This month I didn’t write as many posts because I was in Disney World with my family. I did, however, read a record number of books. Between the plane rides and reading while my kids were sleeping, I was able to chisel away at my stack. I found some beach reads to recommend in the process.
In the 30 minutes it took me to put my son to bed, I was able to read The Grownup by Gillian Flynn. I wanted something to bridge the gap before I started a new book on the plane. A short and C-R-E-E-P-Y tale about a haunted house, I wanted to put down and continue at the same time. Later in the month, I listened to The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. Another psychological thriller, this time about a murder on a cruise ship observed only by a journalist onboard. Ware’s story wasn’t as creepy, but it still kept me on the edge of my seat. I ended up recommending this book in for people who liked Into the Water.
Another book I recommended for both Into the Water lovers, as well as the Ultimate Beach Reads List was I Found You by Lisa Jewell. I raved about it to Jackie, who ended up reading it as well. A story told from three perspectives, this mystery reminded me of Big Little Lies – which is high praise since I loved that book (and the HBO mini-series.)
While away, I read or listened to three books. Two I loved and one was an acclaimed book that was a total letdown for me. Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford was about the trials of a wannabe socialite trying to make her way into the upper echelons of New York society. Think Gossip Girl for adults. Perfect for the beach, as is The Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper: A Novel by Hilary Liftin, which is basically the fictionalized story of TomKat. Summer reading at it’s finest my friends.
On the other hand, Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez was not a book I will be recommending anytime soon. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the Argentinian’s stories were a little too gory for me. Each story starts out as almost a psychological thriller but then gets graphic and gross. Some stories were good, but just too much for me.
I read two books from my backlist that were very different and yet the same for me. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is a Jackie favorite. Her vivid descriptions and wild imaginings made the settings for the Night Circus crystal clear in my mind. Though I found the plot a bit lacking. Too much flavor not enough meat, but still enjoyable. Jules Verne’s classic, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, was the same. A wildly imaginative tale of sea exploration whose whimsical details kept me turning the page.
For Mother’s Day, my boys got me Literary Wonderlands by Laura Miller (pictured with 20,000 Leagues.) A treasure trove filled with illustrations and information about the best literary worlds every created from the Illiad to present day. It was no surprise to find Verne’s 20,000 leagues in the book. I look forward to referencing this book for back stories and hopefully finding more recommendations of stories that might suit my fancy.
Lastly, I read A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler. This unremarkable book left me with little to say as I could barely remember it half an hour after reading the last page. The good news is I am already reading 3 books that I love! Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn and Footsteps: Literary Pilgrimages Around the World by Writers of The New York Times.
If you follow the blog, you know that I have done a lot of reading for the posts this month. I read Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon and saw the movie as well for our book to screen post. In addition, I read Scarlet by Marissa Meyer for our books to read if you liked Cinder and Into the Water by Paula Hawkins for our thriller/ mystery book list. In terms of audiobooks, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (per Kirsten’s recommendation) and I Found You by Lisa Jewell from our ultimate beach reads list were my choices this month.
I loved The Little Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan. It was such a feel-good story about a woman and her amazing book shop in a van. The shop saves her and the books save others. I loved it and I’m looking forward to reading her upcoming book The Cafe by the Sea: A Novel
I was given an advanced reader copy of the book Hum If You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais. This unbelievable story will have an entire post dedicated to it. I loved every word of this exceptionally well written, heart-tugging story. It’s my favorite book of the year so far!!!
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood is a highly controversial book that was awarded Book of the Month Club book of the year 2016 and Second Place in Goodreads Best Fiction of 2016. This is an unlikely love story between the daughter of a drug dealer and one of her father’s thugs. I found it a disturbing, extremely well-written and thought-provoking novel.
Another fantastic book that I started this past weekend is Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer. It’s a perfect summer read about a neurosurgeon who is transported back to Siena in the time of the plague. The narrative makes me feel like I am in Italy. Depicted as Outlander meets Girl with a Pearl Earring, at its heart, it is a love story. I could not put it down and finished it as a perfect start to the summer reading season.
I have high hopes for the summer for reading. There are a ton of books on my shelf to be read including My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier which will be coming to the big screen soon. The Little French Bistro, a new book by Nina George (The author or Little Paris Bookshop) will be released in hardback on June 13th. The Gypsy Mother Summer: A Novel by Julia Fierro is high on my list of books to read this summer. I have probably a dozen other books that I would love to read this summer including Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill, Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth and the rest of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Here’s hoping!!!!
August 9th is National Book Lovers Day. How are you going to celebrate?
Did anyone catch the premiere of Still Star-Crossed last night? Shonda Rhimes (Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy) meets Shakespeare in this tale of what happens after Romeo and Juliet. Look for our review later in the month!
Did you see Parchment Girl’s round-up of amazing bookish nail art? I wish I had that kind of talent!