Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Book Club: November

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Well we can hardly believe we are well into our first week of November.  That is just crazy to us.  We are both excited and a maybe feeling a little unprepared for Christmas that will be here before we know it.  We are going to be busy little elves all month long, but we are on a reading roll, so don't want to let that stop. 

Today is Book Club day and we have all sorts of good ones to share with you this month! Carrie Beth hopped back on the Audible train, and her reading engine was rolling down the track full force. When you rock that mom taxi life it's amazing how many books you can go through in a week. ;)

So grab your wine (or in our case - the caffeine), and come see what we read this month and what's up next. 


I listened to SIX books this past month.  That might be a record for me, but I was on a roll.  I listened pretty much non-stop when I am at home doing laundry, cleaning, packing lunches, etc.  I also listen when I'm walking, exercising, and in the car from place to place.  All that time adds up.  I LOVED 3 of them, liked one and just thought the other two were OK.

The first one I listened to was The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer.  Wow.  This book stuck with me LONG after I finished it and was SO powerful.  I don't usually go for historical fiction novels, but I am so glad I decided to give this one a try. It goes back and forth between WWII and modern day so I think that is what kept me interested enough until I became so engaged and connected with the characters that I just couldn't stop listening.  It is a story about war, family, love, sacrifice, and the unthinkable things many of those people had to go through.  It was eye-opening to me to hear it from a first hand point of view and gave me such a great understanding and appreciation for the survivors and the victims of the Holocaust.  If you like powerful, moving novels, beautifully written novels, this one is for you!

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella was a cute little story about love and supposed to be a little funny, but I just thought it was OK.  It seemed a little cheesy to me at times, but I kept going to see how the story ended. It's about a girl who randomly meets a guy in a coffee shop and ends up getting an IOU from him that they end up cashing in back and forth for months. I love sweet romantic chick-lit, but this one didn't do it for me. 

Up next was Night Road by Kristin Hannah and this was another one that just made me feel so connected to the characters.  It's about a girl who was raised in foster care before coming to live with her aunt. She ends up attends a pretty swanky high-school and becoming best friends with a girl who happens to have a twin brother.  The story follows their friendship, but from the eyes of the twins' helicopter mother.  The first half of this book I LOVED.  SO much I thought I might name it my favorite book of the year.  But, then the second half of the book had me a little annoyed with the mother and how she handled some pretty terrible things that happened to the family.  This book made me cry multiple times and it made me feel all the feels. I really did love it, but just think the second half of the book was a little let down after such a great first half. This is my second Hannah book and like The Great Alone it covers a huge period of time and often jumps years at a time to catch up with the story. I didn't love that because I felt like I was missing parts.  Overall though I would definitely recommend this book and think every mother with kids who are getting ready to be teens should read this book.

After crying in the book above, I decided I wanted a good old romance novel.  If I Only Knew by Corinne Michaels was a little rated R, but it is not overly in your face and actually has a plot! A widow decides, against her will, to let down walls and give love a second chance.  Her assistant is trying to get her job, but ends up stealing her heart.  I liked that the character was a strong woman, defending her career, raising her kids, and I guess the story just seemed pretty real to me. Like I could see it actually happening and I loved it!

I remember Jen telling me about My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan.  It was about a young lady who spent a year in England to study at Oxford.  She goes there with the expectations to learn a little, get the designation and network that comes along with being a Rhodes Scholar. She ends up getting a big lesson in life and love when she falls in love with one of her professors.  He has some secrets of his own though and she ends up choosing her love for him over everything else that comes her way.  It is a heartwarming story and I enjoyed it, but just didn't love it.

My last book of the month was City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's told from an older woman's point of view thinking back on her days working with the theater in 1940's in New York City. It is a story about glamour, sex, adventure and how showgirls lived during that day.  I had high hopes for this one after reading the great reviews, but kept waiting for something big to happen that would make me love it. That something never really showed up for me. 

A jam packed month left little room for reading. October has left me exhausted in more ways that one. November looks to be slightly calmer...and colder. So I can't wait to snuggle up in some cozy pjs and five layers of blankets with a good book from now until Spring.

First up I listed to The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware. Oh my goodness, when this finished I had so many thoughts. It ended so abruptly with a big twist, and it left me all like, "What?!". (If you've read it were you so shocked?) But you find out what happens, and aren't left hanging so there's that. I remember enjoying Woman in Cabin 10, and when I read the premise behind this book I thought it was the perfect read for October. A haunted house, ghosts, a murder, a suspicious all sounded intriguing. There were very few qualities that made you like any of the main characters at first, and as the story unfolded you are thrown new twist after new twist. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time and I couldn't wait to learn what happened. I for sure thought I knew who the murderer was the entire time, but I was so wrong! 

If you like a slower suspense novel with lots of psychological twists this is totally one I would put on your reading lists. If you're an Audible person, the narrator of this one did a great job deciphering between all the characters (which can make or break an Audible to me). 

For my second book of the month, I did a 180 and read a romance novel. Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren popped up on my suggested reads, and I figured after such an intense book I could use something a little lighter to read. I remember loving the authors' book The Unhoneymooners earlier in the year, and was expecting the same style of story. Twice in a Blue Moon is a little slower to me, but I still really enjoyed the story. Sheltered girl meets sheltered boy in London and they hit it off. It's instant love. Then the girl shares her darkest secret and the boy disappears and shortly after the whole world knows - she's the daughter of the world's most famous actor. She becomes an actress herself and years into her career her first love crosses her path again. The story concentrates mostly on what happens after they cross paths again. It's a fun and easy read, and some of the secondary characters are so lovable. I think I like The Unhoneymooners just a smidge more, but these are both great romance reads if that's your go-to reading choice.  



My next listen is going to be Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane. It's a 2019 Good Reads Choice Award nominee and has some great reviews so decided to give it a try.

I will keep you all posted next month with what I think of it!

I actually have a few Elin Hilderbrand books in my "to read" pile right now, but my friend Bethany loaned me Summer of '69 so that's what I'm going with first.

I've heard great things about this one, so I can't wait to dig in. Plus if I can't be at a warm sunny beach, at least I can read about it. ;)

What should we put on our reading lists next? 


January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October

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