Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Adult Mini Reviews in June

Posted by Caitie F on June 12, 2015

I want to share mini reviews for all the books i have read in the past 2 months. I am breaking it into posts based on age level. Here are the adult titles:

Title: Single, Carefree, Mellowsingle
Author: Katherine Heiny
Hardcover: 240 pages
Pub Date: Feb 2015
Publisher:  Knopf
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

Single, Carefree, Mellow is that rare and wonderful thing: a debut that is superbly accomplished, endlessly entertaining, and laugh-out-loud funny.

Maya is in love with both her boyfriend and her boss. Sadie’s lover calls her as he drives to meet his wife at marriage counseling. Gwen pines for her roommate, a man who will hold her hand but then tells her that her palm is sweaty. And Sasha agrees to have a drink with her married lover’s wife and then immediately regrets it. These are the women of Single, Carefree, Mellow, and in these eleven sublime stories they are grappling with unwelcome houseguests, disastrous birthday parties, needy but loyal friends, and all manner of love, secrets, and betrayal.

In snappy, glittering prose that is both utterly hilarious and achingly poignant, Katherine Heiny chronicles the ways in which we are unfaithful to each other, both willfully and unwittingly. Maya, who appears in the title story and again in various states of love, forms the spine of this linked collection, and shows us through her moments of pleasure, loss, deceit, and kindness just how fickle the human heart can be


Like most short story collections, these can be hit or miss, but mostly, they hit and hit big. These characters are not perfect, but even when they do “bad’ things they are not portrayed as villains. It will make you want more from Katherine Heiny  because she is brilliant.

Title: Life After LifeLifeAfter
Author: Kate Atkinson
Hardcover: 544 pages
Pub Date: Apr 2013
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. Sadly, she dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual.

For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways. Clearly history (and Kate Atkinson) have plans for her: In Ursula rests nothing less than the fate of civilization.


Why did it take me so long to read this book? It was SO good. It took a few chapters to get into the format, but in the end, it was brilliantly written, structured, and the story was incredible. I keep saying “oh I am done with WWII books” and it turns out, I’m not. If you haven’t read this one and have any interest in historical fiction, pick it up!

Title: Fairytale of New York Fairytale
Author: Miranda Dickinson
eBook: 400 pages
Pub Date: Nov 2009
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rating: +++

Summary from goodreads:

happy-ever-afters made in Manhattan? Find out in this gorgeous debut, perfect for cold winter nights. Once upon a time an English girl went to New York to live out her very own fairytale! Florist Rosie Duncan’s life couldn’t be better, she has a flourishing business on New York’s Upper West Side and fantastic friends. Moving to Manhattan feels like the best decision she ever made. Even though at the time, it was her escape route from heartbreak …For the past six years Rosie has kept her heart under lock and key, despite the protests of her closest friends – charming, commitment-phobic Ed, unlucky in love Marnie and the one-woman tornado that is Celia.

Then a blossoming friendship with publishing hot-shot Nate begins to shake Rosie’s resolve at the same time as her brother arrives in the Big Apple, hiding a secret. But a chance meeting brings Rosie face to face with her past, unravelling the mystery behind her arrival in New York. Rosie is forced to confront questions she has long been trying to ignore, including will she ever get her very own happy-ever-after? A sparkling, romantic comedy about an English girl who finds herself in the city where dreams can come true – or so she thinks!


I think this was recommended on an episode of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, so i had high expectations since Linda Holmes is amazing. And I liked it – I just wanted a little more romance in it. The main character was great and I loved everything else that was going on, i just wish the romantic parts happened a little earlier. That said, I am totally going ot read more books by her because it was lovely and exactly what I was looking for at the time.

Title: Fall of Giants Fall
Author: Ken Follett
Hardcover: 985 pages
Pub Date: Sept 2010
Publisher: Dutton
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

It is 1911. The Coronation Day of King George V. The Williams, a Welsh coal-mining family, is linked by romance and enmity to the Fitzherberts, aristocratic coal-mine owners. Lady Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German Embassy in London. Their destiny is entangled with that of an ambitious young aide to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and to two orphaned Russian brothers, whose plans to emigrate to America fall foul of war, conscription and revolution. In a plot of unfolding drama and intriguing complexity, “Fall Of Giants” moves seamlessly from Washington to St Petersburg, from the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty.


Wow this book is long. It took me a very long time to read it, but it was SO good. The only reason why I only gave it four stars is because I skimmed about 20 pages and I always say if I could skim at all, it doesn’t get 5 stars.

But it was close. I learned more about WWI from reading this book than in high school or college. The characters were engaging and the writing was amazing. I will read more in the series, but I need to take a break from such long books.


3 Responses to “Adult Mini Reviews in June”

  1. […] Stephen King DNF 7. More Than This by Patrick Ness 8. I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells 9. The Fall Giants by Ken Follett 10. Dear American Airlines: A Novel by Jonathan Miles 11. Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley […]

  2. […] Echols Apr 23: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan Apr 25: Clariel by Garth Nix May 2: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson May 27: Fairytale of New York by Miranda Dickinson May 29: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein May […]

  3. Laurie C said

    And now there’s a follow-up to Life After Life, A God in Ruins. I did the same thing with that book, picking it up a few times and putting it down. In the end, I listened to the audio, and it was so good! I haven’t read the others, but keep meaning to read the Ken Follett books one of these days.

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