Book Reviews

Going There

Going ThereGoing There by Katie Couric
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“It’s too late for us. But consider this my gift to you or anyone you know facing terminal illness. I did everything I did to keep Jay alive. Looking back, I wish I had done a better job helping him die”.

I loved this book for so many reasons. Not because I’m a huge Katie Couric fan, in fact I think she’s kind of annoying. And she can also be a diva, shallow, and quite desperate at the same time. (A big part of this book was her search for a partner and how badly men treated her). Really? You’re Katie Couric…but I digress. I found it very honest and brave of her to share her very personal stories, primary the ups and downs of her career. The death of her husband and sister at such young ages was very hard to read. And then her new husband’s diagnosis of liver cancer. OMG, can this woman get a break?

I think the most fun part for me was a stroll down memory lane as she details her 15 years on The Today Show. As a young mother with two little girls home at that time, I was there for all of it, (including 911 as we watched the second jet hit the towers together live). It was cool to access many of her interviews on YouTube as I read through the book. I was also intrigued with her relationship with Matt Lauer and her perspective on his creepy escapades. Recommended for lovers of feminist celebrity memoirs. Four stars

Klara and the Sun

Klara and the SunKlara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

“Until recently, I didn’t think that humans could choose loneliness. That there were sometimes forces more powerful than the wish to avoid loneliness.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro

This was a sweet story. Too sweet. Also underwhelming, childish, and lacking in originality. Such a great premise, and it totally misses the mark. Many themes are introduced and superficially explored. There is no deep-dive or fleshing out of human nature. It’s actually quite insulting. Seriously, was this book for adults? There are no great insights, ideas, or revelations. I waited for brilliance. I read reviews that said this novel meandered dangerously to the dark side. Ha. I tried to see the beauty in its simplicity. All I got was annoyed. But all was not lost, two stars for Klara’s kindness, sweet nature, and humanity (see the joke here). Just too twee for my tastes.

Beach Read

Beach ReadBeach Read by Emily Henry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“And that was the moment I realized: when the world felt dark and scary, love could whisk you off to go dancing; laughter could take some of the pain away; beauty could punch holes in your fear. I decided then that my life would be full of all three.” – Emily Henry

Perfect book for this time of year. Light, steamy, fun, and all of that other good stuff, yet extremely heartfelt as well. I was particularly moved by January’s search to accept, understand, and forgive her father after his death. This is a MUST READ if you’re looking for a break from the heavy stuff. Five stars.

Mexican Gothic

Mexican GothicMexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Old would have been an inaccurate word to describe him. He was ancient, his face gouged with wrinkles, a few sparse hairs stubbornly attached to his skull. He was very pale too, like an underground creature. A slug, perhaps. His veins contrasted with his pallor, thin, spidery lines of purple and blue.”

WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? Supernatural gothic horror I guess. The book starts as a classic creepy haunted house tale with all the eerie ominous vibes that I love. The evil decaying house is filled with a creepy evil family with an awesomely horrific back story. Halfway through, the story takes a supernatural turn which takes you on an action-packed thrill ride with lots of super grotesque imagery. You will also love to hate Noemi, the immature spoiled brat at the center of the story. And Howard, the patriarch of High Place will make your skin crawl. This book is lots of fun. I can’t even… Recommended for lovers of the hideous, grotesque, and macabre. 4.5 stars.