I've polished off eight books in the past month, thanks to a nice relaxing vacation to the Florida Keys! I love plane reading and I love beach reading! I also love reading while picking at my sunburn. But I'm happy to share that my skin now has some sort of pigment! Also I read a few great books! Here they are:
The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
I’ll be visiting Charleston, South Carolina in the coming weeks so I chose this as a “lowcountry” read. This dysfunctional family saga was simultaneously dark and hilarious and meaningful, which was quite the accomplishment. I’m still processing it, but I think I loved it. Plus, the setting certainly played a (beautiful) central role.
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Although reading about a teacher’s inappropriate relationship with his student was incredibly unsettling (especially due to the age of my oldest daughter), I have to say it was an incredible look at what grooming actually looks like and how people lie to themselves. Now I have to read Excavation, as the author accuses Russell of plagiarism. I guess I’ll see for myself. (Here’s the article about the controversy.)
Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I’m going to read everything TJR writes, okay? I like it all. This was more of a novella and was initially a wee bit predictable and then delightfully veers a little. It’s a tiny shot of bittersweet romance but certainly thought-provoking.
People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry
First off, I’m tired of every book cover having a cartoon on it now. What’s up with that? I hate trends in book publishing. Books are and should be totally different from one another. They don’t all need cartoons on the cover or girl in the title.
Anyway! This started in such a brain-candy way that I thought I was going to have to abandon it, but I eventually settled into the groove and enjoyed this traveling romance… a lot! It’s cheesy romance, but it’s fun, and the main characters visit a different locale every chapter which was delightful. I finished it on the plane, which seemed appropriate.
The Bad Muslim Discount by Syed M. Masood
Another cartoon cover, which was stupid, because this is a heavy book.
I don’t know, this book wouldn’t be for everyone. It’s also both dark and funny, but it tries too hard and misses the mark more often than not for me. Overall, it’s a neat story weaving in the trials of being Muslim in America, but it could’ve been oh so much better.
Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant
I actually just read this book a few months ago when it was called All Things Reconsidered by Knox McCoy. Except that time it was funny and didn’t involve as much annoying pandering.
The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell
I finished this book and was amazed to see that it was based on a true story, with true events and real people. I thought it was way too depressing to be real, but alas, it was a true account of a poor mining town. I’d suggest a skip on this one, unless you need to be really depressed for however long it takes you to read this book.
More Myself: A Journey by Alicia Keys
I’m not one to be “obsessed with” any particular musical artist. If I like someone’s music, cool, I won’t turn their song off the radio. I might go to a concert if they’re in the area. I might put one of their songs on my phone. But I’d definitely read a memoir!
I’ve liked Alicia Keys so much throughout the years – Fallin’ is still one of my favorite songs. Her memoir was good fun to read as she’s almost exactly my ages, so as I was sleeping between classes in college, she was signing huge contracts and transforming herself from Hell’s Kitchen tough tomboy into a music legend.
I was vibin’ with Alicia (as she would say) for most of the book, but I admit in the final few chapters she was starting to sound like the insta-self-help-guru-influencers of the “I’m living my truth” variety. It was an odd switch-up in the book, and I’d be interested to see if anyone else noticed the change, but it’s cool. I guess I'm not necessarily opposed to Alicia living her truth. But I was definitely glad I read this – I shouldn’t have let it sit on my TBR so long!
Mom of four, wife of one. By day I fund-raise with coffee, by night I read with wine and chocolate.