The Last Three Books I Read

I LOVE to read. Unfortunately, it has taken a back seat in my life. Growing up, I devoured books and read everything I could get my hands on. I still think about some of the books that I loved and really affected me as a young girl growing up:

  • The American Girl series (various authors) because I love history (Felicity and Addy were my absolute favorite, followed closely by Samantha)–I STILL love a good period piece.
  • The Giver (Lois Lowry) because it opened my eyes to the possibility of a dystopian future.
  • The Hatchet (Gary Paulsen) because we had to read it every.single.year from starting in 4th grade until 6th grade. I have no idea why, but must not have been a lot of syllabus communication within the school system (ha) but it was really a deep book for a 4th grade and each time we had to re-read it, I discovered more symbolism…more meaning.

Anyway, those are just a few of the books that made an impression on me but there are so many more buried deep inside my brain. These days, I spend my evenings working in bed and am lucky to get a book in if I am on an airplane (but usually succumb to a movie, because I rarely watch those, either). And since I’m in the car a lot, I LOVE podcasts (see my favorite podcasts here and here) and I started dabbling in audiobooks (so far, I like them more than I thought I would) but I still love a good old fashioned paperback. I don’t have a kindle, but I get the attraction (and lack of clutter).

So here are the three books I recently read and I WOULD recommend them–I’ll give you a little background in case you might be interested, too:

  • The Last Time I Lied (Riley Sager – who is a man, BTW…it threw me off after I found that out) – I would put this in the same genre at a Gone Girl (which I read and loved before the movie came out) and it’s a pretty good thriller.  I didn’t want to put it down and although it’s a pretty long book, I finished it quickly.  Lots of twists, turns, easy reading, and a solid ending (although, I did think some parts were a little unnecessary and some loose ends were never tied up).
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz It’s tough to say a book of this nature is “good” but it’s a harrowing (true) story of one man’s experience in the infamous Nazi concentration camp.  Although I have seen so many movies and read other books about this dark period, this was an interesting perspective in terms of the people who not just survived but found a way to LIVE for years within these death camps.  One thing I have to note is the writing style: it’s very colloquial and when I finished the book and read other reviews, some people were vocal about not liking it.  I’d say that it actually just makes the book an easy read, but yes, a young person could definitely read this.  (Also, the ending is pretty abrupt–I feel like the author could have continued the story a bit…there was a lot more to tell!)
  • EducatedIf you enjoyed The Glass Castle (I did…and later the movie, too), you will like this.  This is a memoir from someone the same age as me, which seems young to be writing a memoir in your 30s, right?  Well, the author certainly has a story to tell.  She grew up removed from so much that we’re exposed to every day–including an education.  Her family practiced fundamental religion, despised the government, and eschewed medical care and as a result, she didn’t start going to school until age 17.  It’s so eye-opening and just reiterates the fact everyone’s personal experiences and upbringing shape us in so many ways (hello, political views), even if we walk away and divert from what is familiar to us.

Drop any great books you’ve recently read in the comments below (you all always have the best recommendations)!

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14 comments

  1. Love those books!! Where the Crawdads Sing is also a great book about someone rising up from poverty and lack of education. The Nightingale and Lilac Girls are two of my favorites in the Holocaust fiction genre. I find that I’m able to get through more books with audible – I’ll listen while driving or doing chores or exercising. Much easier than sitting down and reading

  2. I really enjoyed The Last Time I Lied!! His other book, Final Girls is also REALLY good but definitely more gory than TLTIL! I have the other two on my TBR list right now. Can’t wait to get to them!

  3. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is epic. And a fun beach read is The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng was a book I could not put down and read cover to cover (something that hardly ever happens as I have two small children and a full-time office job). I ‘ve heard amazing things about Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. I think a great exercise is to check and see how many of the writers you gravitate to are white. I have been on an active pursuit of diversifying the books I read and the books I choose for my children. Especially when the world around them may not reflect that diversity or inclusion.

    • I’ve heard that about Little Fires Everywhere – I keep meaning to pick it up. Thanks for the other recommendations and your suggestion is spot on; my kids actually have pretty diverse book authors but I should make more of an effort to do the same!

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