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Is it just me or do summers seem like the perfect time for reading? I love curling up with a good book when it’s cold out, but I think my brain has been trained to want to read more in the summer because of summer reading lists and whatnot.
When it comes to posting about my reading though, I think it’s officially been at least 6 months since I’ve done an update. Clearly I was going through one of my “not in a reading mood” periods! 😉
I’ve actually been reading these particular books for the past several months, but I’ve been waiting until I had more than a couple to do an updated post!
So let’s dive right in, shall we?
#1 The Magnolia Story. I’m not sure if anyone else out there has heard of this obscure couple – Chip and Joanna Gaines. They have a little TV show on HGTV called Fixer Upper. 😉 I kid, I kid! Clearly the entire country is obsessed with all things Gaines. I actually bought this book on pre-order, long before it was published, but then it still took me months to sit down and read it! It was a great inside look at how The Gaines’ became the household name that they are today. I personally loved how down-to-earth they came across in the book (just like on their show)! They have such a sweet story, too. They certainly had their share of struggles, but I couldn’t help thinking the entire time that they either A) have an incredibly charmed life, in the grand scheme of things, of B) clearly were meant to end up doing what they do. More likely it was a little from column A and column B, amiright?? 😉 Overall great, quick read – especially if you love their show!
#2 First Comes Love by Emily Giffin. I have mentioned in my other reading posts that I am a big fan of Emily Giffin so I was thrilled to read her newest book. It’s the story of a family, really focusing on two sisters, and their lives 15 years after a family tragedy. I wanted to love this book so badly, and while I did enjoy it, I personally didn’t think it was Giffin’s best work. I found that the characters, while well-developed and flawed (like anyone is), were not very likeable, at the end of the day. I finished it and was happy with the ending, ultimately, but it was a bit forgettable in some ways to me.
#3 Here’s to Us by Elin Hilderbrand. I’ll be honest. I added this to my Request List at the library because it was recommended and I totally judged the book by it’s cover and assumed it would be a good, light read. Well, the good news is I was right! It was exactly that! I really enjoyed how Hilderbrand had many different characters all with thoroughly developed back stories. In this case, it was the story of a family – although not in the most traditional sense of the word. Here’s to Us looks at a family after the patriarch dies – Deacon Thorpe. Deacon was a celebrity chef, who at the time of his death, had 2 ex-wives, 1 estranged wife, and 3 children (one with each wife). The entire family is set to gather at Deacon’s Nantucket beach house to go over the estate and say goodbye. Since none of the wives can stand one another, drama ensures, of course. This would make a great summer read, especially by the beach or pool!
#4 The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand. From there I decided to choose another Hilderbrand book while I waited for some other books on my Request List to become available. I chose, The Rumor. What’s interesting is that all of Hilderbrand’s books take place on Nantucket! I love that the same places pop up in each book, but the characters are a world of their own (meaning, no crossover characters between books). I still secretly like to think that all the characters ARE there at the same time – they just don’t know each other! 🙂 The Rumor was a bit different than Here’s to Use, because it is about year-long residents (as opposed to those that just summer on the Island). The story itself focuses on two women who are close friends, and their families. Without giving too much away, it takes a look at how rumors – like those about infidelities – can fly quickly, especially on an island where most people know each other. This was another quick read, but once again, I really enjoyed all the characters Hilderbrand created – they all felt so real to me in the end that I believed they are all really out there – living on Nantucket!
#5 The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson. I added this book to my Request List at the library after it was recommended to me via John and Sherry of the Young House Love Podcast (no, they didn’t personally recommend it to me – they recommended it to all of their listeners in Episode 40). What a great recommendation! I fully plan on doing the same here! This was definitely a great book – certainly one that I’ll remember for a long time. It starts with a man and a woman who meet at an airport bar. The man confesses to the woman that his wife is cheating on him and he plans on killing her because of it. From here, the thriller takes many twists and turns (John and Sherry alike it to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and I think they are correct in that one!). I couldn’t put this one down. I think I had it read it just two days, which is fast for me since I don’t typically get a lot of time for reading.
If you liked Gone Girl, I would say you will enjoy this one as well!
#6 Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. This book actually took me a LONG time to read. I started it after First Comes Love, but my loan period from the library kept expiring, so I would have to go back on the waiting list until the e-book was available again. It was a really great book – just a bit long-winded in some areas (and I love description, but some of this went on, and on, and on, and on). This is COMPLETELY different than all of the above books because it’s historical, but not exactly fiction. Larson’s book looks at the real people and events that took place to choose Chicago as the location for the 1893 World’s Fair, as well as how the fair was built and the 6 month duration the fair took place. It also weaves in the true story that took place at the same time, in the same city – H.H. Holmes, noted serial killer. It was fascinating to see how Larson “created” this, because he wrote it like a novel, but it was all based on true events. He used letters that were written at the time, like by the architects designing the fair, as well as, I’m sure, some of his own imagination to fill in some details and create a true story. It was amazing how much that happened at that time that I had little to no knowledge of! As I mentioned, the beginning of the story can be a bit slow, but it truly is worth to read it because it was such an amazing time period. I highly recommend!
Phew! That was a long post, I know! I always want to go on and on about the books I read, but try to hold back so that each one doesn’t become it’s own book report! 😉
I’ve already finished a few more books just since I started cobbling this post together, so stay tuned for another “Erin’s Reading List” post in just another few weeks!
Happy Hump Day, everyone!