May 2018 Reading List


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Books & books & books—here’s my reading update for May 2018.

Amanda Wakes Up by Alisyn Camerota

A very fun, thoughtful, smart read. I flew through this one. The romance plot line was a little shaky for me but Amanda’s journey in journalism really made me think. Recommend!

The Heirs by Susan Rieger

I am sad to report that I did not like this book, even though it was very well-written (aside from the instances when the language was overly flowery and sections were filled with obscure references). I am unclear on how readers are supposed to feel about Rupert Falkes - he’s initially a lovable character who I came to abhor (plus, certain sections regarding his affairs and relations were way too salacious). The storylines about the five sons felt so scattered and inconsistent; really, just three of them seemed to matter, and even those seemed out of place in the grand scheme of the book. Anyway, I don’t recommend The Heirs, though I do commend Susan Rieger for the good writing.

The Admissions by Meg Mitchell Moore

This is a great book. It serves as an excellent cautionary tale of the go-go-go lifestyle our society claims is valuable, of the sentiment that busyness defines our worth. This book especially takes a hard look at this topic as it relates to teenagers, and I thought the social commentary that Meg Mitchell Moore provided through the captivating plot line was compelling. There were also a few great little twists that I really enjoyed, and I appreciated that all loose ends were tied up when the book concluded.

Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush

I love Jenna Bush Hager so I was interested to read this, but it was choppy, not very well written, and all over the place. This book didn’t seem to be about sisters; instead, it reads like Jenna and Barbara’s two separate memoirs haphazardly smushed together. There were some fun insights and cool stories, but ultimately I do not recommend Sisters First.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Good, gripping book. Excellent writing, interesting plot line, exciting twist at the end. I thought some of the sections dragged a bit, hence a slightly lower rating, but I recommend this fast-paced thriller nonetheless.

The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

I really liked this book, and I thought it was a fantastic debut novel for Kimmery Martin. I especially valued the themes of friendship and forgiveness that were woven throughout the plot. While one plot line was kind of predictable, there was another one that definitely caught me by surprise.

I’m Happy For You (Sort Of…Not Really) by Kay Wills Wyma

I enjoyed this book and took lots of notes while reading it. There were a ton of good gems in here. I did come away wanting a little more in terms of proactive ways to combat comparison—I think I went into the book hoping the content would help me push through my comparison issues, but in some ways it just identified the struggle a bit more. It did make me feel less alone in my comparison struggles, that's for sure. I thought the random quotes + input from friends/readers throughout the chapters was a bit distracting and would have preferred reading the book without those tidbits.

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano

This was a fun, very well-written read. This book made me want to hop a plane to Sicily so I could spend a week solving mysteries & drinking Prosecco with Poldi. Recommend!

You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

I loved this book! I don’t typically gravitate towards short stories but I’ve always really enjoyed Curtis Sittenfeld’s work (Prep, The Man of My Dreams, and Sisterland in particular) so I added this book to my list and absolutely gobbled it up. Sittenfeld’s writing is so good, and she paints the most vivid picture of what her characters are going through; I feel like I’m in the room with them as they interact with one another. I love how the Washington Post describes Sittenfeld and her “astonishing gift for creating characters that take up residence in readers’ heads.” Yes, that—exactly!

Photo via Laura Bamford for Cup of Jo