How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (1 out of 5 stars) - Definitely the biggest disappointment for me this summer. I had high hopes for this book given the plethora of rave reviews online. I should’ve known better. I tend to dislike any of those “self-help” books, and I tried convincing myself that this wouldn’t be like one of them. Alas, I failed.
Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff (4 out of 5 stars) - I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy historical nonfiction but this World War II tale about stranded soldiers was really good. The author was able to narrate the story as if it was a typical fiction story, while effortlessly describing the details of the event like a historian.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (2 out of 5 stars) - I know I’ll probably get a lot of hate for this since I know a lot of people love this book. I guess I’m just not much of a fan of science fiction. I blame Dune.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith (4 out of 5 stars) - Like many people who saw this sitting at a bookstore, I scoffed and rolled my eyes when I saw the title of this book, disqualifying it entirely from my interests. But, I took a risk out of sheer curiosity and luckily, it paid off. The best part of this book was that after reading it, a small part of me wanted to believe that it was real, and that our 16th President was truly a badass. Teddy, sure you can wrestle with lions and crocodiles simultaneously with just your bare hands. But, Lincoln slayed Edward Cullen.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo (3 out of 5 stars) - A very imaginative world that the author paints. It’s a pretty short novel, but very well written.
The Street Lawyer by John Grisham (2 out of 5 stars) - I’m a huge John Grisham fan so when he finally came out with another legal thriller, I couldn’t wait. But this book, was sooooo slow! The plot itself wasn’t very intriguing. You have a buncha of low-life ambulance chasing lawyers going after a big ‘ol pharmaceutical with a flimsy class action suit, hoping to hit gold. Where were the hit men? Where was the hidden drug ring? This is no thriller.
The Firm by John Grisham (5 out of 5 stars) - Bummed from the disappointing reading of The Street Lawyer, I reread Grisham’s classic tale. This is what got Grisham famous. This is the book that spawned one movie, and soon a tv show.
The Honest Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely (4 out of 5 stars) - I really enjoyed Ariely’s Predictably Irrational and this time around, he explores the psychology that influences our dishonest behaviors. From the financial crisis in 2008 to cheating in school, Ariely explains what forces contributes to us making poor ethical decisions and suggests ways to combat them in real-world situations.