23 June 2019

Books - May 2019

I finished reading a whopping SEVEN books in May. While still scoring tests most of the month! :O And now I'm really starting to warm up in June. I can't remember my reasoning when I set my reading goal for the year, but it looks like I'm going to reach my goal for the whole year...in June. Books are a true joy in my life..

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

This follow up of To All The Boys I've Loved Before was just as charming as the first. From the looks of it, I still have one more book left in this trilogy.

Most of the fall-out from Lara Jean's letter sent to crushes from years ago has ended. But the fake relationship she pretended to be in to distract from all the guys thinking she was hung up on them, ended, and she wishes it hadn't.

Overall, I'd give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars. It was an enjoyable way to pass the time, and I'll probably go for the third book at some point, but I probably wouldn't re-read either of the first two again. Here's the official summary:

"Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing."

The Book of Delights by Ross Gay

I read The Book of Delights to review at Books I Think You Should Read. I gave it 2 out of 5 stars there. Here's the official summary:

"In The Book of Delights, one of today’s most original literary voices offers up a genre-defying volume of lyric essays written over one tumultuous year. The first nonfiction book from award-winning poet Ross Gay is a record of the small joys we often overlook in our busy lives. Among Gay’s funny, poetic, philosophical delights: a friend’s unabashed use of air quotes, cradling a tomato seedling aboard an airplane, the silent nod of acknowledgment between the only two black people in a room. But Gay never dismisses the complexities, even the terrors, of living in America as a black man or the ecological and psychic violence of our consumer culture or the loss of those he loves. More than anything other subject, though, Gay celebrates the beauty of the natural world--his garden, the flowers peeking out of the sidewalk, the hypnotic movements of a praying mantis.

The Book of Delights is about our shared bonds, and the rewards that come from a life closely observed. These remarkable pieces serve as a powerful and necessary reminder that we can, and should, stake out a space in our lives for delight."

The Twits by Roald Dahl

I think the script-writers who have put books like James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on the big screen did a phenomenal job. I'm sort of nervous to ever read those now, since I like the movies, and didn't like either of the actual books I've read by Roald Dahl.

Blah. I was glad this was more like a short story at only 86 pages. I'd give it 2 out of 5 stars. Here's the official summary of The Twits:

"Mr. and Mrs. Twit are the smelliest, nastiest, ugliest people in the world. They hate everything—except playing mean jokes on each other, catching innocent birds to put in their Bird Pies, and making their caged monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps, stand on their heads all day. But the Muggle-Wumps have had enough. They don't just want out, they want revenge."

Storm and Fury by Jennifer Armentrout

Finally - I got the chance to read a book I really enjoyed. Imagine if the stone gargoyles on city buildings were actually a real race of beings. In this book, they are! They're Wardens, whose job it is to protect humans from Demons. I was quickly intrigued and liked reading about their whole fantasy world. This is another book I read for Books I Think You Should Read, where I gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Here's the official summary:

"Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…"

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

I don't even remember if this was recommended to me, but I really enjoyed it. It may have just been one of those books that got a lot of read and publicity time, and I finally picked it up. It's a great, beautiful survival story. I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars. Here's the offical summary:

"Alaska, 1974. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter north where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Cora will do anything for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. Thirteen-year-old Leni, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, has little choice but to go along, daring to hope this new land promises her family a better future.
In a wild, remote corner of Alaska, the Allbrights find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the newcomers’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.
But as winter approaches and darkness descends, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own."

Killer Thriller by Lee Goldberg

In all honesty, I think Lee Goldberg writes some of the most fun books I've read lately. They also appeal to a wide audience - action/adventure, humor, snarky characters..they've got it all! I was lucky enough to review this one for Books I Think You Should Read, so check out my full review there. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. Here's the official summary to this follow-up to True Fiction in the Ian Ludlow series:

"Everybody loves Ian Ludlow’s action novels—especially the CIA—because the spies know something the public doesn’t: his fictional plots have a frightening tendency to come true. Ian is in Hong Kong with his resourceful assistant Margo French to research his wildest story yet—a deadly global conspiracy by Chinese intelligence to topple the United States.
What Ian doesn’t know is that his horrifying scenario is happening and that the Chinese mistakenly believe he’s an undercover superspy assigned to foil their scheme. Now Ian is trapped in his own terrifying thriller, on the run from assassins, and racing against time to prevent an epic disaster. He’s written himself into a corner that could cost his life…and his country."

Happiness: A Memoir: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After by Heather Harpham

I think the best compliment I can give this book is that it really didn't read like a memoir. I got totally drawn into the story and the characters, and then it really got my emotions going when I remembered it was all a real, true story. Boom - right in the feels. I reviewed this book at Books I Think You Should Read and gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Here's the official summary:

"Happiness begins with a charming courtship between hopelessly attracted opposites: Heather, a world-roaming California girl, and Brian, an intellectual, homebody writer, kind and slyly funny, but loath to leave his Upper West Side studio. Their magical interlude ends, full stop, when Heather becomes pregnant—Brian is sure he loves her, only he doesn't want kids. Heather returns to California to deliver their daughter alone, buoyed by family and friends. Mere hours after Gracie's arrival, Heather's bliss is interrupted when a nurse wakes her, "Get dressed, your baby is in trouble."
This is not how Heather had imagined new motherhood – alone, heartsick, an unexpectedly solo caretaker of a baby who smelled "like sliced apples and salted pretzels" but might be perilously ill. Brian reappears as Gracie's condition grows dire; together Heather and Brian have to decide what they are willing to risk to ensure their girl sees adulthood.
The grace and humor that ripple through Harpham's writing transform the dross of heartbreak and parental fears into a clear-eyed, warm-hearted view of the world. Profoundly moving and subtly written, Happiness radiates in many directions--new, romantic love; gratitude for a beautiful, inscrutable world; deep, abiding friendship; the passion a parent has for a child; and the many unlikely ways to build a family. Ultimately it's a story about love and happiness, in their many crooked configurations."


siteseer said...

Can’t wait to read the great alone and happiness. I’m reading killer thriller now.

Liz Parker said...

Damn, girl! I'm so bad at reading this year ... I've read like 7 books for all of 2019 so far, lol. Thanks for the linkbacks to my site, too :). I like Kristin Hannah's books generally so I'll have to check that book out.

Mom Among Chaos said...

I've read two since June. I usually love anything Kristen Hannah. You're on a roll. I just read Where the Crawdad's Sing and The Clockmaker's Daughter.

Mrs. Weber said...

Dang, Becki! You are a reading machine! Love it. I loved The Great Alone. Definitely makes me want to read more of her stuff. I'd love to read Happiness too. Thanks for this post -- love reading about the different kind of books out there!