Friday, September 5, 2014

What I've Been Reading

Now that life has calmed down a bit, and the house is mostly unpacked-- I've finally managed to do some reading.  In fact, for the past 2 months I've dived right in and read some really great works of fiction.  So great, that I wanted to share them with you.

This is the perfect time of year to dive into some great books.  The weather is starting to cool down, and it's about to start raining.... well at least for my friends in the Northwest.  Here are four books I absolutely loved:

-- The Paris Wife --


Ah Paris!  The city of love, and home of literary ex-patriots in the 1920's.  I picked this book up after watching Midnight in Paris.  It's fiction based on the first marriage of Ernest Hemingway to his wife Hadley.  I love historical fiction.  Not to mention, I loved the cover art.

This story is first and foremost a love story, but also a tale of what happens when you don't take care of your relationship.  It's also about being true to yourself.  It was such an interesting perspective for me, while I was dealing with being alone during Jason's first few months in South Korea.

I really identified with Hadley's struggle to support her husband, while staying true to herself and her beliefs.  This book came at a very important time for me.  In the end, I really appreciated her decision to walk away from a relationship that was damaging to her self worth, and was incredibly depressing.

I also like how Paula McLain wrote Hemingway's character.  He emulated many of the characters in his books who can be emotionally dependent in their partners, while somewhat emotionally distant.

If you like historical fiction, or literature, I highly recommend this book.  A lot of the story is based on biographies from Hemingway.

-- The Witch's Daughter --


This was another book I bought solely based on the cover art.  I was going to save it as an October read (Witches & Halloween are a perfect pairing), but while searching for my next read coming out of "The Paris Wife" I picked this off my book shelf.

Think historical fiction combined with some fantasy elements, but not so much so that you feel like you're reading another "Harry Potter."  Now, don't think of me as a Harry Hater-- I love him, and the books!   This book follows a witch through time, starting in 1800's England during the country's version of the Salem witch trials.

She hops through London during the Jack the Ripper Killings, WWI on the front lines, and into present day.  She's running from someone, who I won't tell you about because it's part of the suspense.   And has to fight an epic battle in the end.

I've really been into stories about strong women who don't need a man to overcome hardships.  Movies, books, TV shows-- it's been a theme with me as of late, and this book was no exception.  Paula Brackston has other books about witches that I'm excited to read-- but they all deal with tragic love stories.... and this one, while there were some lovey-dovey elements, didn't center around those stories.

This was suspenseful, well-written, and peppered with some great pieces of English history.  I spent many nights up later than I should have to find out what was going to happen next.  Great read, I highly recommend it.

-- The Post Mistress --


It probably comes as no surprise to you by now, that I am on an historical fiction kick.  And those of you who are co-workers of mine will get a kick out of my next choice, considering the fact that every time we talk about the Post Office, I remind you all to mail something in an effort to keep the post office in business... at least until my parents retire :)

This book turned out to be nothing like I thought it would be, and still great.

Everyone who read it said I wouldn't like the end-- and I actually liked it.  I thought it was a very poetic end for the man who spent all his days fearful that Germany was about to invade the U.S.  I wont spoil it for the readers out there who haven't picked this up.

One of my favorite time periods to read about is the 1940's.  WWII, the Holocaust, etc.  This is told from America's perspective-- and I found it incredibly interesting.  The book follows three women during that time.  One of whom is a Postmistress in a small town along the East Coast.  The other is a Foreign Correspondent working for Edward R. Murrow in London during the blitz.

It was an incredible commentary about hesitation.  Our country's hesitation to jump into war and end the incredible atrocities against a group of people throughout Europe.  The hesitation to share life-changing information that could quite possibly hurt someone you're close too.  And the hesitation to believe what is right because it's not popular.   Sarah Blake did a great job telling this incredibly difficult story through a different perspective.

Again, if you like historical fiction, you will appreciate this book.  And you can tell me whether you liked the ending or not :)

-- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? --


Ok, ok. I'm probably late to the party here-- but I absolutely love Mindy Kaling.  Much like Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Jennifer Lawrence-- I want her to be my best friend.  If you have a day or two, pick this book up.  It's a quick read and it will keep you laughing with each page turn.

Mindy is incredibly genuine in her writing, and I found it refreshing to read memoirs that didn't detail high-school drama and lost virginity.  It gets old, and while I love a good, funny sex story-- I also love women who's lives don't follow the cliche, WB television drama route.

Mindy's humor spoke to me, very similarly to Tina Fey's humor in Bossypants.  She's a great role model to the girls out there who want someone with a little substance and smarts.  Though, if you follow her on Facebook and Instagram she throws in a bit of glam with her smarts!

Do yourself a favor and pick this book up-- give yourself a laugh, you won't be sorry!

There's a look into the books that have been on my nightstand over the past few months!  Happy reading!

Have you read any good books lately?

1 comment:

  1. I downloaded hte witches daughter a while back and had started reading it (then moved to 50 shades of grey)...glad to see it's worth the read!!


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