I made a really conscious effort to keep up with my reading this month. Like I’ve said before, I aim to read 52 books a year. It’s a pretty manageable goal, but it does require some work. I use Goodreads to track my reading and share book reviews, and I love their ‘reading challenge’ function. It lets me know whether or not I’m on schedule to meet my goal each year. At the end of February, I realized I was really behind schedule, so I picked up the pace this month!
I’ve now read nine books this year, which is still behind schedule, but not too shabby! I’ve got my iPad loaded up with eBooks and I’m planning on getting a lot of reading done on the plane to and from Japan this month, so check back in April to see if I’m back on track to read 52 books this month!
Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
I loved Maria Semple’s first book, Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Where’d You Go, Bernadette was one of my favorite books of 2013 – it was fresh, unexpected, funny, and sad all at once. Since the minute I finished it, I’ve been waiting for Maria Semple to write another book. Well she did, and I am not pleased. Today Will Be Different does not hold a candle to Where’d You Go, Bernadette. The characters in Today Will Be Different weren’t likable, the premise wasn’t engaging, and the ending wasn’t even a little bit believable. If you’re a fan of Maria Semple, you’ll probably want to read this to see for yourself, but I’m sorry to say that you’ll be wasting your time.
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
Ooph. Behind Closed Doors really did a number on me. I love thrillers, but this was way too upsetting to be enjoyable. I can’t say too much without giving away the plot, but this is the first book that I’ve ever read that I would give a trigger warning to. So, this is one that I’m going to actively discourage friends and family from reading. On the plus side, it was gripping and I finished it in less than twenty four hours.
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
People have been recommending The Couple Next Door to me ever since it was published last year. Like Under the Harrow that I read last month, it’s been described as similar to The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl. (side note: can we just agree to stop comparing every mystery thriller written by women to those two?). I couldn’t empathize with any of the characters in this book, and I didn’t care how the story ended. A disappointing quality in a thriller!
Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
Missing, Presumed is one of the books I gave to my mom, a fellow mystery lover, for Christmas. She loved it and lent it to me with rave reviews. It took me several weeks to read it, and I switched to other books several times along the way. Not a good sign. The author switches back and forth between narrators throughout the book, and while that can be an interesting plot device when used well, I found it distracting in this book. It kept me from really bonding with any one character. I wouldn’t dissuade anyone from reading this book like I would with Behind Closed Doors, but I can’t really recommend it either.
Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco with Lauren Oyler
For those of you who don’t know who Alyssa Mastromonaco is, she served as President Obama’s Director of Scheduling when he was in the Senate, on his 2008 campaign, and then in the White House. From 2011-2014 she was Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations in the Obama White House. She’s now COO of Vice Media and President of Global Communications Strategy and Talent at A+E. I have been a big fan of Alyssa for years, so when I heard she was writing a book, I was so stoked.
Who Thought This Was A Good Idea? And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House is part political memoir and part girly tell all. It’s what you’d get if Mindy Kaling went to work in the White House, and then spilled all. I loved this book. It’s definitely my favorite book that I read this year. Just one little problem – it may make you want to quit your job and go work on a campaign. I’ll be buying copies of this book for all of my girlfriends!
What did you read this month?
PS: Here is what I read last month!