Book Round Up #117

I had to cut myself off after just 6 books because if I kept digging, I would have created a reading list miles long and would have gotten absolutely no sleep tonight. I just kept finding more and more books I wanted to talk about. That just means that there will be another Round Up coming again soon. There are a ton of great reads coming out in March that I am really excited about. (Check out the latest adds to my Goodreads shelf)

Here's what you need to be reading: 

The Past 

Three sisters, a brother, and their children assemble at their country house... they may be forced to sell their beloved house filled with memories. As they sort through the house and the memories, hidden passions, devastating secrets, and dangerous hostilities threaten to consume them. This seems like there may be some underlying themes in this story that I normally don't read about but I am kind of in the mood to go off the tracks of my normal reads... 

Beasts and Children 

I can't quite explain this but I got tears in my eyes when I read the description of this book. Maybe it was the sagging porch in Texas or the privileged but ignored children or the family who moves around constantly...but it's just something about people chasing the American Dream and failing and the sad hopefulness that follows them that just speaks to me. But I just know this book is going to be one of those stories.

The Expatriates 

You know I am a sucker for family drama, which is why The Expatriates caught my eye. Two women, one a young graduate struggling to cope with a tragic past, and the other, a mother in the middle of a loss, have more in common than they could ever imagine.

The Longest Night 

It's the 1950s and this story of a marriage is based on a true story, so it's already off to a great start in my book. Paul and Nat are a married couple who live in a small army town. Paul is in charge of overseeing a nuclear reactor and Nat is a wife and mother who just wants more from her husband. Entertainment Weekly gave it an A and said it would be a story you'll think about it long after the last page.

The Nest

Described as "warm and funny" this might just be the light-hearted romp I need to get through the dreary winter. A group of siblings confront their troubled brother after his reckless behavior has endangered their trust funds. Their individual stories and how their lives intertwine is going to give me the fix I need now that I have exhausted all family dramedy shows on Netflix. #parenthood #gilmoregirls (I guess that is until Fuller House comes out next week) 

The Queen of the Night

In the world of gritty, glitzy Paris in the mid-1880s, opera was the thing. I love Paris and I love historical fiction and this book's cover just kind of reached out and grabbed me. A perfect opera story has been written and Lilliet Berne has been waiting for this perfect part to finally earn a leading spot. The only problem: the plot of the opera tells a deep, dark secret of Lilliet's life that only a select few people know. So who wrote it? And why did they betray her by telling the story? Taking the part could solidify her role as a famous opera singer or destroy the new life she has built for herself. Which role will she choose?

I just finished listening to Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter and I just have to say, "meh." I think I just watch enough Frontline, Dateline and Forensic Files to get my thriller fix that I didn't really connect with reading about it as well. It just wasn't believable for me and was too typical. Instead of gripping my steering wheel as I listened and drove, I found myself rolling my eyes. 

I also read My Name is Lucy Barton and I LOVED it. (full review coming soon). It was just so a good story. 

Get to reading! 

Book Review: The Sound of Gravel

I've been in a book hangover this week and so now I must share with you the book that did me in: 

Memoirs like this just don't happen everyday. Can you imagine pointing pen to paper and sharing your most private worries, your most traumatic experiences and the scariest, saddest moments of your life? Or what about reliving moments where you were scared, lost and worried? All of these things happen to Ruth, all before she is a teenager. 

The daughter of a polygamist, Ruth is lost among a sea of her family's life- she is one of over 40 siblings, most of whom she doesn't know exists until she is older. She learns at a very young age that without her help, her mother would not be able to handle her siblings, 2 of who are developmentally disabled.  They live in a dirt house with no electricity and have to navigate life with a "father" who divides his time among his multiple wives...

Because they live the polygamist lifestyle, Ruth's mother lives in Mexico, but once a month they make the illegal trip back to the States to gather food stamps and social security checks.

And when Ruth suffers unspeakable abuse from her stepfather, her life becomes even more of a struggle. 

There are things that Ruth, her siblings and her mother have to experience that I can't imagine anyone having to endure. But amazingly, Ruth becomes this amazing mother figure to her little sisters and brothers and she is so observing to those around her, which makes her this smart, empathetic and perceptive person that I would just die to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with. 

Because of her ability to survive, to care for her loved ones and for gaurdian angels like her grandparents, she is able to change her life...which at one point faced an outcome that could have been much, much different if Ruth wasn't the brave, smart girl that she was born to be... 

Read it. 

Currently, I am trying to get out of my slump by listening to Pretty Girls on audible and reading The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend. I'm also slowly taking in Joyce Carol Oates' The Lost Landscape, which is unsurprisingly beautiful. Next up is When Breath Becomes Air and For The Love 

And P.S. I totally didn't mean for my most perfect Kate Spade travel coffee mug to make it into both of the pics in this blog. It was complete happenstance, but a completely cute coincidence that I'm not even sad about.