I did pretty good with my summer reading. I’m currently at 26 out of my 40 book goal.
Room by Emma Donoghue
(This may contain a spoiler, but I don’t think so.)
I resisted reading this book for a very long time. Mostly because I knew what it was about, and was concerned about more books hurting my heart. Let’s be honest though, I like it when a book makes me feel.
This book was written from the point of view of a young boy. He knew nothing more than the room he and his mom lived in. The one his mom was put in when she was kidnapped, and he was born in.
My first thought while reading this was the mother is an absolute hero. I have trouble with the toddler age, and I have not been kidnapped, and am not stuck in a tiny room. But if I was stuck in a room with a toddler full of meltdowns and excitement, I’d go bonkers. Bonkers. Obviously she had more to worry about, and worked hard to teach him as much as she could.
The book was written as a child would write it – with the words and language of a child. Once they escape the room (I don’t think this is a spoiler, but I don’t have the book with me to make sure that’s in the description), the boy discovers an entire new world that’s very intimidating to him. There were so many details I wouldn’t have thought about, like the fact that this boy had never climbed stairs before.
I am glad I finally picked it up to read. It was a quick read, and coming from the point of view of the boy, it’s not as crippling as it would have been from the point of view of his mom. He was innocent to most of the terror. His mom lived it every day knowing what was outside the room.
I won’t read this one again, but I would recommend it to others.
Wildflower by Drew Barrymore
I listened to this one on Audible. It’s been in my library for quite a while.
I read this while driving around to visit new places in Ontario.
I’m going to be honest, this book made me want to be best friends with Drew Barrymore.
She lives life to the fullest, she cares deeply, she’s unafraid to face her past, and she loves her children so much.
Obviously, I have nothing in common with her as she was growing up, and am no where close to living her lifestyle, but she said so many things that made sense to me.
It’s a book by a celebrity. There are many of those, and I like a lot of them. Especially this one by a strong, capable, and hilarious Momma.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
I’ve had this book for a while. I finally picked it up as a ‘lake’ book. I’ve heard people call it funny. I didn’t think it was funny.
To me, it was a book about domestic abuse. It was a book about the friends who missed it. It was a book about how one single moment can change everything.
I liked it. I also found it hard to read at times. I have not been in an abusive relationship. However, I think she did a great job with the details. I found it chilling at times. It hit close to home, but not with my life. It scared me.
I may pick this book up again in the future. Not this year, but I can imagine reading it again.
I’m also interested in watching the show at some point.
Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis
I don’t think I loved this book as much as others. I enjoyed the personal stories more than the motivational parts. It was great hearing about her life, and knowing that she went through a lot to get where she is. She didn’t give up, and she didn’t just settle.
She wrote a chapter on grief. This was the chapter that helped me. I didn’t know there would be a chapter on grieving, and I had just lost somebody. I’ve read a lot about grief, but she described it perfectly, and the words she used were the words I NEEDED to hear.
I listened to this on Audible, and I think maybe I’d like to read it one more time just to see all the parts I may have missed. Or I’ll listen to it one more time.
Beach Colors by Shelley Noble
I borrowed this from a library where we were camping. I thought it would be a nice and easy read. A beach book since it says so in the title. I was actually reading it the same week as I was listening to Goodnight June on Audible. Starting, I thought I’d like Goodnight June better.
I was wrong. These were kind of both similar stories, but I liked the beach book better. I’ll get to the other comments later though.
This was a story about a woman who comes home to the place she grew up. She’s lost everything and needs to start over. It’s pretty much the same storyline as those made for TV movies you see around Christmas time. I don’t like the movies, but I usually like the books.
This one was good. Predictable, but good. I wouldn’t read it again, but it was a wonderful summer read.
Goodnight June by Sarah Jio
As I said above, this book didn’t end up being my favourite. I thought I’d like it a lot more. I listened to it on Audible.
I don’t know where to start. The romance part of it was horrible and rushed. I think they could have skipped the entire romance and I wouldn’t have cared.
The rest of the story was better. Discovering family secrets through letters was a nice way to do it. It wasn’t a back and forth story, but did spend a lot of time discovering things in the past.
I won’t spoil the end, but I figured it out before they had the big reveal.
I won’t read it again, and think if people want to read it, they should. As I said, I didn’t love it.
The Secrets We Keep by Colette Caddle
First of all, I wish I could read books with an accent. Especially when they’re set in Ireland.
Second, I found it hard to like any of the characters in this book. Especially the main character. I spent most of the time thinking she was an ass.
There were a few stories going at once, and I think getting rid of one of the more horrible ones (or making it better somehow) would help.
Not to show off, but I’m pretty good at guessing endings or the ‘secret’ we’ve been working toward. I see where the book is going in many other cases. I did not see what was coming in this novel. I guess that’s a point for the book.
I actually did recommend this book to my mother-in-law. I think she felt the same as me about the story lines. For anybody who has read it, I absolutely hated the story with the actor. Hated it. The rest was better.
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
I listened to this on Audible while I was on a four-day drive.
I loved it. It is the winner for my summer read. It might be the winner for my yearly read. I plan to buy it at some point so I can keep it and read it again.
It was a back and forth story (there are so many) between the past and present. A grown granddaughter was discovering secrets about her grandmother and learning about her connection to the Tennessee Children’s Home.
This novel was not a true story, but based on a very real and very scary place.
I don’t want to say a lot about this. There’s too much. I just want everybody to read it.
A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
I have wanted to read these for a while. I’m not sure why. I guess they just seem like easy reads, but also something different. I listened to it on Audible. This is the second book I listened to on my drive home.
The story itself was okay. I will for sure read the rest of the series eventually. I think most of the time I was distracted by the 80s. I’m sure in the 80s a series about a female private eye was relatively different. I don’t know this for sure though.
The way she was treated was appalling at times. The way she lived her life was probably shocking to many.
Technology was non-existent. While travelling, she phoned her answering service. Life seemed a bit harder back then, but also probably a bit more simple. Not for her though. She would love being a private eye in 2018.
I’m glad I finally listened to this one. I’ll be getting to B is for (I’m not sure what yet) soon.
She’s Not There by Joy Fielding
This was my last Audible read on my drive. I didn’t get it finished by the end of it though so it kept me company while doing massive piles of laundry.
I’ve read a lot of books by Joy Fielding. I’ve enjoyed some, and disliked at least two of them.
I liked this one. However, I have come to realise something about the main characters in many of Joy Fielding’s books. They are strong women, but the strong doesn’t come out until later. Most of them get trampled on first.
For some reason, it really bothered me in this one. She was in a mother’s worst nightmare surrounded by assholes. (To put it bluntly.) At times, it just felt like too much. I wish she had more faults. Everybody in life has faults. I guess her fault (and many other of Joy Fielding’s main characters) is that they let people treat them like crap.
Always at the end, things get better, and the women stand up for themselves. However, this particular story had characters that were horrible to an extreme. If I was surrounded by such negativity, I would have lost it years ago.
I won’t read it again, but I will continue to read other books by her.
Swimming at Night by Lucy Clarke
I was reading this one on my drive back, and when I got home. I always have an actual book ready to read when I’m not listening to books.
This was a book about sisters. I like books about sisters. This one was about a tragic loss of one sister, and the other trying to figure out how it could have happened. It was written from both perspectives.
I liked reading it. I guessed some of what was going to happen. I guessed the reveal that split the sisters.
The end was sad because no matter what way you write it, her sister isn’t going to be alive. It also had a couple of unanswered questions, but I’m okay with that. I might not have liked the answers.
I would recommend this, and I would probably read it again. Although I have a huge list of books I’ve never read before that come first.
Those are my summer reads. I may get one more book read before the end of summer, but that’ll be in the next post.
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