October 13, 2015

Books on Books on Books {Link Up}

Today I'm  linking up with Steph for her fabulous "Show us your books" link up party. I haven't gotten my act together for this the past few months, so I'm glad I was able to get it alllll  together. I always enjoy reading multiple book posts because I find such great reads to put on my list. You blog ladies rarely let me down with your recommendations.

/////////////////////////////////////

The Daring Ladies of Lowell
* * **

"From the best-selling author of The Dressmaker comes the warm-hearted and enthralling saga of a bold young woman caught between two worlds-the vibrant camaraderie of factory life and the opulence that a budding romance with the mill owner's son affords-as the murder of her best friend sends shock waves throughout the town. [picture and summary via GoodReads]"

I picked this book up on a whim and honestly enjoyed the book as a whole. I'm a huge fan of history, but my knowledge of America's Industrial Revolution and the conditions women worked in mills is quite sparse. Obviously I knew it wasn't safe, but this book educated me on how dangerous and disgusting working in mills could be for women [and men]. Alice is a charming heroine and her Mill Girl friends are all intriguing in their own way. I found the pull of the 'forbidden romance' a bit cliche, but the author tried to keep it interesting with her twists and turns. If you enjoy historical fiction I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy this story.

/////////////////////////////////////

  The Ocean at the End of The Lane
* * *

"Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy. [picture and summary via GoodReads]"

This book was strange. Not strange bad, just a very unique story line which had me rereading passages to be sure I understood everything. I enjoyed the writing and there were quite a few times I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what was going to happen next. Lettie and her family are quite interesting characters and there is no lack of imagination in this story. If you want to try a unique book, give this a chance, if you like books that have a more believable plot-line don't even bother.

/////////////////////////////////////

The Astronaut Wives Club
* * *1/2

"As America's Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. They had tea with Jackie Kennedy, appeared on the cover of Life magazine, and quickly grew into fashion icons.

As their celebrity rose-and as divorce and tragedy began to touch their lives-the wives continued to rally together, forming bonds that would withstand the test of time, and they have stayed friends for over half a century. The Astronaut Wives Club tells the story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history
[picture and summary via GoodReads]."

I LOVED the Astronaut Wives Club mini-series, love, love, loved it. The actresses, the story lines and the fashion kept me riveted to the screen so I was expecting the same feelings when I read the book. Sadly, there were no fun feelings. Obviously books and television shows differ, but I was quite shocked by how much the show deviated from the book regarding the women and even some of the flights/arguments. I also found it a bit long and dry when housing and communities were discussed. I guess I just wanted more and was bummed when I found out the women's personalities in the television show weren't quite who they were in real life.  

/////////////////////////////////////

The Girl on the Train
* *

"Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. 

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? [picture and summary via GoodReads]. "

I may be the only blogger on the block that did not love this book. I do NOT see what all the fuss was about and honestly feel generous giving it two stars. Was it interesting? Kind of, I mean I finished the book but I wasn't 'oh  my gosh what happens next? This book is so amazing'! Honestly, I found the character jumps confusing and the main character really annoyed me because of her drama. I do admit I usually find it hard to get behind a book when I don't click with or enjoy the heroine. If you want to check the book out because it's the HOT book I think you're wasting your time, but if you need a book to get you through a plane ride or a vacation it will do the trick.

/////////////////////////////////////

The American Heiress 
* * * *

"Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts’, suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage. [picture and summary via GoodReads]. "

I really, really, really wanted to love this book and give it five stars and I was ready to until the end. After the  whole Downton Abbey crazy, I've found myself drawn to Gilded Era books and shows and this book sounded right up my alley. From the beginning it was clear the marriage wasn't going to be smooth sailing and I found Cora's struggle to fit in as an English Duchess endearing and sometimes sad. However, it was quite clear what was happening and I just wanted to shake the poor girl so she could see everything clearly. The characters were all extremely interesting and the lil plot twists here and there definitely capture your attention. I won't say too much about the ending because I don't want to give it away, but I did feel like it ended quite abrubtly. Not only had I hoped for more I expected a lil more explanation. Those of you who have read the book, what were your thoughts on the ending? 

What books are on your list now? Anyone reading anything great? 

41 comments:

BLovedBoston said...

I haven't read any of these except for girl on the train! You have a wide variety of tastes in book which is awesome!!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

Caitlin Elizabeth said...

I enjoyed Girl on the Train but I read it in a day laying out by the pool while on vacation... it probably would have taken me months if I tried to read it during daily life haha, I was intrigued but I agree about the main character.

Katie @ Champagne and Suitcases said...

I haven't read any of these except for Girl on the Train, can't wait to check them out! Thanks for all the recommendations!

Heather said...

The Astronaut Wives sounds so good, but maybe I'll just see if I can watch the mini series. Stinks when the book isn't as good. The Daring Ladies of Lowell sounds interesting, adding it to my TBR!

Pamela {Sequins and Sea Breezes} said...

You aren't alone, I didn't like Girl on the Train either. Blah. I had no idea The Astronaut Wives Club was a book too although sounds like I need to skip it! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

Joey @ Hodgespodges said...

Nope..I didn't LOVE The Girl On The Train either. I actually struggled through it, forcing myself to finish thinking there had to be something I was missing or something that was going to happen at the end that knocked me off my socks. Nope. just a pretty okay book in my opinion!

Jenn @ Optimization Actually said...

I bought The Girl on the Train for a bookclub but haven't been able to make myself start. Now I'm thinking maybe I should just return it? I've only read one Neil Gaiman book, but his style is very unique and intriguing. I think I'll have to pick up more of his books.

Illegally Blonde said...

Well now I know what not to buy.

Kristin said...

Perfect timing! I have been looking for some new book ideas! We are reading Girl on the Train for my December book club but I'm going to need to look into these others! Thanks for sharing girl. :)

Queen In Between said...

You definitely read a lot of different styles of books which I think is so great. I pretty much stick to the same all the time.

awhite said...

Great honest reviews, lady- I haven't read Girl on the Train, but my friends seem to be split on it; half love and half didn't care for it!

-Ashley
Le Stylo Rouge

Katie Elizabeth said...

I liked Girl on the Train when I read it, but after reading quite a few better books since then, I can see how it wasn't that great - if that makes any sense. Have you read All the Light We Cannot See? I feel like you would really enjoy it!

Julie said...

I've heard a lot of mix reviews on The Girl on the Train. It seems like people either love it or hate it. I'm probably going to check it out either way, just because I'm curious. lol!

Marie said...

I haven't read any of these books. My friends all had mixed reviews on The Girl on the Train. I added it to my reading list but haven't read it yet. Will check out the other books you mention, thanks for the reading inspiration.

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I was so disappointed in The Astronaut Wives - I picked it up when it first came out and was certain I would love it. It was awful! I couldn't finish it. But maybe I'll check out the TV show!

Kate at Green Fashionista said...

I just finished The Girl on the Train, and I'd love to read The Astronauts Wives Club - LOVED the show <3

Green Fashionista

Foxy's Domestic Side said...

Holy cow that's a lot of books for one month! How do you find the time?! I haven't read any of these books. The last book I tried to read, I got 5 pages in and kids needed something, and I haven't picked it up since, lol. Opps! One of these days I'll start reading again.

Jen said...

I keep seeing everyone's book posts and I feel like such a slacker in the reading department haha.

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

i didn't hate the girl on the train, but i've already forgotten it so it clearly wasn't amazing. that sucks about the american heiress, i haven't read it but the cover and synopsis make me want to, but i keep hearing not great things lol. i loved the ocean at the end of the lane, but you really do need to go into it knowing it's strange. the graveyard one is similar, if you go into it wanting a normal, every day, believable story.. you'll hate it lol. adding the daring ladies to my list. i watched the first few episodes of the astronauts show, good to hear i should stay away from the book!

Brittany Pines said...

I liked The Girl on the Train, but I did not like the characters. And some people really have to like the characters to like the book. That being said, lots of people compare it to Gone Girl which I still haven't read, so that seems to color the reviews also.

Heather said...

The Astronaut Wives Club has been on my radar for a while. :)

Emily said...

Good to hear your take on Girl On A Train...I'm not a big reader but I was actually considering reading that one because of all the said fuss. Glad I didn't bother lol

alyssa said...

I'm so torn about The Girl On the Train. I'm usually not at all interested in thrillers, but I finally got worn down and read Gone Girl and ended up loving the majority of the book. So maybe I do like thrillers? But maybe only really good ones? Glad to hear your review. I'll probably add this to my list but won't be reaching for it tomorrow or anything.

NY Foodie Family said...

The only book I read was The Girl on The Train which I liked. I'm adding The Daring Ladies of Lowell to my to read list. I enjoy historical fiction a lot!

Amanda - Voyage of the MeeMee said...

2 stars was GENEROUS for Girl on the Train?! Hot damn!!!!!!!! PINKY SHOWS NO MERCY! lol I haven't read it yet but I'm still VERY curious about it... even more so now!

Food, Booze, & Baggage said...

I did not like The Ocean At The End of The Lane nearly as much as Gaiman's other books, it just didn't pull me in like his prior books. I felt drawn in my The Girl On The Train, and read it in a day, but I hated the lead character. It was not nearly as well written as Gone Girl (the book it is most often compared to). The American Heiress sounds interesting.

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

I did not like The Girl On The Train either. She was a hot mess and so wasn't basically all the other characters. I don't mind an unlikeable character but it was a bit much, I was more excited for the book to end.

Kait said...

First of all, thank you for introducing me to this linkup! I've been finding so many good books I want to read! I just finished "The Hypnotist's Love Story" by Liana Moriarty. Have you read her books? If not, I highly recommend her. I've read them all. I'm anxious to read Girl On The Train, but I'm bummed you didn't like it.

Michelle said...

The Girl on The Train was one of my favorite reads this past year. Currently reading Jojo Moyes The Last Letter From Your Lover. A quarter way through and loving it. She is a favorite author right now of mine.

Ashley Greenwell said...

I really liked Girl on the Train, but it was intense at some parts! Will have to add these other ones to my list!

Melissa @ Always, Lissa said...

I've been wanting to read The Girl On The Train. I'll have to get on finding it at the library. Nice progress by the way!

Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders said...

The Daring Ladies of Lowell and The American Heiress both sound like books I love, so I definitely need to add them to my list! I can understand why you didn't love Girl on the Train. I thought that it was difficult to read with the changing of perspective a lot, but I sometimes feel like I love a thriller no matter what, which might be why I loved it.

Bitzy said...

You read a Neil Gaiman book! He's one of my favorites but I'd definitely recommend one of his other books first or one of his short stories to get into his style of writing. Excited to see you expand your reading horizons =)

Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand said...

I like to mix in a good historical fiction every now and then, and a strong heroine makes it even more appealing, so I added The Daring Ladies of Lowell tbr.

Trista @ The Classy Chaos said...

I do like historical fiction! I will have to add the Ladies of Lowell to my to be read list!

All Things Big and Small said...

I had a hard time with Girl on the Train. I hated the protagonist for the first half of the book. It was a good read but I didn't love it at all. I mean, I almost stopped so many times just because I was so frustrated. The Astronaut Wives Club is on my TV watch list. Maybe then, I will read the book.

Annie- All Things Big And Small

Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad said...

Oh I loved The Ocean At The End of The Lane, I had no idea it was going to be so strange but once I surrendered to the surreal, it was brilliant! I might skip Girl on the Train because I'm like you - if I don't like the protagonist, I'm not going to like the book as a whole. I had that with a book I read recently and by about halfway through I couldn't wait to finish it!

Teh Megan said...

Apparently I've had Oceans on my TBR list for a while.. oops.
I'm totally willing to give American Heiress a try.
I strongly disliked the main character, but enjoyed the story once I got over how much I loathed her.

Meghan @ Me as Meghan said...

I didn't really like The Girl On the Train either! I found it was too confusing and I didn't empathize with the main character. The other books like interesting reads...I would like to read the Darling Ladies of Lowell!

Christina said...

I tried to read The Astronauts Wives Club last summer and could not get into it. There were so many characters and mundane details. I also really loved the mini-series and thought I might go back now that I can put a name to a face, but maybe I'll skip it and not feel bad about it. :)

Rose @ Ramblin' Rose said...

Glad you felt the same way about Girl on Train as I did. I just didn't see what the fuss was about. I despised every single character. The only thing I will say is that I read it in like 2 days because I had to figure out what the twist was. The Daring Ladies sounds good. I'm a sucker for historical fiction. I've had Ocean on my list for awhile. I've heard good and bad.