I like writing these posts every so often because it helps me remember some really good books I’ve read and also reminds me to keep reading. In an attempt to be more intentional about sharing snippets of life as it happens around here, that means I’ll be sharing these as often as I get a few books read.
Between the end of March and now, I’ve only had the chance to read 3 books but they’ve been good ones. Last time, I shared sort of a catch-up on the reading I did in the past year but didn’t include any of my thoughts on them. That’s not very helpful especially if anyone is interested in reading the books, so I’ll try and be better at sharing what I liked (or didn’t like) about the books I read.
The Perfect Summer: England, 1911, Just Before the Storm* – Juliet Nicholson
Doctor Zhivago* – Boris Pasternak
Going the Distance: One Man’s Journey to the End of His Life – George Sheehan
The Last Camellia – Sarah Jio
Morning Glory – Sarah Jio
For my online book retreat in March, I was supposed to read 5 books. That’s a lot of books for me to read and complete in a month, so it wasn’t surprised that I couldn’t finish two of the books. They are the first two listed above with the asterisks.
The Perfect Summer was actually an interesting book to me. I love all things British (and European in general, for that matter) so I actually got into this book. It was more of a narrative account about the lives of a few individuals during the summer of 1911, as the title states. It just followed their everyday lives, from the parties and balls they would attend to the drama that was happening within their families. There was a lot of historical information weaved into the narrative, which made it a bit harder for me to read through the book quickly. That was the only thing I didn’t like so much about the book, although I learned about a lot the royal families and popular people of that time period. If I hadn’t felt rushed for time to complete the book for the online book retreat, I would’ve finished reading it.
Doctor Zhivago is a classic book, one which I probably read in high school but that’s been light years ago so I was looking forward to re-reading it. By the way, this book looks intimidating. It is thick, clocking in at 592 pages! I knew I wasn’t going to be able to finish it, seeing as I didn’t start reading it until well into March. For those of you who aren’t familiar, this book is about the Russian Revolution (early 1900s) and the effect of it on a bourgeois family. From my memory of reading it years ago, the book has endless descriptions of the Russian landscape and it is hard keeping the characters straight. I’m not sure I’ll try reading this one again for a while, just because I’m not interested in it for the time being.
Going the Distance was a quick, easy read. I picked this book up after coming across a quote (see this post) and having my curiosity peaked about the author. George Sheehan was a doctor (MD) for many years. He got diagnosed with terminal cancer and it drastically changed his way of thinking and living his life. We get a glimpse of how he processes this “new” life and while there are things he writes that I don’t agree with, it’s still an inspirational book about how to live our lives to their fullest.
The Last Camellia was a wonderful book. I have loved all of Sarah Jio’s books and this one certainly lived up to my expectations. As is Jio’s writing style, she weaves two stories (usually spanning a generation or two) where the characters are all somehow interconnected and it all comes together at the end. This one was about a rare camellia bloom, a ring of flower thieves, a nanny who disappeared and a garden designer who discovers all the old secrets. I couldn’t put this book down, it was that good.
Morning Glory is another one of Jio’s recent books and a fabulous read. I’m almost all caught up now (minus one new book coming out soon) with having read all Jio’s books. Once again, this book didn’t disappoint and I didn’t want to put it down. I finished it in 2 days, which is quite the feat! This book was about the floating community of Boat Street in Seattle, Washington. Dark secrets have been kept for many decades and a widowed woman, Ada Santorini, begins to discover them as she uncovers things from her past that still haunt her. It’s a beautiful tale of redemption as well, which are always some of my favorites.
Home Front – Kristin Hannah
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? – Mindy Kaling
The House Girl – Tara Conklin
The Chaperone – Laura Moriarty
Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
Have you read any good books lately? I’m always looking to add more books to my to-read list so please feel free to share in the comments!