If you have been following along, last year I decided to write down what books I read each month. This gives me a chance to see what months allow me to read more, how long it takes me to read a book and in the end, determine how many books I actually read in a year. Before this, I just read. I didn’t really keep track of any thing, which makes it hard to set realistic reading goals. I did a post back in June, reviewing the books I had read from January to June. You can find that post here if you want to see what I read and what I thought!
And now.. for the complete list of books I read in the second part of the year (July-December). I was able to read 9 books, which I am really happy with considering I had a baby in mid-June and then was preoccupied with some health issues in the last summer to late fall.
The Nest- Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeny: There was a lot of hype surrounding this book and I couldn’t wait to dive into it and see if it could live up to it all. As a whole, I really liked this book.. though the characters were train wrecks and the ending was not-so-typical. It looked at a lot of complex family and personal issues all while tying into how their lives would all be so much better once they inherit the family nest egg that was promised to them early on in their adult lives. My book club also read this book in October and enjoyed it.
The Red Tent- Anita Diamant : I saw this book on many ‘must-read book’ lists while perusing Pinterest and was the book my book club chose to read for August. I did not like it. Though I knew a lot about the lives of the biblical characters the story explored, I found it long, dry and the writing wasn’t very good. Some have said that this is awesome feminist writing but I just couldn’t get into it. I pushed through and read it to the end in maybe 2 weeks but it was not an enjoyable time. When my book club met to talk about it only 2 of us made it through and the consensus was that it wasn’t a great book.
A Light Between Oceans- M.L. Steadman: I had no idea that this was going to be turned into a movie let alone that it was already playing in theatres while I was reading this book..that’s what happens when you have kids I guess. I really enjoyed this book though it was a bit of a roller coaster as far as morals goes. I felt torn the entire time between what I thought should happen and what would be the best outcome. The story was well told and didn’t follow the cookie-cutter outline many others do.
Big Magic- Elizabeth Gilbert: I was so looking forward to reading this book. It was a very easy read and did offer some inspiration as far as creativity and living an intentional life was concerned. I didn’t feel like I got a ton out of it though. I liked the essays and it was easy to pick up and read for a short time but I just didn’t feel like it lived up to the phenomenon attached to it. Definitely worth a read if you need some inspiration or tips on creative projects.
The Paris Secret- Karen Swan: I really enjoyed this book and learned a lot about the art world. This is more the type of book I was used to reading previous to this year- a romance with a typical storyline. This story made me think back to my time spent in France while giving readers a peek at the lives of the rich, transeuropean socialites. You aren’t going to be very challenged by the content or style, but I enjoyed the story!
Rich and Pretty- Rumaan Alam: This was another book that I had seen on many ‘best of’ lists and was looking forward to reading. I did not overly enjoy this book.. it is a book that is essentially about not much of anything, told in a really bizarre narration style, written by a man about the lives of two girls.. It seems like it is trying to be very literary but falls incredible short as the story is not at all compelling..there are times when it just feels icky. The story is supposed to follow two best friends and how their friendship changes over time from when they are girls in middle school to married, with kids, careers, etc.. but it just wasn’t good. At all.
Dark Matter- Blake Crouch: After the disappointment that was November’s read… Dark Matter was incredible! I am still thinking about it a month later! It is a book about quantum physics and parallel universes and is labelled science fiction- all things I usually avoid as much as I can, but this story was just so good! The characters are very well developed, the plot is just so riveting and I loved the ending. There were times in the story when I was worried, confused, happy, everything.. and this book just held my attention from first to last page!
Before the Fall- Noah Hawley: Another book that I read upon the recommendation of Pinterest lists. Another book I loved in the month of December. This story revolves around a private jet crashing into the ocean with many important (and scandalized) passengers aboard. It looks at the lives of each passenger leading up to the crash and follow the aftermath through the eyes of the two survivors and the investigation to find out the causes. Try to figure out the cause before the author reveals it to you- it probably won’t be what you think
Born for this- Chris Guillebeau: I had read Guillebeau’s previous book, The Happiness of Pursuit and loved it so I was really looking forward to reading about how to find the work I was born to do. Guillebeau does a lot of research for his books and includes the experience of many people out in the world. This was a pretty good read, though I don’t think I found any tidbits of info that I didn’t already know. It was a good book to end the year and left me feeling motivated for the year to come!
What have you read and loved lately? I am really looking forward to diving into a tall pile of books in the coming year and would appreciate any suggestions! I read a lot of books this year that I normally would not have and am really glad that I did. I feel like I am more open than ever to read something outside of my typical reading radar.