I’ve been a reading machine lately. A few of the books I’m so far behind about talking about (bad blogger) and the rest have all been read fairly recently. Like as in I finished another book 20 minutes ago. If you like to read, then this is your post to find out what I’ve been reading and what I recommend.
#1: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.
Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.
Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill-prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, which hardly values traditional notions of family and monogamy. Surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos, Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history, pouring all the richness and intensity of his life with Hadley and their circle of friends into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises. Hadley, meanwhile, strives to hold on to her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly and her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Despite their extraordinary bond, they eventually find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for.
A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.
My Review: I gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars. I was fascinated by the story because I didn’t know a thing about Hemingway, as far as his personal life went. I felt the author did a good job in creating a story around 2 very real life people (and those that interacted with them throughout their lives). But I also felt that the entire story was a bit slow. And this was really no-ones fault. An author trying to stick to factual information about their lives, is really limited in the creative license. If you are curious about that time in history and of Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, then I recommend it.
#2: Ketchup is a Vegetable and Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves by Robin O’Bryant
Goodreads.com Synopsis: If you don’t have anything nice to say about motherhood, then… read this book. Robin O’Bryant offers a no holds barred look at the day to day life of being a mother to three, running a household and the everyday monotony of parenting.
It’s not always pretty but it’s real. Whether she’s stuffing cabbage in her bra… dealing with defiant yet determined daughters… yelling at the F.B.I… or explaining the birds and the bees to her preschooler… you’re sure to find dozens of humorous and relatable situations.
From the creator of Robin’s Chicks, one of the South’s most popular blogs on motherhood, misunderstandings and musings, comes a collection of essays that will not only make you laugh and cry, but realize that you’re not alone in your journey.
Sit back and relax, pour yourself some “mommy juice,” throw a fresh diaper on your baby and deadbolt the bedroom door to keep your kids out… because once you start reading you’ll be too busy wiping away tears of laughter to wipe anybody’s butt.
My Review: I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars. I don’t even have kids. This book is hilarious. And relatable. (I don’t even know if relatable is a legit word cause it’s saying I’m not spelling it right and it won’t give me an alternate spelling. I’m making it a real word for blogging purposes. Boom.) I highly recommend each one of you go buy this book. Stat.
#3: Every Crooked Nanny by Kathy Hogan Trocheck (aka Mary Kay Andrews)
Goodreads.com Synopsis: After ten of cleaning up Atlanta’s streets, former cop Callahan Garrity trades in her badge for a broom and buys herself a housekeeping business. She’s on the job when her clients discover that their pretty nineteen-year-old Mormon nanny has disappeared…along with jewelry, silver, and a few rather sensitive real estate documents.
Callahan Garrity Mystery #1
My Review: I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars. I was ecstatic to find more books by one of my favorite authors. And even more ecstatic to see that she wrote a series. I really liked this book and off the top of my head, cannot remember why I gave it 4 out of 5, but obviously I did. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book though, so I definitely recommend this series. Especially if you like Mary Kay Andrews or if you like Janet Evanovich or Sue Grafton.
#4: Knit Two by Kate Jacobs
Goodreads.com Synopsis: The sequel to the number-one New York Times bestseller The Friday Night Knitting Club, KNIT TWO returns to Walker and Daughter, the Manhattan knitting store founded by Georgia Walker and her young daughter, Dakota. Dakota is now an eighteen-year-old freshman at NYU, running the little yarn shop part-time with help from the members of the Friday Night Knitting Club.
Drawn together by the sense of family the club has created, the knitters rely on one another as they struggle with new challenges: for Catherine, finding love after divorce; for Darwin, the hope for a family; for Lucie, being both a single mom and a caregiver for her elderly mother; and for seventy something Anita, a proposal of marriage from her sweetheart, Marty, that provokes the objections of her grown children.
As the club’s projects, an afghan, baby booties, a wedding coat, are pieced together, so is their understanding of the patterns underlying the stresses and joys of being mother, wife, daughter, and friend. Because it isn’t the difficulty of the garment that makes you a great knitter: it’s the care and attention you bring to the craft, as well as how you adapt to surprises.
My Review: I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars. I fell in love with the first book in this series. But it took me awhile to pick up this one. Not for any reason other than my mood of reading sometimes serious, relatable events. I had a hard time getting into the book in the beginning as I felt it was a little slow going. But I stuck it out and picked up steam half-way through and then it was smooth sailing. I believe I own one more book that is related to this series, but I’m not itching to pick it up at this time, as again, my mood…and there are so many other books waiting for me to read them.
Okay, so there are 4 of the books I’ve read fairly recently. I have plenty more to review, but will save for another blog post for next week.
Have you read any good books lately?
Did you know I co-host an online book club called the Literary Junkies? We’d love for you to join us!