We’re enjoying Spring break this week, and I’m getting in a little more reading time than usual. In case you’re looking for something new, here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve read lately. I always enjoy hearing your recommendations, too, so be sure to leave them in the comments. (And, pop over to Instagram to see what I’m reading this week.)
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley. I’d heard a lot of good things about this book but kept putting it off until I knew I wasn’t flying anytime in the near future. It starts out with a private plane crashing into the ocean with only two survivors. The rest of the book deals with the mystery surrounding the crash (if, in fact, there was one). I actually really liked this book until the ending, which I felt came out of nowhere, leaving me feeling a little meh about the whole thing. . . I don’t have to have a perfect or happy ending but this one didn’t fit with the rest of the book.
Little Bee by Chris Cleave. I read Everyone Brave is Forgiven by the same author but had somehow missed this book. What a story! It’s timely as it deals with a refugee and the relationship between a couple that helps her in a huge defining moment for each of them. It draws you in and makes you think long after you finish. Loved this one.
All is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir by Brennan Manning. I read this one (quickly) while I was in bed with the flu, and although it’s not the type of book I normally read, I appreciated the honesty and truth shared in this memoir. Written by an ex-priest, it’s a beautiful reminder of God’s grace no matter how far we may fall.
The Longest Night by Andria Williams. I think I bought this on a Kindle daily deal whim and didn’t know anything about it. The story starts in 1959 and is a really honest look at the evolution of a marriage when one spouse is called away for military service and how they deal with an impending disaster after he returns home. Highly recommend if you’re looking for a good novel.
Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel. Usually loving a good story of family drama, I bought this one expecting to be wowed. I ended up somewhat disappointed. In a nutshell, it’s about a family who has money, then doesn’t, and how it causes them to completely unravel—like immediately. I just didn’t buy it. I thought the characters made irrational, silly decisions. I’ve heard other people rave about this book. . . Would love to hear your thoughts, if you’ve read it.
The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner. If you choose just one from my list to read, pick this one. This is a memoir about growing up in a polygamist family in the 1980s, and the resilience of one young girl who is put in the position of raising her younger siblings, enduring poverty, heartbreak and tragedy. This is the first book that ever prompted me to immediately email the author after finishing it. I am in awe of her strength and positive outlook she now has as an adult.
The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle. I’d put this one in the category of Gone Girl or Girl on the Train. And, while I didn’t completely dislike it (in fact, I was pretty drawn in while I was actually reading it), I’m a little over these kinds of books in general. I felt like it lacked some detail of how the whole plot came to be. Maybe these types of books just aren’t for me. . .
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. My dad passed this one to me, promising I’d love it. I did like it—but felt like it kind of dragged on for longer than it should have. I found the time period and setting interesting/horrifying. It takes place in the 1940s when the US was evacuating Japanese citizens to internment camps and focuses specifically on the relationship between a Chinese boy and Japanese girl. Even though I thought the middle was a little slow, I’d still recommend.
The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman. It’s been a long time since I’ve picked up an Alice Hoffman book, and I was very pleasantly surprised to love this one as much as I did. It takes place in the 1800s on the island of St. Thomas and is a story that spans over several generations of the same family and their struggles within their own Jewish community. There’s also a lot of sub-plots that revolve around forbidden interracial relationships at the time and how it changes the courses of their lives. I got wrapped up in this book; so, so good.
Find more of my book recommendations here. And, tell me what you’ve read lately!