Thanks for always being cool about my incredibly informal reading posts. I’m not a book reviewer. I don’t even write reviews on my goodreads account (I sometimes add stars, but rarely.) These blog posts can hardly even be considered synopses of the books I read. I’m just a pretty average reader who enjoys sharing and receiving book suggestions.
This month I read 5 books, and I actually loved them all. Now that I’m a few years into reading (I mean, I’ve been reading since I was 5, but I only read a grand total of 1 book in grad school; now I’m in the habit of reading about 1 book a week) I’ve gotten better at figuring out what I’ll enjoy and not bothering with the books I probably won’t. So, once again I loved EVERY book I read this month!
1. The Road Back To You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
I FINALLY read this one! First of all, I’ve never been obsessed with personality types and tests (MBTI was nothing more than a test I had to take in my college capstone class), so I wasn’t sure if I’d love this book or feel “meh” about it.
But I am ALL. IN. I love the enneagram! I devoured this book and then re-read chapters of it, and now I’m on the hunt for enneagram podcasts and books and articles and…oh my soul. It’s so enlightening.
There are 9 personality types in the enneagram, and each one has one of two “wings.” Additionally, each type will behave like another one when she’s in a state of stress, and another one when she’s in the state of security.
I am 100% a 3 (The Achiever/Performer). That was clear to me just from skimming through the book, but it became more apparent as I read through the other types and realized how NOT like them I am. I’ve always been driven by accomplishing tangible tasks, things the I can see and show to others. I always want to get my gold star, and I want others to see that I got it…
Rather than feeling boxed in by finding my enneagram type, I really feel empowered to change the things about myself that might make me an “unhealthy 3” so that I can grow and develop into a “healthy 3.”
We could go on and on and on about the enneagram, but most people either love it or hate it. If you love talking about it, send me an email and we’ll go get coffee sometime and talk about it. 😉
2. Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This is my third book by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and I’ve loved them all! (I read Maybe in Another Life in January, and After I Do in February.) She’s my favorite chick lit author right now, and I’m going to be reading her books all summer until I’ve finished them all (I did the same thing with Liane Moriarty a couple years ago.)
But I kind of have to laugh and apologize first: I was talking with y’all about this book on my instagram earlier this month, saying how I love this author’s books because they’re fun and quick and light hearted. Then I started this one, and it’s about a couple who has a whirlwind romance, gets married after knowing each other for 6 months, and one week into the marriage the husband is killed in a car accident…. So, it’s not really light and fun, after all. #sorryboutthat.
Even still, this book was GOOD. (And don’t worry, I didn’t give away any spoilers. The book jacket tells you the same thing.)
It’s not a “feel good” chick lit book, but it’s still easy to read, and I just love the author’s casual, fun writing style. I feel like I’m best friends with the characters and I just get them. But this book has substance too (because it’s dealing with death and grief), so it’s a bit meatier than the other books I’ve read from her.
It’s really beautiful. If you love books that make you feel and think, this is a good one.
3. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
This is a popular historical fiction novel that I’ve seen everywhere. It’s been on my to-read list for a while, and I’m glad I read it because it definitely kept me entertained during the entire flight home from NYC last week.
It begins by toggling between a french female spy in WWI, and a pregnant, unmarried American college girl in WWII; the story eventually weaves their tales together (I seem to be reading a lot of these books these days, like A Fall of Marigolds and Orphan Trail.)
Oh, and here’s something kind of crazy: I blacked out while I was reading this…I KNOW! So weird. I was sitting in the middle seat on the airplane (Nate was in the aisle seat next to me). There’s a torture scene in the middle of the book, and I thought I had a pretty tough stomach for things like that, but apparently not…. I was reading it, and I started getting really hot, then my ears started ringing and black spots were creeping into the corner of my eyes and I thought I might throw up. Next thing I know I’m completely slumped over on top of Nate and I’m sweating profusely, and I’m thinking I’m just gonna skip over the next couple of pages…. So if you get queasy with things like that, you might want to skip over a few pages in the middle of the book. You’ll know when you get there.
(How’s that for getting you excited about this book? 😉 )
4. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Before We Were Yours is one of my favorite historical fiction novels I’ve ever read. I just couldn’t. put. it. down.
It’s based on the true, heartbreaking events of Georgia Tann and the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, an orphanage that kidnapped thousands of poor children in the early and mid-1900s and had them illegally adopted to wealthy families for profit.
This book is another past and present book, alternating between the lives of Rill Foss, a “river gypsy” and oldest of five children in Memphis, 1939, and Avery Stafford, a wealthy daughter of a U.S. Senator in present day South Carolina who discovers a mysterious and potentially dark connection between her grandmother and her past.
This book is heart breaking, and I was on a roller coaster of emotions while reading it. After I finished it, I spent hours reading articles about Georgia Tann and the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, shocked at how she murdered children, lied to parents, and tore families to shreds all while keeping up a fake image that she was there help orphans find homes, when in reality she was building her wealth through every illegal adoption.
5. The Boys In The Boat by Daniel James Brown
This is a recount of the true story of the University of Washington men’s rowing team and their journey to get gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. I honestly can’t remember how I found this book….maybe on a book blogger’s website? But I listened to it as an audiobook in little bursts whenever I was driving around town, doing errands, or going to barre classes.
I don’t typically read sports books, but I really enjoyed this one because all of these events took place in a historically super-charged time (coming out of the great depression and going into WWII). If you want an inspirational, feel-good sort of book, this one is for you.
Alright book worms, what are you reading? Let me know if there’s anything I should add to my list!
Happy happy Wednesday, friends!