READ/ Don't Read, Brutal and Funny Book Reviews in Miniature, Big Little Lies, Storied Life of AJ Fikry, Saints at the River, Aeronaut's Windlass

READ/ Don't Brutal Funny Book Reviews in Miniature, Big Little Lies, Storied Life of AJ Fikry, Aeronaut's Windlass via DevastateBoredom

Oh y'all, I posted that whole breathless monologue about how I was going to start blogging again, and then realized I had COMPLETELY spaced on how much work it is to actually blog.  Even a super simple book review post like I am doing here... so many links, images, formatting, alt text, ughhh.  No wonder it has been years since I managed it!  I actually had a mini panic attack and tried to POSTPONE that last post, announcing my (possibly unwanted) return to your inboxes, but then discovered it had automatically published already yesterday.  Ooooooooops... So here I am, trying to follow through with a promised book review post, but it is a stretch, I can tell you, ha!  Give me grace here, Invisible Internet Friends -- hold my hand and pat me on the back and say nice things to me!!  Thankfully, I found a draft of a book review post I started in June of 2018, so I will happily take that shortcut for today, courtesy of Past Me, and I will save my more recent reads for another post soon.  Knock on wood (link for a trippy but awesome sonic blast-from-the-past), it will be days and not years from now!

READ/ Don't Read, Brutal and Funny Book Reviews in Miniature, Big Little Lies, Storied Life of AJ Fikry, Saints at the River, Aeronaut's Windlass

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriary, READ/Don't Read, book reviews in miniature, Devastate Boredom
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty 

Mystery, Suspense
READ, but especially if you like whodunnits, Agatha Christie, etc

I loved this one! I found it through a book club and enjoyed it so much. (Note from the present: like I said in the intro, I wrote these reviews in the summer of 2018... since then I've read every. single. book. Liane Moriary has written. I adore her and I almost never find anything to be brutal about... with the exception of her newest, Apples Never Fall, which has some stuff I can nit-pick. However, I will save that review for next time!). I love how this book keeps you guessing at the big reveal from literally the first chapter... you know from the beginning that someone is dead, BUT you don't know who, and you don't know why.  Vivid characters, fun twists, and a satisfying wrap-up at the end. Current Day Me is also vaguely aware that Big Little Lies is a tv show now, but I think I was in a blind parenting haze of sleep deprivation when it came out, and I haven't seen it yet. I bet it is amazing though, bucket list to watch! Click here for a free kindle book preview

READ/Don't Read, Book Review in Miniature, Storied life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, via DevastateBoredom
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin 

Literary Fiction, Romance
Read, especially if would call yourself a "bibliophile" just casually, as if that is a normal word to use in a conversation, ha! (ummmm yeah, guilty...)

I picked this up on a whim off of Amazon Prime reading and I really enjoyed it! A sweet story about life and books and second chances. Note from the present: I have NO memory of this book, and I am not sure if that means it was honestly a tiny bit bland, albeit "sweet"? OR if I was just that sleep deprived in the moment reading it, which is possible. Apologies for repeatedly whining about being sleep deprived, but I not slept more than 3 hours in a row more than a handful of times in the last 6 years... and that realllllllly effs with a brain. I am leaving the "read" rating since I do trust Past Me, but just being honest about my lack of specific recall lol. This one is also a movie now, maybe I'll watch the movie and see if it jogs my memory... Click here to go straight to a kindle preview!

READ/Don't Read, Book Review in Miniature, Saints at the River by Ron Rash, via DevastateBoredom
Saints at the River by Ron Rash 

Southern Fiction
Maybe read, if the region is home for you or you enjoy environmental drama a la Erin Brockovich 

I felt like this story dipped into preachy territory more than once, but the setting in the Appalachian hills of South Carolina was vivid and enjoyable and the tension of the environmental dilemma (whether to disturb an untouched river's natural sanctuary status in an attempt to recover the body of a drowned child) was well depicted. My biggest peeve here was that the female narrator felt flat and one-dimensional.... I'm always interested in whether an author can pull off writing in first person for a character of the opposite gender, and this one didn't really work for me. The emotions felt stilted, and at one point the narrator quickly put on a little makeup... and chose blush and lipstick. I have since taken an informal poll among my friends, and all of us agree that lipstick, yes, but blush, no, not if you're choosing only two items of makeup to apply. All the friends I asked agreed that they would do lipstick and eye liner, or lipstick and mascara. That's just one example, but I almost would say that the author wrote it originally with a male narrator, and then decided after the fact that it would sell better if the main character was female, so just sorta switched all the pronouns and went with it. If you enjoy Southern Fiction already it's worth a read, but if you're new to Ron Rash (he's fantastic, I read this one because I've read two or three of his others and loved them), or new to this kind of regional literature, I would pick another of the author's books. Click here to go straight to a kindle preview!

READ/Don't Read Book Reviews in Miniature, Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher, via DevastateBoredom
The Aeronaut's Windlass by 
Jim Butcher
Fantasy, Steampunk
Don't read, unless you're a huge fan of detailed battle scenes

I expected to love this one... it's written by the author of the Dresden Files and the premise seems really cool... a steampunk world where people live in cities high in the clouds, navigating flying ships, and wielding magic... but I felt like this story got bogged down in detail. I had this sense that the editors would have been a lot more ruthless with a newer author but since Jim Butcher has such a loyal following they just kind of threw their hands in their air and were like, "do whatever you want, dude! Just give us another book!" The nautically-airborne battle scenes in particular were excruciatingly long and boring. I did like some of the characters a lot, and I totally would watch a movie version of the story when I could mess around on my phone during battle scenes, but I probably won't read any more of the series. (Note from the present, Jim Butcher actually hasn't published any more books in this series yet and it was released in 2015, soooooo I might not be the only one who thought the book lacked compelling momentum. Just sayin'.)
 Click here for a kindle preview though, if you want to check out those battle scenes to prove me wrong!

Okay dear friends, I DID IT.  I finished a book review post, haha, even if it DID technically take me four and a half years from writing the first words to hitting "publish." If you are here reading, pretty please leave me a comment to let me know!   

Even more importantly, if you have a book to recommend to me, tell me!!  I started reading again, REALLY reading, for the first time in years last spring when my dad died, and getting back to books is like coming home... but I have also missed SO much good stuff in the past few years! So recommend your favorites to me and I will try to catch up. And thank you for being here with me, truly! I am honored by your presence, when you could be looking at any content at all in this immense online wilderness, and I appreciate your eyes on my words. *HUGS*

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