Recently Read

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Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

You know, when Amy likes something, I almost immediately like it more because of it. Are there bloggers you trust in this way? I’m not saying I wouldn’t have liked Silver Linings Playbook, because I almost certainly would have, but the whole time I was reading it, I had Amy’s voice in the back of my head saying how much she loved it. The book is everything she said it is! It’s sad and charming and full of heart. Within the book is the subtext that there’s a fine line between what is considered mentally unstable and what is considered perfectly normal by society.

I read some of the things that were changed in the movie, and I have to say, it makes me much less excited to see the movie. One of my favorite characters is Cliff, the main character’s therapist, and I’m really sad to hear that he’s portrayed as a kind of useless/bad therapist. He is not perfect in the novel, but he is by no means a horrible therapist. Their relationship is actually just really sweet. I’ll still watch it, because I do love all the actors in it, and I do hope I enjoy it, but I won’t be terribly surprised if I don’t.

Stuck in the Middle With You: A Memoir of Parenting in Three Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan 

As the dusk jacket copy for Stuck in the Middle With You says, Jennifer Finney Boylan was “a father  for ten years, a mother for eight, and for a time in between, neither, or both (“the parental version of the schnoodle, or the cockapoo”).” Jennifer Finney Boylan has written eloquently about her experiences going through her sex change, but this books put the same transition in the context of her role as a parent. Through telling her story, and her family’s story, and interviewing other people about their experiences with their own parents or as parents, she tells a beautiful story about what it means to be a parent. I love Jennifer Finney Boylan’s writing and I immediately want to read everything she’s ever written. I think this should be required reading. It is just that good.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Is this book called Jellicoe Road or On the Jellicoe RoadI am still confused. It’s still surprising to me that I managed to remain unspoiled for this book, because I have read so many reviews of it over the years. It’s really as good as everyone says it is. And it’s really true that it’s confusing and difficult to get through, and really deserves a second read. You’re only given the information the main character has, so as she learns things, suddenly everything you’ve been told takes on a new meaning. It’s hard to pay attention to everything at first, because the narratives don’t really seem to make sense together. Read it. Please don’t give it the 100 page test. Also, don’t expect a supernatural twist! I kept thinking there was something supernatural coming. Time shift? Zombies? Vampires? I don’t know. And I don’t know why I thought that, but this is just about normal people, no mysterious creatures or time travel.

I feel like this book deserves more, but I didn’t take notes while I was reading it and it’s already been a week or so since I finished. Also, it would be really hard to talk about this one without spoiling it.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

This book is one of the best I’ve ever read. I was so completely drawn into this world where dragons can shape shift to look like humans and I just want to read more and more and more. In fact, I might reread it. I listened to it on audio and I’m sure I missed things. Two of my favorite reads this year (Seraphina and The Raven Boys) have been on audio and I want to read them both in print before the sequels come out. I think I’ll save my longer posts about both of them for when I do reread and take notes.


13 thoughts on “Recently Read

  1. Seraphina was one of my favorites last year, and I never managed to write a review. I just couldn’t articulate my thoughts!

  2. I really need to read Seraphina!!!

    I’m glad you liked Silver Linings Playbook! And also Jellicoe Road! (it’s On Jellicoe Road in Australia where it was originally published and Jellicoe Road in the States!)

  3. Somehow I’d gotten the same impression about Jellicoe Road and supernaturalness somewhere along the way. I think a blogger was messing with us. lol

    Totally want to read Silver Linings Playbook.

  4. Sounds like you’ve been doing a pile of excellent reading! 😀

    I have Jennifer Finney Boylan’s She’s Not There in my pile for June’s theme month, and you have definitely made me eager to make sure I get to it! And also to buy the one you read. 😀

  5. You weren’t annoyed by the total cliffhanger ending of Seraphina & that there’s no announced publication date for sequel yet? I loved the rest of it, but that aspect made me cranky.

      1. Have you found any announcements of a pub date? I’m excited there’s more, but even in my series I prefer that each book stand at least a bit on its own.

  6. I like the difference the purple in Seraphina makes. The other cover is really nice, but the purple adds more of a fantasy feel to it. That and The Silver Linings Playbook I really want to read, the other two I didn’t know so much about before but they sound good, too.

  7. Jennifer Finley Boylan is so great. I loved the book of hers I read before, and I’m excited to read this one as well.

    Silver Linings Playbook – You have no idea how happy I am to hear that the therapist in the book isn’t crap! I get so fed up with seeing terrible therapists in all the movies and all the books. There are good therapists in the world but it’s rare to see one in media. (A weird exception being the social worker on Felicity — you know, the Keri Russell show? That woman rocks as a therapist.)

    And of course I’m always glad to hear an endorsement of Melina Marchetta. I love her. I think it was called On the Jellicoe Road originally, and then it was published in America as Jellico Road. I think that’s the situation.

  8. Since you described Seraphina as one of the best you’ve ever read, now I want to read it. What a compliment! I’m curious about Silver Lining Playbook. There’s a huge holds list for it at my library so I’ll get a chance to read it one day. 😉

  9. I’ve had JELLICOE ROAD on my shelf for a couple of years now (due to other bloggers’ recommendations, I’m sure), but have never gotten around to reading it. I know I need to.

    And I’m glad you liked SERAPHINA! I thought it was extremely well done and the politics and world-building were fabulous. I wasn’t a fan of Kiggs, so that bit into my enjoyment, but I’ll be looking out for more of Hartman’s writing.

  10. I know what you mean about enjoying a book in audio and then wanting to get the paper version! I always feel like I miss stuff, too (mostly because my attention wanders a lot). I did Seraphina on audio, too 🙂

    Jellicoe Road sounds confusing even in your review! Will have to save that for a time when I am not so scattered in my reading.

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