Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Second Quarter Reading

I read 10 books this quarter, bringing my total for the year to 16. I've already surpassed my goal to read 12 books this year and it's only half over! It's nice to have something to show for all the time I spend feeding Logan - other than a deliciously chubby baby of course!

1. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell - Lincoln works the night shift at a newspaper monitoring the company email. Beth and Jennifer, two journalists at the newspaper, email back and forth all the time and their emails frequently get flagged. But Lincoln soon finds that he really likes reading their emails and can't bring himself to send them a reprimand. Before long he realizes that he's falling in love with Beth, but now it's complicated because he can't exactly tell her he's been reading her emails. Lincoln reminded me of a few of my guy friends from high school and I found myself cheering for him the whole book - I just wanted him to be happy! It was such a cute, fun book and I was sad to see it end.

2. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen - Sydney has grown up in the shadow of her brother, Peyton, who is "the golden boy." In high school, he starts getting into trouble and eventually ends up in jail after hitting and paralyzing another teenager while driving drunk. Sydney drops out of her expensive prep school and transfers to the public high school where no one knows her as Peyton's sister. She quickly finds a good group of friends including a brother-sister duo who work at their family pizza joint. In them she finds the family she doesn't have at home. It had great substance while being enjoyable and fun.

3. The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks - Former high school sweethearts Amanda and Dawson are reunited after 25 years when their mentor, Tuck, dies and they come back for his funeral. My sister loves Nicholas Sparks' books, but I had somehow never read one (although I had seen many of the movies made from his books). I really enjoyed this book, but hated the movie.

4. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty - The book starts by saying there was a murder at the elementary trivia night, but doesn't say who was murdered. It then goes back 6 months and tells the story giving clues along the way. I really enjoyed the mystery aspect of the story and thought it was almost as good as What Alice Forgot (which is saying a lot).

5. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg - Claudia and her brother, Jamie, run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While they are there, the museum puts an angel statue on display that is possibly the work of Michelangelo and Claudia is determined to solve the mystery. This was one of my absolute favorite books growing up and I enjoyed the blast from the past immensely.

6. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks - Noah and Allie fall in love one summer, but then are separated for 14 years. Just as Allie is about to marry another man, she comes across a story in the newspaper about a house Noah restored. She goes to see Noah and finds that she is still in love with him. After reading The Best of Me, I decided I should read Nicholas Sparks' classic novel. I had seen the movie a handful of times and was happy to find that I enjoyed both the book and the movie equally.

7. Delancey: A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, A Marriage by Molly Wizenberg - Molly tells about her experience opening a restaurant with her husband and the lessons she learned along the way. I found the whole process fascinating and loved her insights on marriage - particularly about the importance of being a supportive spouse. This sentence really stuck out to me, "We probably wouldn't be married anymore if (1) I hadn't worked at Delancey and (2) I hadn't stopped working at Delancey." I really enjoyed reading this book and now If I'm ever in Seattle again I'm going to have to go eat at Delancey.

8. Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty - A story about triplet sisters who experience a year in their lives where their worlds are turned upside down. This was my first time reading a Moriarty novel that I didn't find myself constantly comparing it to What Alice Forgot. It was her first novel and it was interesting to see things in there that showed up again in her other novels. (For example, one of the triplets has a fiancé that has serious anger issues and that shows up again in Big Little Lies in a huge way!)

9. Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies by J.B. West - West was an usher at the White House from 1941-1969 (FDR through Nixon).  He was responsible for everything that went on with the families and worked very closely with the First Ladies - he arranged their schedules, hosted events, helped the First Ladies decorate, and managed the transitions between presidents. It was fascinating to read about the Presidents, First Ladies, and their children from an insider's perspective. And by the time I got to the end, I was wanting to plan a trip to Washington DC!

10. The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley - Ada and Jamie are siblings living in London as WWII is about to break out. Because Ada was born with a clubfoot, her mother has forced her to stay in their one bedroom apartment her entire life. But when Jamie, along with the other children in London, is going to be sent out to the country to be protected from Hitler's imminent war, Ada refuses to be left behind. They end up living with Susan Smith, a woman who lives alone and insists she doesn't know how to take care of children. I had a hard time getting into the story and was so frustrated with Ada for how she sometimes treated Susan, but I loved the ending and was glad I didn't give up on it.

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Megan Goodrich said...

Awesome! This is a great list! I always read your recommendations so I will for sure get working on these.

Mom Lori said...

WOW - impressive list :)

Diana, Jason, and Blake said...

I just requested a bunch of these from the library. I always love the books you recommend to me! And I'm so glad I finally got you to read some Nicholas Sparks novels ;) Your white house book reminds me of a good movie we just watched- The Butler. You should totally check it out!