Do you guys remember back in the day, before I had Wilder, that I used to share books and reviews? I won’t lie… After I had Wilder, I fell into the rut of Netflix every evening instead of reading. Naturally at first I was a little tired and braindead and couldn’t find the time or mental capacity reading required, but now here we are over 10 months later and I’ve got no excuse. I have a baby who sleeps through the night and has since he was 2 1/2 months, a husband who is an absolute parenting partner, and older kids that I encourage to read… so why wasn’t I reading? A little over a month ago, I decided to change that and picked up a book again, and it felt good. It was the book that gave me the swift kick in the pants I needed! I will be sharing my thoughts on that book later down the road, but today I want to catch you up on several that I read before I had Wilder, literally right up until the moment I really started going into labor. However, I decided to title this post “What I’ve Read Lately” because “What I Read Last Year When I Had More Time Before I had a Baby” just didn’t have the same ring to it. Affiliate links are used in this post.
Beartown is a book that came recommended to me by my mother as well as my mother-in-law. To be honest, I did not think I would like it. It’s a story about a depressed little forest community whose main hope is pinned on their junior ice hockey team. As the team approaches its semifinal match, tragedy befalls a local girl and the town is turned upside down and the little hockey community is torn into sides… those who want to brush things under the carpet and keep the hockey team very much alive and standing a chance, and those who will stand up for what is right, no matter what the cost. Backman, who also wrote A Man Called Ove, once again shows all of the beautiful and ugly parts of the human race, but offers readers a glimmer of beautiful hope amidst turmoil. I would 100% recommend this book! It was a long read for me, but it was absolutely worth it… it was one of those that had me in tears at the end, grieving that it was over. Good news though, there’s a sequel that I have yet to get my hands on!
Luckiest Girl Alive follows the story of Ani Fanelli, a girl who seems to have it all… a lucrative career, a glamorous wardrobe to go with it, and a devastatingly handsome and well to do fiance. She’s worked extremely hard to get her life on the exact path she wishes to follow. (To be honest, all of this had me not really liking her at first… her priorities in life were not at all aligned with my own). However, we learn that she overcame a devastating and public humiliation to recreate herself into the woman she is now. Additionally, there’s another dark secret lurking in her past which is soon to be exposed. As her past is uncovered, Ani takes a good hard look at the life she thought she wanted for herself. I picked this book up on a whim from the library and really enjoyed it. A page turner that kept me guessing in the beginning, and then had me liking Ani and wanting to see her grow. I definitely recommend reading this one if you’re looking for a quick and sort of dark read. However, I did try to read her follow up novel, The Favorite Sister, and I made it 125 pages in by forcing myself to keep reading… I didn’t like that book at all! The characters were all very much how Ani was in the beginning of this one… pretentious, wealthy, obnoxious. I decided it was a waste of time and moved on.
I came across The Broken Road by Richard Paul Evans at the library. I was not familiar with the author, though I now know he’s written several popular novels. I plucked it off the new release shelf at random, read the back, and decided it was just the thing I needed. Often I read rather dark and sad or suspenseful novels (which I absolutely love), but sometimes, I need to clean my palette with a book that makes me think and feel good. The Broken Road follows self made wealthy business man Charles James. His is a would-be success story, about a poor boy working hard to succeed in the world. However, he can’t shake the nightmares that haunt him. When he learns of a customer’s suicide because of financial distress, his world is shaken. He starts to reconsider everything he’s imagined success to be, and luckily for him, he is given a fresh chance to start over. This book was another quick read and I loved the underlying message. I haven’t yet picked up the others in the trilogy it kicked off, but I plan to at some point.
I am a huge fan of Ruth Ware’s writing… this dark “Gone Girl” genre that has really emerged over the last decade is my favorite. The Woman in Cabin 10 follows the story of Lo Blacklock, a journalist who has been given the chance of a lifetime to go on an epic cruise aboard one of the world’s most exclusive ships across the North Sea. Lo is reunited with an old flame (whom she has no interest in), as well as some other old acquaintances who’ve also been invited to set sail on this trip. While she is aboard, she witnesses a woman being thrown overboard, and she believes a crime is being covered up. However, all aboard are accounted for, and everyone makes Lo feel as though she is losing her mind. Did she witness anything at all? This book was an intense page turner, but it was a little far fetched which contributed to it being unpredictable. However, as I mentioned, I loved this genre (reading another like it now!), and couldn’t put this one down.Do you ever peruse the Costco books? That’s where I found The Silent Wife.This book has pretty good reviews and I wanted to like it, but I just didn’t… You already know from the beginning who is the killer and who is the victim, and I found the whole situation a little depressing. While you know the marriage of Jodi and Todd is in a bad place, you already know he’s dead and she killed him, so there’s no hope for the marriage. I don’t really know why I picked it up, but do yourself a favor and don’t bother. Sorry not sorry. 🙂
I’ve got several more books to share with you in the near future, but I figure five is a good start! Now it’s your turn to share what you’ve read and loved (or not). Are there any books you’d like to see me review here? I am headed to the library this weekend with Sawyer, so hit me up!