It seems as if the 2020 election is over and President Joe Biden will take office next January! The campaigning was aggressive and negative and I’m just happy it’s over. For now, I want to bask in the positivity, hopefulness, and joy that has been prevalent for the last few days (no negativity, please!) and pray we are on a new path!
Onto the books I read last week…
Last Week’s Reads:
Betty by Tiffany McDaniel
Oh, Betty! There were so many times I wanted to hold this sweet child and take the pain away from her. But when the book was finally finished, I realized she didn’t need me after all. She had more resilience and strength than I gave her credit for and she grew up to be just fine…even if she dealt with far more than she ever should have had to.
At first, I was worried that there were going to be too many characters to keep track of, but McDaniel did a wonderful job of developing each of them that they stood off the page all by themselves. My favorite characters were Betty and her father, Landon; their relationship was so well written. But I also had a great appreciate for the rest of the Carpenter family.
Betty is one of those characters that reminds you off Wavy in All the Ugly and Wonderful Things and Turtle in My Absolute Darling. Betty, Wavy, and Turtle have had no choice but to survive and to instill in their readers empathy, compassion, and hope. Parts of their stories are horrifyingly hard to read, but for whatever reason, I find the hard stories tend to be some of my favorites. I think something about their difficulties imprints itself on my heart and I can’t seem to ever forget them. That’s how I feel about Betty – a coming-of-age family drama (with ALL the triggers, so be careful!) that will stick with me for a long time! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon
Nope. No way. No, thank you. I am not Pioneer Woman kind of stock and I would have died faster than you could say Oregon Trail…but this book was so good and I could not put it down; I even stayed up until 3:30 in the morning without even batting an eye!
John and Naomi have that kind of love story that tugs at your heart. You want them to end up together and you just know if they do, it will be a love story you’ll never forget. Sometimes I’m surprised when romance stories hit me the way they do, but this story definitely did. So much of the territory explained in the book felt like the wide open spaces of my back yard (in fact, it is my back yard), but I was continually thankful that I get to enjoy it in this century and not in the 1850s.
I adored this book and I think if you enjoyed The Simple Wild, you will fall head over heels for Where the Lost Wander, too! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
*** Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
I had this as an ARC in ebook format and I knew I needed to get it in hard copy, so I had put it aside for awhile until I could make that happen. I now have the hard copy and am back to reading it while my kids are on a hybrid school schedule – they learn, I learn! – though I can tell you what I’m learning is much more valuable than what they are!
I’m still alternating reading the book and then listening to the corresponding Oprah’s Book Club podcast with Wilkerson.
*** 🎧 Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
I listened to another 15% and I am intrigued. I know a lot of reviews that I’ve read said the second half goes off the rails, and I’m now approaching that point in the story. Curious to see what is happening…
*** Shit, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema by Lindy West
I love Lindy West…but I have gotten distracted by Betty and Where the Lost Wander and haven’t picked this one up this week. I’ll likely put it on my nightstand and try to read a few chapters a night before bed!
*** 🎧 A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost
Still have zero motivation to start listening again…but still not giving up yet!