Thursday, December 28, 2017

December Reads

Little Fires Everywhere was fantastic - just all-around fantastic. It had a great plot. It had great characters. It had emotion It had an ending I didn't see coming. It was the Goodreads winner for fiction book of the year, and y'all, it deserves every bit of that. My review here is sparse because I don't have much to say except READ. THIS. BOOK.

Read this book if - You've literally read any fiction book ever and are looking to read another. You like strong character development. You dig feelings.

The Wonder was okay. I'll own that I was reading this for my online book club, and I listened via audiobook while I was doing lots of other things. I also may have listened at 1.5x speed to ensure I made it through. I'm not sure I would have liked this one more had I read it at a normal pace, but you know - You win some, you lose some. 

Read this book if - Historical fiction is your jam.

Iowa Baseball Confederacy was also okay. I picked it up because it was by the guy who wrote Shoeless Joe which Field of Dreams was based on, and that book was on my to-read list. This one was interesting. It was about a guy whose dad has told him about a storied game between the Chicago Cubs and Iowa Baseball Confederacy. The problem is there's not record of this game, so he has to go through history (literally) to figure out just what happened. It was well-written, but also not totally my thing. Again, better luck next time.

Read this book if - You've been wanting something that reminds you of Field Of Dreams. 

Bitter Harvest was a true crime read that actually takes place in JoCo - Prairie Village specifically in the late 90s. I don't remember this case at all, but was in a reading rut and after seeing My Favorite Murder live (!!) I decided to check it out. It read just like a Dateline, 48 Hours and/or 20/20. While it was well-written and researched, it's also a super tragic story on so many levels.

Read this book if - You enjoy Dateline, 48 Hours, 20/20 and/or My Favorite Murder. 

The Liars Club was a book I received in my Holiday Hannah gift exchange. I asked for a memoir written by a woman, and this was what my HH found for me. This actually came out in the mid-nineties. The author's childhood is terrible, but she finds humor and resilience in her story. Her writing style is also phenomenal. I never would have found my way to this one without the gift exchange, so I was thankful this was the book I received.

Read this book if - Memoirs are your jam.

The Church of the Small Thing was the fourth Melanie Shankle I've read. I absolutely adore her books. First of all, she's an Aggie, and second of all, she just writes with so much authenticity. This is another one where I laughed and cried as I read. I'm glad I got to end my year of reading with this one because it was the perfect inspiration injection as I look to 2018. One quote in particular stuck with me:

"So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. . . I believe God wants us to walk out of the waters of faith and calls us to things that are greater and deeper than our fears. And we realize that failure at some point in life is inevitable - whether we're doing what we want or not - we might as well take a stab at doing something we love. We might as well go with the dream."

Read this book if - You need a reminder of what really matters. You want to take a moment to get re-grounded in faith and what really matters.

And with this, it's a wrap on my year in reading! Stay tuned for the recap, especially because it's already drafted, and I just need to hit publish.