Here are a few books that I’ve been reading lately.
I admit that I’ve fallen victim to the real world, and I’ve let reading go way, way, wayyy down on the priority list. I used to be able to read over 30 books a year, and now I’m lucky if I even read six. This is one reason why I’ve fallen in love with audio books. It’s so much easier for me to put a book on and do chores rather than carving out time to specifically crack open a book and read. Of course, I still try my best to read books the traditional way, but I’m grateful for audio books in that they allow me to experience books while still dealing with the happenings in everyday life.
These are a few books that I’ve read or listened to over the past few months.
>>>Books I’ve Finished<<<
THEN SHE WAS GONE BY LISA JEWELL
When Kyle and I were going on our road trip, he suggested that we download podcasts and audio books to listen to along the way. We had a lot of car time ahead of us, so I was excited that he made the suggestion. I posted in one of the bookworm Facebook groups I’m in to ask for suggestions for good road trip books that would appeal to men and women, and Then She Was Gone was suggested to me twice, so naturally, I listened, and I’m so glad I did.
The book is about a woman named Laurel whose daughter, Ellie, was abducted when she was fifteen-years-old. Ten years later, she still hasn’t given up hope in finding her daughter, but Ellie’s disappearance has certainly affected every single part of her life in the past decade.
One day, she meets a charming man named Floyd, and when she is introduced to his nine-year-old daughter, Poppy, she is floored by the resemblance she bears to her Ellie. Unanswered questions in the unsolved disappearance of her daughter start flooding back to her and she does her best to navigate her everyday life.
I love a good mystery, and this one appealed to me right from the get-go. The story is told from a number of different perspectives, and with the conclusion of each chapter, I was impatient to figure out what was going to happen next. Each person that the author presents in the story is crucial to the plot line, and every time a new piece of the puzzle was presented, I found myself pausing the audio book and spouting out theories that were both absurd and plausible. The mystery had me hooked so much that Kyle and I would end every evening of our vacation listening to it until we got to the satisfying conclusion.
I give Then She Was Gone 4 out of 5 stars, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery.
TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN BY JOHN GREEN
Like many people I know, I’m a huge fan of John Green, so I was eager to check this one off of my TBR list. Naturally, it has the longest waiting list in America on my library’s app, so I had to wait awhile before I was able to listen to it on audio book.
Turtles All the Way Down is about a girl named Aza who suffers from a number of different anxiety disorders that cause her to spiral and get lost in her own thoughts. Because of her best friend, Daisy, she accidentally gets caught up in the mystery of a fugitive billionaire who ends up being the father of one of her friends from a summer camp she used to attend, Davis.
Due to some circumstances initiated by Daisy, Aza and Daisy end up at Davis’s house, after which, Aza and Davis start rekindling. While trying to be a good friend, girlfriend, daughter and detective, Aza starts to have a harder and harder time dealing with her anxiety and spiraling thoughts.
The thing I loved most about this book is that it’s told from the first-person perspective of a person who suffers from mental disorders. It’s such a taboo topic, and I love that John Green doesn’t shy away from it. As someone who has had to deal with my own mental illness, I think it’s so, so, so, so, soooo important that we start to talk about these things openly and not shy away from the fact that taking care of our minds is just as important as taking care of our physical well-beings.
The thing I didn’t like about this book is that the mystery aspect of it is kind of random to me. I feel like it’s important at the beginning, especially for Aza and Davis’s re-meet-cute, but throughout the novel, it’s thrown in sporadically until things come together at the end. I don’t know how the story could have been told differently, but the spotlight of the mystery just doesn’t mix with the rest of the story. It almost seems forced.
Overall, I give Turtles All the Way Down 3 out of 5 stars. Even though the mystery was super random, the discussion of mental illness is something that definitely boosts the rating.
ASTROLOGY FOR HAPPINESS AND SUCCESS: FROM ARIES TO PISCES, CREATE THE LIFE YOU WANT – BASED ON YOUR ASTROLOGICAL SIGN! BY MECCA WOODS
I love astrology. Not the daily horoscopes and all that nonsense, but I truly do believe that when you were born can say a lot about you. I have a couple friends who are really knowledgeable about astrology, and I’m so interested in the things that they’ve told me about myself that’s based solely on when and where I was born. It’s fascinating!
In Mecca Woods’s new book, Astrology for Happiness and Success, she talks about how you can use your astrological sign as a guide to help you achieve a life full of both happiness and success. Each chapter is separated by astrological sign, and whether you’re looking to have healthier relationship, seeking tips on how to approach your career, or wanting to know how you can achieve overall wellness, Woods lays out the foundation for you, and it’s all based on when you were born.
I’m a Sagittarius, so of course I flipped right through to the Sagittarius section of the book. One thing I know about myself and other Sagittariuses is that we lovelovelove freedom, and that freedom is a crucial part of every single element of our lives. With relationships, we go all in, and we do it quickly, but when freedom is threatened in a relationship, it’s easy for us to cut ties and move on to the next one. That’s why some Sagittariuses, like Taylor Swift, are often seen as serial daters. #leaveTayloralone
When it comes to relationships with friends and family, Sagittariuses tend to see the best in people, so much so that they believe in others more than they believe in themselves. With this self-doubt comes a lot of false starts and unfinished projects, and with social media in the mix, it’s easy for us to stop believing in ourselves. There are also many Sagittariuses who may find themselves susceptible to friendships that lack substance, authenticity, and reciprocation. This is something I’ve dealt with firsthand, so reading it in print was like a serious “aha” moment for me.
Career-wise, again, Sagittariuses love their freedom, so jobs that allow Sagittariuses to travel often or make their own schedule is ideal, but when our practical side wins out, we often find ourselves in unfulfilling jobs. On the opposite side of that, if we find a job that we believe in, Sagittariuses will put all they have into it. Some ideal jobs that Woods listed for Sagittariuses are life coaches, teachers, writers, and comedians. This made me smile because since I started blogging regularly, I’ve definitely considered myself a writer, but in addition to that, I also just accepted a job as a preschool teacher, so yay!
I loved reading the Sagittarius section of the book and learning more about how I can navigate my life based on my astrological sign, and there were sections that I read that were such “aha” moments that made me want to keep reading. I started reading part of the Libra section because Kyle is a Libra, and I’m excited to share the book with my friends so they can see what advice they can take away from the book as well. If you’re interested to see how you can use your astrological sign to live your best life, be sure to check out Astrology for Happiness and Success.
>>>Books I’m Still Reading<<<
THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 BY RUTH WARE
Kyle and I started the audio book for The Woman in Cabin 10 on our drive to Cleveland to visit his sister. The protagonist is very pathetic, so the beginning is a bit hard to get through, but once you get into the meat of the novel, it gets a little more interesting.
We just passed the middle of the book, but nothing seems to be progressing, so we ended up accidentally tabling listening to it for a bit, but hopefully we’ll pick it back up soon so we can figure out what the heck happened to the woman in cabin 10.
THE GROWNUP BY GILLIAN FLYNN
I am such a huge fan of Gillian Flynn. I’ve read her first three books, and I’m disappointed in myself for taking this long to pick up this short one. My love for Gillian Flynn was recently resparked when Kyle and I watched Sharp Objects on HBO, which is based on her first novel. The storyline moves at a snail’s pace, but the ending is so good that you have to stick with it.
The reason I ended up picking up The Grownup is because I went to the library to get a library card (because you’re not really a resident of a new city if you don’t have a library card, right), and I decided to pick up Dark Places for Kyle since he said he wanted to read it. Honestly, Dark Places continues to be my favorite novel by her, but I think it has to do with the fact that it was the first one I read of hers. When I found Dark Places, The Grownup was also there, so I figured I may as well pick it up for myself to read. I’m only a few pages in, but once I’m finished, I’ll be sure to do a review.
THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING BY MORGAN MATSON
I saw The Unexpected Everything on sale at Books-A-Million, so I decided to pick it up on a whim. I’m just a couple chapters in, and honestly it hasn’t really been intriguing me that much. I’m hoping that the storyline picks up a bit.
What have you been reading lately?