This month I didn’t read as much as I have been, at least not in the beginning of the month. As I think back on the month, I realize that I’ve been very busy every weekend, and I got into a few good podcasts recently, which took up some of my reading time. I also binge-watched a few new docu-series! However, the last weekend of the month was a beach vacation for me, during which I did a total social media detox, which gave me plenty of time for reading!
So this is what I did read this month:
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – I put a hold on this e-book through my library app months ago, after a number of people I knew raved about it. I happened to read it over a long vacation weekend and I loved it! While there were some major sad points in the story of Kya’s interesting life on the marsh, there was so much independence, resilience, and nature to enjoy along the way. What a beautiful first novel by this author!
- The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath and Dan Heath – I loved this book! I loved reading about how we have the power to make small moments that can have great impact on ourselves and those around us. The authors break down the four elements to moments: elevation, insight, pride and connection. Not all moments have all four elements, but all moments have at least one of these. When I came to an example about the Sharp Experience, I was reminded of reading an entire book about that during my doctoral studies. Then, and now, I was fascinated by the scope of the company’s work to transform their employee and patient experiences across all of their hospitals, which I now use! I love this advice at the end, “Stay alert to the promise that moments hold”.
- Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus – I read the first book by this author last month. While this wasn’t a series, it followed the same format. A YA mystery where each chapter is narrated by different characters, as a mystery is unveiled. This story involved missing girls from three different times, unknown parents, suspicious people, and lots of intrigue and Ellery, one of the main characters and a spy-buff, tries to figure out who is guilty of what in this bizarre small town.
- Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty – I love this author and knew I would enjoy this book, especially after a few friends recommended it. Nine people show up to a 10-day wellness retreat, looking for mind, body, and spirit transformations. They get more than they bargained for in this funny, twisty, weird, story. I loved the snippets at the end!
- Run Away by Harlan Coben – Heading out for a beach vacation I stocked on e-books, paperbacks, and e-library books, including this one by one of my favorite authors. I loved that this was an independent story, not part of a series, but that some Coben secondary characters appeared (like the lawyer who helped the family!). This was a sad tale of addiction and lies as people hid parts of themselves from their families. Great story to follow, as it kept twisting and turning!
- Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate – Once Shelley recommended this to me, I knew I would enjoy it! What a beautiful, sad, story of adoption (and kidnapping and deception and abuse) and family love. This was based on true events from the 1950’s, when some adoptions were full of corruption. I loved following the flashbacks and forwards as we learned about unknown family connections along with the characters, especially modern-day Avery.
- It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell – This was an impulse buy in an airport bookstore. It was a mystery, which I usually love, but it was full of dispicable characters. I liked each person less than the next, from the selfish, entitled Kate, to her adoring love Griff, to her roommates Jenny and Aubrey, with their own issues. These women met in college and claimed to be lifelong friends, but they were actually awful to one another. This was such a poor representation of female friendship and I was disappointed throughout the book. I did keep reading to find out how it ended, and I appreciated how the author chose to end the story.
- Quick and Dirty by Stuart Woods – I love my Stone Barrington novels, and this was one especially fun. Stone was roped into helping solve the mystery of a missing painting. I loved the information about how forgeries of famous works of art are often mistaken for the real things, and why people have fakes made.
*This month I abandoned The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll. I’ve read at least one other book by this author, but I just couldn’t get into this one. The writing was not enjoyable and I figured it wasn’t worth my time to fight through it!