7 Books to Read This Summer

 

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I really enjoy reading but often fall into a rut where I don’t read for months at a time. One of my goals this summer is to spend time reading while on our trips and on our balcony. Sunshine and warm temperatures won’t be around forever, so I want to take advantage of it.

This summer I am committing to reading 7 books. I still have to finish reading my current book (which is terrifying because it’s about how a group of billionaires are controlling our government and public education, no it’s not fiction) but once I’m finished, I’m going to dive into these more beach friendly reads. I will share my thoughts on them either in one big post or as individual book reviews, depending on how much I like them!

 

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Truly Madly Deeply <— From the woman who brought us Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty brings her intense writing to a new book about how sometimes we don’t appreciate how wonderful life is until it’s too late. I love her books because she always has so many different characters (this one follows three different families). I love being able to see different perspectives of a situation.

Into the Water <— I have seen this one all over Instagram and other blogs lately, so it is definitely popular. It’s another book written by an author I love, Paula Hawkins of Gone Girl fame. So I have high hopes for this suspenseful novel about a single mother who turns up dead, leaving behind a teenage daughter. The plot has lots of twists and turns (according to reviews) about how the daughter copes after moving in with her aunt. I love suspense books (and movies and tv shows) because I always want to see if I can figure out the end. I wonder if I’ll be able to figure out this one!

Small Hours <— This book just came out like days ago and already has 17 reviews on Amazon. The story is told hour by hour over the course of one day where a husband and wife try to run away from their secrets. I can feel my heart racing just thinking about an entire book written about one day. It’s like that show 24.

Option B  <— Shout out to my mother-in-law, Karen, for giving me this book. One, it’s a physical book, which makes me excited and two, it’s written by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and author of bestselling book, Lean In. Option B is co-written by Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, and is all about how to move forward after life’s unexpected events. We all go through rough patches in life and I just love Ms. Sandberg’s positive outlook on life.

Rich People Problems <— The title alone has me hooked on this book. The story surrounds a family obsessed with fortune and how they go about inheriting the riches. It has 4.5 stars on Amazon and, according to reviews, talks a lot about fashion, home design and the luxuries of life. Perhaps this is the book version of my beloved Housewives? I am pumped for this read, perhaps on the beach in Croatia.

Talking as Fast as I Can <— Any Gilmore Girls fans here? If you even remotely loved that show or Lauren Graham’s other show, Parenthood, this is a must-read. Lauren Graham, the actress who played Lorelei Gilmore, reflects on her time in Hollywood, what it was like on the set of her two successful shows, including the Netflix remake episodes, and some other fun experiences. I think this will be the perfect read for those rainy, summer nights when I feel like gabbing a girlfriend. It is already downloaded on my iPad.

The Sunshine Sisters <— This is a family tale by Jane Green and is the story of three sisters who all come together after their mother reveals an illness and try to rebuild their relationships that were once torn because of jealousy and secrets. Maybe I can talk my sister into reading this book at the same time so we can share our thoughts.

What are you going to read? Or any favorite beach reads to share? Would you want to read any reviews of these books?

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When I Read a Book in 5 Hours

I enjoy reading a lot more now that I’m not forced to read something and write a report afterwards. I especially enjoy reading while traveling. There’s something about being on a plane that makes me want to read, something about being forced to do something other than scrolling through Instagram or watching tv.

Before our trip to Dublin I bought a new book, The Couple Next Door, specifically to read on the plane. It got incredible reviews on Amazon and is categorized as a mystery/thriller, which is a favorite thanks to Gone Girl. On our two hour flight home, I started reading the book and found myself so interested I then read it during the two hour drive home and then stayed up until 1 AM to finish it. I read the entire book in 5 hours, in one sitting. It’s that good!

I’ve only ever done this once before and it was in the third grade with an American Girl book about Addy who lived through the Civil War. It was only like 80 pages and it was the first time I felt so engrossed in a book that I looked up and forgot where I was. The Couple Next Door is the first time this has happened to me as an adult, so I just have to write a book review about it!

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The premise of the book is pretty simple: a married couple with a 6 month old baby go to dinner at their neighbors, leaving their baby at home and check on said baby every 30 minutes. But when they return to their home after dinner, their baby is gone! You find this out within the first five pages. The rest of the book dives deep into each character and unfolds exactly what happened that night. It is a transcript version of an episode of Law and Order: SVU. 

The author, Shari Lapena, does an incredible job of twisting and turning all the viewpoints of the night. You get the perspective from each character, from the mother and father to the neighbors and the mother’s parents and the detective in charge. My favorite was the perspective of the detective. In my mind he looked just like Elliott Stabler. He knew something was going on and that there was much more to the story than meets the eye.

The book goes through the events of the night, tackles the couple handling the media, how the very wealthy in-laws impact the investigation and whether or not the father had anything to do with the disappearance of his own baby.

I tried to put the book down to go to bed but just couldn’t sleep without finding out the ending. And the ending did not disappoint. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loved Gone Girl or Girl on the Train. This is the next big book and you will not be able to put it down. The biggest issue I have with the book is that I don’t know what book to read next! This is such a hard act to follow.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? Any book recommendations?

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Book Review: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

A while ago, I made some goals for myself, one of which was to read more. I’m happy to report that I have absolutely read more, and my latest book, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, is worth sharing!book review amy schemer

Amy Schumer is hysterical. She writes like her stand-up, so if you don’t like her humor, I don’t suggest reading it. Quick synopsis: it’s a compilation of short stories and memories from Amy’s life. She talks about her childhood, about life on the road as an early comic, her sexual experiences (nope, she’s never done anal), what it’s like to be famous and lists things that annoy her.

She talks openly about her father’s diagnosis with MS and how it impacted her life. If you’ve seen her movie, Trainwreck, you know a little bit about this. These stories hit close to home because my mom has an incurable disease. Amy writes how her dad gave up on life and I am lucky that my mom has the most incredible attitude. You would never know by looking at her that she is in constant pain. She doesn’t let it slow her down. She is amazing.

Back to Amy and her book.

She tells hilarious stories of being on a reality show comedy competition, of telling jokes to nuns and that she’s only had one one night stand in her life. It’s not all humor, though.

In one chapter she talks about a shooting that happened in Louisiana at one of her movie screenings that killed two women. Amy is so honest in her feelings and actually brought me to tears. But this time, tears of sadness. Amy quit her book tour and left Australia to come back to the States to be with the families. She then made it her mission to take on gun control in our country. The man who killed these young women had a history of mental illness, his family filed a restraining order against him saying he was a danger to himself and others and yet, he was still able to buy a gun online. I commend Amy.

In another disturbing chapter, she talks about a relationship with a man that turned emotionally and physically abusive. And the worst part, that she didn’t even realize she was being abused at the time. She uses her story and experience to tell the readers that they are worth something and deserve more from a relationship. Here’s one of my favorite quotes, “I know my worth. I embrace my power. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story. I will. I’ll speak and share and fuck and love, and I will never apologize for it. I am amazing for you, not because of you. I am not who I sleep with. I am not my weight. I am not my mother. I am myself. And I am all of you.”

I would say the book is certainly more humor than tragic. I loved that she referenced Cincinnati and it’s Skyline Chili because it is awesome. I loved that her message is to be yourself. I laughed, I cried, I would recommend it to a friend. 4 Stars!

Have you read this book? Who’s your favorite comedian? 

 

Currently Reading

I have not always been a huge reader. I actually hated reading in high school and college because I didn’t love the book 99% of the time. I did enjoy reading To Kill a Mockingbird and Streetcar Named Desire, but now that I can select the book I read and do it purely out of my own enjoyment, I am digging it lately!

I just finished Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.

 

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I loved Gone Girl and was excited to read another book by her. Hubby actually got me this book and one other one from Hubby for Christmas. We both got each other books, which is funny, because we have both mentioned that we want to read more. #greatminds

I don’t want to write a review for this book because I honestly found this book to be quite disturbing. There were times when I wanted to put the book down, to quit the book. But, I can’t quit anything in life and pressed forward.

As the title suggests, this book is quite dark. The premise is Libby Day is the lone survivor of her family’s murder in Kansas. A murder committed by her brother more than 28 years ago. She revisits the murder, the trial and the possibility that her brother may not have killed the rest of her family.

Right? Crazy shit.

I finished the book today and I feel like I need to take a shower. It just really gave me the creeps and I need a new book that is the exact opposite of this book.

So, I’m going to read Leah Remini’s book!

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I’m sure this book will be disturbing, too, because, you know, Scientology, but I am intrigued. I’ve always liked her, ever since she appeared on Saved the Bell in the summer episodes. One of my teachers in high school actually said I looked like her.

If I like this one, I’ll definitely do a review.

What are you reading lately?

Book Review: Luckiest Girl Alive

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with reading. And by that I mean, I love reading for pleasure and hate reading what I’m told to read. The only book I loved from school was To Kill a Mockingbird. But, now that I’m an adult and can do whatever I want, I’ve started reading a lot more.

I read on my Kindle, which I love, and go to Amazon to find my next book. Over the weekend, I finished Luckiest Girl Alive. I read it electronic cover to cover in about 3 days. I couldn’t put it down. It’s not the most scholarly book I’ve ever read. It could honestly have used some editing/deeper character connections, but overall, I really enjoyed this book.

This book did, however, spark something in me about writing. I love reading and I love writing. SO, here’s a new recurring post I’ll continue: book reviews. Without further ado, book review for Luckiest Girl Alive. 

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Brief Overview: Ani (pronounced AH-nee) is a 28-year-old woman living in New York City and seems to have it all. She has a great job as a writer/editor for the top women’s magazine, is engaged to a well-to-do financier and has a drool worthy body. But, Ani has a secret past that is slowly going to destroy everything.

The author used to write at Cosmo and drew a lot of her magazine experience to write this book.

SPOILER ALERTS AHEAD. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK! 

I love books that have twists and turns and this book does not disappoint in that aspect.

The beginning is a little slow and then BAM! You find out that the main character was basically gang raped by 4 of the “hairy legged boys” AKA the cool kids after they fed her a ton of alcohol. Ani acts like nothing ever happened and when one of the boys tries to hook up with her again, he hits her when she refuses.

Ani runs away and her English teacher finds her and lets her stay at his place while she calms down.

At this point of the book, I’m mad at it. I don’t love the rape storyline. It’s definitely a hot topic and I know that’s why the author chose it, but I didn’t love it. The descriptions of the event were elementary and the story didn’t tie together. You find out that a documentary is being made to tell Ani’s side of the story and you think it’s about this event….BUT THEN…

THERE’S A SCHOOL SHOOTING!

I was reading this part in the car on the way back from the holidays and I said out loud, “What?!!” I did not see it coming. AT ALL.

The description of the shooting is much better than the previous “incident.” There are a lot of details that happen, and I don’t want to spoil them because they were that good. BUT, I don’t believe the book needed to have two hot topics. A high school rape and a high school shooting. That’s just too much. The author should have picked one. There were so many different angles she could have taken to really feel for Ani and even better understand the rapists and the shooters.

The end is the recording of the documentary of “the incident,” which is actually the school shooting. And one of Ani’s rapists wants to meet with her ON CAMERA. This could have been a great sequence of the book, but instead, it’s just sort of glossed over.

If this review seems abrupt, it’s meant to because that’s how the book ends. When I finished reading the book, I felt upset that there were so many unanswered questions, so many different angles I would have taken as a writer and so much…confusion about who this Ani is.

One could say that’s what makes this a great book. And will make a great movie….Reese Witherspoon’s production company purchased the movie rights.

I’d give this book a B-.  I didn’t love the storytelling. Some descriptions are elementary, the ends are still loose and I stopped rooting for main character. But, I was shocked by the shooting and I love when something shocking happens in books.

Have you read Luckiest Girl Alive? What did you think?