Aug 6, 2014


Ever since I started grad school four years ago, I've struggled to find time to read for fun. Don't get me wrong. I read ALL day long. I read for school, I read my students' papers, I read blogs both for pleasure and research. I'm basically always reading, and if I'm not, I probably should be. But somewhere along the line reading for fun fell by the wayside. Fiction, especially, got buried under articles about literacy research and ungraded ENG 101 essays. So last year, in 2013, I made a goal to start reading for fun again. I made a rule that once I'm in bed for the night, I am only allowed to read for pleasure {which I've discovered helps me sleep so much better, by the way}. My goal went fairly well for most of last year, and then I had a baby and fell off the bandwagon in the fall. So when this January rolled around, I refocused myself and decided that 2014 would be the year I finally read at least one book for fun each month. We are over halfway through the year now, and I'm happy to say I've kept up with my goal so far. Today, I'm here to share my mid-year book report with you...

Someday, Someday, Maybe - I love Lorelai Gilmore and Sarah Braverman. When Parenthood goes off the air after next season, I'll probably just sit around in silence waiting for the next drama starring Lauren Graham to premiere. However, I honestly didn't love Lauren's novel. I chuckled a few times and I read it fairly quickly. It just didn't click with me the way her TV shows do.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? - Loved it. So much. This was the first novel I've read in a long time where I wanted to tear through every page. I was eager to go to bed each night, just so I could keep reading this book. It was funny, witty, happy, sad, and slightly mysterious all at the same time. I would recommend it to anyone, but if you are from the Seattle area like I am it's even more of a must-read. Her descriptions of the city and its overly intellectual, tree hugging people are spot-on, and I could picture local spots around town through her writing.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - I read the first two in this trilogy over Christmas break in 2012, but then school started and I never got to read the third book until now. These novels are captivating but a little dark. One of the main themes is exposing violence and abuse against women, so the story line feels heavy. However, this novel, just like its counterparts, was really well written and the plot was quick-moving despite the books' length.

Freefall to Fly - If you like Ann Voskamp's writing, you will probably like this book as well. I personally have never been into stream of consciousness writing, which I realized the first time I was forced to read Virginia Woolf in 10th grade, so it was hard for me to get through this book, despite its short length. However, I feel like Rebekah and I would be great friends if we met, and I did find myself relating to her struggles with anxiety. It was just the actual style of writing that prevented me from fully engaging with her story, but that's just a personal taste thing.

Gone Girl - This book is all the rage right now, and the movie is coming out soon. I liked it. I wouldn't give it a 10 though. Maybe like a 9? It actually took me a while to get into it. And the ending is kind of depressing. But that's the way it's supposed to be. Flynn did such a great job with the plot that there's no chance of a truly happy OR truly sad ending, which is strangely brilliant. I heard a rumor that she changed the ending for the film so people won't know what happens. If that's true, she's doubly brilliant.

Eleanor and Park - This book was so-so. It was a fast read and entertaining, but in the back of my mind I was like "these two kids would never get together in real life." They are supposed to be an unlikely couple, but they are too unlikely to even imagine outside of fiction. Eleanor and Park is set in the 1980s, but I've heard Rowell's other novel, Attachments, is even better because it's set in the 90s and the pop culture references are more fun for people in my age group. I might give it a try.


  1. Rebekah Gilley8/7/14, 9:36 AM

    I have mixed feelings about "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" and that may be partly due to the audiobook adventure that was my reading. I definitely laughed at the comments about Seattle, but I didn't love it. I was eager to keep reading, but towards the end, I just wanted it to be over. Guess that's a sign I wasn't in love with it :-p

  2. vanessasmusings8/8/14, 8:55 PM

    Get it, girl!! My friend Jen makes great recommendations over at She never steers me wrong.

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