My Week in Books (8/21/19)

(#partner #freebooks: All books noted by asterisks (***) indicate I received the book for free from the publisher, the author, or another promotional company to review. All opinions are my own.)

We made it through the first week of school, and I’m happy to say that both of my kids have come home with great big smiles on their faces…and that relieves this mama’s heart sooooo much! That old saying, “A mama is only as happy as her saddest child” is #TRUTH!

We only have two more weeks left of our #patsybuddyread and six more for #HWRgoldfinch. Please let me know if you’d like to join (@happiestwhenreading)!

Anyway, on to books! What have you been reading (and loving) this week?

Last Week’s Reads:

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📖 *** Fleishman Is In Trouble by: Taffy Brodesser-Akner (Random House) – Pub Date: June 18, 2019

Honestly, I don’t really think this added anything new to the marriage/divorce conversation. There was a lack of communication between Toby and Rachel, and instead of working towards each other, they allowed anger and resentment to come between them and it eventually drove them apart. Reviews talked about a satisfying ending, and that’s mostly what kept me reading…but it fell flat and I was disappointed. I wanted something much more spicy; it just felt very bland after the commitment demanded from the reader. This isn’t a book that will stick with me; in fact, I think I’ll be lucky to pull any details of the story out a year from now. After the reviews I read, I had much higher hopes.

📖 The Nickel Boys by: Colson Whitehead (Doubleday) – Pub Date: July 16, 2019

Maybe one of my most anticipated reads of the summer, I have been hesitant to read it because of the hype surrounding it. It recently topped Barack Obama’s Summer Reading List, but I’ve also read very mixed reviews, so I was nervous what side of the line I would fall on.

First, this book is harrowing and haunting. It absolutely deserves to have light shed on the atrocities these boys lived. I could not believe that a school like this existed up until 2010! The abuse these people – including the townspeople by looking the other way – inflicted on young boys is beyond upsetting. I couldn’t help but wonder if there are other “schools”, “reform schools”, “juvenile detention centers” out there that treat other kids this same way. If there are, I hope people can find the courage to come forward and out the monsters behind it.

The writing of the book felt disjointed and confusing to me. I don’t always appreciate when an author eludes to things, and that happened quite a bit in this one. After I finished reading, I googled the events and boys’ home the story was based on. I found the real account much more intriguing and immersible. Again, this story is harrowing and should have light shed on it, I just wanted to connect to the story and characters more than I did. This is very likely a case of too much hype; had I read the book sooner and less reviews, I believe it would have had more of an impact on me. 

If you’d like to do more reading on the real Dozier School for Boys, here are some links:

📱*** The Whisper Man by: Alex North (Celadon) – Pub Date: August 20, 2019

Mostly good, but the hype ruined this one for me. I wasn’t ever even a little bit terrified while reading this, and I really wanted to be after the reviews I’d read. Still, it was a great thriller and totally worth picking up!

 

Currently Reading:

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📖 *** The Goldfinch by: Donna Tartt (Little Brown) – Pub Date: October 22, 2013

I just finished the second section of The Goldfinch for our buddy read (#HWRgoldfinch). Things are really starting to pick up and I am still loving this one! If you want to get in on the buddy read, find me on Instagram (@happiestwhenreading)!

🎧 *** More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are by: Elaine Welteroth (Viking) – Pub Date: June 11, 2019

I’m absolutely loving this one! Welteroth talks about her experiences growing up as a biracial girl and the snide comments of racism she fought along the way. When she was named editor of Teen Vogue, she became the youngest to achieve that title in Condé Nast’s history. She’s an inspiring women and this audiobook is so good!

🎧📖 *** Confessions of Frannie Langton by: Sara Collins (Harper) – Pub Date: May 21, 2019

I keep meaning to start this one back up, but other book are calling my name! #lifeofabookworm. 

DNF (aka: Not For Me):

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📱 *** On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real, and Listening Hard by: Jennifer Pastiloff (Dutton) – Pub Date: June 4, 2011

I’m got about 15% into this one and was ambivalent about the story and the writing. It was choppy at times, jumping between the past and present so much that I would have to reread what I’d read in the correct context once I realized it was a different timeline. It was repetitive, and honestly, because I’m also listening to More Than Enough (see above) at the same time, I realized Welteroth’s story so much more compelling.

📱 *** That’s What Frenemies Are For by: Sophie Littlefield & Lauren Gershell (Ballantine) – Pub Date: July 30, 2019

Nope, nope, just nope! This one is waaaaay too snarky for me and I had a bad taste in my mouth within minutes. #sorrynotsorry

 

 

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