Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Recent Reads

 Time for another monthly book round up! These are some of my favorite posts to write. As much as I love reading, it's a habit like anything else - and it can be all too easy to get lost in a Netflix re-watch instead of taking the time to get lost in a book! But knowing that I have these posts to write helps me keep my reading habit "active." Plus, writing a few sentences about each book helps keep the plots fresh in my mind!

 Oh, and a little note - if you follow the links to any of these books, you'll be taken to a really cool site called bookshop.org. It's a way to buy books online but financially support local bookshops! I also now have a "shop" there where you can find all of the books I've read in one easy place. I'm still working on getting all of my previously read books there, but September and October 2020 are up and running.

Here are the books that I've read over the past month.



They Wish They Were Us by Jessican Goodman
This book reminded me of both Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars - it's a twisted, young adult mystery filled with lots of high school drama. It follows the cool group at an elite high school, with all of the usual misbehaving... but also with a pall hanging over all of the good times by the murder of one of their friends (not a spoiler - you find out on the first page!). It's full of twists and turns as they (and I) try to figure out who was actually responsible.


The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy this, because it's a bit more fantasy than I usually read. But the story was so beautiful that I couldn't stop myself from reading. It's all about a group of magical orphans, in a time where magic is feared and those who are magical have to be registered and watched. So there's clearly a very poignant social allegory, and there's also a little romance subplot. I ended up really loving it.


The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis
I've come to realize that I read a lot of books that split between two eras in time and two groups of characters who end up connected in some way - this is the first of two on this month's list. This book is set inside New York City's library, and I love a good book about books! There's also a mystery about lost rare books/manuscripts, and connections across generations. It also let me imagine what it would be like to be a library caretaker and live in a little apartment inside the library! What a dream.


My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
I was inspired to read this after RBG's passing, but I probably should have looked a little more closely into what it actually was. It's less of a story/memoir and more of a collection of different speeches, decisions, and essays that she wrote over the years. Of course, it's an incredible testament to her life and her work, but it's also pretty dry and dense at times. I enjoyed it, and I learned a lot, but it was not an easy read.


The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor
This is the second book that trades off chapters between characters and time periods. A young girl goes to Paris after her grandmother's death and follows clues to find out more about her grandmother's life, and the life of her grandmother's sister who she had never heard of. There are Nazis and spies, and of course, a romance or two. This wasn't my absolute favorite - some of the plot points were a little bit unbelievable to me - but it's still a good read.


Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
This was by far my favorite book from the month. It's by the same author who wrote Homegoing, but it's a completely different type of story. The main character is from Ghana but has lived in Alabama for years, and this struggle between two worlds continues to play out in other aspects of her life - mainly, her pull between science and her childhood faith. The story isn't always happy, but it is raw and touching, and I didn't want the book to end.

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