Today’s post features those books I liked or loved more than I though I would and those books I didn’t love as much as other readers. It’s difficult to decide whether I loved a book more than I thought I would because my expectations are always high to begin with before reading. It’s much easier to decide what I didn’t love as much as other readers did. In the play of fairness, I’ve split the list into two parts: the I Loved It Mores and the Not As Muches.
I Loved It Mores…
The biggest shock for me regarding the above books that I loved so much more than I thought I would is the number of non-fiction outweighing the fiction. I never really liked non-fiction that much until last year, and I loved these three books so much more than I thought I would. Each of these books dug deeply into me and brought so many emotions to the surface. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto and When Breath Becomes Air were my top favorites of 2016.
The Not As Muches…
Don’t get me wrong. I loved all of the above books, but they didn’t put me into a love fog for them as much as they did other readers. They are definitely worth spending time on. In gathering my list for this post, I realized I never formally reviewed The Expatriates and The Nest. At any rate, I recommend them both as really good books.
Do you have books you didn’t love as much as other readers? How about vice versa?
I started Karen White’s upcoming novel last night and am already deeply invested, as I thought I would be. Read on for the first paragraphs of the intro and first chapter.
At a glance:
Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It’s not her first time starting over, but her efforts at a new beginning aren’t helped by an anonymous local blog that dishes about the scandalous events that caused her marriage to fail.
Merilee finds some measure of peace in the cottage she is renting from town matriarch Sugar Prescott. Though stubborn and irascible, Sugar sees something of herself in Merilee—something that allows her to open up about her own colorful past.
Sugar’s stories give Merilee a different perspective on the town and its wealthy school moms in their tennis whites and shiny SUVs, and even on her new friendship with Heather Blackford. Merilee is charmed by the glamorous young mother’s seemingly perfect life and finds herself drawn into Heather’s world.
In a town like Sweet Apple, where sins and secrets are as likely to be found behind the walls of gated mansions as in the dark woods surrounding Merilee’s house, appearance is everything. But just how dangerous that deception can be will shock all three women….
The Playing Fields Blog
Observations of Suburban Life from Sweet Apple, Georgia
Written by: Your Neighbor
Installment #1: A Plague of Bulldozers and White Escalades
A woman at my hair salon today asked me where I’d learned to put on makeup. I considered this a compliment, having always taken good care of my skin for the sole purpose of making it a smooth palette on which to put makeup. I could tell she was a transplant to our north Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple by her accent. And by her question. Every true Southern mama teaches her daughter about makeup. I think in some parts of the Deep South (like the Mississippi Delta), girls are born with makeup brushes clutched in their tiny hands. This might be hearsay, but have you ever noticed how many Miss Americas are from Mississippi?
Sweet Apple, Georgia
If there was one thing that Merilee Talbot Dunlap had learned in eleven years of marriage, it was the simple fact that you could live with a person for a long time and never really know him. That it was easy to accept the mask he wore as the real thing, happy in your oblivion, until one day the mask slipped. Or, as in Merilee’s case, when it fell off completely and you were forced to face your own complicity in the masquerade.