May 2022–Part One

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:

This Will be Funny Later by Jenny Pentland (Length: 351 pages).  This is a rollercoaster of a memoir penned by one of the daughters of Roseanne Barr and her first husband. Jenny talks about spending her childhood in 9 different facilities for “difficult” teens from fat camps to psychiatric wards to wilderness survival schools. Funny, poignant and a wild ride throughout, this book makes me feel very grateful for a normal childhood with non-celebrity parents. This is absolutely worth the read–I read it but I wish I would’ve listened to it on audiobook as I suspect it would translate even better in that format.

Book #2:

The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan (Length: 413 pages).  I always enjoy Jenny Colgan’s writing style and her books, and while this isn’t my favorite of hers, it’s worth a library checkout for sure. Set on a small Scottish island for the majority of the book, you follow the story of a female paralegal who has an unrequited crush on her boss at the firm in London, and who is sent back home to the island of Mure for work. You learn about what life is like living so far north in the world, including farming, small-town life and the fairy tales of “selkies”, half human/half seals. Per Jenny Colgan, the character development is fairly deep, but a fun plot and great dialogue round out the novel and you can’t wait to see what happens next.

Book #3:

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Length: 299 pages).  I was thrilled to find out this novel is my book club’s pick for May, as it’s been on my TBR since the beginning of the pandemic. I already knew it was fairly polarizing and I was curious to see which side I’d end up on . . . well, I LOVE it! Essentially this novel explores the concept of parallel universes and all of the lives we are currently living in those universes based on small decisions. Like a choose your own adventure but with higher stakes. The parallel lives are symbolized by books in a “magical” library where Nora Seed visits while dying from a suicide (which happens very early on). The writing is excellent, and the character development is obviously very deep (as the author explores the psyche and decisions of Nora in each of the many lives); there are lots of lines that I notated and can’t wait to discuss with my book club. For example: “But there is no life where you can be in a state of sheer happiness forever. And imagining there is just breeds more unhappiness in the life you’re in.” See? Great stuff! Definitely worth a read.

Book #4:

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee (Length: 386 pages).  I have seen this romance novel in the top 5 of so many Bookstagrammers’ best of lists that when I saw in on the library shelf, I had to grab it. I read it in less than 5 hours because I couldn’t put it down. This isn’t a true romance novel, in my opinion, but it’s very romantic. A 39 year-old single mom and upper-crust art gallery owner Solene takes her 12 year old daughter to see the “it” boy band in Las Vegas, and courtesy of backstage passes meets the very handsome (and 20 year old!) Hayes Campbell. Sparks fly and a whirlwind, secret romance is on. Both are very wealthy so it’s fun to read about travel to beautiful hotels and places, the writing is excellent here (the author is a successful actress too), the character development is surprisingly strong for a romance novel, and there’s, of course, lots of open-door romance happening. I thought this was a very realistic, open-eyed portrayal of how society doesn’t accept this type of May-December romance with the roles reversed by gender. I will always remember (and recommend) this fun read. There’s a movie being cast already, and I’m not surprised.

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