“Shovel Ready” by Adam Sternbergh

Before exams were over and Christmas break began I found out about a terrible thing (and by terrible, I mean WONDERFUL). Blogging for Books is a website were bloggers can sign up to receive free copies of books through Crown Publishing Group (a division of Penguin Random House). The only two requirements are that: 1) you must have a blog, and 2) you must post a review of each book you receive (and you do get to pick out of their list) to your blog. If you love books and you have a blog (which you probably do if you’re following me through wordpress) I would definitely encourage you to look into it! Now, on to my first review:

“Shovel Ready” by Adam Sternbergh is described in glowing terms in the reviews I read before I received it. And it was a good book. However, for a debut novel, it was honestly a bit boring and extremely hard to read. I’ve never read a book before that completely threw traditional dialogue out the window (and throughout the book I was constantly wishing he hadn’t). For a book that was already pretty slow, but redeemable, I believe that having to trudge through the difficult to read writing style was an almost certain death blow.

At first I was surprised by the choice to do away with traditional dialogue, but increasingly throughout the story I began to cringe every time I had to re-read (again) a set of sentences in order to understand what was being conveyed. For a short story, this type of writing style might be do-able–and possibly helpful, as short stories rely on fewer words to convey something and therefore need the reader to dwell on what words are being used to understand the full meaning–but it severely affected the pace of the novel.



I recently finally jumped on the Goodreads bandwagon, and, let me tell you, sometimes I forget the sheer mass of the amount of books I’ve read in my short lifetime. I also realized that I do a lot of re-reading of books, which isn’t in and of itself bad, but since I’ve started college I spend a lot less time reading new literature and a lot more time falling back to old favorites. So, this Christmas Break (which is only a week away!!) I’m going to attempt to read ten books that I’ve never read before, possibly in genres I don’t read very much, and possibly review them. As I study to become an English teacher, I also want to be prepared to share books with students with tastes other than my own, so I’d like to start gaining a knowledge of good fiction (and non-fiction) outside my basic taste in fiction.

If you have any suggestions for me to add to my list, leave them in the comments!