Books I Read April/May 2019

I’ve been reading. But I’ve also been moving and applying for jobs and working and riding my bike and fixing my car. So I haven’t been writing. So these are the books I read in April and May.

Image from Amazon.com

The Perfect Child is a book to read if you want to read something creepy and unsettling. It’s about a married couple who wanted to adopt because they weren’t able to conceive. They both work in a hospital and an abused girl is found and quickly forms a bond with the husband. They decide to adopt her and learn her issues along the way. But things just go haywire. The little girl is malicious toward the wife and the husband denies that anything is wrong. She eventually becomes pregnant and gives birth to a little boy, the whole time worrying about her child’s safety around their adopted daughter. This book makes you wonder the entire time. It’s upsetting to see a wedge divided in a marital relationship. So many things happen. I won’t tell you all of them.

Image from PenguinRandomHouse.com

Normal People I got from Book of the Month. I loved it. It follows two characters who enter and leave each other’s lives as friends and romantically. The author did a great job in detailing mental health issues and emotional disorders. The story keeps you rooting for them. There are so many ups and downs. Don’t be sad though.

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The Nest is another book that I’ve been putting off reading for a while. I finally decided to pick it up at the Florence Library. It’s about a family who are very close to coming into their inheritance. They all have plans on what they’re going to do with it, but their oldest brother may have jeopardized most of the inheritance already through a big misstep in his life. This book was frustrating and heart wrenching, but definitely worth the read.

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How Not to Die Alone is so funny and ridiculous. It’s another one I got from Book of the Month. It follows Andrew, a middle aged homebody who works as a property assessor for people who have died alone. His job is to find any next of kin or anything of value that can pay for a funeral.
Everyone at Andrew’s work believes that he is married and has two kids. However, neither of these things are true. Andrew is okay with everyone believing it to be true though, because it gives him an excuse to not go out. But then a new woman starts working with him and changes everything. He has to decide how much the lie is worth.

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Necessary People I also got from Book of the Month. It was suspenseful and makes you wonder who you’re supposed to root for. It’s about Violet and Stella, two best friends from completely different lifestyles. Violet grew up poor but brilliant and went to a prestigious college far from where she grew up. Stella is from a ridiculously rich family and always gets what she wants. They meet in college and Stella brings Violet fully into her life and allows her to live as her shadow. After college Violet lands a great job working for a television production company. Stella becomes jealous that Violet is doing so well and is no longer in her shadow, so she finds a way to become an anchor at the same company. A deeper and deeper wedge is driven between the two until Violet has to make the hardest decision of her life while worrying that she may lose everything.

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What I Read: March 2019

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A Lily in the Light was a book I got from Amazon First Reads. It’s about a little sister that disappears and the family that is left behind. The main character, Esme, was 11 when her four-year-old sister disappeared. Esme was a promising ballerina, and her parents became depressed and almost unable to cope, so her ballet teacher offered to take her in. Esme auditions to go to a private boarding school for dancers and wins a full ride scholarship. The book then fast forwards to when Esme is 19, dancing in Paris. They found a girl that could be her missing sister, and she’s alive.
This book was better than I expected. It did a really great job of showing someone grappling with guilt over such a great loss. It highlights Esme’s depression and her reasons behind different actions. I’m definitely glad I chose it.

Image from Goodreads.com

This is another book I got from Book of the Month. They have really been able to deliver in their selections and I definitely recommend trying it out if you’ve been curious.
The story follows Hen, an artist, and her husband right after they move into a new house in the suburbs. Hen is bipolar and has a history of episodes where she becomes obsessed with different murder cases. Her last episode came right after their neighbor on their old street was murdered. It was made to look like a robbery, but the victim’s fencing trophy was also stolen. The killer was never caught.
Hen’s new next door neighbors invite them over for dinner and she sees a fencing trophy just like the missing one sitting on the neighbor’s mantel. Hen then becomes convinced that her neighbor is a serial killer, but with her previous history, who would believe her accusations?
This book had so many twists and turns and I loved every minute of it. The author perfectly captured what it’s like to suffer from mental illness. I especially loved the twist at the end. I won’t spoil it though.

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I’ve been wanting to read this book since it came out because I had heard good things about it. I had been reading a lot of murder and dark stories, so I decided to try something else. I picked it up at the local library and almost didn’t put it down. It reminded me why I want to be a therapist. It reminded me why I want to help people tell their stories.
The story is about Greer Kadetsky and her discovery of feminism. She is sucked in by Faith Frank in college and wants nothing more than to change lives for the better in the name of feminism. The book also tells the story from the point of view of several different characters.
There is so much growth and change in each character. It was so realistic. I should go to the library more often.

Books I read in February 2019

February was filled with new distractions, so I only read three books, but I’m still reaching my goal to read more this year.

These are the books I read last month:

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In January I wrote a post about Marie Kondo’s show Tidying Up on Netflix. I mentioned that I had wanted to read her book for a while. My dad saw that post and bought me the book. I have a pretty cool dad.

I liked this book and found it to be a helpful resource. What is difficult for me right now in the organizing my house category is that it is hard to find motivation when I know I am about to pack up my house and move across the country. I have been effective in going through my clothes and books and have gotten rid of them. I plan to use everything I learned in our next destination. I’m trying to feel positive, but it’s hard to feel that way right now. I’m still a lazy human.

Image from Goodreads.com

This was my book of the month pick.
I really enjoyed this book. The main character’s sister was murdered and her case was never solved. She always suspected that her sister’s boyfriend was to blame, and when she returns home to take care of her mother she discovers that he’s a nurse at her mother’s cancer facility. She starts searching for truth, starting with the boyfriend, and finds out so many things surrounding the case that she never would have known.
I keep reading books with a lot of mystery and murder in them. I get sucked in so easily, and I sometimes wonder how this is affecting my mental health, but it’s also hard to care. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves mysteries surrounding families and murders.

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This is another book that I got from amazon first reads. I’m always apprehensive to read books I get from first reads, because it seems like the majority of my choices have been duds or have just been really hard to get through. I don’t really like reading boring books.
Luckily, this book was awesome. It’s from the perspective of Katie, whose father was arrested six years before after being convicted of statutory rape. Katie’s then best friend was the accuser, and Katie never believed her father was guilty. The book starts off right before her father is released from prison and is filled with flashbacks from the summer the crime was supposedly committed. Katie finally starts to discover different things about the case that she had been kept in the dark about as a teenager.
This book has such a good plot and shows so much character development. Katie begins to understand why she does the things she does and reacts in certain ways. It was really interesting from a counseling perspective. Definitely glad I chose this book.

2019- A Year For Words

I used to read a lot. And I used to read quickly. I devoured words and had so much inspiration to spin more. But I’ve been distracted for so long. I go through phases, but I don’t want reading and inspiration to be just a faze. So I’m going to try to make 2019 a year for reading, a year for words.

I made a decision that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I decided to sign up for Book of the Month. This means I’ll at least read one book a month.

I tried last year to do the Amazon First Reads on my Kindle, but I just don’t like reading on my kindle very much. It’s useful for school books and for traveling, but there’s just something about real books with pages I can turn. I can see how close to the end I am getting. And the pages don’t make my eyes as tired.

I’ve also decided that if I don’t like a book, I’m not going to kill myself trying to finish it. That’s what makes reading so exhausting. Not every writing style is as easy for me to read. Everyone likes what they like.

I’m going to do my best to do what I like. Because for a while now I haven’t been doing what I like. I haven’t been doing that many things that make me happy. Alabama has not made me happy. It’s time that I start taking care of myself through and through, starting with reading again.