Book Junkie – DAY 1083

As I read my books, I am usually reading three at once.  One physical book, a digital book and an audio book.  Without trying, the themes sometimes overlap.  Stories have elements in common.  Sometimes characters go through similar struggles.

This month, I found three excellent memoirs.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert – The belief that ideas are out there trying to find a home.  Be open to them because if you don’t snatch them up, someone else will.  Very cool ideas about living a creative life.

Amy and Isabelle, by Elizabeth Strout – A complex story about a mother and daughter living mirrored lives.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King – Insightful, entertaining and not at all boring.  This is also fun to read if you are merely a fan.

When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi – A beautiful memoir written by a dying neurosurgeon.  His story of life through medical school and the discovery of his own terminal lung cancer.

 

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May You Read These Books – DAY 1050

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes – If you’re a fan of this movie, you’ll love the behind-the-scene stories about the making of the film.

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens – Joe interviews a dying, convicted murderer for a college English assignment.  After he hears Carl’s story and studies the court transcripts, he sets out to prove that Carl is innocent of the crime.

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney – A complicated family drama in which almost every sibling is in dire need of their portion of “the nest” – the inheritance from their dead father.  This story is well written with complex characterization.

Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey – In this WW2 historical novel, Stella is married to a closeted clergyman.  She meets Dan, an American soldier and they begin an affair and fall in love.  In present time, Jess runs away from her abusive boyfriend and squats in an old abandoned house in London.  In this safe place, she comes across all of Dan’s love letters to Stella.  Jess becomes determined to find Stella and Dan.  Will she end up finding a love of her own?

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Books I Loved – April 2016 – DAY 1013

April was a great month! I finished 25 books and I enjoyed many of them.  Here’s a list of my favorites:

Bright Side by Kim Holden – Kate leaves San Diego and heads to Minnesota to attend college. That’s where she meets and falls in love with Keller.  Gus, Kate’s (male) best friend is on an international tour with his band but they get to talk almost every day.  This is essential because the two are very attached.  Will that be enough and will Kate and Keller have forever?

Bird Box by Josh Malerman – This post-apocalyptic horror story had a fun creepiness factor. Instead of zombies we have some sort of “bad thing” that you cannot look at with your eyes.  Ever.  So, survivors are afraid, wearing blindfolds and keeping their eyes shut.  Loved this book!

Crossroads by Riley Hart – Nick is divorced. Bryce is the kind of guy who has a hard time committing to one woman and settling down.  These two become neighbors, best friends and find themselves spending a lot of time together.  When a member of Bryce’s family suggests that they might be more than friends, he’s forced to consider it.  These two “straight” men figure it out.  Together.

We are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler – This book was beautiful. Read it.

April 2016

Favorite Reads March 2016 – DAY 982

March was a productive month! I finished 31 books.  My top 4 March reads fall into the Young Adult or New Adult (Ugly Love) category.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – 16-year-old Simon has found someone he can be honest with. Blue is his anonymous email buddy and they discuss the impending trial of “coming out” to their friends and family. Meanwhile, an acquaintance gains access to his email and blackmails Simon into helping him gain the attention of a girl. Simon is somewhat bullied into publically admitting his sexuality, but he also finds a boyfriend in Blue at the same time. I found this YA novel to be honest and realistic.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – Emily’s outgoing, BFF Sloan has vanished along with her parents just as the summer has arrived. What will the introverted Emily do without her? Emily receives a to-do list from Sloan via snail mail – one that will surely force her out of her comfort zone. Once she begins to tackle the list, she convinces herself that completing everything on it will help her find Sloan. Enter the very popular Frank Porter who has befriended Emily and insists on helping her check things off her list. One guess how this list and Frank’s assistance will change Emily’s outlook on her summer without Sloan.

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover – Colleen Hoover books are crack. This was a re-read. Stacey and I drove to Vegas and we listened to Ugly Love. Tate and Miles forever…

The Mason List by S.D. Hendrickson – This was a digital read for me. Alex and her father lose everything when she is only 8 years old. Her mother dies, they are living in his truck and life is at an all time low. Enter the wealthy Mason family who offer her father a job and a safe place to live on their property. In fact, the Mason’s make sure they have everything they need. Alex begins to resent the handouts and decides to make a list of everything the Masons have given them so she can pay back the “debt” one day. But Jess Mason is her best friend and he loves her. This book is the coming of age story of Alex and Jess from age 8 to 26. Their friendship/love story is beautiful and it moved me.

March reads

Favorite Reads February 2016 – DAY 960

I plowed through 28 books in February.

My top 4:

The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian – Things go terribly wrong at a Bachelor Party thrown at the Best Man’s family home.

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith – The third book in the Cormoran Strike series and the best one yet.  I love the growing “partnership” of Cormoran and Robin.  We are left with a cliffhanger – can’t wait for the next book.

Eventide by Kent Haruf – The second book in this beautiful trilogy.  A window into the fragile people and different families in this small town of Holt Colorado.  Haruf’s writing style is unique and soft.  I want to read everything he wrote.

Little Girls by Ronald Malfi – Is the little girl next door a ghost or is the house you’ve just inherited haunted?  Laurie and her family temporarily move into her childhood home in order to fix it up and sell it after her father’s passing.  Strange things begin to occur as soon as they arrive.

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Favorite Reads January 2016 – DAY 922

I love books.  What is life without story?

I finished 32 books in January.

My favorites (listed below) are all must reads.  Look how similar the titles are!  I find that when I read multiple books at the same time, the themes often bleed into each other.

The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson – It’s the early 1960’s and a single woman in her mid-30’s owns a bookstore with her best friend.  She starts having reoccurring dreams about her own alternate life…one in which she has a husband and children…one in which she and her best friend no longer speak.

Kill You Twice by Chelsea Cain – Oh, how I love me some Archie & Gretchen!  This is the fifth book in the series and my favorite thus far.  What other serial killer/detective series are you reading in which you want to (mostly) root for the serial killer?

The Killing Lessons by Saul Black – Oh my goodness.  This could have been just another serial killer/detective novel, but it was well written and the writer did not keep us in the dark.  We were right there with the detectives, the victims and the killers.  Instead of wondering how they “done it,” we watched it happen.  Talk about being in the story!

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult – When I finished this audiobook, I walked around my house repeating the word “wow.”  This story was hard for me to let go of.  What a great read.  The Storyteller is a Historical Fiction WW2 novel.  We meet Sage, a broken woman who befriends an old man named Josef.  As their friendship grows, he tells her in confidence that he was a Nazi officer in WW2 and he’d like Sage to help him die.  We also meet Sage’s grandmother, a Jew, who survived the Nazi war camps.  Her grandmother recounts her “story” in addition to her own personal story.  This beautiful book is about family tradition, loss, forgiveness and survival.  And a vampire.  I love how she pulls it off.

January reads

Best Reads 2015 – DAY 894

I’ve always loved books, but reading became a passion in 2015 when I discovered audiobooks on the Overdrive app.  I’ve decided to share my passion and document the books I’m reading in 2016.  This way, other readers can follow along if they’re looking for something new to read.

Here’s my favorite 9 of 2015.  Find me on Instagram at @abbie_reads to follow my reading progress.  I’ll be blogging about my favorites here as well.

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