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.

Image from Amazon.com

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.

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.

Image from Amazon.com

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 January 2019

I’m trying to get into the habit of reading more, and so far I’ve done well. I subscribed to Book of the Month Club, and I’ve really like what they’ve delivered.

These are the books I read in January:

Photo courtesy of Amazon

I only bought this book because it was $3 at Books a Million. You Should Have Known was about a therapist who believed that she could see if a relationship was doomed from the start. She wrote a book telling women that all of the problems in their relationship or issues that their male partners had were evidenced from the beginning. Her books is about to be published and she’s planning a book tour when a mother at her son’s private school is murdered and her husband disappears. She soon realizes that she had it all wrong and that her husband was not who she thought he was, and she changes her whole life. I thought the main character seemed a little clueless at the beginning, but this book turned out to be more than I expected.

Picture from Amazon.com

I got Bleak Harbor on my kindle for free from Amazon First Reads. These books are usually hit or miss. This story specifically was confusing. The premise of the story was really intriguing; a woman’s autistic 15 year old went missing right before his 16th birthday. The whole book is spent trying to find him and figure out who took him. Every time it seemed like they had the answer, something else would come to light. The ending had such a twist. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Bleak Harbor, but it wasn’t the worst book.

Picture from Amazon.com

The Woman in the Window was my first book from Book of the Month, and by far my favorite of the month. Apparently it is coming out as a movie this year, so I’ll definitely be going to see it. The premise is similar to Rear Window, a woman stays inside her house and watches her neighbors. However, she stays inside because she is agoraphobic. She is convinced that she witnessed a crime across the street, but no one believes her and she wonders if she’s going crazy. This book had so many twists and turns and I was sucked in the entire time.

Image from Amazon.com

I also got The Silent Patient from Book of the Month. It started out a little slow, but picked up pace, and the story was was never going where I thought it was. A talented artist murders her husband and goes silent, and she ends up in a mental hospital. The narrator is a therapist who is intrigued by the case and wants to help her. He gets hired at the hospital with hopes of getting her to break her silence. This book was so crazy, but so good.

What books did you read this month?

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.

Blame it on the Weather

A lot of us like to get angry at the weather.  The town I live in relies on heavy snow in the winter and beautiful weather in the summer because it’s a mountain resort town.  However, over the last four years, California has been in a drought that has kept the snow from falling.  But summer has still been beautiful.  This year, we got more snow in May than in November, January, and March combined.  But we don’t need the snow in May.  Since then, it’s been raining and hailing and opening and closing the passes and making the weather not as ideal for tourists.
Now, I’m not complaining.  I love the rain.  I was supposed to move to Portland.  My dream is to live in England.  I have no problem with the rain.  I’m a little bummed that the weather here has not been what we rely on, but maybe we should stop relying on the weather.

I can’t remember who said it to me, so I can’t quote them, but someone said that the arts are prophetic.  And you don’t have to believe in God to be used by him.  So we should pay attention to what is happening in films and the media and whatever.
This is something that I haven’t thought a lot about, because I don’t get to watch a lot of movies, but I just watched San Andreas last Saturday, and God was speaking to me throughout the whole thing.  I realized that a lot movies have had to do with big changes in weather.  California has been devastated in a lot of films.  But I’m not going to say that California is going to get hit by a big earthquake or whatever.  A popular theme in movies and books has had to do with post apocalyptic worlds, or dystopian societies.  Another thing that I’m not saying is going to happen.  But maybe change is coming.  Maybe the world is going to shift.  Maybe this “bad weather” is going to become the norm.  And maybe we should accept it.  Or maybe not.

I honestly don’t know what is going to happen.  I think it is entirely possible that weather shifts are a normal part of nature.  Wasn’t there an ice age?  Wasn’t there a giant flood?  Wasn’t the world once a tropical paradise?  Where did the dinosaurs live?
I really don’t know that much about the history of weather.  It’s something that’s starting to intrigue me, but I don’t yet have enough time to research it.  All I’m saying is that we should stop complaining.  If we try to fight nature, we’ll fail.  Nature always wins.  But God wins more.

So let the snow fall.  Let the rain come down.  Let it be winter in January and springtime in June.  Or not.  Let the summer last until November.  Let winter take 4 months too long to get here.  I think the creator of nature probably knows what he’s doing.  I like to think he laughs at our petty complaints sometimes, because we can’t see what’s coming.

But remember, I can always be wrong.