Grab a hot cup of coffee and kick back for a super sized edition of What’s on My Bookshelf. Since I took a blogging hiatus for a couple of months while we adjusted after bringing Collins home from China, I have my books from August, September, and October to share. That’s eleven books in all. I’m so excited because there are some GREAT books here. So get comfy and let’s dive right in…
Over the past year I have become a huge Taylor Jenkins Reid fan. One True Loves is a favorite of mine. In her newest novel, Evelyn Hugo, an old Hollywood starlet, sets out to give her memoirs to an unknown writer. She divulges the story of each of her seven husbands and who was her one true love of her lifetime. This book was a bit of a different tone than the other TJR novels I’ve read and to be honest about halfway through I wasn’t sure it was for me. But in the end I came around and while it definitely wasn’t my favorite book of the month, it was well written and an interesting story.
I may be the last person to have read this book. I have heard about it everywhere. The story is based around a teenage girl whose body is found in a lake (not a spoiler, it’s on the first page 🙂 This is a book I think will appeal to a wide variety of readers. It has the element of mystery (what happened to her?), fantastic relationships, and is a definite page turner. I was excited to pick up her next novel. More to come on that later…
I am going to go ahead and declare this one of my top 5 books. I listened to this on audio and found myself looking for reasons to mow the grass, take a walk, or clean so I could listen to a bit more. To be honest, it’s probably not everyone’s cup of tea (pun intended :). There are parts that are a bit long and you learn a lot about tea, but the story was so unique and interesting. The novel follows a Chinese girl growing up in a rural mountain tribe in China. We are talking no running water or electricity. The similarities to her tribal society and Native American cultures are strong. When she must abandon her baby on the steps of an orphanage, her heart is broken. The story then goes on to follow the main character as she ages and leaves her culture and family and her daughter who is adopted by an American family. It is probably pretty obvious why this story struck such a deep chord with me. I was jogging through my neighborhood with tears streaming down my face during the scene where she painfully leaves her innocent baby. I have no delusions about my girls’ birth families and the situations regarding their decisions not to parent, but boy did this author weave an amazing story. Add to that the transformation of the mountain tribe’s culture and views over the years and this is one unique and interesting novel that I would recommend for all of my fellow China mamas.
For years I thought I had read this book. So when someone was talking to me about it and I had absolutely no recollection of the story I realized that maybe I had not read it. Imagine waking up and not remembering the past 10 years of your life. You don’t remember your children, your friends, your past decisions. This is an excellent story and if you are one the few that hasn’t read it, definitely pick it up.
In all my life I’m not sure I have ever read an entire book in one sitting. Well, I read this cover to cover on the plane to China without even a break to use the restroom. This is the story of a cranky reclusive widower that owns a small book shop. When a baby is unexpectedly left in his shop his life gets turned upside down. The perfect little story if you have a heart for adoption and just a plain delightful little novel.
Unfortunately this was my least favorite of my books these months. I typically love the light and predictable nature of her novels but this one felt pieced together. I did not feel as if any of the characters or stories were adequately developed and the thread connecting them all felt hastily thrown together. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a favorite of mine, but it won’t stop me from picking up her other novels in the future.
What if you found a letter that made your entire world come crashing down? This book explores how a husband’s secret, kept since he was a teenager, can impact everyone’s life. If you like Liane Moriarty, you will love this book.
A friend in our China travel group passed this book along to me when she finished it on our trip. I’m not typically a Nicholas Sparks fan. I don’t like to feel like an author’s number one goal is to get his readers to cry. But I did enjoy that this book focused on a man who finds himself in the middle of a major career change, newly single and raising his young daughter. So many novels tell this story with a female main character, it was refreshing to see it from a male perspective.
Just go ahead and read this book. It was so good. It opens with the Richardson house burning down then returns to the previous year and the events that lead up to the fire. I don’t want to give too much of the story away. Let’s just say that the characters are excellent. The relationships are interesting. And I don’t think Mrs. Richardson is supposed to be a likable character, but I found myself relating to her in many ways. Put this on your reading list today.
A friend texted to ask me if she should read this if she hasn’t watched the most recent Gilmore Girls reboot. That’s when I realized it was on my Kindle but I never got around to reading it. If you are a Gilmore Girls or Parenthood fan then this would be a fun memoir for you. It is a quick and easy read with fun insights into some of my favorite shows.
And my current read: Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything. Not only do I love Anne Bogel’s blog and podcast I’m loving her book. As an only child parenting four VERY different little people, the personality frameworks in this book is causing all sorts of light bulb moments for me so far.
I am such a fan of Jen Hatmaker and all that she writes. While I think For the Love was such a great and fun book to follow, this one was a great blend of Jen Hatmaker’s humor and heart. This would be a great gift for a girlfriend.
Whew! That was a lot of books. Thanks for sticking with me and hopefully you found something you can add to your list. See you back tomorrow for Friday Favorites.
In case you missed it:
linking up with Carpool Book Club