We’ve had a rainy few days here this week which to me means sweatpants, coffee, and a good book! And with the cooler weather on the way (at least I hope so by now) and less daylight each day, reading becomes one of my favorite evening activities. We usually watch Jeopardy as a family and then I go up to bed to read… I am like a 90 year old, but I’m happy in my old lady ways. Today I thought I’d share with you a variety of books I’ve read lately and hopefully you’ll find something that grabs you in my book report: 5 more books I’ve read lately.
I read Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple last year and loved it (you can read that review here), so when I saw Today Will Be Different sitting on my local library shelf, I immediately picked it up. In Today Will Be Different, we follow Eleanor throughout her day. From the moment she awakens, Eleanor is sure that her life is a mess, but today is the day she is going to change and make things right, and get her act together. She will successfully get her son to school on time, dress in something other than yoga pants, make plans with a friend. However, everything starts to go off track when her son, Timby, fakes illness at school, soon followed by the discovery that her husband has told the office he is on vacation, but Eleanor knows he is not on vacation with her. While this has the makings of a bit of chick lit drama, it’s actually a ridiculously funny and relatable tale of a woman just trying to get through life. I absolutely LOVED this book and ended up recommending it to several friends.
Before We Met is one of those dark mystery novels that I love so much. Everybody has secrets they keep, but what if the person you love most in the world has been keeping a very big secret from you? In Before We Met, Hannah meets fellow Brit, Mark, while stateside, and they rush back to England to marry and begin a life together. It’s clear from the beginning that the relationship has been rushed and isn’t where it should be. Mark heads back to the states for a business meeting and fails to come home, leaving Hannah worried, but then on a wild goose chase after discovering that her bank account has also been swiped. As Hannah tries to find Mark, more importantly she launches a quest to find the truth of who he really is and what skeletons are lurking in his closet. Before We Met was a page turner with several interesting twists.
Whenever I head to the library the first place I check is the new fiction and non-fiction shelves just to see if any of their new acquisitions catch my eye. That is exactly how I stumbled upon The Golden Hour by T. Greenwood. I was immediately drawn to the cover in its beautiful glowing colors, and then the title, “The Golden Hour” sealed the deal. Wyn Davies has recently separated from her husband yet lives next door in a duplex with their four year old daughter. Her past is catching up with her as Robby Roussea, the then boy who she accused of raping her, is attempting a retrial and claiming his innocence. To escape the mess that is her life, she heads to an derelict old home on a remote New England island with her daughter. There she discovers rolls of undeveloped film and a new mystery unfolds about the house’s former owner, a young woman and mother as well. In this book, Wyn is forced to face her own demons as well as reconstruct the mess she’s made of her adult life. I absolutely loved this book for the story as well as the mystery included in it. I did find myself wishing Wyn had her head a little more together, but then I suppose the story wouldn’t have unfolded in the way it did. I loved this book so much that I ended up reading a couple more by this author and will again.
This post wouldn’t be complete without at least one young adult book. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is one of my favorite recent young adult book reads. Thomas Finch is somewhat of an enigma at school, and is constantly dreaming of ways to kill himself. His weeks will be wonderfully adventurous and filled with color and excitement, and then in a turn, darkness will come and he won’t leave his house for days. Violet Markey is a popular girl who seems to have it all, yet is grappling with the death of her younger sister and feels responsible. Finch & Violet meet in the bell tower at school one day where they are both presumably contemplating jumping. Soon after, due to pressure from Finch, the two partner up in a social studies project to show off one special feature of their town. Finch opens Violet’s eyes to a world of amazement within their own local borders, and what ensues is a deep friendship and love affair. However, no matter how good and colorful the days may seem, for some the darkness comes anyhow. In this book Violet & Finch teach each other so much about life, friendship and love. I cried my eyes out in moments, but it’s a beautifully written and heartbreaking story.
Growing up, I will always remember my mother being a big fan of Carly Simon. Recently for my birthday I received a record player and my parents’ old records, including a few Carly Simon treasures. Her throaty voice has always captivated me. My mom, also a fan clearly, recently bought Boys in the Trees, Carly Simon’s memoir, and passed it onto me when she was finished. Much of the book talks about her childhood as the misfit daughter of the Simon of Simon & Schuster publishing. She witnessed her father being taken advantage of by business partners as well as cheated on in his own house by her mother. Even with such a dysfunctional upbringing, music was always a part of their lives, and Cary and her sisters were all musically talented. Moving on from childhood, Carly talks much about her early career and all of the stars she met and mingled with and the book holds several anecdotes that would seem false but are indeed true… Warren Beatty’s section might have been my favorite, or there’s Sean Connery, Mick Jagger… and of course, James Taylor. The second half of the book really focuses on their relationship, their marriage, and the breakup of that marriage. This book was dense, full of stories from her life and all sorts of characters. Being a fan, I truly enjoyed reading it and learning more about her, but I would say if you are not a fan it might not be as interesting.
Currently I am reading a book called The Wonder Garden and I can’t yet tell if it’s going to be good. I am sure I will let you know. Happy Reading!