quite click with me. On the flip side, it did keep my attention and kept me guessing until the end, so there's that.
Recommended for: those who like "could this actually happen?" type stories or anyone who needs a little bit of fiction after reading three Trump-adjacent books in a row...
5. A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost
I'm a lukewarm fan of modern SNL (I'm a lifelong Will Ferrell fan, and I will fight you about it), but I do enjoy the Weekend Update portion of the show. Also, as I mentioned above, I'm a fan of books by and about famous and infamous people. His book was funny enough, and it was interesting to read more about the SNL writing/rehearsal process, but I just kind of made my way through this one without being super invested in it.
Recommended for: SNL fans, fans of comedians/writers/celebrities, people who read celebrity autobiographies or biographies regardless of the subject (that's me!)
6. Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel
I think I read about this one on another blogger's post, but I can't remember who it was! I enjoyed this one, so thank you random person! This is a story about a mother and daughter reuniting after the mother is released from prison for aggravated child abuse against her daughter. Phew! This story has some twists and turns that kept me guessing!
Recommended for: mystery fans, fans of complicated family relationships, anyone who likes a good revenge story...
7. The Honey-Don't List by Christina Lauren
This one was my lightest fiction read for the month, which I needed after those other couple of heavy fiction titles! It tells the story of a couple who have a remodeling television show and a new book coming out...I'm not going to say it reminds me of anyone in particular, but I definitely think it was supposed to be a certain Texas-based couple who have a magazine, books, bakery, silos, etc. Catch my drift? The story is told from the perspectives of the assistants to the man and woman, and I'm sure just by looking at the cover, you can tell that there is going to be some kind of romantic involvement...
Recommended for: fans of light romances, fans of semi-generic "chick lit", people who want to speculate if the people this book seems to be modeled after actually act like the book characters (guess which camp I fall into?!?)
Did not finish:
1. Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker
I'm not sure where I read about this book, but I received a notification that my library eBook hold was available. The concept of this book was interesting - a family with twelve children and half of them diagnosed with schizophrenia - but I just couldn't get into it. Maybe I'll try it again down the road.
2. United States of Socialism by Dinesh D'Souza
In the interest of full disclosure, I consider myself a pretty left-leaning liberal. However, I've been trying to seek out viewpoints from "the other side" in order to try to understand where some of their thoughts and rhetoric comes from. When I saw this one available for a fast-track checkout on my library's eBook app, I checked it out. Then, another title I had put on hold became available, and I had already reached my checkout limit, so I returned this one in about half a second to be able to read the one I had actually selected. This is another "maybe eventually" title.
This month's favorite book: This is a tough one because I enjoyed all of the fiction ones pretty equally! I think I'll go with Darling Rose Gold because I didn't figure out the twist in it. They all were good and meh in their own ways though!
This month's least favorite book: Too Much and Never Enough - it wasn't a bad book, but it just wasn't my favorite this month.
Have you read any of these books? Tell me what you think about them if you did!