Tuesday, November 1, 2016

October Book List

I knocked out seven books this month, and I also flirted with a few others.  There are some seriously amazing authors in the world, and I already have November's reading planned!

Memoirs or Something Like It

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton:  Melton revealed right before Love Warrior's publication that she and her husband were divorcing, but that doesn't lessen the impact of some of the lessons she learned.  Starting when she was a child and leading to her marriage, where her entire life is changed when she discovers her husband's unfaithfulness, Melton holds nothing back and gives details that are heartbreaking.  She doesn't spare herself and is open about past mistakes.  Love Warrior is a fast read, and though you may not agree with all of Melton's conclusions, it's full of gems that make it worth the read.

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist:  This is mandatory reading for every person on the planet.  Though I'm not living the jet setting life speaking at big events like Niequistm, I still connected to her message to slow down, stop being so to-do list oriented, and live in the present.  Don't spend every second trying to make things perfect; just be there.

Niequist's language is beautiful, and each chapter unfolds with wisdom.  I reread so many paragraphs, and I will probably purchase this one.  That says a lot about this book, because I am a minimalist library user through and through.

Textbook by Amy Krouse Rosenthal:  Quiet frankly, this book was delightful.  Rosenthal describes it as a kind of memoir, and the way she uses words and plays with language is unique and intriguing.  Set up as a textbook, there are quizzes and short answer, and using this unique format, Rosenthal explores being a parent, our connection to other people, and the reality of being middle-aged(which many of us are if we do the math).


The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis:  After reading The Dollhouse, I am longing to reread the Bell Jar and poetry books I have of Sylvia Plath's.  The reason is because the story is partially set in the 1950s hotel that Plath lived in and fictionalized in The Bell Jar.  In this fictionalized account, a young, innocent girl comes to the big city to train to be a secretary, but she doesn't fit in with the models whose floor she accidentally ends up on.  She begins running with a maid from the hotel, and this leads her to adventure, secrets, and tragedy.  The book is well-written and deals with everything from jazz to heroin to women's limited choices just decades ago.  There's also a decades old mystery to be solved, and the modern day narrator sets out to do that so she can have a story of her own.  

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer: An author has to be amazing to attempt something this epic, and Foer is.  This is the first book I've read by him, and I was not disappointed.  He looks at family, religion, and what it means to be a part of something bigger than yourself while also existing alone.
Jacob's marriage is struggling and his elderly grandfather is about to be moved to a Jewish nursing home.  When an earthquake in the Middle East occurs, personal and national problems come to the surface.  There's no way to explain this book.  You'll either be hooked like I was or not, but I can't imagine the skill it took Foer to produce something this all encompassing.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L Stedman:   I avoided reading this one for years because I didn't think I could handle it.  When a baby washes up in a boat on an island near Australia, Isabel wants to keep it and convinces her husband, Tom, it was fate.  They are the lone lighthouse keepers on this island in the 1920s, and she and Tom have suffered losses, so they raise the child as their own.  However, the baby has a mother back in Australia, and that truth changes everything.

I bawled at the end of this book and I bawled trying to describe it to D.  However, it's ultimately a book about love and hope and sacrifice.

Historical Fiction

Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart:  This is the sequel to Girl Waits with Gun, the series about Constance Kopp, one of the first female deputies in the U.S.  When she has to catch a criminal who escaped under her care, Kopp goes to any lenghts to get the job done.  The story is fast paced, and Constance's sisters, Fluerette and Norma are back, as well as other characters from the first book.

Books and Cookbooks I'm in the Process of Reading

Celebrations by Danielle Walker
Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward
Messy Spirituality by Mike and Karla Yaconelli
Let Me Tell You by Shirley Jackson