Month: September 2022

book cover of Carrie Soto is Back book

Book 49 of 52: Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I hate to add another review in a long line of reviews of “it’s fine!” but once again I am here. Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid is fine. It’s fine! I was surprised by the “it’s fine!” quality of the book because that hasn’t been my experience with Jenkins Reid’s previous works. Daisy Jones & the Six, about rock and roll, was the first book I read during the first flush of the pandemic that captured my brain and kept me from doom scrolling. I didn’t like the twist at the end of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, which is about a very Elizabeth Taylor-like Hollywood star, but the book was so engrossing that I lost at least one good night’s sleep because I could not put it down. And Malibu Rising! Fantastic! A mix of surf and entertainment culture all rolled into one messy ball. Loved it. Carrie Soto suffers from…

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Book 48 of 52: Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

I first learned about Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty via the Hulu adaptation. Yes, I’d read Big Little Lies and thought it was fine (perfectly fine!) but not fine enough that I sought out her other books. I didn’t watch the show because it looked incredibly creepy — almost Stephen King-like. It’s a really weird time, and I’m not one to watch horror, so I said no thanks and went on with watching other shows. But I did pick up a copy of Nine Perfect Strangers when I saw it in a Little Free Library. I’ve long read creepy books because they don’t seem as scary when I am processing it through the written word as images, and I was feeling in the mood for something different. I knew I’d be on my couch for a bit after my bivalent COVID booster (which just gave me a bit of…

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Book 47 of 52: Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

I am back from my trip to the National Parks of the upper midwest, which was lovely. Please see this photo. I took Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel with me because I wanted to read it, and also because I associate Michigan with Station Eleven (both the book and show). Michigan was more beautiful than I could ever have imagined, especially the deep blue waters of Lake Superior. However……..I did not like this book. I think we’ll look back on it after she continues to have a very long and successful career (which I think she will have!) as a swing and a miss, one prompted by trying to put this current pandemic into another novel that also has a pandemic. At times, the observations of a specific character read like St. John Mandel’s COVID-19 diary (if she kept one). It doesn’t translate well. Sea of Tranquility…

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Book 46 of 52: Murder, She Wrote: Debonair in Death by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran

After discovering that the Murder, She Wrote mystery novel series not only exists but is still active, I figured I should try one of the newer titles to see if it’s changed over time. After reading Debonair in Death, I can say….not much. But that’s what genre fiction, especially series, is supposed to be, right? Like putting on your old running sweatsuit, as Jessica Fletcher still apparently does in 2021 when this book was published. In this one, the crime is the murder of Nelson, a “from away” co-owner of a Cabot Cove shop. He’s found covered in blood, with a young woman who works at the local salon standing over him, also covered in blood. It doesn’t make sense that young Coreen could or would have done this, but who else could it be? Well, anyone! As Jessica both tries to finish her next book’s synopsis and clear Coreen’s…

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Book 45 of 52: Hoot by Carl Hiassen

Another boat, another Carl Hiassen book. Hiassen’s Stormy Weather was book five in this series, from alllllll the way back in January. I snapped a picture of it from the back of a boat speeding off to Dry Tortugas National Park. In that review, I mentioned that Hiassen’s work was ripe for a TV series or movie, especially since he hadn’t had that many. One was a 2006 movie version of his 2002 middle grade novel Hoot. It starred a lot famous people, including Brie Larson, Luke Wilson and…Jimmy Buffett, but wasn’t well received. Hopefully the upcoming Apple TV+ series Bad Monkey, starring Vince Vaughn and Ashley Nicole Black, will fare better. So when I saw a copy of Hoot in a Little Free Library, I figured why not, and took it with me on vacation. That picture is from Miller’s Ferry to Put-in-Bay, Ohio (when I got on the boat, I…

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