This year I set my Goodreads reading challenge to 24 books. I figured 2 books a month was a good pace. What I didn’t account for is my new-found love for audiobooks and my abundance of quiet time to listen to them. In February Matilda decided second naps were for chumps and she ain’t no chump, and the only way to keep my then 10 month old baby from skipping a second nap was to drive her around. Awful for my carbon footprint, excellent for my reading challenge. You win some, you lose some. Since I don’t work outside of the house, I considered this nap time drive my commute. As a parent, you tell yourself whatever it takes to make yourself feel like you’re making good choices…but I digress. Here’s what I’ve read and listened to this year so far.
The English Wife by Lauren Willig. I read this book in just a few days because I could not stop. It’s a period story and has so many twists and turns I had to make a character chart to keep it all organized while I read. This story is rich with drama, love, intrigue, period costume references, cabaret, wealth, socialites, and escapism. I absolutely loved disappearing into this story!
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff. Meh. It is what it is. If you follow any of the current political news, scroll through twitter, or watch tv, you know what’s in this book. It was interesting in that it reads like a soap opera or reality tv show would. It so topical right now that I really wanted to see what the buzz was about.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows. Oh. My. Goodness. this book is soooo good! A dear friend of mine sent me a copy and suggested I bump it to the top of my to-be-read (tbr) list, and I always listen to her because she is never wrong about these things. It was such a great story, I absolutely fell in love with the characters. Plus I have been really into stories set in WWII, and this was a fresh perspective on the occupation. I also recently heard that this book is being adapted to a movie and I can. no. wait!
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Where to start with this book. Another friend sent me a copy and insisted I read it immediately, and again I took the advice. It’s incredible, well written, compelling and moving, but lort did it give me anxiety. I struggled to move forward in the story because I wasn’t sure what was going to come at the characters next and the uncertainty made me so anxious for them! I believe this was the intention of the author, and I must say, she succeeded. This is also a movie I’ve yet to watch, because, anxiety.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Rosamund Pike (Narrator). Around the time Matilda started refusing a second nap, I started listening to this book because it was over nine hours of narration, which I suddenly had time for, and I hadn’t read it in a really long time. You know the story, so all I will say is that the narration is beautiful and I loved listening to the soothing tones of Rosamund Pike while driving all over the county with my sleeping child. At the end of the book I was so sick of these characters and their nonsense that I realized there was a reason I had not revisited this book in such a long time.
Looking for Alaska by John Green. I love to read young adult novels, mixing them in to lighten the mood or refresh my brain after heavier reading. This is my first John Green novel (I know, I know, but The Fault in our Stars just seemed too depressing for me) and I was pleasantly surprised! My cousin recommended this book, so of course I picked it up immediately. It’s set in a private high school and really delves into the difficulties young people face when trying to find themselves and fit in, which I found topical given everything happening in schools at this time. I have already bookmarked several other John Green novels to follow this one up!
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, Sean Crisden (Narrator), Eisa Davis (Narrator). This novel lives up to the hype, and beyond! I listened to the audiobook on Hoopla and absolutely fell in love with the characters. I struggled to put this down, and found myself keeping my earbud in while doing my grocery shopping and ordering coffee, and generally being a rude person because I didn’t want to step away from the story. Tayari Jones examines what it means to be a black man in the south, the trials of family, the precarious nature of the American justice system, the moral relativism of marriage, redemption, forgiveness, and closure. It is a page-turner, or an ear-bud-leaver-in-er, but not matter how you read this, you must read it!
You can find me on Goodreads if you have any suggestions for me! Books you loved? Characters you fell for? I want to hear it all.