March 2022–Part Two

Thank you for joining me here!   I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (Length: 637 pages).  This incredible novel was my book club’s pick for the month of March. I’m OBSESSED! Comprised of five different story arcs of five people in various locations and time periods, it’s a bit difficult to follow in the beginning 100 pages or so (I cannot imagine listening to this one on audio given this). However, all five stories are tied together with a series of ancient Greek text, and these disparate characters and settings all come together at the very end to create magic. All of the characters are fully drawn, the writing quality is incredible (he IS a Pulitzer Prize winner, after all), and it’s sad AND witty. While some time periods are more interesting to me than others, I enjoyed all of them and I was sad to end this novel . . . all 600 plus pages of it.

Book #2:

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory (Length: 335 pages).  I was in the mood for something more light-hearted after the previous novel, and this fun, well-written romantic comedy about the protagonist who is proposed to at a Dodgers game on the Jumbotron (against her wishes) fit the bill. The man who rescues her is then a part of her life going forward. She’s a journalist and he’s a pediatrician, giving them both more depth than typical romantic interests. This novel is the next in the series after The Wedding Date, which I haven’t read, but I may check it out someday. I enjoyed this novel–it’s not too angsty and has more depth than typical romances, which I appreciate.

Book #3:

A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost (Length: 320 pages). I listened to this memoir on audio specifically because I heard it’s a fantastic listen, and that recommendation was spot on. I LOVED this book! Read by the author, Colin Jost describes his childhood (and all of its travails) as well as his stand-up comedy career, his travels and his stint co-hosting The Weekend Update on SNL. I’m not super familiar with him (other than knowing he’s married to Scarlett Johansson) but I really enjoyed this on audio. It’s LOL funny, endearing, clever, well-written and very interesting to listen to. I never got bored and it made my morning commute much more bearable. I’d definitely recommend as an audiobook.

Book #4:

The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg (Length: 234 pages). I don’t recall how this came onto my radar but I’m really glad I finally picked it up. It’s a steampunk-ish fantasy novel set in 19th century London, and features a young woman who apprentices to a paper magician. It’s similar to Harry Potter but much more gritty (and gory). The reviews of this book are very polarizing but I quite enjoyed it. The battle scenes between the excisioners (magicians who remove body parts) and the “good guys” are pretty graphic but I didn’t think they were gratuitous at all. The plot is very propulsive and I found the writing quality to be very good overall. I’ve read that the series gets progressively better so I’ll absolutely keep reading the next time I’m in the mood for a fantasy novel.

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