Books

Book 563: You Are Not Alone – Debbie Augenthaler

When the publicist reached out to me about this book I said yes.* I didn’t know if I wanted to say yes, because my mother had passed only weeks before, but I knew at some point I would want/need to read this.

In many ways, I wish I would’ve read it sooner or at the very least before I read Grief Works. What I was looking for in Grief Works, an in-depth “this was my experience of grief” story and this is how I survived, struggled, thrived, etc.

I teared up a few times reading this one, not so much because of my experience (although that did happen at least once), but because of how heartfelt and how beautifully written Augenthaler’s work is. She goes in-depth into what feel like the four stages of grief and even talks about them at some point, but on the whole she stays pretty far away from psychotherapy babble and writes about her personal experience.

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Books

Book 561: Romancing Miss Brontë – Juliet Gael

I feel like I may have read this before, but if I did it was in my first year of blogging when I missed a few books in my reviews. Who knows, maybe I’m just so familiar with the Brontë’s story that it’s just become known to me.

Overall, I enjoyed this read and felt Gael did a great job embodying all of the Brontës, but I’m not sure how accurate the title was. It’s a little misleading in that I feel like more of the book should’ve come from Arthur Bell Nicholls’ perspective rather than from third person omniscient (I think)/Charlotte. Maybe a better title would’ve been The Romance of Miss Brontë or The Brief Romances of Miss Brontë, something that takes the emphasis from who the narrator would be. But blah, I’m sure this is just me. I had an issue with the last title I read too 😀 Continue reading “Book 561: Romancing Miss Brontë – Juliet Gael”

Books

Book 560: Camp Austen – Ted Scheinman

I reached out to the publisher for a copy of this book when I saw the author, Ted Scheinman, was going to be in Boston giving a talk at the BPL.* Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it as it was the same day we moved houses (in a snow storm no less), but if you’re on the west coast, he’ll be talking about this at Skylight Books in LA this Saturday, July 21! (Skylight Books LA website)

I’m torn about my review. I’m wondering if I had the opportunity to hear him speak about the book and his experience, if my response would be different. I read his interview with the Jane Austen Summer program, but there are things you can only tell when you listen and watch someone interact with others.

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Books

Book 559: The Only Alien on the Planet – Kristen Randle

What a doozy! It’s been over a decade since I last read it and it still packs an emotional wallop.

I’ve had a copy of this book since high school when my best friend told me to read it. I’m still not sure what made me pick it up and read it, but I saw it and knew I needed to read it again.

I didn’t read it quite as fast as I read Autoboyography, but I did read it pretty fast. The subject matter of this book was just too heavy to binge even though I’ve read it before. I even had to take a break after reading it for a day or two before I jumped into the next one.

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Books

Book 558: Autoboyography – Christina Lauren

I can’t believe I binged this. I started it around 4 PM on my way home from work and was done by midnight. I wasn’t expecting to love this as much as I did, but it just hit all the right notes for me.

Books like this and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda make me sad that these weren’t around when I was a teenager, but also incredibly happy at how far we’ve (allegedly) come as a society and for the future LGBTQ+ teens out there. I have two more Freak Show and Geography Club that I picked up a few months ago and am excited to read in the next few weeks. Books like these and the more recent comics I read in No Straight Lines make me feel like those old LGBTQ+ individuals on YouTube who are in awe of the freedom we have today.

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Books

Book 557: The Brontë Plot – Katherine Reay

The Brontë Plot cover artThe downside with reading so many romance novels by the same author back-to-back is you quickly discover their strengths and weaknesses. As I read each of Reay’s works, they became less and less memorable even as I was reading them.

If I have to tie it down to the most basic its character development closely followed by pacing. I’m not one to need a “two months later” directional at every instance, but in Reay’s case it would’ve helped a lot. Toward the beginning of the novel the meet cute and the timing was so off I found myself having to re-read multiple sections to see if I’d missed the introduction or some major indicator of time having passed. (I hadn’t.)

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ARC, Books

Book 554: Grief Works – Julia Samuel

Grief Works cover artWhen the publicist reached out with a copy of this, I wasn’t sure I was ready after my mother’s death at the end of last year.* They reached out within the first couple of weeks and I was so caught up in dealing with everything you have to deal with from a planning and organization perspective that comes with death, that I wasn’t even really thinking about the physical and emotional perspectives. Ultimately, I said yes thinking I would eventually need something like this, but not sure when.

When we packed for our trip to Mexico I threw it in our bag, I figured what better place to open up the emotional turmoil than on a beautiful beach hundreds of miles away from everywhere to start processing things. And that’s sort of what happened, but not really. Continue reading “Book 554: Grief Works – Julia Samuel”