I’ve read 4 and listened to 2 books lately. One was a re-read, and one I didn’t finish. I know it’s the summer, but I wouldn’t consider any of these titles to be “beach reads”. Nonetheless, I’m sharing my thoughts today before I forget in case you’re looking for a new book or were considering any of these.
(*Quick sidetone: I scored that blush pink glass lamp at Goodwill for $5! I love it! Insert praise hands emoji.)
I almost always like to read the book before seeing the movie, so when I saw a preview for this movie that piqued my interest I decided to add this one to my TBR list. Now that I’ve read it I’m not sure I want to see the movie. Not because it wasn’t a great book! It was just so sad. This book made my heart ache. Viewing cancer through the eyes of a child watching a parent suffer…..it was a lot to take in. The book is well written and paints grief in a real, yet completely beautiful way. I’m just not sure I have the strength to sit down to watch the movie. I do however think it’s a worthwhile read. It’s certainly powerful for anyone struggling with grief.
I tried. I really did. But I quit reading at the halfway point. I just couldn’t get into it, and I know a lot of people really, really loved this one. This was actually a book club pick by a friend of mine, so I really hated to call it quits before finishing. Although since I’m not a student I feel like reading should be about entertainment, and if you’re just not feeling it I think it’s okay to set it down and move on to the next. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think it’s fair not to finish the book if you’re in a book club? How long do you give a book to grab you before setting it down?
This was another I added to my list after seeing a preview for the movie. And it’s very rare that I feel this way, but I honestly think the movie was better than the book. I’m not usually a fan of nonfiction. I prefer historical fiction. But this story of a Polish couple who hid Jews at their zoo in Poland during the second World War intrigued me enough to want to read the book. I personally think the mark of any good nonfiction book is when it reads more like fiction, but this one fell short in that regard for me. There’s a lot of historical sidetracks and long passages that provide detail about people that aren’t actually integral or even relevant to the story. The book skips around so much that it’s hard to stay tuned in; the movie, however, was much better. And all in all, this true story is quite amazing!
Memoirs typically aren’t my thing, but all the buzz surrounding this one piqued my curiosity. Rather than picking up a copy of the book, I listened to it on audio. I find that audio is great for helping me get dialed in to books that aren’t usually on my radar. It’s also a nice way to zip through household chores and diy projects. Apart from the buzz over this book, what piqued my curiosity was the fact that J.D. Vance, the author, is in his early thirties. How on Earth could someone so young write a memoir? And upon learning the backdrop for the story lies in Kentucky and Ohio, I knew I had to find out for myself what all the fuss was about. After all, my husband’s family is from Eastern Kentucky.
I found Vance’s honest portrayal of growing up in Middletown, Ohio, to be refreshingly non-judgmental and stereo-type free. He is neither accusing nor justifying. He is simply telling his own story of how he made it out of a town where hopelessness is just as rampant and addictive as heroin. This book shines a light on a community that is struggling without putting anyone on trial or turning anyone into a zoo exhibit. For that I say, well done.
Another memoir I did on audio was Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. This was another book club pick a friend chose for our group, and it definitely made for some great discussions. I’d certainly heard of Glennon from her blog, but I didn’t really know much about her. I didn’t have the reaction a lot of others have had to this book. Her journey of self-discovery prompted by her husband’s infidelity actually left me feeling more sad for him than for her. Which seems odd but it’s true. I know it’s a memoir but so much of it felt so overly egocentric that I had a hard time connecting. I did however find her honesty and boldness in telling her own life story – good, bad and ugly – powerful and inspiring.
Anne is my all-time favorite fictional character. I fell in love with her as a child and have yet to find a more beloved character. I just finished rereading Anne of Green Gables with my girl so we could start watching the new Netflix series. There is something really special about rereading an old favorite. It’s like comfort food, or hot chocolate on a cold day; it just feels good down in your soul. It was fun to revisit this one together before starting the series. And while language and customs have changed since Anne debuted in 1908, this heartwarming tale of a freckled-faced, red-haired orphan girl with a larger than life imagination and determination to match never feels dated.
We’ve watched only one episode of the new series so far, and we’re hoping to get through the first season before school starts back. While this new series is a bit controversial as many have said it’s much darker and pulls more from the subtext of the book often going off script, I’m just too curious to see how it compares. For those of you who have seen it, what did you think?
What have you read lately? Any recommendations?