Let’s Talk about Books

It’s been a good while since I’ve had a book chat over here on the blog. With all the traveling we’ve been doing lately, I have gotten quite a bit of reading done.

Here’s my favorite books as of recently…

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah


This was one of my favourite books I have read recently, no wonder it was on so many blogger’s book lists. It tells the story of two sisters going through very different trials during WWII. One fighting to keep her family and friends safe while her husband is off at war and the other choosing to fight against the Nazis at only 18 years old. Be prepared for all of the emotions. Continue reading

Literary Ladies Reading Challenge Update

Hello from Thailand! While we are kicking off our two and a half week vacation I wanted to leave you with a little something to read while we are away (I am just nice like that). I have some posts already scheduled for our time away and hopefully the internet cooperates and you get to read them! Who knows maybe I will grow a wild hair and post a short recap of our travels thus far? You never know what could happen!

Anyways, enough silliness- today I am talking books.


I signed up for the Literary Ladies Summer (even though it is not summer in my part of the world) Reading Challenge back in June. I love a good challenge and I love to read so it was a win-win.

So far I am not doing so hot. With only one month left to go I am at the halfway point. I am hoping all of the flying and beaching we are doing on this trip will help me knock out a few more books.

This is what I have read thus far, with my opinions underneath…

1. A suspenseful book – The Silent Wife by ASA Harrison


I picked this book because I heard it compared to The Girl on the Train (which was great) but this was not nearly as suspenseful, in fact it was hardly suspenseful at all and I found all of the characters pretty unlikable. I was not a big fan. I just looked and I gave it 3 stars on GoodReads which was pretty nice of me.

2. A book written by a comedian or celebrity – Yes Please by Amy Poehler


I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. I wanted to love it because I love Amy Poehler and there were parts that I really did love but others not so much. I really enjoyed the more autobiographical parts about her rise to fame and her days doing stand up in Chicago with Tina Fey. But then other times I felt like she dragged on with random self help topics and skipped around quite a bit. I gave it three stars. I feel like I could have given 75% of the book 4 or 5 stars but that 25% I just found really hard to get through. If you don’t believe me, here’s a picture Travis took of me literally falling asleep reading it.


3. A book that is or will be a movie (or TV show) – Paper Towns by John Green


This was pretty much what I expected from the author of The Fault in our Stars. A well-written, coming of age, young adult novel. I found it very easy to read and finished it fairly quickly. I gave it 4 stars.

4. A book that was recommended by a blogger – Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler


I wish I remembered what blogger I heard about this book from (if it’s you tell me!) because I LOVED this book! Like want to talk to everyone about it type of loved it. It goes back and forth between modern times and the story of a forbidden interracial romance in Kentucky in the 1930’s. Hands down this was my favorite book I have read this year. I gave it 5 stars.

5. A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more – The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt 


I switched this one from my prelimilary list after it became available off the library wait list sooner than expected. I had really high hopes for this book but I was left more annoyed than anything. First of all, it’s really freaking long. Like almost 800 pages. It should be maybe four separate books instead of one. The first third kept me really engaged and I couldn’t read enough but then it became less and less interesting. By the last couple hundred pages I was ready for it to be over. I was literally exhausted from reading the book. That being said, it won a Pulitzer Prize so what do I know. I gave it 3 stars.

Here’s what I am working on now… 

Non US Author – The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes (currently reading)

A book with a one word title.- Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist (currently reading)

A book about Summer, with Summer in the title- Summerland by Erin Hildebrand

A book with a kickass female character -The Diviners by Margaret Laurence

A YA book – The Book Thief

So in conclusion, you should read Calling Me Home.

Friday Favorites: Literature Edition

Since we have moved, I have spent a significant amount of time traveling on planes, trains, buses and automobiles. Given this abundance of downtime and often the lack of wifi or cell phone service required to scroll through social media, I have taken back up one of my favorite hobbies, reading. I wish I could say I was one of those people who read every night before bed or on the couch after work, but I am not. Give me a beach, pool or airplane though and I am a reading machine.

These are some of my favorite books, I have stumbled upon recently.

1. Me Before You


Source: Amazon

I have talked about this book previously on here but it is still hands down my favorite book I have read in the past few months. If you enjoyed Fault in our StarsHere’s the synopsis from Amazon (summarizing has never been my strong point):

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

“Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?” -Amazon

2. The Last Letter from your Lover


Source: Amazon

After finishing Me Before You, I knew that I was a big JoJo Moyes fan so I was delighted when my friend, Emily Anne, lent me another one of her books to read on our Fiji trip. I was hooked on this book and had to pull the “just one more chapter” card multiple times when Travis tried to get me to do any other activity (like eat dinner or go snorkeling- how dare he). If you are a sucker for a good love story- you need to pick this book up ASAP.

A Brief Encounter for our time, The Last Letter from Your Lover is a sophisticated, spellbinding double love story that spans decades and thrillingly evokes a bygone era. In 1960, Jennifer Stirling wakes in the hospital and remembers nothing—not the car accident that put her there, not her wealthy husband, not even her own name. Searching for clues, she finds an impassioned letter, signed simply “B,” from a man for whom she seemed willing to risk everything. In 2003, journalist Ellie Haworth stumbles upon the letter and becomes obsessed with learning the unknown lovers’ fate—hoping it will inspire her own happy ending. Remarkably moving, this is a novel for romantics of every age.” –Amazon

3. The Husband’s Secret  


Source: Amazon

This was also one of my vacation reads (it even made it into a picture). I had already read (and thuroughly enjoyed) What Alice Forgot by the same author so I was excited to finally start The Husband’s Secret. I had been on the waiting list at the library for over a month, so I am clearly not the only person who wanted to read it. Liane Moriarty is an Australian author and it’s fun being over here while reading her novels, especially after our trip to Sydney, where most of them take place. Just read the summary and try and tell me you aren’t the least bit intrigued…

“Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.” -Amazon

4. Big Little Lies


Source: Amazon

So now that you know I am on a Liane Moriarty kick- it’s no surprise that next book I decided to read was another one of hers. I literally read this book in two days. Disregard everything I said at the top about not reading unless I am traveling because I literally sat on my couch on a Tuesday and read for hours until I had finished the book. I didn’t even fall asleep or turn the TV on once, that’s HUGE. It starts out with a murder investigation and you spend the whole book back tracking trying to figure out what happened and who was killed. I’m not good with suspense (I prefer to only watch TV shows in binge form so that there are no cliffhangers) so I had to know the ending immediately. All other household chores fell by the wayside (sorry Trav). Just read for yourself…

“The annual Trivia Night at Pirriwee School had always been a peaceful affair, but this year was different. First, there was a riot; then a parent was found dead; and before long, police investigators began piecing together clues of murder. Behind the apparent homicide are the intertwined stories of three women; their husbands and children; their ex-husbands and their new wives. This new novel by Liane Moriarty (The Husband’s Secret; What Alice Forgot) unlocks secrets hidden deep in suburbia. Artfully construed; editor’s recommendation.” -Barnes and Noble
5. Love Does

Source: Amazon

This last book I am talking about is different than the rest. My friend recommended this book as a “happy, lighthearted” book after a finishing a particularly emotional read. In the book Bob Goff tells various stories from his life where he chose to be whimsical and let love do it’s work. Each chapter is a short story of these adventures (some of them pretty incredible) and he ties them into lessons on faith. Each story is inspiring and uplifting and encourages you to get out there and truly experience your life. If you are a Donald Miller fan (Blue Like Jazz, Searching for God Knows What) then you will love this book. In fact, Donald Miller wrote the forward for Love Does. I adored this book so much I didn’t want it to end. So, I intentionally paced it out and only read one short chapter at a time.

“…When Love Does, life gets interesting. Each day turns into a hilarious, whimsical, meaningful chance that makes faith simple and real. Each chapter is a story that forms a book, a life. And this is one life you don’t want to miss.

Light and fun, unique and profound, the lessons drawn from Bob’s life and attitude just might inspire you to be secretly incredible, too.” -Amazon 

As usual, linking up for Friday Favorites…