I’ve been on a roll lately. I’ve finished a lot of books since my last “what I’ve read” post–many that were so-so, and a few that were really, really good. To save you the time and trouble, I’m just going to share my nine favorites in this post.
But first, one of the questions/comments I get every time I write one of these posts is “how do you find time to read?”. I guess we all find time for the things we really want to do—right? I’ve decided to quit feeling like I should be doing something more productive every time I sit down with a book. It’s just about the only activity where I can completely zone out—and that’s a very good thing for a somebody like me who struggles to sit still.
I love to read until I almost fall asleep at night. I read in the (parked!) car when I’m waiting to pick up kids. And, I’m trying to read in the afternoons when the kids have to read their own books for homework. (When do you make time to read??)
These are my nine favorite books that I’ve read recently:
The Mothers by Brit Bennett—This book is brand new and probably my very favorite of the 30+ I’ve read this year. It’s not a spoiler to tell you the main character finds her teenage self pregnant by the pastor’s son early in the story. The book follows the consequences of the main character’s decision throughout her teenage and early adult life. This one gets five stars from me. (By the way, this is the author’s first book. Can’t wait to read more from her. . . )
A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams—This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and now I have her others on my “want to read” list. She’s an excellent writer and this is a story that feels very modern, although it’s set in the 1920s. The plot revolves around a murder trial and a May-December romance where the “older woman” is all of about 40. (Yikes.)
Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave—I had heard great things about this one before I read it, and it met all of my expectations. It’s set in WWII London and I loved Mary North (the main character) and her spunk. A beautiful story about about love and loss and hope. One of my favorite WWII novels yet.
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett—This is my third Ann Patchett book and my favorite so far. (I also liked The Patron Saint of Liars, but Bel Canto—not so much.) I love a good dysfunctional family novel and this a great one. It covers years of fallout for both families involved after an affair starts at a christening party.
What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman—I got sucked into this book, but I will warn you that I felt like I couldn’t breathe for most of it. The main character’s family sends her to a mental hospital in 1929 to keep her away from a romance of which they disapprove. I rooted for her until I was exhausted—in a good way.
The One-In-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood—A precious book about the friendship between a young Boy Scout and a 104-year-old woman. I wasn’t sure I’d love it based on the description but it’s a great story. There’s even a little romance. (No, not between the Boy Scout and the lady!) I like Monica Wood’s writing. I also read her memoir When We Were the Kennedys. I didn’t like it as much as this one but it’s a really good read, as well.
Half-Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls—I’d been meaning to read this one for a while after reading the author’s other book, The Glass Castle which may be one of my favorites of all time. This is real-life novel about Jeanette Walls’ grandmother’s life. I love a determined mother who takes care of business, and that’s what you get with the main character. She was a woman before her time. My kind of girl.
The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline—I love when I get book recommendations from you all. (Thanks for this one, Peggy!) This novel brings two orphans together and tells their stories. One is seventeen and aging out of the foster system soon. The other is now an elderly lady and a survivor of a hard system.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier—I’m not sure why I haven’t read this before now am glad I did. It’s eerie, suspenseful, romantic and hard to put down. I am the worst at figuring things out ahead of the game when I’m reading anything mysterious. This book was no different. So good!
What’s the best book you’ve discovered lately?