The Wonder by Emma Donoghue was a truly unique story. A girl claims to be living on no food or water and a committee sets out to determine if this is truly a miracle or a deeply planned scheme. It was a quick read that kept my attention the entire time – at least after getting over the strange topic. The characters are complex and have to face decisions and struggles that most of us cannot imagine facing. I’m really not sure what else to say about it without giving anything away other than you should definitely read this!
I love Liane Moriarty’s books and Truly Madly Guilty is her newest. I waiting a while on the waitlist to get it and it did not disappoint. I did think it was a little slower to get going than her other books I’ve read. The whole books revolves around one night and something that happened, but it takes most of the book to learn what that something was. And that something had a profound effect on numerous families, relationships, and life plans. I’ll leave you hanging at that. But the characters were pretty complex each with their own issues and unique relationships between each other. It’s a great summer/pool/beach read for anyone starting their travels soon. But be prepared to buy it or wait for a while!
According to my Goodreads dashboard, I’m 5 books behind towards meeting my goal for the year. Guess that means an extra effort to get to the pool all summer!!
I’m joining a new book club and was supposed to start going in February, but had not gotten far at all in the book before meeting time. So I was on it this time and finished the book 2 weeks before the meeting. It helped that The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman was a great and easy read. It was difficult to put down! It takes place in Australia and features a man who is a lighthouse keeper on a very remote island. He marries a girl from the nearby town and their life on the island takes more turns than you would expect for two people living a very secluded life. The story has elements that are relatable for many people and elements that will tear at your heartstrings. The movie came out last year but a friend recommended not seeing, which I wouldn’t do right after reading it anyway, but it does have a great cast. I highly recommend the book and I’m looking forward to the discussion with my new book club!
Sorry to disappoint, but this isn’t a revival of my intriguing dating posts. The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger was a fun, entertaining read. Charlie is an up-and-coming star on the professional tennis tour and she finds out what it takes to make it to the top as well as what can bring you down. I enjoyed it because I love tennis and have played most of my life, but it’s more about the off-court action than playing, so even if you know nothing about tennis you would enjoy it. And although the main characters of the story are fictional, Weisberger worked in the names of real top players who are on the circuit currently. This would be a, especially great summer beach read! Enjoy!
This book was required for class (my last class!!), but it was an interesting and timely read. Although it was published in 2012, it is still relevant with how healthcare functions in America today. How We Do Harm by Otis Webb Brawley, MD is an insider look at various aspects of healthcare from a doctor’s perspective. Brawley is currently the Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society and spent years working at Emory and Grady Memorial Hospital here in Atlanta. He goes through various case studies and examples of how the healthcare system fails patients in all aspects – medically, in research, financially, and through insurance. And unfortunately not much has changed since he wrote this book. It was eye opening. Anyone who has to see a doctor, especially for something serious, likes to think that doctor is giving good advice that will benefit you best as a patient, but Brawley shows that is not always the case. Luckily, looking back, my many doctors have always ranked on the “good guy” side, but it would be easy to not realize that you are being given bad advice, or worse, actual treatment. And that’s scary.
I highly recommend this book. I did skim through a lot of the specific medical talk, but you can do that and still get the bigger picture. We all have some claim in the healthcare system – you have insurance, you see a doctor occasionally, or you need regular treatment from a physician. And we can all learn something from this book to make us better consumers of the medical practice.
I love the book challenge through Goodreads – you just set your goal for the year and update what books you’ve read. The site keeps track of your progress! I read 30 books last year (after setting a random goal of 20), so I thought I’d challenge myself just slightly this year to read 35. Of course I set this before realizing I have one more class to take this semester which will take up a lot of my reading time, but we’ll see how it goes. I may have to throw in some short books. 😉
My first book of this year was The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin. I enjoyed it overall, but I thought it was a little dragged out at times and had more detail than I really cared about. The story chronicles the lives of a group of society’s elite women in 1950s New York City and their relationship with a writer, Truman Capote, who infiltrates their circle. From what I can gather, the characters are real people and some of the events are actual events, but I had to do some research to figure this out and it’s still not completely clear. I think I may have enjoyed it more had I know those details before reading the book. It was good – a little like Gossip Girl but more sophisticated – but be prepared to maybe skim some parts that just get too bogged down in detail.
For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn has been on my list since we watched a short series based on the book in my church small group. I read it in one day in about 6 hours (yay holiday travel) so there’s really no excuse for anyone to not read it. It’s a quick but deep insight into men’s thoughts and actions. Surveys were given to thousands of men age 21 to 75, along with informal follow up surveys to specific groups of men.
Many women might read this as rules to pleasing men, but it’s actual facts to know about the men in your life to make your relationship better. And these apply to husbands, boyfriends, friends, and sons. Not everything was surprising to me but I definitely learned some things about men’s brains. And the best part is the suggestions on what to do with the information you learn.
I definitely recommend this book to women and I’m sure the alternate, For Men Only, is just as great for men to read. Nothing better than a quick, informative read!