February Mini Reviews 2015

Mini Reviews
Mini Reviews

My mini reviews for February are a bit different from my typical set. This time, I’ve got ALL audiobooks to review, and half of them are nonfiction, so I’ve divided the post up by fiction or nonfiction. I hope you enjoy!

Fiction Audiobooks

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins2 Stars
This one was a book club assignment, expertly chosen by my best friend who didn’t know what to pick, so leaned over as asked her mom about a new book she’d bought on her Kindle. There’s been a lot of talk and hype about the book, so I learned it was a thriller, which was a good sign. However, this book pretty much bored me. I did not like any of the characters; the main character had no redeeming qualities and I felt unable to sympathize with her or care about what happened to her. The story moved slowly and was pretty predictable on several plot points. The narrators (there were three) were fine, at least.

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness 4 Stars
This book gets extra points for being so easy to get back into after I had to postpone my listening of it by a few months — right in the middle! What I’m saying is: the book, the characters, and the story stuck with me. It was an interesting combination of fascinating ideas and easy listening/reading, which is great for driving! At first I was a little bored by how typical it seemed, but the deeper I got into the story, the more the richness revealed itself. By the end, I wanted to move into the Bishop house with the rest of their ragtag crew of Creatures! Thoroughly enjoyed it, and moved directly on to book two!

Nonfiction Audiobooks

The Power of a Positive No by William Ury

The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No and Still Get to Yes by William Ury 4 Stars
My husband got this one from the library and we listened to it together, which is a great thing to do with your partner, by the way. I really enjoyed this book for several reasons. 1) It gives you practical advice that will help you stay true to yourself, maintain boundaries, and negotiate situations in ways that are respectful of — and beneficial for — both parties. Listening to the audiobook was especially nice, because I believe it was narrated by the author himself. It felt less like he was reading a book, and more like he was just speaking directly from his heart. He’s got an impressive array of experiences and examples to draw from, when making his points, too!

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman 4 Stars
Another one of my husband’s finds… and it ended up being the book we gave as a gift and recommended to the most people in 2014. This book is a fascinating look at the way human brains work when making decisions. It helped me to understand not only myself better, but other people, and it provides a multitude of insights that can help you make better decisions! I loved that the author (a Nobel prize winner) would dig so deep into every aspect of his experiments, and was equally willing to accept that the results applied to him, too — even when they were not what he wanted to hear! Highly recommended, to basically everyone.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

Read 24 comments

  1. I wasn’t a fan of The Girl on the Train either, although several of my friends raved about it. I didn’t expect to care about the characters, but the pacing was so….awkward – I never really felt a sense of danger or anticipation, nor really care what happened. Glad I’m not alone ;)

  2. Oh no about The Girl on the Train, I’d heard SO MUCH HYPE and was avoiding it a little, but to hear it’s not good and that you didn’t like it, bad bad times. A Discovery of Witches sounds interesting, but it looks and sounds huge, and heavy, and I’m loving my shorter, quicker, easily digestible books right now, but I’ll keep an eye out in the future for sure! Lovely short reviews Kelley!<3

  3. I was bored by The Girl on the Train too. I read it and was just kinda like “That was. . . it? This is THE thriller of the year? Okay. . .” I didn’t hate it or anything, but *yawns*.

    I have A Discovery of Witches on my shelf unread, but it sounds like I should pick it up soon!

    • Seriously! I was kind of confused by how everyone was even calling that book a thriller. To me, it was boring and predictable. =/

      A Discovery of Witches is definitely worth reading at some point! But if I were you, I’d wait until you have the time to delve into the whole series, because you’ll want to just read them all straight through!

  4. I am SO glad I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed with The Girl on the Train. Naturally the buzz has been insane, but what made me pick it up was high praise from people who share my tastes. I don’t know if my expectations were too high or what, but I was so letdown.

  5. Thinking, Fast and Slow sounds very good! I’m a little wary of the cover because it reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell’s book, which I think over-generalize and maybe even misrepresent research to make a good story. The fact that this is by a nobel prize winner makes me optimistic that it would be better though :)

  6. I’m so glad you liked A Discovery of Witches, Kelley! The All Souls trilogy is one of my all time favourites and honestly, I struggle to find anything that lives up to it nowadays! Shadow of Night is my absolute favourite so I hope you like the next instalment!

  7. I haven’t read any of these books! But I seriously find myself very interested in the non-fiction choices you’ve shared. It’s such a cool idea to listen to them along with your husband too! I might just have to convince mine to give that a shot :)

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