So one of my goals for 2020 was to start reading one book per month because this was one of my favorite ways to escape reality growing up. As I started working, I put this on the back burner and would unwind with watching a movie or show instead. But to be honest a show or movie is 100% not the same as reading a book because you lose the aspect of creating your own version of what the author has written and personalizing it in your head. For the first few months I really kept my goal. In January I read The Westing Game (great quick read mystery that makes you think with its hints – its a common high school required reading book but its still a great read for adults too) and Station Eleven (some similarities to current pandemic and predicts how the future would look like while weaving the relationship between past and present with mystery undertones), both amazing books. Then like most people with their New Year’s resolutions, I started falling off the bandwagon and got lazy about reading. But then the quarantine hit, and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to hop right back into reading but I also wanted to be held accountable to sticking to my goal, thus our book club was formed (it’s just 2 people so idk if you’d really call it book “club”)!! I’m really competitive and my friend is a really fast reader so we essentially read half the book each week, then discuss (basically reading 1 book in two weeks). Talk about being an overachiever LOL! And so far we’ve stuck to it! We’ve alternated between who chooses the book each week and try to stick to different genres, although we’re both romantics at heart so the books tend to have some sort underlying romance. Below are some of the books we’ve read and some of the books we’re planning on reading:
- Normal People by Sally Rooney – So I don’t have Hulu and this was around the same time everyone was raving about how great the show was, citing it as a millennial romance. I typically like to read the book before I watch the show/movie adaptation so I thought why not just read the book (not that I had a choice since I’m not subscribed to Hulu LOL). This was definitely an interesting book (in a good way!!) because it was really raw and made you feel for both the characters. It takes you into their heads and makes you understand what each of them are truly feeling even though they might not always convey this outwardly – it feels so personal almost like you’re invading their privacy. Also it’s very natural and intense, no fairy tale love story, very real in that this could be a couple’s real story. If you want a good summer romance novel, not a light hearted teen romance but something a bit more realistic, this is your book!
- Lock Every Door by Riley Sager – This book I basically read in a week because it was such an addicting mystery and was so easy to read. I don’t want to give away too many details but its essentially a thriller revolving around house sitter and a mysterious historic New York luxury apartment building that keeps you guessing. The ending is a bit bizarre FYI, but everything leading up to the reveal really keeps you on your toes. I would recommend this book, but just a heads up you’ll probably be disappointed with the ending.
- The Rules Of Magic by Alice Hoffman – I picked this book because I heard HBO was going to sign on to create a show/movie based off of it. I’ve always been a big fan of books that incorporated magic (any Harry Potter fans??) and I feel like this is one of those classic magic adult novel reads. I have to say this author truly spends time giving very detailed descriptions, which I personally enjoyed but it’s a book that requires a lot of paying attention to the small details. It’s not a quick nor easy read and you’ll feel like you’re missing something if you’re not paying attention to the descriptions. That being said, the book follows 3 teenagers as they grow-up and come to accept their magical heritage. I would say it’s a coming of age novel, mixed with a bit of history and romance and LOTS of magic. I really enjoyed the book, but was disappointed with the direction of one of the sibling’s storyline (I’ll let you guess which one). After I read the book, I was excited to watch the movie for the sequel, Practical Magic. It’s always playing on TV, but I’ve never watched it fully so I thought I’d give it a chance after reading the prequel and since it starred Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman (two of my favorite actresses). Boy was that a mistake, it was definitely a pass for me. There was literally no plot line nor character growth, two essentials for me both in books and tv/movies. I would recommend Rules of Magic but make sure you’re fully present when reading the book.
- Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – I’ve heard so many good things regarding this coming of age novel from my friends, plus it seems to be highly rated on Amazon. My sister has read it and I recommended it to my mom after seeing all the good reviews, although I have yet to read it myself. Definitely feel that this is a promising summer romance read and based off of everyone’s feedback, a potential tear jerker.
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett – This was a novel that was brought to my attention fairly recently (mentioned two blog posts ago) and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. It has a very thought provoking plot line and is very relevant with the Black Lives Movement. It essentially follows the path of two twins as they diverge and one lives as a black women and one as a white women, comparing how their lives differ even though they were raised together and are siblings. Very interested in reading this book and gaining insight into the perspective of each of the characters.