The Busy Giffs: Book Club Friday

August 31, 2012

Book Club Friday

I know, it's been forever but I'm finally back with a book club update!
And I've been busy!
here's my most recent books!

Book #37
If You Were Here

From Amazon:
Told in the uproariously entertaining voice readers have come to expect from Jen Lancaster, If You Were Here follows Amish-zombie-teen- romance author Mia and her husband Mac (and their pets) through the alternately frustrating, exciting, terrifying-but always funny-process of buying and renovating their first home in the Chicago suburbs that John hughes's movies made famous. Along their harrowing renovation journey, Mia and Mac get caught up in various wars with the homeowners' association, meet some less-than-friendly neighbors, and are joined by a hilarious cast of supporting characters, including a celebutard ex- landlady. As they struggle to adapt to their new surroundings- with Mac taking on the renovations himself- Mia and Mac will discover if their marriage is strong enough to survive months of DIY renovations.

I really like Jen Lancaster and the way she writes; it's very conversational but I think I might be sick of her. Reading most of her books and seeing the quality take a nose dive with Jeneration X, I wasn't sure how her fiction would be. Needless to say, I liked it. Liked, not loved. It reads like her memoirs but she subbed in names for the main characters, otherwise, I could have been another memoir...
Not her worst, not her best.

Book #38
The Guardian

From Amazon:
Julie Barenson's young husband left her two unexpected gifts before he died - a Great Dane puppy named Singer and the promise that he would always be watching over her. Now four years have passed. Still living in the small town of Swansboro, North Carolina, twenty-nine-year-old Julie is emotionally ready to make a commitment to someone again. But who? Should it be Richard Franklin, the handsome, sophisticated engineer who treats her like a queen? Or Mike Harris, the down-to-earth nice guy who was her husband's best friend? Choosing one of them should bring her more happiness than she's had in years. Instead, Julie is soon fighting for her life in a nightmare spawned by a chilling deception and jealousy so poisonous that it has become a murderous desire...

After denying myself of Nicholas Sparks for so long, I feel like I've really saturated my brain with his writing. He is also very cookie cutter in my mind (but hey, with that kind of success, I would be too) so I was extremely surprised by this one! Definitely darker and creepier than his others and different than what I expected. Probably my favorite of all of his that I've read.

Book #39
The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud

From Amazon:
In a snug New England fishing village, Charlie St. Cloud tends the lawns and monuments of an ancient cemetery where his younger brother, Sam, is buried. After surviving the car accident that claimed his brother's life, Charlie is graced with an extraordinary gift: He can see, talk to, and even play catch with Sam's spirit. Into this magical world comes Tess Carroll, a captivating woman training for a solo sailing trip around the globe. Fate steers her boat into a treacherous storm that propels her into Charlie's life. Their beautiful and uncommon connection leads to a race against time and a choice between death and life, between the past and the future, between holding on and letting go — and the discovery that miracles can happen if we simply open our hearts.

I never saw the movie but figured I would try the book. I was pleasantly surprised. Disappointed that I figured out the twist before I was "supposed" to but the last couple chapters were completely captivating for me. Emotional but worth every second of reading.

Book #40
Baby Proof

From Amazon:
A novel that explores the question: Is there ever a deal-breaker when it comes to true love?
Claudia Parr has everything going for her. A successful editor at a publishing house in Manhattan, she's also a devoted sister, aunt, and friend. Yet she's never wanted to become a mother--which she discovers is a major hurdle to marriage, something she desperately wants. Then she meets her soul mate Ben who, miraculously, feels the same way about parenthood. The two fall in love and marry, committed to one another and their life of adventure and discovery. All's well until one of them has a change of heart. Someone wants a baby after all.
This is the witty, heartfelt story about what happens to the perfect couple when they suddenly want different things and there is no compromise. It's about deciding what is most important in life and wagering everything to get it. And most of all, it's about the things we will--and won't--do for love.

I still don't know how I feel about this book. It questions what part of you that you would be willing to give up in order to be with someone. Was tough to read at points and a bit long winded, but not completely horrific. Not sure how I feel about her as an author either so that may have played into it.

Book #41
Queen of Babble In The Big City

From Amazon:

Lizzie Nichols is back, pounding the New York City pavement and looking for a job, a place to live, and her proper place in the universe (not necessarily in that order).
"Summer Fling" Luke's use of the "L" (Living Together) word has her happily abandoning plans to share a one-room walk-up with best friend Shari in exchange for cohabitation with the love of her life in his mom's ritzy Fifth Avenuepied-à-terre. Lizzie's landed a non-paying gig in her chosen field—vintage wedding gown rehab—and a paying one as a receptionist at Shari's boyfriend's father's posh law firm. So life is good . . . for the moment.
But almost immediately her notoriously big mouth is getting her into trouble. At work she's becoming too chummy with society bride-to-be Jill Higgins, inflaming the ire of Jill's troublesome future mother-in-law. At home she's made the grievous error of bringing up the "M" (Marriage) word to commitment-shy Luke. Once again joblessness and homelessness are looming large for hapless blabbermouth Liz—unless she can figure out some way to babble her way to a happily ever. 

Definitely picked up the second book and skipped over the first entirely. Oops.
I liked this book, very cute, and even without the first book's references, I was able to enjoy it. There is a HUGE cliffhanger  at the end of this book so I will ABSOLUTELY be putting the next book on reserve!

Have you read any of these?
What did you think?
Ps. I'm getting dangerously close to 50 books!
Keeping Up With The Giffords


  1. I haven't read any of these but I'll have to check out the last two! Thanks!

  2. Whoops... I meant Charlie St Cloud and the Meg Cabot one... :)

  3. the guardian is oe of my favorites by sparks.

    emily griffin always write a fun story :)

  4. I've read Baby Proof as well as the Jen Lancaster books. I agree about Lancaster's books. I did really like Bitter is the New Black. The most recent books are tedious though. I love Emily Giffin's books; her new one, Where We Belong, was really good!


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