My husband celebrated a birthday this week and I was reminded (again) how lucky I am to have such a wonderful person to share life’s adventures with. Next year, we will have spent more life TOGETHER than separately and I can’t wait to reach that fun milestone!
As the weather here in Colorado is quickly changing (this morning was pleasant and warm; it is now blowing 30 mph and the wind has a bite to it. They say we may wake up to some snow…and I’m not ready!), I’m thinking of all the cozy reading days I hope are in my near future. You know the kind: where it’s cold as heck outside, so you snuggle up with a warm cup of tea, a blanket, and a good book by the fire to pass the day away. I can’t wait!
What have you been reading (and loving) this week?
Last Week’s Reads:The Turn of the Key by: Ruth Ware (Simon & Schuster) – Pub Date: August 6, 2019
I found Ware’s other books, The Woman in Cabin 10 and In a Dark, Dark Wood, just ok, but I believe she found her stride with this one. It’s just weird enough that I kept turning the pages to see what would happen next. From the giant estate with cameras always watching, to the locked closet and poison garden, the setting alone provided just enough intrigue to weave a creepy story. Admittedly, the ending was a bit of a letdown after the buildup, but I also feel like this happens often with this genre. I’ve come to expect that it’s never going to be as crazy as it should be, so I’m fine with how this one ended.
The Dutch House by: Ann Patchett (Harper) – Pub Date: September 24, 2019
“We overlay the present onto the past. We look back through the lens of what we know now, so we’re not seeing it as the people we were, we’re seeing it as the people we are, and that means the past has been radically altered.”
What I absolutely loved about this novel was the relationship between Maeve and Danny. Books are written all the time about sibling relationships, but none quite like this. It was a true bond and the sacrifices they made for each other (mostly that Maeve made for Danny) were so beautifully portrayed. In a situation that could have easily torn them apart, they remained close and bound together.
I also loved the secondary characters…in all their humanness. They were vile and nasty (I’m looking at you, Andrea), but also redeemed by the time it was all said and done. Sandy, Jocelyn, and Fluffy also stood out to me as examples of love (unconditional and otherwise) and acceptance. Also, to me, the house itself – The Dutch House – was its own beautiful character. It was the silent observer to these significant events and continued to bear witness to the lives of all the characters over the years. In its solidity and silence, it offered its comfort and steadfastness…sort of a calming force in the chaos of everyday life.
Basically, this book reiterated to me that we don’t always know the reasons behind someone’s choices and/or behavior. There are layers and layers to people and it’s best to learn forgiveness in order to have the freedom to enjoy your own life. The past can dig into you and refuse to let you go. The only way to counteract that is to forgive, and maybe more importantly, forget.
*** Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by: Malcolm Gladwell (Little Brown) – Pub Date: September 10, 2019
I listened to Gladwell on The Bill Simmons Podcast and I immediately moved this one to the top of my TBR. I don’t know…I always love Gladwell’s books, and though he does a thorough job of dissecting tough topics, I also always feel…confused? Like, don’t ask me to summarize what I read because I really don’t know. But I liked it. Will I remember it? Probably not. But I liked it. Does anyone else feel this way about Gladwell’s books?!
American Royals by: Katharine McGee (Random House) – Pub Date: September 3, 2019
Hmm…I enjoyed this book a lot and thought it paralleled nicely to Red, White, and Royal Blue (my review here), but I was angry when I read the last page and realized this is part of a series. I would never had picked it up had I known that…I don’t do series, and when I do, I only do when I know what I’m getting into. It was a totally cliffhanger ending and I won’t know how this all sorts out until Fall of 2020. This is probably just me…but I’m irritated. I don’t know what to say other than that…good book, but don’t read it if you had continuing stories, like me. The real question now is if I’ll pick up the next book next year or just ask all of you for the gist. 🤷🏼♀️
After the End by: Clare Mackintosh (Putnam) – Pub Date: June 25, 2019
My library hold came in for this one and I’ve read about 20%. So far, it has a lot of Jodi Picoult vibes…I’m not sure if I’m here for it yet or not. A couple years ago, I burned myself out on Jodi Picoult novels – I could not get enough of them! – so I’m hesitant, but curious. A lot of my trusted sources have enjoyed this one, so I’m going to keep going.