Friday, January 29, 2021

Book Review - September 2019

"There is no friend as loyal as a book." Ernest Hemingway

I love a good book. The kind that make you laugh out loud, grab a tissue to dry your sad eyes, or haunts you for days after closing the last page.  Books can take you to another place, another time. You can fall into step with a character and live in the shadows of their lives.

My kids grew up reading or being read to. They never went to bed without first turning some pages and hearing a tale. They know libraries are one of my most favorite places and a must stop when traveling. Our local indie book store (Changing Hands) has always been a favorite place to shop, trade, and listen to author readings.  Although only one of them became a ferocious reader, they both have a love for books and stories. 

As much as I love reading and getting lost in a new book, it takes me a while to get through one. I only slow down long enough at bed time. And by the time I get in bed I only last so long before my eyes get too heavy!  At this rate it could take me forever to get through my reading list and pile of books on my shelf. But. I found a solution. Audio books! Seriously. Best. Thing. Ever. My first audio book was Where the Crawdads Sing. I wasn't sure about the whole thing. I felt like I was cheating and I didn't know how I liked the voice. But then I got so enthralled with the story, I couldn't wait to go for a walk, a run, or drive somewhere just so I could listen! Now, I have a bedside book and audio book going at all times. Happy! Happy!

Ok. With all that said...

Here is a little review of books I have recently read or listened to:

Sharp Objects - A little disturbing, but good. It was a little slow to start, but once I got in it was hard to put down! (It's now a HBO movie).

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens - I feel like this extremely popular novel is controversial in that you either love it or hate it. I loved it! Ms. Owens' writing style was inviting and the character development of the Marsh Girl was perfect. I loved the intertwining of nature... birds, plants, the marsh. I even liked the ending.

When Life Gives You Lululemon by Lauren Weisberger - By the same author of Devil Wears Prada, this is a perfect beach read. This funny, light read follows Emily. (Remember Miranda Priestly's assistant)? There is a little bit of a mystery and lots of funny, middle age, mom moments.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman - Funny, heart warming story. You will laugh and fall in love with Eleanor. You will find yourself wanting the best for her.

Where Did You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple - I was in a hurry to read (or listen to) this book because the movie was coming out. I was disappointed. It was ok, but kind of weird and pointless. I felt like the daughter acted much younger than she was supposed to be and there wasn't enough reason for Bernadette to leave. There were a few laughs, but overall, it wasn't my favorite. (And I still haven't seen the movie).

Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis - Such a hot book, I finally picked it up to see what all the fuss was about. I couldn't finish it. I laughed some, but cringed more. Although I know she has an audience, she wasn't talking to me. I kept thinking, "she is going to reread this in 30 years and wonder what she was thinking."

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate - A MUST read!! This is one of those books that stuck with me for days. Based on haunting true facts, this book will draw you in and hold you tight. Ms. Wingate's writing style was intoxicating. I found myself repeating her phrases, falling in love with her words.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty - I had already watched the first of the HBO series with Reese Witherspoon, but put off watching the rest until I read the book. And I'm glad I did! The miniseries is great, but the book is awesome! As usual, the book is better than the movie. Again, another author who has a fabulous way with words. She created amazing characters and a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

And some of my all time favorite books:

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - favorite classic. If you haven't read this since high school, I highly suggest picking it up again.

The Tender Bar by J. R. Moehringer - favorite memoir.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman - great read! Slow in the beginning, but haunts you by the time you finish.

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom - another love. This one also stayed with me for days, although a little slow in the beginning.

Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri - beautiful book! Gave me insight into another culture and I wanted to discuss it with anyone who would listen!

Descent by Tim Johnston - favorite suspense thriller. You will not want to put it down!

Favorite audio book apps: 

Audible - great membership, especially if you are an Amazon Prime member. (Two free books, $14.95 a month after that. You receive one credit a month - enough for one book. You can save your credits too).

Apple Books - ok. It doesn't seem to have as many books, but there is no commitment.

Local Library - perfect if you are looking to listen to an older book. Bonus - it's free!

"Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you."  - Louis L'Amour

Happy reading!