08 November 2019

Books - October 2019 - Part One

I've decided to break the ELEVEN books I read in October into two posts. So this post will cover the first six, and then I'll write another post to cover the other five. I sure do like reading :)

If I Had Two Lives by Abbigail Rosewood

This was the first book I read in October for Books I Think You Should Read. You can check out my full review there. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and gave it 4 out of 5 stars. It was a really unique story. Here's the Amazon summary:
As a child, isolated from the world in a secretive military encampment with her distant mother, she turns for affection to a sympathetic soldier and to the only other girl in the camp, forming two friendships that will shape the rest of her life.
An inspiring meditation on love, loss, and the presence of a past that never dies, the novel explores the ancient question: do we value the people in our lives because of who they are, or because of what we need them to be?
As a young adult in New York, cut off from her native country and haunted by the scars of her youth, she is still in search of a home. She falls in love with a married woman who is the image of her childhood friend, and follows strangers because they remind her of her soldier. When tragedy arises, she must return to Vietnam to confront the memories of her youth – and recover her identity. 

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale is a fascinating book, movie, and series. I've been a fan for a long time. The Testaments is a sort of follow-up to the story of the Handmaid's Tale. I'd been on the waiting list with my library to read this on my Kindle, so when my turn came, I had to drop everything and get to reading this!

I was not disappointed. It did feel in parts more like fan-fiction than another whole book by Margaret Atwood, but it still gave more details and such that I wanted to know about the characters I'd met in the Handmaid's Tale.  Overall, I'd give this 3.5 out of 5 stars. According to Amazon:
More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results. Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third: Aunt Lydia.  Her complex past and uncertain future unfold in surprising and pivotal ways. With The Testaments, Margaret Atwood opens up the innermost workings of Gilead, as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.
While I've read plenty of books because I like the covers, this one deserves a special mention. As pointed out in this article, the front cover has a handmaid at first glance, but the front of her cloak is a free girl rejoicing. The back cover has a regular girl with a ponytail, but in her ponytail and the negative space under her ponytail, you can see a handmaid.

Law and Addiction by Mike Papantonio

While this was a great fiction read, unfortunately the facts were drawn from the reality that is the opioid epidemic in the U.S.A. The book was well-written, and an exciting page-turner. I gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars on Books I Think You Should Read. Here's how it's described on Amazon:
One week before his law school graduation, Jake Rutledge is shattered. His fraternal twin, Blake, has died of a drug overdose. When Jake returns to his hometown of Oakley, West Virginia, he discovers that his brother was not the only person hooked on opioid painkillers. The entire region has been ravaged by an epidemic insidiously planned and carried out by one of America’s most powerful pharmaceutical companies.
Still wet behind the ears, Jake is determined to seek justice for all the victims of Big Pharma’s greed. He soon learns that the drug companies’ tentacles reach far and deep. His only hope is to get Nicholas “Deke” Deketomis to help. A partner at one of the country’s most powerful law firms, Deke’s “as tough as a two-dollar steak” and well-known for his winning tactics against corporate wrongdoers. With just enough persistence, Jake coaxes Deke to see Oakley’s devastation firsthand. Overwhelmed, Deke agrees to join forces with Jake.
And that’s when the real heat begins. Death threats, bribes, unlawful property seizure schemes – all are connected to the massive distribution of both legal and illegal drugs. Everyone is impacted, from the highest levels of corporate America to corrupt local officials to their lackeys and hapless victims. The complexity of the schemes is overwhelming.
Working tirelessly, the lawyers begin to uncover the truth. Along the way, Jake falls in love with Anna Fowler, a former homecoming queen who has succumbed to the power of opioids. With his support, she weans herself off the drugs. Hope begins to bloom — when suddenly, Jake disappears. As Deke undertakes a desperate search to find him, questions swirl. Has Jake abandoned Anna and his crusade? Can the case against the evildoers move forward without him? Will Oakley and its residents survive? Law and Addiction is real-life drama at its finest — a book that clears away the darkness page by page, spotlighting a profound truth about our society through expert storytelling.

Almost Home by Madisen Kuhn

I wasn't sure about reviewing a poetry book, but I read this one for Books I Think You Should Read and gave it 3 out of 5 stars. The poems were pretty, and I also enjoyed the illustrations that went with a few. The Amazon summary:
In this stunning third collection from Madisen Kuhn, Madisen eloquently analyzes some of life’s universal themes within the framework of a house. Whether it’s the garden, the bedroom, or the front porch, Madisen takes you into her own “home,” sharing some of the most intimate parts of her life so that you might also, someday, feel free to share some of yours.
Filled with beautiful hand-drawn illustrations from Melody Hansen, this boldly intimate, preternaturally wise, and emotionally candid collection encourages you to consider what home means to you—whether it’s in the lush, green-lawned suburbs or a city apartment—and, more importantly, explores how you can find it even when home feels like it’s on the far-off horizon.

Flying Alone by Beth Ruggiero York

This was an impressive story of a woman's determination to make it in a career dominated by men. I read this and gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars on Books I Think You Should Read. Check out what Amazon had to say:
From the time she was a teenager, Beth knew she wanted to fly, and a solo trip across the country to visit family confirmed her aspirations of becoming a pilot. But her dreams were almost grounded before they could take off when she received the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis at the age of 22.
Beth vowed that this new challenge would not put restrictions on her life and embarked on journey to become an airline pilot. Starting at the small local airport, the aviation world swallowed her whole, and the next five years of her life were as turbulent as an airplane in a thunderstorm, never knowing when, how or if she would emerge.
An agonizing love affair with her flight instructor, dangerous risks in the sky and flying broken airplanes for shady companies all intertwined to define her road to the airlines, eventually being hired by Trans World Airlines in 1989.
Flying Alone outlines the struggles and the challenges of civil aviation that Beth faced 30 years ago.
Ultimately a story of survival and overcoming overwhelming odds, Flying Alone is told with soul-baring candor, taking readers on a suspenseful journey through terror, romance and victory.

Meant to be Yours by Susan Mallery

I enjoyed this fun read featuring engaging characters (and I do love meeting characters I think I'd like in real life). This was the 5th book in the series about the small town of Happily Inc, and I reviewed it for Books I Think You Should Read, where I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Here's Amazon's summary:
Wedding coordinator Renee Grothen isn’t meant for marriage. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, plan. But she never could have planned on gorgeous, talented thriller writer Jasper Dembenski proposing - a fling, that is. Fun without a future. And the attraction between them is too strong for Renee to resist. Now she can have her no-wedding cake ... and eat it, too.
After years in the military, Jasper is convinced he’s too damaged for relationships. So a flirtation—and more—with fiery, determined Renee is way too good to pass up ... until his flame becomes his muse.
Renee is an expert at averting every crisis. But is she finally ready to leap into the one thing that can never be controlled: love?

Check out my next post soon, with the other 5 books I read in October. Thanks for stopping in!


Liz Parker said...

You've been a busy lady! Thanks for all the guest reviewing you do for me, and all the links here :).

Mildred Ratched said...

I'm from Pensacola and didn't know Mike Papantonio is an author. That goes to show you how I keep up on things going on locally. I did however do a link to your blog and give you a shout out.

My 91 year old mother is an avid reader so I'll most likely buy her his books for Christmas. She'll enjoy them. Thanks for the review.