Is Everybody Else Hanging Out Without Me? – Mindy Kaling
One thing about non-fiction books for me is that they usually fall in the genre of memoirs or autobiographies. It’s not surprising then, that I picked up this book. I was a fan of “The Office” show when it first aired in the US, years ago. After Jim and Pam got married, I sort of stopped watching it. Anyhow, it was fun to read this book about one of the writers to the show. The dry humor that makes up the show, is also seen in Kaling’s writing style. There are quite a few pop culture references sprinkled throughout the book, so at times I was a bit lost (that’s because I don’t often keep up with pop culture) but it wasn’t enough to make the book not readable. Overall, it was a quick read and didn’t require much brain power.
Bossypants – Tina Fey
This is another book that was trendy to read, 3 years ago. I found myself literally laughing out loud as I read this book. Yes, it is as funny as everyone said it was so in a way, it lived up to the hype. I think Fey does a great job of telling her story while also encouraging others to understand that everyone has a unique life story to tell. This book reads much like Mindy Kaling’s in the sense that it also references a lot of pop culture (some of it, from the 70s and 80s) but I didn’t feel like it made the book unreadable. Overall, I enjoyed that it was a quick and hilarious book. Side note: there is some salty language sprinkled throughout the book.
Home Front – Kristin Hannah
Oh, this book really stuck with me for weeks after reading it. It was one of those “real life” type books, that deals with PTSD for a female (wife and mother) soldier from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is one of those books where you get emotionally involved with the characters and the storyline, so if you like that sort of thing, read it. I think it’s a really eye opening and inspirational book, too. Overall, five stars.
The Chaperone – Laura Moriarty
I liked this book and really got into the characters, but then there was an unexpected twist and I wasn’t so sure anymore. If you read it, you’ll see what I mean. This book is about a famous actress from the 1920s era and her chaperone. There is a side story about the chaperone and her life, from her past all the way to the present. That was the more interesting (and thus, had the unexpected twist) story line of this book, not so much the story about the actress. Overall, I gave this one three stars solely because I didn’t like the plot twist.
The Best of Me – Nicholas Sparks
I don’t know why I always torture myself with reading Sparks novels. Seriously, it’s a sickness. I know that there’s always going to be a character that dies (usually, my favorite) and somehow, there’s a slight part of me that hopes they won’t die and everything will be “happily ever after”. Anyhow, this book was about high school sweethearts who by circumstances and choices, didn’t end up together after their teen years. Twenty five years later, they cross paths and each of them are in different, complicated situations. I won’t give away the story but there’s definitely an overall theme of redemption woven throughout. This one got four stars.
Me Before You – JoJo Moyes
Once I got into the story and characters a few chapters in, I could not put down this book. As in, I can’t go to sleep right now because I have to see what happens next. There is a complicated moral dilemma (quadriplegics and assisted suicide) which is the premise this book is based on, whether you agree with it or not. Either way, it was one of those books where I cried. Yes, it was heartbreaking. Yes, it’s about real life stuff. Overall, I had a hard time rating it but finally gave it four stars.
The House Girl – Tara Conklin
If you don’t already know, I love reading historical fiction so I went into this book with good expectations of enjoying it. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint. It took me a while to get into it (probably because I was reading ‘Me Before You’ at the same time) but once I did, it was a breeze. The time periods are the mid 1850s during the slavery period of the US and modern day 2006 New York City. It shifts back and forth between past and present, portraying two female characters that each have a critical choice to make in their lives. At the end, everything comes together and you discover how lives from the past and present are linked. Overall, this one was three stars. Side note: there is some graphic description of the way slaves were treated.
Goodnight June – Sara Jio
Y’all know I love Jio’s books and after reading this one, I can now say that I’ve read all of her books. In particular, I really enjoyed this book. You see, we read ‘Goodnight Moon’ every single night before putting our son to bed. It’s part of the routine, and has been ever since he was wee little before he could turn the pages himself. The main character, June, inherits her great aunts bookstore and subsequently finds letters between her great-aunt and the late Margaret Wise Brown. It’s a fictional account but very well written (and believable) and there’s always that feeling of satisfaction at the end. I know if I need a pick me up especially after reading a heavier book, Jio doesn’t disappoint. This one easily got five stars.
The Girl You Left Behind – JoJo Moyes
Can you tell I’m on a Moyes streak? This book was my favorite one yet, since it had more of a historical fiction vibe to it and also switched between past and present. The story is about an artist in the early 1900s, who paints a portrait his wife. That portrait is then believed to have been stolen during the First World War, by a commandant of the Third Reich. It is fascinating to read how Moyes so deftly writes between the past and present, bringing it all together in the end. This one received a five star rating.
I’m currently reading two books, with a few more in the queue. Here’s hoping I can get through them before summer is over. Too many books, not enough time!
p.s. If you ever want to know what I’m reading, take a look at my Goodreads profile. I try and keep up with it.
p.p.s. Feel free to give me any book suggestions! I’m always on the lookout for new ones to read.