Well friends, I promised a recent reads in fiction post after my lengthy post about non-fiction. I have gone through phases in my life of reading a lot and other phases where I hardly read a thing, unless I had to. I recently heard a saying though, "readers are leaders" or maybe it was "leaders are readers," but either way it applies. I find that when I am in a constant reading pattern, even if just for entertainment, it keeps my brain functioning more efficiently. I find that the more I read, the better I express myself in language both in writing and speech. I recently joked on social media if it would be a big nerd move to just ask for books for Christmas?
Here are some thoughts on my recent reads...
What Alice Forgot, By Liane Moriarty - I really enjoyed this read. It was easy to get through but made me think. The premise is that the main character, Alice, wakes up after a bad head bump and doesn't remember the last ten years of her life. It got me to thinking, if I didn't remember the last decade, I wouldn't know my kids or barely know what marriage is all about. It was a charming and thoughtful read, true to Liane Moriarty's style. She has a way of keeping you interested and not doing anything too expected in her tales. (I also liked her book Big Little Lies, which I believe will also be a movie soon).
Stern Men, By Elizabeth Gilbert - If I am being honest here, I had to make myself finish this one. I find myself really pushing through a book when I don't attach to any characters. If I don't find characters relatable or redeemable, I tend to get disenchanted by the book. I really like Liz Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love fame) but this one just wasn't worth it for me. It had bits of dark subject matter and just felt sort of depressing. If you like Liz Gilbert though, check out her recent podcast called Magic Lessons. It's an exploration of creative living, which was the topic of her bestselling book, Big Magic. I've listened to first few episodes and really have enjoyed them. Hint: episode two was Liz interviewing Cheryl Strayed, the writer of Wild (another great memoir). The interview explored creativity and motherhood interestingly enough. (There is occasional foul language in the podcast, giving it the explicit label but I assure you in the few I listened to I did not hear much.)
Keeping Faith, By Jodi Picoult - I have mixed feelings about this one really. I sometimes love Jody Picoult's writing and other times I find myself skimming because I feel like the story drags. The one was gave me those mixed feelings. It was an exploration of ideas of faith, as well as human relationships being tested. The thread woven through was a mother's persistent love, which so many of us can relate to. In the end, I wouldn't necessarily categorize it as "must read" but it was an interesting enough story.
After You, By Jojo Moyes - If you liked Louisa Clark in Me Before You, then you will still love her in this sequel. It is hard to imagine what Louisa face where Me Before You left off (no spoilers here.) I found myself cheering Louisa on as she searched for what was next in her life. It's hard to really say much without spoiling Me Before You, but I liked this sequel. It helps answer a few questions as to what happened with some characters down the road.
Back in non-fiction land, the Magnolia Story officially comes out Tuesday! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy. I read the first chapter over the summer as treat for those that pre-ordered. It was charming as well as hilarious, much like Chip & Joanne themselves.