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This month I was able to keep up with my reading goal of a book a week. I love reading so much, but really have to work at it to make it a priority. I have noticed an uptick in my boys’ interest in reading when I focus on my reading so win-win! If you have been having trouble fitting in time to read, I will be putting together a post on ways to make it happen, watch for that or feel free to subscribe so you don’t miss it!
Three of the books I mention this month I actually bought from Book of the Month Club. I have not been sponsored by them at all, I just love this subscription so much. It’s $44.97 for 3 months which is about 15$ a book a month. If you sign up for longer it gets down to $14.38 a book. You also have the option to add on more books for $9.99. Did I mention these are high quality hardback books?! They also will give you the option to pick free items now and then. I have receive a small coloring book with coloring pencils and a luggage tag. They have a code for you to get a free tote bag right now use TOTALLY at checkout. Click here if you need this subscription in your life!
I have started a new feature to Mama’s Reading Corner. For those who have only a short amount of time to read book reviews, I have rated this month’s books in order of my favorites so you know where to start and can read reviews from there! Scroll to the bottom to see it!
Still Life by Louise Penny Last month I told you about my newest favorite author Louise Penny here. I started with book 12 on accident and decided to start from book 1. Her debut novel about Inspector Gamache did not let me down. This book focuses around a tragic end to a woman’s life everyone believes is a hunting accident, but is it? We follow Inspector Gamache as he follows the evidence and finds out what really happened to Jane Neal.
This book was so good. One thing I truly like about Louise Penny is that she is like a warm blanket on a cold day. You get to know the characters, you connect with them, and you know that many questions you have will be answered by the end of the book. While I don’t mind a good book that leaves questions unanswered sometimes, it’s nice to know some that you can come back to and have complete closure by the end of it. If you need a new series to start, this book starts the series that I can’t wait to read more of!
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. Does Paula Hawkins sound familiar to you? She wrote the book Girl on a Train, which was turned into a movie. Into the Water is about “A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.” (Amazon.com description)
I hadn’t read her first book, but I was sure “Into the Water” would be great because of all the hoopla around it. I had high expectations for this book and I think that dampened my opinion on it a little. While it was still good I was able to figure out what happened 1/2 way through. I had difficulty keeping track of the characters. Remembering how they were related to the story and details about them was problematic because of the sheer amount of characters introduced. While this book is good, I would recommend my other two faves from this month first.
Chemistry by Weike Wang. This book was given the title “Most Anticipated Book of 2016” by Entertainment Weekly, The millions and Bustle. This book is about a young millenial who fails to reach her parents high academic goals for her. She must figure out what she wants to do with her life now that her only plan (or parents plan to be more correct) has failed.
Many people have rated this book highly. I don’t understand why. The main character is whiny and apathetic. She justifies lying to her parents often to avoid conflict and very little plot actually happens. “Chemistry” reads in a staccato manner, and is very vague. Only one character has a name and that is Eric, her boyfriend. The main character doesn’t even have a name and calls her best friend “the best friend” throughout the whole book. I pushed myself to finish it. There has to be a reason for the good ratings. By the end, I realized there wasn’t and I wasted time with this book. Do not make the same mistake I did.
The Leavers by Lisa Ko. This book received the 2016 Pen/Bellwether Prize for fiction that addresses social justice.I wanted to describe this book in my own words, but there is so much to it I wanted to start with the explanation from Amazon and build on that.
“One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to her job at a nail salon—and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her.
With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left mystified and bereft. Eventually adopted by a pair of well-meaning white professors, Deming is moved from the Bronx to a small town upstate and renamed Daniel Wilkinson. But far from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his adoptive parents’ desire that he assimilate with his memories of his mother and the community he left behind.
Told from the perspective of both Daniel—as he grows into a directionless young man—and Polly, Ko’s novel gives us one of fiction’s most singular mothers. Loving and selfish, determined and frightened, Polly is forced to make one heartwrenching choice after another.
Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid examination of borders and belonging. It’s a moving story of how a boy comes into his own when everything he loves is taken away, and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of the past.” (Amazon.com)
This book is by far my favorite book this month. If you are forced to set this book down at any point while reading it, it will stick with you until you can pick it up again. “The Leavers” will challenge your thinking on many levels; immigration, a Mom’s love for her child, adoption, and much more. There were so many layers to this book that had me thinking for awhile. In fact, I finished this book a week ago and I am still thinking about it and it’s messages. If you want a book that will challenge you and is a good read, pick this up immediately!
My 2-second Book Rating for Busy Mamas
- The Leavers by Lisa Ko
- Still Life by Louise Penny
- Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
- Chemistry by Weike Wang
*In depth reviews above if you want to skip to them
Which of these books are you going to read next?
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