Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Other Books I Read In February

Eight Hundred Grapes was a book I read/listened to for a book club. The book reads like a Hallmark movie in a good way. There were some unexpected twists and turns, and the story of family kept me listening. The story revolves around a family winery and figuring out what's next for each of the siblings and parents. There's lots of drama (but not too much), and I really liked the way Laura (I'm using her first name because she joined our book club discussion, so I like to pretend we're pals) wrote.

The Grown-Up was a short story by Gillian Flynn that came as an add-on in my Book Of The Month box. It was a good, quick fix of Gillian Flynn. (Also, let me say again, THIS IS A SHORT STORY - People seem to be giving this book bad reviews because they don't understand this). There's a cliffhanger at the end that was pretty great and reminded me why I love her thrillers.

Still Life With Bread Crumbs was an enjoyable read. Somewhere along the way I've become an Anna Quindlen fan of sorts, as this is the fourth book of hers I've read. (Note: It may be the fifth or sixth because two others look familiar, but I may have read them before I effectively tracked my reads.) This one was probably the best of her fiction reads. The characters are compelling, and it's a simple love story of sorts (at least that's how I read it), but there are lots of complexities to make it all work. I've also now read enough AQ at this point to say that if/when she writes more things, I'll probably check them out.

Gone Without A Trace was an advanced reading copy I received. It was a thriller, and y'all, I was so captivated that I ended up staying up for two hours one night to read nearly all of it (minus the part I'd read the night before). The story is narrated by Hannah, a woman who gets home from work one day and realizes every trace of her boyfriend is gone. His stuff from their apartment, their pictures together, and even every trace of communication on her phone. The story goes from there, including weird messages she receives that makes her think he's being watched. The story has lots of great suspense, and then there's a twist that is so, totally, completely unexpected. The book comes out in April, and if you're a fan of a good thriller, y'all need to pick this one up for sure.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home is the most beautiful book. It is a story told by June, a young girl whose uncle has died of AIDS during the 1980s. At her uncle's funeral, there is a man there. She's knows he was connected to her uncle, but doesn't know him beyond that fact. Shortly thereafter, she gets a note to meet up with the man, Toby. From there, she goes on a journey with Toby that involves getting to know her uncle even more after he's gone. There are other relationships June is trying to navigate, namely a changing one with her sister that also make the story especially compelling. Overall, this is an absolutely beautiful read. It is full of emotion and brilliant storytelling and is well worth checking out.

Start Right Where You Are was a book I happened upon in the New Books section at the library. I was most drawn to the tagline - How Little Changes Can Make a Big Difference for Overwhelmed Procrastinators, Frustrated Overachievers, and Recovering Perfectionists. Spoiler Alert - The latter of these two categories are me. The book was divided into lots of short 2-3 page chapters each with a helpful tip. I took lots of notes on her ideas (a good sign of approval from me), and I also found some things I plan on utilizing for some work projects. 

Books for Living was a book I landed on when needed something to listen to while walking. I knew it was for me when the beginning of the book talked about the nightmare of being stuck on an airplane with NO BOOKS. In fact, the reason I travel with paper books is because this happened to me in real-life. After two consecutive trips with issues accessing e-books, I only travel with books that have no option for technical difficulties. The book is a trip back through the reads that have meant the most to the author. When doing this, they're not just book reports, but stories of why these books continue to connect to him. While listening, I thought a lot about what these books might be for me and how I can read on a deeper level. I have lots of ideas and plans based on this book, so stay tuned. Also, I really liked the audio version of this book (weird to say for a book about books, right?), and I'd highly recommend reading this one in this medium.

The Sun Is Also A Star is another beautiful piece. It revolves around a chance encounter of two unlikely people. They couldn't be more different, but throughout the course of a day, they also realize they have an incredible connection. They're both in situations they didn't quite plan, and they're trying to navigate it all. I don't want to give any details beyond this because it would honestly spoil all that's awesome about the story. It's well worth the read and deserving of the current hype.