This was a tougher month for reading. Whereas the first half of the year I was in Hoboken reading every free minute I had, now I’m in this house and every chance I get I’m mostly organizing, cleaning, or putting something together. Reading has been shoved to the backburner.
It also didn’t help that I started two books that I simply couldn’t get into. I usually don’t quit books (in the past, I powered through The Goldfinch and A Gentleman in Moscow for months each even though I hated both 😂). This time around, because I have goals to read more books, I figured life was too short to force the issue.
The first was The Guest Book. Yikes, I strongly disliked it. I felt like I was reading a thesaurus because the words went beyond descriptive– and not in a good way. I’ve also never read a book that had as many run-on sentences. In some cases, entire paragraphs were one sentence and I’d get to the end and still think, “Okay but what does this even mean?”
I also started Jodi Picoult’s A Spark of Light on Audiobook. I did about three hours of listening before I finally threw in the towel. I usually LOVE her books and writing style but this one just didn’t do it for me. The book is in reverse chronological order, which I wasn’t a fan of. I actually read a review online where the person read it backward and enjoyed it so who knows!
AWAY OFF SHORE: NANTUCKET ISLAND AND ITS PEOPLE: 4.5/5 Stars
This was such a great book. I definitely want to read another of Nat Philbrick’s books by the end of the year. To be perfectly honest, I’m not usually the biggest fan of historical books. But he’s a great storyteller and kept me wanting to know more. Away Off Shore was his first book! It’s all about the early settlers of Nantucket. My only complaint? I wanted more! Seriously!! There were so many stories/people that I found myself Googling to get even more information. Loved it.
SUMMER OF ’69: 4.5/5 Stars
I just love Elin Hilderbrand’s books. (And I saw her at Cru this year!!!) This was one of her most interesting books, I thought. It follows the lives of siblings on (and near and far from) Nantucket. It’s a great beach-y coming of age story at the heart of it. And a bit of a homage to her and her twin brother’s birth, in 1969. Considering 1969 was 50 years ago, it was the perfect timing for the release of it! I thought this was a good balance of drama (not too much or too intense), emotion (again, same), and entertainment.
THE ALICE NETWORK: 4/5 Stars
I felt kind of ashamed to only give this four stars. I know people LOVE this book, but I think I may be a little burnt out on the genre (female leads in the World Wars). This one follows the stories of two different women (one during WWI and one in the aftermath of WWII) and how they ultimately intertwine. While I thoroughly enjoyed this book– particularly the ending– I felt like it was a little drawn out in some parts and would have liked more details in others! But still, I really liked it and would still recommend it!
WHEN: THE SCIENTIFIC SECRETS OF PERFECT TIMING: 3.5/5 Stars
Okay…. I liked this book and learned a lot of new things. But I thought a lot of it was stuff I had already known about or just too many details. It’s not a “how to” book, instead, it’s a “when to” book. It’s a very quick read, so while I do think it could be boiled down to an article online (like this, haha), it still has valuable information and worth reading.
TELL ME EVERYTHING: 5/5 Stars
I have been counting down the days to the release of this book. Cambria Brockman is a friend of a friend so I had first heard of the hype of the book through her. And then it was like I was seeing the book EVERYWHERE. It was getting the very best reviews and it seemed like everyone from publishers to readers was raving about it. The book takes place on a rural college campus in Maine and follows a group of friends from freshman to senior year as they navigate friendships and their secrets. It’s quite dark and twisted and I simply could not put it down.
(Totally random coincidence, but I got to meet Nat Philbrick during the Nantucket Book Festival, saw Elin Hilderbrand at Cru while on Nantucket for a bachelorette party, and ran into Cambria Brockman at Handlebar Café on island back in June! How funny is that?!?!)