Books, Books, Books

Hi! and hope you’re doing well, wherever you are and whatever you’re up to.  Here are some books I’ve read and liked as of late.

1.A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihar

This book is becoming a cult classic and I think our grandchildren will be reading and talking about it. I liked it, but it’s hard to get through. I had to take a break from reading it (twice) because it is so devastating, but I really loved the main character, and so I kept coming back. This book is nihilistic, but the prose is exceptional and the character development is realistic, relatable, remarkable. It made me want to learn every word in the world. The plot itself involves some suspension of disbelief. The amount of success, the failure, and abuse in the storyline is completely exaggerated and difficult to believe.

There are a ton of loose ends in this book, which makes it feel sort of sloppy; but it’s engrossing and thought provoking enough to carry. It is definitely rated R. I don’t think I recommend it to everyone, because it is so devastating and graphic.  This book will make you very happy to come back to your life. Also it’s 800 pages.

2. Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty

Oh, this is a good one!  Sort of vapid lifestyles but the main theme of the novel is substantive. It’s delicious, intriguing, and suspenseful. The plot: mothers and their children living in a wealthy part of Australia, a child being bullied in kindergarten, and the secrets these families keep. A sub-theme of the story is that secrets don’t stay secrets. The TV version also emphasizes the tightrope women walk when trying to balance family and career. Loved the ending of this one- Liane Moriarty knows how to entertain.

3. Counting by 7s, Holly Goldberg Sloan

A YA read about a genius, quirky middle school girl whose parents die in a car accident.  She thinks very analytically and the narrative involves a lot of math and science and some amusing thought processes that made me laugh out loud a few times. It’s full of interesting factoids, but the plot isn’t very intriguing. As a side note, the YA read I keep hearing good things about is The Wishtree, by Katherine Applegate.

4. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman

This book is a delight. Hilarious. However, Eleanor’s thinking is super grating.  She is SO judgmental! She is awkward and harsh and very very candid. Her narrative will make you laugh out loud.

As the story progressed, Eleanor completely grew on me.  She is endearing and lovable in the quirkiest of ways. I also really felt for her and her life story. The themes of the book are social awkwardness and loneliness – the author illustrated and articulated her themes so clearly and she depicted life in 2016 (ish) perfectly. I love Raymond and I love Raymond’s mom.

The ending made me question all the thoughts and beliefs we cling to. You will be shocked at the end.

Here is my secret wish: to know what a guy thinks of this book.

5. Since We Fell, Dennis Lehane

Before reading Since We Fell I had never heard of or read anything by Dennis Lehane (have you?). In the prologue you find out that Rachel kills Brian at some point in the story, but you don’t know when it will happen. The beginning is a little slow while Rachel is looking for her birth father and then things pick up in the second half when you learn more about Brian. It’s not meant to be a funny book, but there is one scene near the end, when everything is unraveling, that made me fall over laughing.

The reviews say it’s diabolical. I just looked up that word and it *is* diabolical (of the devil!). At least Brian is.

I think they should make this into a movie and I highly, highly recommend it to anyone who likes thrillers. I loved it. I might even read it again, violating my only-read-a-novel once policy.

6. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Eh. The plot is sort of interesting but too slow. The characters aren’t really special. I really make an effort to like at least one character in every book I read, but it wasn’t easy in this one. I think the author has potential though.

There is part of me that sort of wants to write a book, but I think coming up with a good plot is pretty challenging. I don’t want to write one that is a thinly veiled story of my own life- That might be kind of bland. ; )

Anyway, I hope this list can help you find a good read for your next vacation. : )

Don’t forget to watch general conference this weekend and please feel uplifted by this video:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s