Wednesday, July 31, 2019

July Reads

Are you ready for a jam packed post? I love having more time to read in the summer and this month I read 7 books and listened to 1. It was a record month of reading for me. I read a lot on our trip and quite a bit before and after we left as well. I even kept some notes on my phone so I didn't forget deets for ya'll for this post! At the end of this post I am including all of my 2019 reads so far. And yes, I'm still chugging through Hamilton! A little over half way through now, ha! 

 1. Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand: This book was so good! I've only read a few of Hilderbrand's books but I have liked them all. When this was an option for my June Book of the Month, I jumped on it. This book follows a family at their beach house in, you guessed it, 1969. The older brother is in Vietnam and I LOVE how that storyline wrapped up. There's marriage drama, babies, racial tensions, romance, and more. I got lost in this story and loved all the characters. The backdrop of the '60's and the beach combined to make this one really fantastic.

2. Those Other Women by Nicola Moriarty: This was a book I found while browsing to see if one of my fave authors Liane Moriarty had anything new out. I came across this one and the summary on the back won me over instantly. Amazon says this book, "takes a laser look at the uneasy relationships between women and the real-world ramifications of online conflicts and social media hostilities in this stunning domestic drama." Um, yes please. Here's the thing: this book was fun and perfect for a summer day by the pool, but the "drama" I was promised was sort of ridiculous---like middle school level internet shenanigans. This book was meh for me. It could have been so much darker and more twisted. Which is maybe why I loved the next book....

3. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides: This was an audio book that kept me company in the car for a week or so this month. I really enjoyed this one! This is told from the perspective of a counselor at a mental facility where a famous artist is living after the brutal murder of her husband. The counselor takes on the role of a detective to try and piece together the real story since the woman has gone mute. I LOVE a good twist and this one got me good! I even said out loud in the car, "WHAT?!" AJ read this one too and I got home and was like, "THE TWIST THOUGH!" We both thoroughly enjoyed this whodunnit. 

4. Roar by Cecelia Ahern: This book came as a recommendation from my sister. Roar is a collection of short stories all focused around the modern day woman. Each story is titled, "The Woman Who____" This one is....interesting. There's a bit of a sci-fi element and the meanings are far from hidden: One woman who gives her all to others literally begins to disappear. In another story a man petitions an all-female board to get a vasectomy. They deny him. This one simply begs to be discussed and would be an interesting book club pick. It wasn't exactly my cup of tea, but the stories will make you chuckle and most definitely think about the "Roar" inside every woman. The last story, "The Woman Who Roared" was phenomenal. 

5. A Love Letter Life by Jeremy and Audrey Roloff: I've been on the library wait list for a while for this one. I love the show "Little People Big World" and was interested in how Jeremy and Audrey met and a bit more about their story. This one is cute,  but super predictable and while I enjoyed some of their advice, it does get a bit preachy at times. Obviously the Roloffs are no strangers to monetizing their lives and this book does feel like a way to make a quick buck. That said, it tells their love story in a fun, journal style and was entertaining. 

6. The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis: This one was a flop for me. If you want a beachy read with family drama, pick up an Ellen Hilderbrand. This book featured (ahem, getting my voice ready): Alzheimers, bickering siblings, divorce, suicide, affairs, a house fire, MS, hoarding, and MORE. Packed with stuff and not much heart. Pass. 

7. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager: This was my July Book of the Month pick and I LOVED it. I enjoy a good twisty thriller and this one certainly fits that bill but it also has a dash of horror which I never really read. The main character falls on some hard times and decides to accept a "too good to be true" offer to house sit at a ritzy apartment in Manhattan. Weird creepy things start happening. I'll leave it at that.  This one kept me guessing until the very end and provides the perfect amount of non-gruesome frights. You find yourself really rooting for this protagonist and I couldn't fly through this one fast enough to find out how it was all going to end. 

8. Can I Get An Amen? by Sarah Healy: So this book is a totally random one to find its way on my list. I finished all the books I brought on vacation and still had about 3 days left and you know I can't be without a current read, so we went to this cute local book shop in Oregon and after browsing the aisles, I settled on this one. This is a great chick lit piece about a recently divorced young woman who moves back to her small conservative town and tries to date again. It's a classic fish out of water story with a really sweet ending about what it means to be truly blessed. 

I know my long stretches of reading this summer are winding down, but goodness, this was a great summer of reading for the books! (Had to).

Savor Your Sparkle,

And now here are all the books I've read in 2019....with stars by my faves!
1. An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
2. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
3. The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank
4. *Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
5. Happy Teachers Change The World by Thich Nhat Hanh and Katherine Weare
6. The Day I Went Missing by Jennifer Miller
7. *Glow Kids by Kardaras Nicholas
8. Final Girls by Riley Sager
9. *Becoming by Michelle Obama
10. As Long As We Both Shall Live by Joann Chaney
11. *The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth
12. If You Only Knew by Jamie Ivey
13. *The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
14. Adequate Yearly Progress by Roxanne Elden
15. *Regrets Only by Erin Duffy
16. *Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell
17. I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella
18. *The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
19. *Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott
20. When Did I Get Like This? by Amy Wilson
21. *Good Riddance by Elinor Lipman
22. Maid by Stephanie Land
23. Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson
24. Sh*tty Mom by Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline, Alicia Ybarbo, MaryAnn Zoellner
25. Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson
26. Dietland by Sarai Walker
27. The Mother in Law by Sally Hepworth
28. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
29. *Life Will Be the Death of Me by Chelsea Handler
30. *Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand
31. Those Other Women by Nicola Moriarty
32. *The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
33.  Roar by Cecelia Ahern
34. A Love Letter Life by Jeremy and Audrey Roloff
35. The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Frances
36. *Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
37. *Can I Get An Amen? by Sarah Healy 

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