Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Friday, January 27, 2023

Book: The Rosie Effect

 Book: The Rosie Effect

Author: Graeme Simsion

Pages: 368

This is my 11th read for the year

In the follow up story to "The Rosie Project" Don and Rosie have moved to New York to start new jobs and a new life.  Busy starting their careers Rosie discovers she is pregnant.  Don sets out to figure out if he is going to be a good father.  His research gets him into trouble, and Rosie starts to have her doubts if this is actually going to work out.

This book was not as good as the Rosie Project.  I really loved that book, and honestly - I should have stopped with that one.  This one was not written as well, and I actually found myself annoyed with Don and Rosie on many occasions.  After reading this one, I think I might pass on the third - holding The Rosie Project as a book I am still so glad I read.

Stars: 3

Monday, January 23, 2023

2023 Challenge: A Book With A Queer Lead and a Book With A Rabbit on the Cover: Everyone in this room will someday be dead

 Book: Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead

Author: Emily Austin

Pages: 256

This is my 10th read for the year

This is the story of Gilda.  She is a young person in her 20s - gay, aethiest, suffering from panic attacks and anxiety and having a hard time holding everything together.  When she gets fired from her job beacuse she stopped showing up, she finds herself employed as a secretary in a Catholic Church.  Hired because the secretary before her was believed to be murdered, Gilda spends a lot of her time trying to get to the bottom of Grace's (the previous secretary) demise and who might have been responsible.  Along the way, she struggles to hold herself together as she navigates a relationship with someone she truly likes.  

This book was pretty terrible.  I really did not like the main character.  She was insufferable and just overly done.  Blurbs about this book state that it is "hilarious" - and it was far from that.  It was dark and depressing, and I barely finished it.  I should have let it go - but I was listening to it on a plane ride, so tried to stick with it.  Sorry I did.

Stars: 2

Sunday, January 22, 2023

2023 Challenge: A Book With The Main Character's Name in the Title: The Rosie Project

 Book: The Rosie Project

Author: Graeme Simsion

Pages: 295

This is my 9th read for the year

This is the story of Don Tillman (yes I know the challenge is the main character's name is in the talent - but bare with me).  He is a genetics professor with aspgergers who has trouble with social cues.  He decides to start something called "The Wife Project" because at the age of 39, he finds himself still unmarried.  He puts together a survey in hopes of eliminating women who he would not find compatible with himself.  Until he meets Rosie.  Rosie walks into his office in hopes of finding out who her biological father is and she and Don form a friendship.  Even though Don tells his friends that Rosie would never be a candidate for the Wife Project, as their friendship blooms, so does his love for her and hers for him. 

This book is incredibly sweet. Don is as endearing as he is maddening in his search for a wife.  It is light hearted with very likable characters and great plot.  It is well written, and you find youself rooting for Don to find someone to love him for exactly who he is. Rosie becomes the center of the book and his world, and he finds that people are not just numbers on a page or information in a survey.  

Highly recommend this book. I am so excited that there are more "Rosie" books - looking forward to reading the next one.


Friday, January 20, 2023

Book: Constance

 Book: Constance

Author: Matthew FitzSimmons

Pages: 343

This is my 8th read for the year

This is the story of Constance D'Arcy.  In the future, the very rich have the chance to have a clone of themselves kept in reserves in case of their untimely death.  Constance, far from rich, was gifted one from her aunt who runs the cloning company.

People who have the clones have to go to the center once a month to upload their consciousness so that if they die their recent memories are up to date.  During Constance's most recent upload, something goes wrong and she wakes up 18 months later.  Her memories of that time are gone and her original - is dead.  Now it is up to her clone to piece together what happened and who is behind her death.

This was an okay book. It acutally was pretty good and held my attention for about 3/4 of the book, and then it went a bit off the rails.  Plot started to fall apart a bit.  The lack of character development left me wanting and not really caring what happened to people.  The plot started to have too many twists and turns for one novel- I felt that the author should have picked one or two and threw the rest out.

I understand there is a second book.  I might check it out just to see if it comes together a bit better.

Stars: 3

Monday, January 16, 2023

2023 Challenge: A Memoir by a Celebrity: Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing

 Book: Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing

Author: Matthew Perry

Pages: 272

This is my 7th book for the year

This is the autobiography of the author.  Starting from his chidhood - where he states his problems originated from - to present day (he is 53 years old), he recounts his life of drug and alcohol abuse and how he still struggles with those demons. 

I really struggle to review this book, so I don't think I will.  What I will say is that drug and alcohol abuse must be beyond terrible, and since I will never truly understand what it is like, what is there for me to say. I can say that I was glad I did the audiobook version of this book because Matthew reads it himself.  And Chandler was my favorite character on friends.  Matthew touts himself as selfish and narcissistic, and I have to agree with his analogy.  And he is also extremely angry at everyone - including himself - but some of the people he blames is ludicrous.  But I still wish him well and hope that he conquers his demons.

Stars: 3.5

Thursday, January 12, 2023

2023 Challenge: A book your friend recommended: Sign Here

 Book: Sign Here

Author: Claudia Lux

Pages: 416

This is my 6th read for the year

This is the story of Peyote Trip.  He works in the deals department on the 5th floor in Hell.  He has a plan that once he gets the last piece of a puzzle - a member of the Harrison family on earth to sell their soul - he can finally be free.  But no one must know his plan.  When he gets assigned to a new person to the floor - Cal - he soon discovers that she isn't what she seems.  Set between the stories in Hell and the Harrison family on earth, the two worlds eventually collide and the truth comes to light.

This was a great book.  It was actually recommended to me by two friends and I am glad they did.  It is well written, and entertaining.  The idea is GREAT - the chapters in Hell being my favorite.  It took me awhile to see how everyone was connected and eventually the whole story comes together.  The up and down of Peyote and Cal got to be a little much at times - the hot and cold of their relationship, but easily forgivable for the overall story.

Good book.  Check it out

Stars: 4 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Book: Animal Farm Graphic Novel

 Book: Animal Farm Graphic Novel

Author: George Orwell

Pages: 176

This is my 5th read for the year

This graphic novel is the condensed form of Orwell famous novel.  A story of new tyranny replacing old. The animals at the farm have had enough of the farmers controlling when they work and how much they work and what they are fed.  So they revolt and chase the farmers off.  What happens next- when the pigs deam themselves in charge, the takeover isn't all it seems to the other animals.  

I read the novel years ago, so when I saw it in Graphic Novel form, I bought it for my daughter.  She loves graphic novels.  It was well drawn and the perfect size to get the gist of the original novel and story.  We enjoyed it.

Stars: 4

Monday, January 9, 2023

2023 Challenge: A Book With A Song Lyric as a Title: Stardust

 Book: Stardust

Author: Neil Gaiman

Pages: 256

This is my 4th read for the year

This is the story of Tristan Thorn.  He is in love with a girl named Victoria.  She told him that if he can get her a fallen star that she will marry him.  This sets him off on an adventure to capture a star.  Because Tristan is half faerie, he is able to cross a barrier at a wall in his town, and in the faerie land he encounters all kinds along his journey.  He quickly finds out that there are others who are also seeking the star.  When Tristan finds the star - Yvaine - they embark on an adventure to bring her back to Victoria, but along the way, Tristan changes how he feels for Victoria and realizes he is in love with Yviane.  However - Yviane cannot leave Faerie land without turning to stone.  Tristan is left with having to make a choice - return to the world he knows, or stay with the one he loves.

This was a pretty good book.  It is beautifully written.  I am a big Gaiman fan - having read almost everything he has written, and this one didn't disappoint.  He is written as a fairytale for adults - but there is only minimal "adult" language/scenes.  Enough, though, that I would not given to someone below high school to read.  The story was intriguing and as a short book, it was quick to finish.

Stars: 4

Saturday, January 7, 2023

2023 Challenge: A Book Published The Year You Were Born: The Bermuda Triangle

 Book: The Bermuda Triangle

Author: Charles Berlitz

Pages: 252

This is my 3rd book for the year

This is a non-fiction book about the disappearances of boats, planes, and people in the Bermuda Triangle from the 1940s-1970s (when the book was written).  It recounts the numerous disappearances, what the causes could be, and even recounds the history of this part of the world.

This was a pretty good book.  A little dry, but I was interested in learning more about The Bermuda Triangle. I am still amazed at how many boats and planes disappeared without a trace here. I need to find a more current book to see if these diappearances are still happening and if they have ever located any of the missing planes and boats.

In a side not - Charles Berlitz family runs the Berlitz language school which I am familiar with - that was a neat discovery.

Stars: 3


Friday, January 6, 2023

2023 Book Challenge: A Book On A Celebrity Book List: Our Missing Hearts

 Book: Our Missing Hearts

Author: Celeste Ng

Pages: 352

This is my 2nd read for the year

This is the story of a 12 year old boy named Bird.  Living with his father who shelves books at the library after his wife left and the world fell apart.  Bird's mother, Margaret, a Chinese American poet, has not been seen since he was 9 years old.  His father won't even talk about her, and insist on calling Bird by his real name - Noah.  Bird's best friend, Sadie, has also disappeared without a trace, and now he is all alone.  Remembering a story his mother read him when he was little, Bird goes on a search for the story in the library and this leads him on a search for his mother and for Sadie.  What unfolds is the story of how and why his mother left and the truth of how the world became the way it is.

This was an excellent book.  I am a big Celest Ng fan and this book did not disappoint.  It is beautifully written about a tough subject.  I enjoyed the story and the path Bird takes to find his mother and learn the truth.  While this is a dystopian novel - where Chinese Americans are wrongly accused and jailed for the most minor infractions (and their children rehomed when neighbors think the parents are unfit) - it could also be seen as a cuationary tale.  

I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it - especially if you are a fan of this author.

Stars: 5

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Book Challenge 2023: A Book You Meant To Read In 2022: Gleanings

 Book: Gleanings

Author: Neil Shusterman

Pages: 432

This is my first read for the new year!

This is a spin off book in the Arc of Scythe series.  A book of short stories told from the perspective of diferent scythes and of different characters, you get another glimpse into this world.  Scythes have been in charge of population control ever since the world was irradicated of disease and death.  This book tells stories of how certain Scythes choose to Glean and the general publics reaction to Scythes all over the world.

This was a good book.  This is probably my favorite series by Shusterman, so I was very excited to see another book appear from this world.  I thought it was well written and enjoyed almost all of the stories.  There were a few that were just okay, but not enough to take away from the book or this clever world building.  Highly recommend.

Stars: 4.5