Friday, August 05, 2016

july book report.

book report / july 2016 / sunshineandwhimsy.net

The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips / I couldn't put this book down. It's written from the point of view of a young black teenage girl, living in Georgia in 1958. She has 9 brothers and sisters and her mom is abusive. It was incredibly detailed, sometimes painfully so, and when Tony told me, "It's only a book," I was quick to remind him that racism and lynching and abuse really did happen and still does happen. A powerful and worthwhile read. I wish that I had someone to discuss it with, so please read it and let me know!

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella / I've read all of Sophie Kinsella's novels and there hasn't been one I didn't like yet, so I was excited to read this YA story about a teenager with an anxiety disorder. It was a cute story and while I thought the climax and the end was a bit abrupt, I'd recommend it, especially if you're a Kinsella fan.

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain / This was a fantastic book! In fact, I gave it its own post here.  (I also really liked The Paris Wife so I've added her first novel, A Ticket to Ride, to my to-read list.)

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure / A story about an unsympathetic architect that ends up building hiding spaces for Jews. I've read a lot of WWII books lately, and while this one had potential, I thought it was just okay. I think mostly because the writing just wasn't very good. (WWII novels I would highly recommend: All the Light We Cannot See, The Nightingale, and Secrets of a Charmed Life.)

Girl at War by Sara Nović / Set in Croatia during the War of Independence and ten years later in New York, this novel is told mainly from the point of view of a ten-year-old Croatian girl. It's haunting and sad, and really well written. I read it almost three weeks ago and I still think of it almost every day. I knew nothing about the Yugoslavian wars but after reading this and talking to a friend from Serbia, I'm eager to learn more.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert / I listened to this one, as I do most non-fiction lately, and it was good. Gilbert had some good gems of advice re: creativity and writing. I loved that she's both "the creative process is magical" and also "you've gotta do the work." Inspiring. (If you're into podcasts, The Girl Next Door has a book club episode about Big Magic. Fun!)

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson / Turns out I'm a big Jandy Nelson fan and I'm sad that she only has two novels published. This is her first, and it's about a seventeen-year-old girl whose older sister dies suddenly and she's left to figure things out. It's a coming of age/love story. Highly recommend.

Will I Ever Be Good Enough? by Karyl McBride / Another non-fiction book, but this one I actually read. It was recommended to me by a friend, whose therapist had recommended it to her. (Hooray for not being alone in having rocky relationships with our mothers?) Although I don't think my mom and I are an exact fit for the scenarios in this book, I still found it valuable. I loved that the author emphasized not blaming anyone, recognizing the problem/pattern, and healing. It gave me a better understanding of some things, and hopefully will help me to have at least a slightly better relationship with my mom, a better mindset, and to not repeat the same pattern with my future kiddos.

So, that's what I read in the month of July. I love summer vacation! Since I'm going back to work next week, I have a feeling my reading will slow way down, but I'm always happy to have recommendations. What have you read lately and loved?

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