What I Read This Week: August 15, 2021

I finished four books this week. This brings my total for the year to 125, putting me right on track tot meet my goal of 200 books for the year.

Here’s a look at what I read this week:

Isn’t it Bromantic? by Lyssa Kay Adams

Contemporary romance

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Book four in The Bromance Book Club series. This series keeps getting better and better! This newest installment is complex and heavy while still being funny and cute. The previous book (number three) is my still my favorite but I really loved getting to know the Russian in this one. He was frustrating at times, as was his wife Elena, but their back story is incredibly complex so it was easy to understand why they miscommunicated. Ultimately they cared a great deal for each other and only wanted what was best for the other, which led them to act like idiots sometimes, instead of talking things through. I found this relatable, especially when it comes to marriage. There were lots of funny moments between Vlad and his book club buddies. As always, it’s so nice too see the way these men are there for each other, even if it doesn’t feel realistic – I like to imagine it could be. I highly recommend this series for romance readers, start with the first book.

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee

Personal Essays

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This collection contains some of the best essays I’ve ever read. Chee’s writing is quite stunning overall. It’s honest and vulnerable yet blunt and powerful. The sign of great writing in this genre is when it makes me have strong feelings about experiences I could never have, such as being a gay man in San Francisco during the AIDs epidemic, or being in NYC during the terrorist attacks, or being a mixed race American on the morning after Trump’s election. His writing about living through these things delivered punches to my gut as if I experienced them myself. Besides having a lot of intense feelings, I learned a lot about writing from these essays. I understand why this collection is recommended reading for writers like me, looking to “master” the personal essay. I highly recommend this collection for readers of memoir and personal essay as well as writers of those genres. I also think readers of Chee’s fiction would enjoy this insight into him as a human being.

The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman

Mystery/Audiobook

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Advanced copy from NetGalley, published June 8, 2021. This is a delightfully suspenseful read with an interesting mystery at the center. Mia is a British actress in Los Angeles for auditions for pilot season. She meets an American actress named Emily who she seems to have a lot in common with and they hit it off. But when Mia steps out to put money in the parking meter, she returns to find Emily has completely disappeared. Mia is compelled to look for Emily, and that’s where things get interesting. I’ll leave the rest of the plot for you to discover as you read! The author’s narration is excellent, and kept me fully engaged. 

Batter of Wits by Kayla Sorensen

Contemporary romance

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I had high expectations for this one since the previous/first book in the series was excellent. Unfortunately this one didn’t come close. I struggle with the enemies to lovers trope and this book is a perfect example of why. Initially, Grace is so meant to Tucker. It’s hate at first sight and she’s awful to him. I couldn’t get past that, even though her motivation is explained by the supposed curse on her family. Combined with that is the super short timeline for the book. The entire novel takes place over a few weeks. I could see feelings shifting over a longer period of time but it felt rushed. I liked the side characters more than the main ones and I’ll definitely try the next in the series.

Did Not Finish

A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

Mystery/Audiobook

DNF on p70. I just couldn’t get into it. I was listening to the audiobook and the narration was poor. It felt like an older audiobook where it’s clear the narrator is reading. The story has a cozy mystery vibe that made it feel kinda silly and I didn’t attach to any of the characters.

Currently Reading


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