Friday, July 20, 2012

Book Club Friday

This weekend I am headed the 3 1/2 hours north to Minneapolis with one of my best friends to see a few good friends of mine that I met through blogging. I love when I can merge groups of friends, and I just adore that this friend of mine loves my blogging friends too. It makes me grin the big cheesy grin. :D

So far, we have planned to visit a blowout bar (I've never had a blowout done on my hair!), brunch at Hell's Kitchen and dinner at Joe's Garage. We're staying downtown and I am excited to use the Nice Ride! bike sharing program again like last year. Des Moines has a bike sharing program, but it is not near as widespread as Nice Ride! is.

I'm sure I will be back on Monday or Tuesday with lots of pictures!

It's Friday and that means I'm talking about the book I read this week.  It has been awhile since I've participated in Heather's Book Club Friday and I have missed it!

This week I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Jennifer Weiner's The Next Best Thing from the library.

The Des Moines Public Library has a fantastic Bestseller Express system and you can check out bestelling books for $1, I am huge fan of this system because I tend to forget to put books on hold until a few weeks before they come out and I have been focusing on curbing my nasty book buying habit. I've allowed myself about $25-30/month on books and I have done a pretty decent job of sticking to that budget so far this year. If I can use the library, I will.

For the first 170 pages or so, I was rather bored while reading it. The protagonist in the story is a very strong female named Ruth (sometimes Ruthie). Ruth had endured quite a tragedy at a young age and was left in the care of her grandmother. From a very young age Ruth wrote down stories, her stories and other stories, her grandmother encouraged her to just write. So, she did. Ruth ends up in television writing and moving to Los Angeles, CA.

I really enjoyed the character of Ruth and her grandmother. They're both strong and extremely likable. The story was interesting and learning some of the behind the scenes information on television writing was cool. I also couldn't help but assume that some of Jennifer Weiner's own experience with her television show, State of Georgia crept into the story as well.

My only problem was how slow the beginning was. Actually, more than just the beginning. More like 170 pages. I just felt like I was slogging through it. By the last third of the book I was flipping pages quickly in anticipation and I enjoyed the end, but I just hated that it took so long to get into it.

I would definitely recommend this to Jennifer Weiner fans, but if you haven't read any of her books yet, I would start with Good In Bed or In Her Shoes - two of my absolute faves by Jennifer Weiner.

I rated this book 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, but if I could, I would have given it 3.5. Do not let this deter you, though. Jennifer Weiner is a fantastic author and she writes the best characters. I have fallen in love with almost all of her main characters and will probably always pick up her work.

Have you read any good books lately? I feel like it's been awhile since I've read a book that just blew me away. I'm craving something GREAT. 

PS: This is post number 777 so, it must be lucky or something! ;)
 

14 comments:

Abbey said...

Good advice to start with some of her others first! I follow her on twitter and love her, but I've yet to read any of her books!

Stephany said...

I always find Jennifer Weiner's books hard to get into. I read Good in Bed which I actually loved, but there was another book by her that I ended up abandoning because it was SO slow and SO boring. I need to read In Her Shoes, though!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I really loved Good in Bed and In Her Shoes. Those were great books. I requested this from the library but the wait is LONG.

I really liked Cutting for Stone, but it's a massive book and it took about 200 pages for me to get into it... so it's not something I'd recommend to everyone...

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

PS - see you in 2 days!!! :)

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Have fun in Minneapolis! I went there when I lived in Des Moines and my boyfriend and I went to Hells Kitchen! I can't even remember what I got...pancakes? Mimosas? Have fun with Lisa; she is a great person to hang out with and is so easy to get along with!

Ann said...

She is one of my favorite authors. I am actually reading this book now (but didnt finish in time to review it).

I looked tonight and I am on page 171, lol. Glad to know that it picks up the speed as I agree it has been slow to start!

Reads, Rants, Raves and Reviews said...

Good author and we want pics of the blowout!

Shoshanah said...

I'm sure I'll be picking this up soon since I've read pretty much everything else by Jennifer Weiner.

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Aw, so jealous you and Lisa are hanging out :) Clearly I need to move to the midwest!

I am in a total book rut right now so I have no suggestions- I feel like every book I read this month is bad haha.

Heather said...

I've loved her other books, so I'm disappointed that this one was a slow starter!

And I totally understand what you mean about the book budget...the hubby & I are both big readers and we had a $200 Amazon bill in May! Ouch.

Kimberlee Van Der Wall said...

Thanks for the review! Your library sounds awesome :)

Lesli said...

I kind of felt that way about Little Earthquakes too--hard to get into--ultimately ended up loving it. But a lot of times if I don't love a book from the start, I will give up on it and abandon it--not always a good idea! Sometimes the books get really good. But if I am ever a writer, I want my books to grab you from the first page! :-)

Lexilooo said...

Jennifer Weiner was just in DC last week for the book tour and I met her! I still need to blog about it!

Charlotte's Web of Books said...

Okay, I am BEYOND jealous at the $1 Bestseller Express. I would SO be doing that if it were available here.