smilingrid: Librarian-in-training book reviews #currentlyreading

June 17, 2017

Librarian-in-training book reviews #currentlyreading

Hello online friends! Sorry I've been a little MIA! It's really not much of an excuse, but I'm the kind of person who gets more done when there is less time in which to do it. Without classes and homework structuring my time, all I've been doing is work and reading... not blogging. The shame weighs heavy.

Anywho, I've got a lot of great beauty and fashion content in the works at the moment, so definitely keep an eye out in the coming weeks for that, but I am super in the mood tot talk about what I've been reading! I've got three mini reviews for you today: something I did not like, something I'm kind of lukewarm about, and something I cannot recommend enough! Ready for this literarily wild ride???

Disclaimer: these are 10000% my own thoughts and opinions! I definitely hope you have differing opinions (Except for the last book. You're required to adore that one!) and I'd love to hear about what you loved about any of these books, any recommendations, or whatever you'd like to contribute in the comments!

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

This first book is the one that I really struggled to get through. I know this is going to shock those of you who were around for my ode to all things P&P, but here we are. Other than the fact that it's not written by good old Janey Austen, my dislike really boils down to the fact that it's not funny. The original Pride and Prejudice, our classic and crazily well-known introduction to the host of characters in Death Comes to Pemberley, is full of witty little comments here and there like subtly hilarious digs, disses, and an almost modern voice going "really? this is how we life?" There's none of that in P.D. James's Pemberley. I'm also not much of a murder mystery gal, so I'm probably not the ideal audience, but what can you do?

Final thoughts: not for me. Don't take love for the original story as buoyant enough to carry you through a genre that ain't your cup of tea to begin with.

On a different note, the PBS adaptation (on netflix!) is absolutely wonderful! They swapped around some of the order of things and makes the story feel more real to me. I feel a bit like dropping a book (like, a big one) on my own toe for admitting this, but I definitely enjoyed the video adaptation to the book.

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker 

Don't get me wrong, I love a good" whoops I stumbled into another world what now?" story line. The things that make me iffy about this are that it's pretty slow moving and I dislike romance plots (especially love triangles OH DEAR LORD) popping up where there's no need for one. So, the first is kind of forgivable- in the first chapters, it's slow-going because the main character is under the influence of ~magic~ so yeah, whatever. But wooooow does that go on for a while. Then the romance bits of all of this bother me because neither of them actually feel like romances but it's set up as an obvious love triangle and it ends with her deciding between the guy (who's like a million years old but kept young through magic WHY does this continue to be attractive to people, no thanks) and her real world (where not much is happening btw). Personally, my bigger factor in that decision would be MAGIC but whatever, everyone has different priorities.  The positives: Emily Croy Baker is clearly a great writer. Despite certain pieces lasting for too long, her prose and world building are really enjoyable. When I would get past my own annoyance at either of the two things listed above, it became a really quick read, sometimes even morphing into that kind of book that keeps you up into the wee hours of the morning thinking, "just one more chapter!" 

Final thoughts: This is definitely a mixed bag for me. Two things that really get my goat mixed in with a story that could definitely sink its claws into me. I imagine many people could ignore or even enjoy the romance bits of it, so there's another thing to take into consideration!

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

I actually have nothing bad to say about this book. I've been gushing about it in person and online (hmu on insta @smilingrid) It is written in an amazingly engaging just-outta-school-what-now voice, chock-full of the narrator's snarky thoughts. Plus, the story is tightly paced, jumping between a mysterious global order of book enthusiasts (sometimes referred to as a "cult"), Clay's own group of wonderfully weird and fully realized friends, and the cross-country adventure that connects the two! I finished this on the train ride to work and then immediately started it a second time on my way home. It's amazing.

Final thoughts: Read it. I need book club. 

I've really enjoyed this little #currently reading round up! I know I'm a little biased- see the "librarian-in-training" section of the title!- so I'd love to hear your thoughts on this kind of post! Should I turn it into a recurring series? 

I'd love to hear what you're reading! Let me know in the comments or ask me to read things first before you give 'em a try-I am happy to be your literary guinea pig!

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