July Reading

I only read two books in July. Goodreads is telling me I’m four books behind on my 2017 reading challenge and frankly I was surprised it wasn’t more than that.

Note: These are not intended to be book reviews…. just a few thoughts and personal opinions I had while reading the books.

Firefly Summer– by Nan Rossiter

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Okay, I’ll admit that I bought this book in the grocery store purely for the cover. Two firsts for me. I’ve never bought a book in a grocery store before and I’ve never purchased a book strictly because I liked the cover (and the title).

Firefly Summer was about four sisters who experienced a family tragedy in their lives at very young ages while at their summer vacation home in Cape Cod. The family never discusses the tragedy and it all just gets swept under the rug. The sisters, who are now in their 50s and 60s and who are very close, all get together on a regular basis to eat a meal and catch up with each other. So we get a glimpse into each sister’s life. We see their joys, their sorrows, their health problems, marital issues, etc.

I have to say I had such mixed feelings about this book. It jumped back and forth from the past to the present (I tend to generally not like books that do this as it makes my brain cells want to explode). I also had a hard time keeping the sisters straight in the beginning. They had uncommon names which I think contributed— Remy, Sailor, Birdie and Piper— you see what I mean? I finally literally sat down with a piece of paper and made a chart of their names, who was married to who, and what their kid’s names were! I referred to this cheat sheet of mine often while reading this book. Crazy but it helped.

I love books about sisters (always have) and while I liked reading about these sisters, I have to say I couldn’t help but feel disappointed in the book as a whole. I kept waiting for the plot to “thicken” but sadly it never did. Nothing. really. happened. I thought the sisters were going to finally discuss the big family tragedy and uncover secrets of some kind (I kinda thought that was the whole point of the book). Though the tragedy was briefly mentioned in spots throughout the book, nothing really became of it. In my opinion, the plot never went anywhere. I was left feeling a little let-down when I finished it.

Never Unfriended” The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships- by Lisa-Jo Baker

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I have a slightly embarrassing confession to make. I confused this book with another book and bought it by mistake. I had intended to buy the book Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst, because I’m planning to join a church book club discussion of that book. I had read blog reviews on both books and somehow when I went to place my order on Amazon, I got them confused in my head. I swear I don’t drink.

I decided I’d read this book anyway since I’m a very shy and introverted person and friendship comes hard for me.  Not to mention the book had excellent reviews and ratings. Bloggers had raved about it.

I actually felt bad for not loving this book after I saw its five-star ratings on Amazon and Goodreads and after having read SO many good reviews on the book.  I wanted to like it. I really did. It was well written and well-organized but I have to be honest in saying I had a hard time staying focused while I read it. I wish I could tell you why but I can’t. It’s a deep book and one to be pondered, not devoured in a sitting or two. But after laying it down, sometimes it would be days before I’d pick it back up again, hence the reason I only got two books read in July. And after I finished a chapter, the next day I couldn’t have told you what I read for the life of me. I couldn’t seem to retain or remember anything in this book.

Soooo……I’m not exactly sure why I had a hard time focusing on this book but if I had to make a guess I would say it was partly because there was a lot of talk about social media in the book and how nowadays we can “unfriend people with the swipe of  a finger. ” If you know me, you know I’m not that into social media so all of that just didn’t interest me that much. I formed the opinion early on in the book that I felt it was written for a younger generation of women than my own (you know, the cliquey type friendships that are made in middle school– not the type friendships a 58-year-old woman is interested in). But that’s not really true and I certainly don’t think that was the author’s intention at all. There was some good advice and thoughts in the book about making and keeping friends and some lovely friendship quotes which I highlighted. So I struggled to finish this book and I honestly can’t say why. It’s back on my shelf for now and maybe I’ll pull it back out at a later date and try reading it again. I really do feel like I missed something with this one.

I have some questions for my readers (all three of you- ha ha). Have you ever read a book with excellent reviews that others had raved about, but that you just couldn’t get into? Care to tell us what book it was? Also, have you ever purchased a book purely for its cover?  

Gail ♥ 

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About Gail

I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, veterinarian, and wanna be writer. I love nature and animals of all kinds, music, cooking, and spending time with my family.
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3 Responses to July Reading

  1. Relax... says:

    Oh, goodness… I’d kept reading bloggers rave over “A Confederacy of Dunces.” Once again, I learned I cannot go with what others suggest “everyone” would like. (Friends of ours raved over “The Big Chill” movie. We found it bordering on soft porn, and to heck with the “great musical score.”) Anyway, “Confederacy” was (to me) a much too farcical story. Some of the characters had no redeeming qualities, and it was exhausting! There was another book, a classic, really.. I tried about 15 times to get into it, and as you say, I could retain nothing from the previous PAGE, let alone chapter! It was the Summa Theologica, lol. I finally donated it. (And yes, I’ve bought books based on covers alone, but of course they were non-fiction so I had a heads-up as to what I’d find inside — but I did indeed buy them in a grocery store! Nowadays, I’m much too cheapskate to do that.)

    • Gail says:

      I have to admit that some of the rave reviews I read on Christian books by Christian bloggers end up being by a member of the author’s launch team. I’ll discover that little tidbit often at the end of the post so I then take that rave review with a grain of salt.

      I don’t know why I have such a hard time quitting a book when I don’t like it, but I rarely do. I feel like once I start one, I have to finish, whether I like it or not. Isn’t that silly?! The one book I did ditch was one I just totally couldn’t get in to. It was a classic too. Charles Dickens- A Christmas Carol. Couldn’t take it! I tried reading it to my sons when they were at a fairly young age and you’ve never heard such whining and balking.

      There’s been a lot of movies that I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. Even Disney movies that I just couldn’t wait to see, then ended up being SO disappointed!

      As always, thanks for responding! Always enjoy your comments!

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