May 2019 Reads
Updated: Apr 14
Hey guys, I hope your summer is off to a great start. This is a list of the books I've read/audiobooks I've listened to last month with short reviews. Enjoy!
Eragon | Christopher Paolini | 2005 | Audiobook | *****
Fiction, Fantasy, YA
I've read the first two books of this series before, right about the time that they came out. This time, I used my Library's app to listen to this for free. What I liked most about this novel is the balance between world building and plot. I did not feel Paolini bogging the story down with too much history or politics, while also acclimating the reader to the complex world. The audiobook format also might have helped, as I didn't have to struggle over pronunciation and could focus more on the plot and the characters. The reason this book doesn't get five stars is that some of the writing is a little too much telling and not enough showing (i.e. "this character is sad" instead of using actions to describe that sadness). Overall, it's a wonderful fantasy narrative with mostly quality writing. I'm excited to read/listen to the next installment.
Children of Blood and Bone | Tomi Adeyemi | 2018 | Audiobook |*****
Fiction, Fantasy, YA
I loved the concept for this book. A YA fantasy story with roots in West African culture. A group of people with magic abilities are treated worse than second class citizens, distinguishable by their darker skin and white hair. It's important to have popular works of literature like this that can educate and change the minds of others. I was drawn into the characters' plight and misery, and Adeyemi did a great job with the conflict. The magic system that she creates is really unique and on target for the themes of the work. I also like the format of having different character's perspectives within each chapter. I am giving it four stars because the plot had some lulls when it should have been rising action, and there is a romance plot line that is unnecessary and distracting in my opinion. Overall, I really liked the book and am looking forward to the next one, and hopefully the movie too.
Who Moved My Cheese? | Spencer Johnson | 1998 | Hardcover | *****
Nonfiction, Business, Self Help
My coworker recommended this book to me and let me borrow her copy. That same day, I was listening to a podcast and the guest said his two favorite allegorical books were The Alchemist and Who Moved My Cheese? so that was a cool synchronicity, or as I like to call them, IRL Easter Eggs. This book is quite simple in its language, but it isn't meant to be hard to understand. It's a very simple story, but that does not mean it is an easy thing to implement. It is a timeless and important life lesson, but honestly, there was a lot of fluff in the narrative. It could have been easily said in half the amount of words it had (even though it was a very quick read) and the frame story could have been more interesting. I think this book could have benefited from a fiction writer's touch, whether in writing or editing. It is still a book with valuable information if you are receptive to the message and can stand some repetition.
Yes Please | Amy Poehler | 2014 | Audiobook | *****
Nonfiction, Comedy, Memoir
This is a great memoir/series of personal essays about Amy Poehler's career, kids, and life lessons learned along the way told through Poehler's humorous lens. I think Poehler balanced the humor and vulnerability very well, and there were times I laughed hard and times that her words made me stop and think. It was a poignant piece and I'm glad I listened to it. There were a few times that guests were allowed to read parts of her chapters, and sometimes there was a lot of joking back and forth, and it was hard for me to follow with the audiobook version and that is the big reason I gave it four stars. That might be nit-picky, but whatever, it's my review.
That's it for May's reads. Going forward, my goal is to consistently post my monthly reads and reviews, as well as add an Indie Spotlight next month.
What did you read last month? Constructive criticism is always welcome. Comment below and let's be friends on: