Thursday, January 25, 2018

No.75: My Latest Reads // January

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Linking up with Kristin's Book by Book!

MY NOT SO PERFECT LIFE: A NOVEL by Sophie Kinsella
My Rating: 🟊🟊🟊🟊✰
I think I’ve finally worked out how to feel good about life. Every time you see someone’s bright-and-shiny, remember: They have their own crappy truths too. Of course they do. And every time you see your own crappy truth and feel despair and think, Is this my life, remember: It’s not. Everyone’s got a bright-and-shiny, even if it’s hard to find sometimes. (96% on my Kindle)
My Not So Perfect Life was a fun, easy, totally chick-lit read and just what I needed to kick off 2018.  I caught on to the main dilemma right away (I'll keep it vague to avoid spoilers) but enjoyed it anyway.  I also appreciated the main message that the "highlight reel" you see on Instagram or blogs doesn't always tell the whole story.  We all have sadness, suffering or difficulty in our lives, even if we never share it over the Internet.  Another good reason to be kind to everyone you meet.


SUCH GOOD GIRLS: THE JOURNEY OF THE HOLOCAUST'S HIDDEN CHILD SURVIVORS by R.D.  Rosen
My Rating: 🟊🟊🟊🟊✰
For most of these survivors, the sources of family stories and intergenerational conversations—a cornerstone of the foundation of an individual’s identity—had been exterminated. Even if relatives survived, the family narrative had been badly broken. What often remained were unspeakable memories, shame, and helplessness, which constituted a lingering atrocity. The Nazis had not only stolen their families but their pasts as well.
I would describe Such Good Girls as part gripping memoir, part history book.  I was able to put myself in both the little girls' and their mothers' shoes and...gosh, it was such a horrible situation any way you look at it.  A heartbreaking but important read.


TO LIGHT A FIRE ON THE EARTH: PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL IN A SECULAR AGE by Bishop Robert Barron
My Rating: 🟊🟊🟊🟊✰
One of Barron’s maxims is “The sure sign that God is alive in you is joy.”
My first religious book of the year.  I reviewed this book here.


S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst
My Rating: 🟊🟊🟊🟊
He is a man without a past sailing in a strange sea in a world where the stars have come loose in the firmament.
My brother surprised me with this book in my mailbox and an invitation to dive into it together.  Best gift ever!!  A story within a story, S. is unlike anything I have ever read before.  It was a little confusing and if you know anything about J.J. Abrams (he's responsible for shows like Lost), you know that there were a lot of questions asked and not as many answered.  Still so good and interesting.  I think I'll have to re-read it again to fully understand it. 


WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen
My Rating: ★★★✰
When you are five, you know your age down to the month. Even in your twenties, you know how old you are. I'm twenty-three you say, or maybe twenty-seven. But then in your thirties, something strange starts to happen. It is a mere hiccup at first, an instant of hesitation. How old are you? Oh, I'm--you start confidently, but then you stop. You were going to say thirty-three, but you are not. You're thirty-five. And then you're bothered, because you wonder if this is the beginning of the end. It is, of course, but it's decades before you admit it.
After reading, I'm really conflicted about Water for Elephants.  I think the premise of the inner workings of a circus is really interesting, but I struggled with the romance part.  I have trouble when books and movies push the reader/watcher into rooting for an affair.  This is a tricky one to recommend - I liked it, but there were lots of pretty explicit parts I had to skim.  


ANNE OF AVONLEA by L.M. Montgomery
My Rating: ★★★★✰
"I'd like to add some beauty to life," said Anne dreamily.  "I don't exactly want to make people know more...though I know that is the noblest ambition...but I'd love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me...to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn't been born." (p.53)
"Well, I should like to see you go to college, Anne; but if you never do, don't be discontented about it.  We make our own lives wherever we are, after all...college can only help us to it more easily.  They are broad or narrow according to what we put into them, not what we get out.  Life is rich and full here...everywhere...if we can only learn how to open our whole hearts to its richness and fulness." (p.131) 
Oh Anne, you have my heart.  This one took me longer than usual to get through - I've been reading bits of it since September!  I think it's because it feels like each chapter is an "episode" and you can read one and then put it down for later.  There isn't that rushed, "I need to see what happened next!" feeling, if that makes any sense.  Even so, I really enjoy this sweet series and look forward to the third one.


THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins
My Rating: ★★★★✰
There’s something comforting about the sight of strangers safe at home.
I'm probably the last person ever to read this book, but I now know what the hype was all about!  I was hooked from the start and finished in two days - so fast-paced and creepy.  My only critique is that I didn't really care for any of the characters, but maybe that was the point?




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MY 2018 READING IN NUMBERS
Books Read: 7
Fiction: 5  // Non-Fiction: 2
Original 2018 books "to-read" total on Goodreads: 443 // Current "to-read" total: 442

1 comment:

  1. I loved reading your January Reads and am inspired to do the same. Maybe (just maybe) I can do it monthly throughout 2018!

    ReplyDelete

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