New Year Book Reviews

It’s only the third week of January, and I’ve already finished four books. I don’t know if this is setting a healthy precedent for 2014, but oh well. I might as well share them with you, because if the past three weeks are any indication, this year will be full of satisfying reads.

the rosie project

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The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Admittedly, I finished this read just before the holidays, but I was pretty busy and the review escaped me. Don Tillman is a professor of genetics. He is high functioning on the Autism spectrum, which might be clear to the audience, but not to Don. He lives his life with exact routines. He knows exactly how much sleep he needs, eats the same 7 dishes for dinner each week to save him time at the grocery store, and follows all the rules. But Don would like a wife, a life partner, and he decides that the most logical way to attain one is to survey several women based on his criteria, and find Mrs. Right. Don employs the help of his only friends, Gene and Claudia, and finds that maybe finding a wife will not be as simple as matching criteria. This book was pretty hilarious, especially because I listened to the audio version, and I could hear the lack of emotion in Don’t voice, and how he thinks the way he lives life is completely normal and the most logical way to be. If you know someone on the spectrum, it’s really helpful to get into this guy’s head and understand what he’s thinking. It may help you to relate. 4/5


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Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown

I like to think of myself as a put-together person, mostly. I have a job, make dinner five to six nights a week, and never drink enough to be hungover. However, I also still wear shoes from Payless, don’t know how to properly fold a fitted sheet, and won’t put anything on the walls because I’m to scared too commit to interior design. Kelly Williams Brown addresses all of these things in her guide book to becoming a grown-up. I will admit that I didn’t read this book thoroughly, but I did skim through and see lots of helpful tips in an easy-to-read, relatable format. There are tips from moving to cooking to advancing your career and budgeting. It’s a handy book to have around, and I recommend it as a good gift for a college graduate! 3/5

orphan train

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Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

After reading The Chaperone early last year, I became a little more interested in the Children’s Aid Society and their efforts to find homes for orphans in the early 20th century. Vivian Daly, formerly Niamh (pronounced Neeve) Power, immigrated through Ellis Island with her whole family from Ireland. Unfortunately, a fire orphaned Niamh, the oldest in the family, and she was sent on the Children’s Aid Society train to Minnesota to be adopted by a family. Orphaned children were brought from big cities out to the country and were put on display for couples to select them. Some families had good intentions to adopt these children and others were looking for free labor. Molly is a teenager in the foster care system, and to stay out of juvenile hall, she must complete community service. Molly ends up in Vivian’s home and finds out her story and how they are not much different from each other. While the story is interesting and at times, heartbreaking, it sometimes read a little slowly and predictably. 3/5


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

Clay Jannon needs a job after the startup he does marketing for goes out of business, and he stumbles across Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore with a “Help Needed” sign. He’s not to open the books and has to keep a detailed log of the visitors to the bookstore every evening. Well, Clay lets his curiosity get the better of him, and he realizes that this bookstore is the pathway to a club, of sorts. Clay employs his genius friends: Neel, that guy you’re glad you were nice to in elementary school because now he’s rich and has lots of toys at his disposal; Mat, his genius artist roommate; and Kat, the devoted Googler, as if Google is a religion. Clay even uses the help of forums and websites, like any Generation Y’er or millennial would do, to find out what is going on in Penumbra’s bookstore. Again, this is written in an easy and relatable style. Clay’s internal commentary can be pretty funny, and pretty spot on. Anyone who is into design and typeface, and just the old meeting the new, will really enjoy this book. It’s sort of like The Da Vinci Code, but a little more laid back and cool. 4.5/5


4 responses

  1. I wish I had your momentum, I’m on the last book of the Game of Thrones series and it’s taking foreverrrr. Definitely adding these to my list!

  2. Pingback: Contemporary Reads | Ayestria Abridged

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