39. Read 52 Books in a Year (Part 3)

Part 3!  It feels like progress, but I’m still a whole 30 books short of my goal.  I’m feeling the ticking clock as Fall is impending, school is starting, and my time will no longer be my own.  (Does anyone want to pay me a living wage to sit on my ass and read mystery novels? I’d be SO good at that job.)  While I’m a speedy reader, I’ve found that I’ve started to economize my reading time by choosing shorter novels to fit my morning and evening commutes, as well as sporadically listening to audiobooks throughout the day.  So, here we are, 22 books in:

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18. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance: 5 Stars
Thoughtful look at a big piece of American society, both in the macro and his personal experiences.  Vance writes about what it was to grow up a “hillbilly” and takes a look a class in America.  His stories and insight were funny, heartbreaking, surprising, and other adjectives.  Highly, highly recommend.

19. The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny: 2.5 Stars
Why do I keep trying with this series?  This is the third of the Inspector Gamache series, and each installment has been “eh”.  Set in the idyllic (and more than a little pretentious) artistic town of Three Pines near Montreal, there seems to be a murder each time the weather changes.  There are approximately 6 townspeople, so you know if a new character is introduced, they are either going to kill or be killed in the first chapter.  There is another running plot about internal precinct politics, but the conflict is not even slightly believable.  I don’t think Louise Penny has ever met a detective or watched any television from the past two decades.

20. My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry: 3 Stars
Painted as a psychological thriller, this is Corry’s first novel and was more about the nuances of relationships, as opposed to a thriller.  It did that thing I like where it spans over decades and we see the choices made in the early parts of life ripple to affect the main characters throughout their lives.  While it was engaging, this novel was too long and everyone had SO MANY emotions.

21. Nikola Tesla by Sean Patrick: 3 Stars
Very short, but with some good insight.  Pro: Patrick used Tesla as a way to say we should all be more imaginative and take bigger risks.  His point falls a little flat, however, as Tesla died penniless and alone in a dingy hotel.  Cons: It reads a little like the passages we had to read for the SATs.

22. I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart: 4.5 Stars
Kevin Hart is a comedy king.  We know this.  It’s a fact, don’t argue with me.  This memoir was exactly the Kevin Hart whose specials and movies I’ve been watching for years: funny, charming, humble, and inclusive.  He has some great advice for living a better, happier, and more successful life.  If you’re a comedy nerd (or a human person who likes laughter), read or listen to this book.

Part 1! Part 2! Let me know your recommendations, I’m looking for new reading material!

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