January 24, 2018

2017 Reading Round Up, Part Four

As a reminder, these are off-the-cuff reviews that I peck into my phone as soon as I finish the book. A literary critic, I am not.

Here's what I've been reading!

The Best American Essays 2017The Best American Essays 2017 by Leslie Jamison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So glad I read this. Blown away by this collection of personal essays. There are more than a few that I can’t stop thinking about.

Double Exposure (From Every Angle, #1)Double Exposure by Erin McCarthy
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I mean, I’ve definitely read worse books. I give it two eggplant emojis! (My friend Louisa and I bought these as a joke and then Instagram-Storied our way through reading them, which you can watch here. #BookReport)

Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa CookbookCooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m sure it’s intended to be heartfelt, but it struck me as outdated and meant for a very specific audience. Some of the ingredients and instructions seem above my skill level, but there are a few recipes I’d like to try. It’s just so bizarre that she wrote a cookbook about cooking for her husband.

Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New FavoritesSmitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites by Deb Perelman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

New favorite cookbook, hands-down. I read it cover to cover and bookmarked so many recipes. I love Deb’s writing style and I can’t wait to start trying out these recipes.

What Unites Us: Reflections on PatriotismWhat Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism by Dan Rather
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Meh. It’s fine. I could have lived my life without this book, but it didn’t hurt. If you love his FB posts, you’ll probably love this book. If you find yourself exhausted from this specific perspective, leave it on the shelf.

Jack's Wife Freda: Cooking from New York's West VillageJack's Wife Freda: Cooking from New York's West Village by Maya Jankelowitz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Really sweet book. I eat at Jack’s Wife Freda every time I’m in NYC. I’ll probably never make any of these recipes, but the book is worth it for the introduction and the pictures. If you love the restaurant, you’ll love the book.

LitLit by Mary Karr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Slow start, strong finish. I’ve been reading this off and on all year. Putting it down every time a new book caught my eye. It didn’t hook me initially, but once I sat down and committed to reading it, I was blown away. I loved her perspective on sobriety, recovery, and prayer. Moving and beautiful.

What HappenedWhat Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is everything I wanted it to be. I cried a lot while reading it, but I feel more peace and hope than I’ve felt since the election. It gets a little tedious in the middle, but stick with it. The ending is worth it.

Sleeping BeautiesSleeping Beauties by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is for readers familiar with Stephen King’s high page count and slow start. All the action is at the end. I didn’t find the book “scary”, but I did find it fascinating. It’s probably scarier to male readers. I really enjoyed it. If you’re on the fence, read it. Just know that it won’t get going until around 150-200 pages. It’s worth it.

The Things That MatterThe Things That Matter by Nate Berkus
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book and am going online right now to buy it (I read a library copy). This book is where Nate tells his story of surviving the tsunami and losing his partner, Fernando, what happened, how he grieved, and how he moved on. It is also a huge design book filled with pictures of homes he designed, or friends’ homes that he thinks you should see. It’s a really great book.

P.S. Forgot what I read in the third part of 2017? Here you go!

P.P.S. Are we friends on Goodreads?

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