Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Here's To Eighty Books!

Y'all with this post, I'm at eighty books on the year. While that sounds somewhat of a #humblebrag, it's more just a note that I've had the chance to check out some amazing stuff. I love reading and even more than that I really dig the chance to share good books with y'all. Here's the next round.

Landfall by Ellen Urbani was a book I was excited to find at this summer's used book sale. I mean, y'all, I literally walked in, and there this book was on a table waiting for me. I know about Ellen from my sorority's online book club. She's also a member, and she joined us a few years back for a live discussion of her other book When I Was Elena. Wow, y'all, this book was an emotional read. It is the story of two women - Rose and Rosy - whose stories intersect due to a car accident. As it turns out, their stories are far more connected than this moment, and you learn more and more about this as the book goes between their pasts and presents. The other dimension of this story is the connection to Hurricane Katrina. The realities of that situation are well-told with such realness, but it's quite heavy content. Oh, and then, there's the emotional dimension that both women's stories also involve navigating a relationship with their mother and trying to find their own way. Even though this one is more drama when thriller, there is also a twist at the end that got a jaw drop from me. 

Read this book if - You're looking for something that covers the complexity of relationships. You want something that does a deep dive into your feels.

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser was this month's selection for my in-person book club. This one is about a neighborhood woman who disappears. A few nights before she'd been chilling around a bonfire with her neighbors, and now, she's just vanished in the night with her kids. The neighbors knew she was going through a divorce, but they realize they knew little else. They each try to piece together what happened while also navigating through their own "stuff" that clouds their interpretation and reactions. In addition to focusing on the missing woman, this book walks through the secrets and stories of others in the neighborhood. It really makes you think about how much you really know the people you live next to. This is one that kept me reading as I had to know just what happened. I'm really glad I read it with a group, so I have some people to process through it with soon!

Read this book if - You're looking for a thriller that will keep you guessing. You enjoy thrillers that waffle between perception and reality.

Blue Whistler by Mickey Cobb was a book I picked up at Library Night At The K. It's the story of the Kansas City Royals' infamous pine tar game from someone who was there as Mickey was formerly the Royals head trainer. For those who don't know about this game, in 1983 George Brett hit a homerun at Yankee Stadium. Awesome, right? Welllllll, let's roll the tape.

This book is really just a thorough review of what happened before and after. If not for George's emotional outburst, I'm not sure this one lives in history like it does. However, given the intensity with which George played the game, this one is the stuff of legends. Mickey does a great job of talking through each and every piece. I mean, y'all, he even talks about what pine tar is. I love a baseball book that is full of detail and storytelling, and this one was so much of that. I also got to meet the author at the Royals game last week, and it made me appreciate his connection to the organization and love of the game even more. 

Read this book if - You are a Royals fan and remember the pine tar game, don't remember the pine tar game and/or want to know more about the pine tar game. You are a fan of baseball stories and legends. You just love baseball.

Freshmen by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison was sadly not the book adaptation of this classic jam from The Verve Pipe released during my own freshman year of high school.


You're welcome for sharing this throwback.


This one is about two students in their freshman year of college. Phoebe has had a huge crush on Luke for years and now they're at the same college. As Phoebe's dreams become somewhat reality, she and Luke start to interact. The story is told from both of their perspectives as they navigate college and their (sort of) relationship. I liked this one, but I also was left wanting more. One of the subplots of this one is about a group text that the soccer team has. There was so much more than could and should have been covered around the problematic nature of this, the repercussions and the missteps. I felt like this was kind of skimmed over, and that was a lost moment. I did appreciate the reality of the relationship between Phoebe and Luke outside of this part of the story. This wasn't a sweet, romantic happy ending type book, rather it was more about the complexities of figuring out what two people might be and all that this can entail. 

Read this book if - You want some YA that takes place in the college environment. You want a book that explores what happens when unrequited love turns to real-ish feels.