My Own Little Book Corner

Thursday, September 7, 2017

2017 - Books Read - August

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

A well written interesting story of love between a father and a daughter.  Samuel Hawley is a widower and is raising his daughter.  They have constantly moved because of Samuel's lifestyle which has resulted in him being shot many times - thus the title of the book.   I really liked this  book.   It is a touching story of the relationship Samuel has with his daughter, Loo.  It is also a coming of age story for Loo interspersed with the back story of how they have gotten to where they are.   I  liked all of the characters - even though they are not always the people I would want as next door neighbors.   Well written with an ending that helps make the story stay with you.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

I finally read this book after picking it up several times to buy and then putting it back down.   I'm glad I finally read it.   Ove immediately drew me in - I wanted to know how he got to be the person he was.   The interactions with different people, his love for his wife and even his grouchiness touched me.  Another well written story that tugged at my heart at times.

Hillbilly Elegy; A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J D Vance

Before I read this book I had seen several people at different times with it.   Mainly fellow travelers at the airport.   I asked a few of them about the book and the response was always - it's a quick read and an ok story.   I think that is mainly true, but when you think about what the story is, it should be more than ok.   This is a memoir of growing up poor with a drug abusive mom and several father figures in and out of life.   It is not an "ok" picture, but the way it is written did not draw me in emotionally.  It is impressive that Mr. Vance has had the success he has and it was touching reading about his relationship with his grandmother and sister.  A book that should make one think about a segment of our population and what they face.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

This book sounded like such a good story was going to be told but from the start I was not impressed.   It almost read as a young adult book at times and was predictable to some extent but also very unbelievable in others.   I did not like any of the characters in this book even though I tried.   My least favorite book of the month.

No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts

This is a retelling of the Great Gatsby according to the blurbs about it.  I guess I see a loose connection between the stories, but I wouldn't have thought about Gatsby just "cold reading" the book.  I did enjoy the story though and unlike The Roanoke Girls, I liked these characters.   They are flawed in all sorts of ways, but I still liked them.   An enjoyable read if you are just looking for a good story to read.

Love First:  Ending Hate Before It's Too Late by Don McLaughlin

A must read.   Don McLauglin has written a book that calls us not to just think about what he says, but to act on it.   He presents the conditioned love of God and the way that we can - really must - reflect it as Christians.  I've read it through once and plan on going back through it again.  A convicting read.  

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

This is my 4th Liane Moriarty book and my least favorite.   I binge watched "Big Little Lies" based on one of her books that I haven't yet read.   I  think that affected how I felt about this book as there was a big reveal in "Big Little Lies" that made more sense than the big reveal in "Truly Madly Guilty."  I just felt as if there wasn't that much suspense or surprise to this story, but as I've often said, I know that timing of reading a book can make a huge difference as far as how I view it.  

Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser

This was an ok book.  As you can tell by the title, it involves several instances of "almosts."  A chance encounter between 2 people - another chance encounter between the man and another woman - and then a chance between the first 2 again, with a kidnapping included.  It is an interesting book, but at times not as layered as I'd like.

Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

A series of short stories that are all related to a certain degree.  These go back to the town where Olive Kitteridge grew up.   I really enjoyed this book.   I felt as if I knew the people and the town.  A better book than "Olive Ketteridge."   

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

I like Joshilyn Jackson's writing style.  She is a true southern theme writer.   This story mainly covers the theme of old south and the racism that often lies under the surface with family privilege and the connections that are important thrown in.   Well written and one of those stories that doesn't shout it's message, but get's it across just the same.

The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan

This was a month of reading books by authors I had read before.   "The Perfect Girl" is an interesting story that unfolded in a fairly predictable way, but yet it was still interesting.   It covers only 24 hours, but it is a full 24 hours that does take a few twists.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
A historical fiction based on real people.  This is set during World War II and covers Poland, America and France.   It can be a gut wrenching read but at the same time some of the chapters are almost beach read like.   It took me a few chapters to get into it, but once I did, I was glad I had stuck with it.  


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