Saturday, March 31, 2018

March Books

I am stoked that even with our MoviePass membership, I am still getting in a decent amount of books. Let's be real, not having cable TV to keep me "entertained" gives me more free time to dive into a great book or seven ;)

There were FOURTEEN books in the first two months of the year, so when I add March's SIX that brings the total for 2018 to TWENTY! If you're interested in what I read (and how I'd rate them) or need suggestions on a book to grab, make sure to give my previous write-ups a quick glance when you have a chance! {January's Books / February Books}

  • One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus - I came across this title when I was on Amazon looking at another book, but it looked interesting so I got in line at my library for it. I didn't know anything about it, so when I read the description in the cover jacket I chuckled to myself and thought it sounded a bit like a mash-up between The Breakfast Club and Pretty Little Liars. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the young adult genre definitely seems to be my jam and this book was no different. It kept me entertained (and guessing) the entire time. I liked how the book was written - in the first person from the four main characters' point of view. I'll be honest, maybe it's because of all the Law & Order episodes I've watched over my years, I actually had figured out the mystery before it was spelled out at the end, but I still really enjoyed it. I would give it an 8 out of 10. 

  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur - I'll be honest, sometimes when friends mention books, I jump on the library's website and see if there is a wait list for the title. If there's a wait list I blindly assume it's a good book and jump in line. That's what happened with this book (which I knew absolutely nothing about until I picked it up). It's actually a collection of poems about love, loss, trauma, abuse, healing, love and femininity. The book is broken into four chapters, each dealing with a different theme. Since some of the poems are only a few lines long, this was an extremely fast read (maybe an hour total). It sort of reminded me of tweets or Facebook status posts. For going in completely blind and having zero expectations, I enjoyed it. I would give it a 7 out of 10. 

  • Let's Just Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson - I read Jenny's second book last year (Furiously Happy) and put this one on my "for later" list after that. Well, I finally had some time to start working through that list and thought I could use some 'junk food for the mind' and checked this one out of our library. This is a "mostly true memoir" about Jenny's life. At times I didn't know whether to laugh, gasp or call the authorities... but thankfully everything seems to have turned out okay ;) It sort of reminded me of the idea that people can't look away from car accidents... let's just say her life has been a bit of a cluster that continually will have you shaking your head in disbelief. I'll be honest - it is slightly crude, vulgar and disturbing, but written in a way that has to LOL'ing. I really appreciate her openness and realness (as well as her humor). She reminds us that we are not alone and that perspective is key! I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • Everything Happens for a Reason by Kate Bowler - I don't remember how I came across this book or why it ended up on my "For Later" list at the library, but I needed a quick read before we left for our 3 week road trip and this one was available. I didn't know anything about it when I grabbed it but the title intrigued me. The book follows the author along her journey of being diagnosed with Stage IV cancer and her "acceptance" along the way. (I put acceptance in quotes because throughout the story there are definitely ups and downs, days that she feels rage or fear, calm or grief. I wouldn't say that in the end you feel a complete sense of acceptance, but one of realization that she must live in the now because tomorrow is never promised.) I know this may sound cold, but I didn't love the book. I felt like the best parts were actually the appendix (a list of things to NEVER say to someone experiencing a hard time and a list of potential things you could say). I totally understand that this is about her personal journey and maybe I am expecting too much, but I was left wanting more - wanting more of a conclusion, wanting more of her relationship with God (she talks about how she is in expert in the field of the prosperity gospel, but never really touches on HER beliefs), wanting more something. This was a quick read so I didn't feel like I had too much invested in it, but when I finished I was still a bit disappointed (especially after seeing all the amazing reviews on Amazon). I would give it a 6 out of 10.

  • Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen - Whenever someone suggest a book I put it on my "For Later" shelf at the library (as long as it is one they have). If they've been on that shelf for a while I forget where I got the recommendation for... which is the case for this book. The hubby and I actually grabbed the audio book for our three week road trip and figured we'd give it a listen while we were on the road. I didn't know anything about it when I grabbed it, but I have to say, I really enjoyed it (as did the hubby). It was a short "read" (the audiobook was very quick compared to others we have listened to in the past), but it packs a good punch. The main character, Petula, does her best to minimize risks because she fears the absolute worst. It is great to see her come out of her shell around the band of misfits she has assembled around herself and how they help each other grow and evolve. I thought it was a great story of love, healing, overcoming losses and finding new beginnings. I'm excited to pick up some more of this author's books. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • The Mothers by Brit Bennett - This is another audio book we grabbed for our three week road trip. I had heard great things about this book (it seemed like everyone and their mother were buzzing about it) but hadn't gotten around to physically reading it. I didn't know much about it (other than "the mothers" were church mothers who sort of gossiped about the characters in the story), but am glad I finally checked it out. The hubby and I both definitely liked it. I mean, one of the main characters, Nadia, grew up in Oceanside (and many real, local places were featured throughout the story) and then went to the University of Michigan for college (sort of like the opposite of what the hubby and I did). Not only was the plot engaging, but we especially loved it because of the personal ties we had with the stories (more the locations, not the cheating, abortions, etc). The fact that the hubby went to the same Art & Design school as the author didn't hurt either ;) It was a beautiful story about love, friendship, tough choices and forgiveness. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

With that, March has come to a close. My reading may have slowed (especially since we were on the road for the second half of the month), but I definitely hope it never completely stops. If you have any suggestions, please let me know! I'm always willing to add them to my queue (and maybe I'll even remember where I got the recommendation, hehe)!

What was the best book you read this month?

1 comment:

San said...

My favorite March book was "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo". Have you read it?