I have to say that I got a little stalled this month with one book. It took me a while to get into it, but now that I am over halfway I am flying. Unfortunately my book light was dead on Saturday so I missed out on 2+ hours of reading in the car.
Even though this is a monthly link up, I am going to go back a little further in my books to share a theme. The past 4 of my recent books have been emotionally tough books. I have loved three of them and and am liking the 4th one more and more as I read it. These were all stories of strong young women who’s lives have been torn to shreds by someone in their life with serious mental illness.
I first read Educated by Tara Westover. I discussed it here. This book gets ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️! I found it absolutely riveting! It is a memoir and I found it shocking that people in the United States live this way during my lifetime. Tara lives in Idaho and is the daughter of a Mormon survivalist father and a mother who goes along with her father’s wild ideas. It is a story of resilience and believing in yourself. I could not put this book down and have recommended it to everyone I talk to!
I followed Educated with The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. I reviewed it here and give it ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️. This was the second book by Kristin Hannah that I read. Wow! She is a great writer! Her word choice, details, and story lines draw me right in. They leave me gasping in surprise and crying in despair, and I can’t get enough. I have been to Alaska and Hannah’s writing made me feel like I was back. In this story, Leni’s father decides that they need to be completely self-sufficient in case the world as they know it comes to an end. The story follows Lens as she grows up and becomes an adult. Her father’s choices and mental illness continue to affect her throughout her life. The book is heavy and there are some very upsetting parts, but I highly recommend it! If you are ready to commit to a book, I suggest this one!
The third book in this theme that I read is Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I discussed it here and give it ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ also. I loved this book. This is Kya’s story. She is abandoned by her family one by one and is left to survive in a marsh with a shack she calls home. Kya is a smart and resourceful little girl who figures out how to dodge the truant officers, residents of the closest town, and anyone who may give her trouble. I love that Owens doesn’t tell the stories of Kya’s life in chronological order. The puzzle pieces do come together in the end to paint a full portrait of Kya and her incredible life. This was a brilliant third book to continue the stories of strength, resilience, and strong female characters.
The fourth book that seems to go along with the other three is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. This book took me a while to get in to. It slowed my reading progress big time, but once I got about 2/3 of the way through I couldn’t put it down. In this last third of the book I am learning so much more about Eleanor’s life, why she behaves and reacts the way she does, and how she is learning to navigate her life. I do love the main male character, Raymond. He has such a big heart and is so tender with Eleanor when she is at her lowest. I don’t think this will get 5 ☀️ from me, but I am really starting to enjoy it!
That was a rough round of books to read. I was proud of each main character, but they took me on quite an emotional roller coaster! I have Girl Unbroken by Regina Calcaterra and Rosie Maloney sitting on my pile, but I know that is going to be an emotional read. Regina’s first book, Etched in Sand, is the incredibly traumatic and resilient story of Regina and her siblings’ childhood.
I read My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan this month too. I had heard a bunch about it and couldn’t wait to read it. It was most definitely what I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised. I did get a little mad at Jamie, the male main character, but as his story unfolded I forgave him. 😉 Ella definitely made the most of her year as a Rhodes Scholar and it was an experience of a lifetime. I do recommend it for a good read with a good dose of chick lit thrown in there. ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
I am looking forward to some lighter reading next month. Elin Hilderbrand’s new book Winter in Paradise is on my list and so is 99 Glimpses of Princess Maragaret. I have a bunch of books in my to read pile so we’ll see where the month takes me.
Have a great day full of sunshine and books!
☀️ 📚 😎