5 Books to Read While You’re Home
Earlier this year as January came to an end I shared lots of books to help you grow your business, because I was focused on that at the time. Well, life has turned upside down so this time I am sharing lots of fictional books to escape into plus one non-fiction book my local friend wrote. I don’t know about you, but fiction is exactly what I need at this point in time. Currently, my husband is still going into work every day, so I am at home with three kids… one who is not quite 2 and needs me to keep him safe, occupied, learning, and growing; then two teenagers who miss their friends and escape into their own rooms most of the day. It’s stressful, lonely, and exhausting. The silver lining is that I end up exercising a lot… I take multiple walks, take Wilder out for bike rides, and have kitchen dance parties often. (Of course, I am also eating anything that doesn’t walk away from my mouth…) At the end of the day, crawling into bed to read is a great reward and relaxation for me. Today I hope to give you some new books to escape into while you’re stuck at home like me… like all of us.
My nightstand always has a plethora of books on top of it, what I am currently reading plus what’s next on my docket. Additionally, the inside is filled to the brim with books to be read or to be shared. I love nothing more than passing a book I adored onto a friend to enjoy it after me.
Girl Last Seen
Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin is a psychological thriller, which happens to be my absolute favorite kind of fictional read to escape into. These types of books keep me turning the pages, and keep my interest peaked. This particular book is told from the perspective of Laine/Ella (her name was Ella, but when she re-enters the world under a new protective name, it’s Laine), a former kidnapping victim who was released as a teen. Now years later, there’s a new abduction case, and it seems eerily similar, and the victim even looks like her. Laine starts obsessing over this case and before you know it, is highly involved with it, and even looks like she might be behind it. This book was good, a page turner, but to be 100% honest, I easily guessed the truth, so the ending came as no surprise. However, I kept reading because I just wanted to know if I was right. I would give this one 3 out of 5 stars… I think there are other psychological thrillers that are so much better. You can find some I like much more here.
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
By now, I’ve read a few books by Fredrik Backman including A Man Called Ove and Beartown, both well loved. (You can find my review of Beartown here.) My mom gave me this book, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, a few years ago and told me I would love it. I picked it up once, got about 40 pages in, and put it down. I was not getting into it, and there were other books I wanted to read. However, it was selected as our book club pick for March, so it was time for me to dust it off and give it a second try, and I am so glad I did! As with the first attempt, this book started really slow for me, and there are still some elements I just did not like, but overall I really loved this one. This book tells the story of Elsa, an outcast bullied 7 year old girl whose best friend is her grandmother who spins make believe tales of magical lands for her. Sadly, her grandmother passes, but sends Elsa on an adventure of delivering apologies for her. Elsa soon discovers the link between the fairy tales and her grandmother’s phenomenal life. What I didn’t like is that the make-believe is a little too detailed and drawn out, and often confusing. However, the very tangible and humanistic side of this book were beautiful, moving, and uplifting. This book demonstrates how people can grow and change, and relationships can be mended. In the end, I really loved it and would recommend it. You can check out my video review here if you’d like to learn more, but I gave it 5 out of 5 stars there for its writing and poignancy, even if I could do without the long fairytales.
Grace After Henry
Grace After Henryby Eithne Shortall is another book that my mom gave me. She’s an avid reader and always hands me down loads of books, which helps me save loads of money. Thanks, Mom! This book begins with Grace discovering that her partner Henry is killed in a freak biking accident, after they’ve just bought a place together. She moves into it on her own, although she doesn’t exactly settle in, it’s more like sinking in… she feels lost and hopeless without Henry. One day, unexpectedly, a man appears who looks just like Henry, but she’s sure she’s seeing things as she has before. This time, he’s real.. Unbeknownst to Henry, he had a long lost twin brother. Andy, Henry’s twin, is much like him, yet very much different, and Grace’s emotions confuse her for sure. Grace After Henry is overall a very sweet story, in the same vein as PS I Love You, which I adored. This book is a light and quick read that I would give 4 out of 5 stars.
This book caught me by total surprise, in a good way! The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin was our March book club pick, and boy did I drag my feet on reading this one. I honestly thought I was going to strongly dislike it. I made the mistake of reading reviews on Amazon before picking it up, and some were not very good at all and described it as soft porn. (It’s not even close… there are a couple of scenes, but that is it!) In the opening of this book, we see the Gold siblings as children who sneak off to see a fortune teller who predicts the date of each of their deaths. What follows are 4 separate sections, one dedicated to each sibling in their adult life and we see what actually happens to them and how the prophecy impacts their lives. This book has you wonder whether predictions create futures or if predictions simply foretell what will happen inevitably. I think I know what the author wants us to believe. It took me a good few days of reading to finally fall into this book wholly, but once I did, I really enjoyed it! The stories are all a bit sad, but it inspired me to get out there and live my life, despite what the future might look like. Don’t we all need that message right now?
Now Waiting was actually written by a friend of mine here in Greensboro, NC. I met Sarah Johnson through another friend, and was immediately drawn to her real talk and approachable way of living. Her book is all about waiting in the messy middle in a world that tells us to always want for more, and in a place where social media exists to tell us just how well everyone else is doing in surpassing us while we’re stuck waiting. That message hit me where I was when I read it, but even more so now as we are all in somewhat of a holding pattern, waiting for life to resume again. In this book, Sarah helps us learn to lean into the messy middle and embrace it as a major part of our journey. It is a Christian-based read, so I just want to make sure you know to expect that. I am a spiritual believer though not much of a church goer, but this book has a message that pertains to me. I was actually supposed to go to a celebration of Sarah’s book launch on March 13th, but of course it was cancelled along with everything else. So now we wait to celebrate Now Waiting… what was I just saying about this book applying to our lives right now?!?!?
Well friends, I hope that you’ve found something that sparks your interest! I am about to pick up a new book soon, and if you want to read along with our book club April pick, we will be reading Fleishman is in Trouble. I have heard SO much about this book, so I selected it and can’t wait to get started! As you can see, it’s been sitting on my nightstand waiting…
What books have you absolutely loved lately?