Lately: Books I’ve Read

It’s been a while since I’ve done an update of the books I’ve read. Like, a WHILE.

As y’all know, I love to read and can pretty much devour any book that’s put in front of me…well, maybe except like Mein Kampf, or War and Peace. But that’s neither here nor there.

Here is what I’ve read as of late:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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For awhile, I was on a kick of WW2 historical fiction which is what drew me to this book. I REALLY liked this one. The author goes between two different stories that end up weaving together. Both of the main characters begin as children and both of their stores are so fascinating. I highly recommend this book if you are into historical fiction!

Life from Scratch by Melissa Ford

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I read this because I think it was $5.99 on my Kindle and I wanted something totally mindless. I also tend to love books about food or cooking (go fig). This was kindof a romantic-comedy in book form and focused on a divorcee (another reason it resonated with me) who blogs about cooking. It was a fun, easy read.

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

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I love books set in the 20’s! This one is about a woman who chaperones a young actress/dancer from her hometown for the summer. It isn’t the most thrilling book of all time, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and especially loved the time period.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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Obviously I read this. The SECOND that movie preview came out, I knew I wanted to read the book. Similar to Gone Girl, this book was thrilling and sexy (ooooh sexy) and scary. The main character was definitely someone you feel sorry for and honestly I think Emily Blunt was a bit too regal to play her in the movie. Much to my chagrin, I have not yet seen the movie! But I will. Anyway, if you want a seriously engulfing book that will keep your attention all the way through, read this!

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

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I found this book on the Barnes & Noble site after researching “books similar to Girl on the Train”. Haha I am so predictable. Anyway, this was NOTHING like Girl on the Train. It was much more slow-moving and the timeline went backwards. At first I kindof hated that it was working backwards but then I grew to like it. I ended up finding it pretty good…not great.

Summer Readin’

Howdy y’all.

I’ve been watching a new Lifetime show , Kim of Queens and I am currently doling out y’alls like a southern belle. Apologies for that :).

Last night I finished yet another book and realized I haven’t kept my lovely bloggies abreast of any of my summer reads! THE HORROR. So, in true fourth-grader fashion, here’s what I read this summer.

50 Shades Darker by E.L James

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I’m not really that ashamed to admit I read the entire 50 Shades Trilogy. For whatever reason, I had to find out what happened with Miss Steele and Christian. It also helped that I found them all at Goodwill for $2 – because – let’s be real – nobody wants to be seen buying these at Barnes & Noble (although, I probably would have).

50 Shades Freed by E.L James

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I can sum up this trilogy, if we’re calling it that in ONE word: sex. There is really not much more to these books than that. I suppose one could call them educational in a way? Whatever. And yes, I am seeing the movie.

The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory

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Oh, Philippa. How I love your writing. I think I may have enjoyed this book even more than The Other Boleyn Girl AND The Favored Child. This book focused on two of Henry VIII’s lesser known wives, Anne of Cleves and little Katherine (Kitty) Howard. After his subsequent marriages to Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour (both dead), Henry decided to wed Anne of Cleves to form an alliance with her country and family. But girlfriend was prude and Henry wasn’t having it. He got rid of Anne so that he could marry the young Katherine Howard (who was young enough to be his grand daughter) but this relationship quickly crumbled and Katherine ended up on the chopping block too.

Unlike The Other Boleyn Girl, I liked seeing the older, grosser version of Henry VIII. He was waaay past his prime, with a rotten leg and a horrible disposition, but the women and men of court continued to throw themselves at him, showering him with compliments and praise. He had no idea that he was this putrid, sorry excuse for a human being because nobody would dare tell him so.

Just, fascinating!

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

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I touched on this book in an earlier post, but never described how much I loved it. Have you ever read something that you loved so much, that you read each page twice simply because you didn’t want it to end? THAT, my friends, is how I felt about The Paris Wife.

Basically, this book is about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, their life in Paris and their inevitable separation. First of all, this book made me want to read everything by Hemingway (or Hem, as I refer to him now). Although this book is technically fiction, the author brings Ernest completely to life through Hadley, and highlights his point of view in a very interesting and poignant way.

Hadley is just awesome. She’s awesome. She is smart, practical yet also fun, and incredibly perceptive. She has a deep, true love for Ernest throughout the entirety of the book, despite his alcoholism, fighting and crazy antics. She loves him even when his wandering eye gets the best of them both. She lets him go and it is sad, so sad. But it’s also wonderful, in a way. I just fell in love with both these people and can’t wait to discover more.

U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton

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This book I plucked from the shelves of the “library” (i.e four rickety shelves of books) at our remote honeymoon resort in Lovina, Bali. I was desperate and there were probably 10 titles all together written in English.

I do lurve a good mystery every now and then, though. I have to admit I kept thinking of that episode of The Office where Phyllis tries to get Sue Grafton to be in Dunder Mifflin’s commercial and she comes back all distraught. teehee. This book was exactly what you’d expect from a hugely successful mystery writer. What I found to be most interesting is how she describes literally EVERYTHING happening. Pick up any Grafton and I’m sure you’ll notice this too.

Overall, it was enjoyable! A great, mindless read for the pool and on the plane.

Marie Antoinette, The Last Queen of France by Evelyne Lever

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Not sure if any of y’all remember, but a few years ago I went to Paris with my family and we spent a day at Versailles!! My Mom, sister and Dad were all pooped from touring the palace and didn’t have the energy to go out into the gardens and meadows by the Petit Trianon, so I went by m’self. It was honestly, the SINGLE most amazing thing I’ve ever done – and I think the reason why I loved it so much was that I was all alone, with only my thoughts. I even scampered off the designated “pathways” and frolicked (YES) in the meadows as I’m sure Marie Antoinette and her daughter, Maria Therese had done 300 years ago!

Tangent, sorry! Needless to say, I have ALWAYS been obsessed with Versailles, Louis, Marie Antoinette, macarons and petticoats. I decided to read this book no matter how boring it got, and yeah, it DID get boring. But I also learned SO much. Like how everyone at court was in the room when Marie Antoinette gave birth to her daughter, so that everyone knew she actually had it and it was hers. Like, WOW – how awful would that be?

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters

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Ok, SO. This book is simply amazing. I would recommend this one to anyone – any walk of life, age, sex, whatever, it is that good. Also, sidenote: the author lives in SPOKANE. Like, who knew that kind of talent could come out of Spokane, WA? Crazy. The plot is very tricky to explain but it reminds me a little of Love Actually. Where there’s a bunch of different little stories that all somehow weave together, although these stories stretch back some forty years, which gives them a depth you will have to read to believe.

And that’s it for me! What should I read next?? Let me know in the comments!

What I’m Reading

Hiya!

If you are looking for some amazing reads, look no further. I have hit the goldmine over the past couple of months.

1. The Time in Between: A Novel by Maria Duenas

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I plucked this book from the shelves of the Costco in Maui purely for it’s size. You see, I had forgotten my literature at home and needed something to fuel me through a 9 day vacation. At 600+ pages it certainly tips the scales but for darn good reason. This book proved to me that sometimes it is good to just dive right in, knowing absolutely nothing about the story or the author. The plot captured my attention within the first 30 pages and I found myself just aching for the heroine. I appreciated the historical nods, twists in the plot and naturally, the subject matter (she works as a couturier, OMG). A book of this weight could have been just that – dead weight. I was glad that it was not.

2. Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland

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After that 600 pager, I was in the mood for something a bit, shall I say, smaller? This book was actually at the condo we rented in Maui and I recognized the title. Botta bing botta boom. I really enjoyed this book. It takes you through time, telling the story of a Vermeer painting as it passes along from owner to owner. It was a quick, sweet read and made me want to buy art.

3. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

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This one is kind of a gut-wrencher. I seriously cried like three times. But I am getting ahead of myself. I chose this book because 1.) I had heard the title 2.) I like the title 3.) It takes place in SEATTLE. In this book, two childhood friends face the world together given tumultuous adversity and then are forced to separate. In the beginning, the story takes place in the 1940’s during WWII. The author takes us back and fourth from then, to the late 80’s. The main character is Chinese and the heroine, Japanese (a big no-no in 1940 in parts of Seattle). In the beginning I felt a slight Romeo + Juliet kind of thing happening as the two begin to develop real feelings for one another. They even sneak out to see a jazz concert together – gah! How I loved this book. I’ll stop talking now.

2. 50 Shades of Grey by E.L James

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I caved. #whatcanisay?

3. The Favored Child by Philippa Gregory

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I really love this author, most notably for The Other Boleyn Girl. Nan gave me this one and although I have just begun this book and I can already tell I will love it. Phillipa, you kill it every time.

What are you reading?