Reading List

I love to read.  Here, you'll find a list with links to books I've read recently.  I'll give my honest reviews and a short description of each book; books with 4 or 5 stars are highly recommended.  

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Homegoing

By
(Read April 2017)

☆☆☆☆☆
Rating coming soon

 

We Were the Lucky Ones

By Georgia Hunter
(Read July 2017)

★★★★☆
4 stars.

A WWII account of a Polish family of Jews who was separated during the war and then reunited after.  Heartwrenching read but fantastic ending made all the more so by the fact that it is based on a true story.

 

Behind Closed Doors

By B.A. Paris
(Read June 2017)

☆☆☆☆☆

The stars are intentionally blank here.  I couldn't give this one a rating.  I finished it faster than I have ever read any book because it was so suspenseful, but it was also extremely disturbing.  A (thankfully) fictional thriller about a psychotic husband who controls his wife's every move "behind closed doors."  The suspense lies in whether or not the main character, Grace, will be able to escape his abuse.

 

The One-in-a-Million Boy

By Monica Wood
(Read May 2017)

★★★☆☆
3.5 stars.

Fictional novel following the unlikely friendship of an absentee father and a 104-year-old woman.  The father is on a journey to complete the Eagle Scout mission of his 12-year-old son, who passed away before it could be accomplished.  The book was a bit slow for me, but I enjoyed it overall.

 

The Fault In Our Stars

By John Green
(Read April 2017)

★★☆☆☆
2.5 stars.

A fictional, quick read about two lovestruck teenagers with cancer who bond over a book.  A rare case of the movie turning out better than the book.  I didn't love either of the two main characters, and the plot was not believable.

 

The Whole30

By Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig
(Read February 2017)

★★★☆☆
3.5 stars, though I struggle with rating how-to books.

An in-depth look at the rules and practicalities of The Whole30 diet.  Very helpful to read for anyone who is considering this program, though I do wish that it would have gone into more detail about the whys of eliminating certain food groups.

 

The Great Divorce

By C.S. Lewis
(Read February 2017)

★★★★☆
4 stars

A thought-provoking description of heaven, hell, and the people found in each.  I typically love anything by C.S. Lewis, though his writing can be weighty at times.

Small Great Things

By Jodi Picoult
(Read April 2017)

★★★★☆
4.5 stars.

These are the kinds of stories that need to be told, heard, and talked about.  This book takes a close look at modern-day racism.  It chronicles the trial of an African-American L&D nurse who is charged with a serious crime for attempting to save the life of a white supremacist's baby.  I read over 350 pages in 1.5 days.

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

By Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
(Read February 2017)

★★★☆☆
3.5 stars

Historical fiction about Guernsey, one of the British Channel Islands, post-World War II.  The island is charming, and the characters are endearing, but I read this book during a very busy month and could not keep up with all of the many characters.  The book is written in letter form.

 

The Hundred-Foot Journey

By Richard C. Morais
(Read January 2017)

★★★☆☆
3 stars

Also a movie, The Hundred Foot Journey is the story of a teenager who leaves his family's Indian restaurant to work across the street under one of the greatest French chefs in the world.  I enjoyed much of the story, but the main character is flat, and some of the food scenes grossed me out.

 

Murder on the Orient Express

By Agatha Christie
(Read December 2017)

★★★☆☆
3.5 stars

Murder mysteries aren't really my thing, but if you're into them, this was a good one.  

 

The Broken Way

By Ann Voskamp
(Read November 2016)

★★☆☆☆
2 stars

Christian nonfiction about finding Jesus and joy in the midst of personal brokenness.  I'm going to step on some toes here, but I just could not get through it due to Voskamp's writing style.  I loved some of the quotes that she used from other people but did not feel that many of her own ideas were revolutionary.

 

Bread and Wine

By Shauna Niequist
(Read July 2015)

★★★★★
5 stars

Stories of life around the kitchen table, written in snippets.  Amazing recipes in the back, particularly for the chocolate mousse!  I loved her thoughts about inviting people into your life through food and conversation.

 

The Book Thief

By Markus Zusak
(Read January 2017)

★★★★★
5 stars

A fictional but believable story about a book thief, Liesl, who lives in a poor town outside Munich during World War II.  Loved everything about this book and didn't want it to end.  

The Kitchen House

By Kathleen Grissom
(Read March 2017)

★★★★★
5+ stars.

Historical fiction about slavery in the early 1800's.  Intense and heartbreaking but well-written and believable.  Sucked me in from the beginning.

 

The Glass Castle

By Jeannette Walls
(Read Summer 2014, September 2016)

★★★★★
5+ stars

A memoir by a girl with an alcoholic father and mentally ill mother.  The book chronicles her dysfunctional childhood in Welch, West Virginia, and her adulthood in New York.  My favorite novel of all time.  Contains a good bit of language and intense themes but all within context.  

 

The Little Paris Bookshop

By Nina George
(Read October 2017)

★☆☆☆☆
1 star

I absolutely hated this book.  The description on the back of the book is extremely misleading, as it appears to be a book about books but is actually very poorly written and racy.  I wouldn't recommend it to your worst enemy, but if you would like to buy it for said enemy click the link below! :)

 

Same Kind of Different as Me

By Ron Hall and Denver Moore
(Read as a teen and again in January 2017)

★★★★★
5 stars

True-ish story of a wealthy art dealer, a homeless man, and the big-hearted woman who brings them together.  Loved it the first time but wanted to read it more critically the second time and loved it just as much.  Written from an admittedly Christian perspective.

 

A Man Called Ove

By
(Read November 2016)

★★★★☆
4 stars

A fictional and heartwarming story about a crotchety old man and his eccentric neighbors.  Starts off a little slow, but then I didn't want it to end.

 

The Gifts of Imperfection

By Brené Brown
(Read December 2016)

★★☆☆☆
2.5 stars

A self-help book geared toward perfectionists about how to let go of shame and embrace wholeness.  Brown makes some good points and backs them up with research, but I was underwhelmed overall.