It’s been ages since I felt like I read a book that really spoke to me. This year I have given a few books the elusive five-star rating on my Goodreads account. It’s so hard to rate books on there, to be honest, and I wish I could rate specific elements of the book differently. (Oh, and I’d love a half-star!!!! Where are our half-stars?!) I try to reserve five stars for books that I without a doubt “loved.” I still wish I could rank the five stars against each other because some still rise above the rest…. you know what I mean?
Now that I’m back into a regular non-traveling routine, I have been reading quite a bit more. On Sunday morning, I even got back in bed after walking the dogs to read for a few hours. It was glorious!!! I also listen to a lot of audiobooks while I’m driving in the car. (If you have a library card, you can use the app “Hoopla” to check out audiobooks for free! The selection depends on what your library has at the moment, but I’ve never had a problem finding something good to listen to.)
Okay so first up: Hillbilly Elegy. Wow, this book was amazing; I think everyone needs to read it. It’s the best book I’ve read all year, hands down. In Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance recounts his upbringing (he went from an abusive home to Yale Law School) while examining hillbilly culture. The memoir is fascinating and gut-wrenching. I couldn’t stop thinking about it every time I put it down, and now that I’ve finished it, I still can’t stop thinking about it.
Put this at the top of your list!!!!!
Photo by Carter Fish
Next, I read Commonwealth. I picked it up during a sale at Barnes and Noble, and it’s been sitting on my shelf for months. (I think I’ve brought it on five trips without even so much as cracking it open.) I’m glad I finally got to it though.
It’s a little bit of a tricky read as it’s about the blending of two families over five decades. The names are difficult to keep track of, and I kept forgetting who belonged to what family. (Step siblings, plus step parents, plus divorces, plus marriages and births… I needed a family tree!) With that in mind, I had the hardest time getting into the book and almost gave up. At some point, though I realized that I couldn’t put it down. My mom read it at the same time and said the same thing. I loved the way Ann Patchett slowly weaves the story through the different family members. It may not be for everyone, but give it a try and don’t give up before the first 70 pages!