Book review, Good Stuff

5 Great Books I Read This Spring

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I love books.  I love to collect books.  I love to read books.  I love to smell books. Tell me I’m not the only one.  I mean, new books just smell so good.  I’ve been making time recently to read more and I’ve enjoyed it so much!

 




 

Book of the Month Club

On Black Friday I found a great deal on the Book of the Month club.  I joined for three months and then recently renewed my subscription.  I have loved it!  I love picking out a new book each month.  The books are new releases and they offer a wide range of genres.  Each month you have the option to pick one out of six new releases.  If you want an additional book, it’s only $9.99.  The books are all hardcover and occasionally they’ll throw in a freebie (when I joined I got a BOTM club tote and a couple months later I got an additional book for free.)  Definitely check out the Book of the Month website if you love books as much as I do!

Several of my favorites from this Spring were from the Book of the Month Club.

Recent Favorites

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

This book.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks.  It is the story of Wavy, the eight year old daughter of a meth dealer father and a drug abusing mother, who has a chance meeting with one of her father’s thugs.  In the absence of her parents, Kellen takes on a father figure role but as Wavy ages their relationship turns into something more.  It’s a difficult read due to the (often graphic) subject matter but it is so well written that it’s hard to put it down.

Reviewer Erin May on Goodreads wrote, “I’m sure it will provoke many conflicting reactions, but there remains one overwhelming certainty: it’s hard to not react passionately to it. Whether you view Wavy and Kellen as two unfortunate victims of their personal circumstances, or as a child being abused by an adult who should know better, their story is a compelling one.”

Those are my thoughts exactly. Bizarre as it was, you won’t be able to stop thinking about these characters.  It’s no surprise this was the Book of the Month Club’s book of the year for 2016.

 

The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

I love books set during WWII and this one was no exception.  Sixteen year old Dutch girl Noa becomes pregnant with a Nazi soldier, is forced to give up her child, and is cast out by her family.   She happens upon a railway car full of Jewish infants on their way to a concentration camp and manages to rescue one, fleeing with it into the snowy night.  She takes up refuge with a traveling circus and has to learn the flying trapeze act so that she can blend in undetected.  She quickly becomes rival to the show’s lead aeralist, a Jewish woman named Astrid who is also in hiding.

The rest of the story delves into the friendship that develops between Noa and Astrid and the secrets both of them are keeping from the other.  It’s a beautiful story set in a difficult era and is definitely worth reading.

 

 

A Mother’s Reckoning:  Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold

I remember exactly where I was on April 20, 1999 when I first heard about the massive school shooting at Columbine High School.  At the time, it was the worst school shooting in our country’s history.  Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed twelve students and one teacher and injured 22 others.  I’ve always been fascinated with the case–both with the perpetrators and the victims.  There have been many interviews and books and news reports and documentaries done on the story in the last twenty years.

I read the book Columbine prior to reading this book by the mother of Dylan Klebold and I’m glad that I did.  While Columbine presents the facts of the case surrounding Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, this book presents Sue’s side of the story.  If you’ve ever thought, ‘How could their parents not know?’ then you need to read this book.

Sue has never stopped blaming herself for not seeing the signs of Dylan’s overwhelming depression.  In hindsight, she realized that he was depressed and suicidal.  The book goes into detail about the signs she didn’t see and tells how she and her husband dealt with the aftermath.  She then shares advice on recognizing and helping loved ones who may be in the same situation.

Sue donates every penny earned on this book to charity.

 

 

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Tale of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkle

In 1985, twenty year old Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts and disappeared into the Maine woods.  He stayed there for 27 years with no human contact.  27 years, people.  He lived off of stealing necessities from the local cottages surrounding the woods.  He is finally caught stealing in 2013 to the relief of the entire community.  He pleads guilty to committing 1,000 acts of burglary, the most extensive case of burglary in US history.  This is fascinating tale with extensive interviews with Christopher Knight himself.

 

 

 

 

 

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

 I received this book as a free surprise from the BOTM club.  It’s a short book and I read it in about an hour’s time.  It’s the story of a psychic (who is really just a fraud) who is visited by Susan Burke.  Susan convinces her to come to her home to help her get rid of a spirit who she believes is haunting her family.  From there the story takes several twists and turns and you don’t know who or what to believe by the end of the book.  It’s a quick and enjoyable read.

I’m really looking forward to doing some more reading this summer!  I just ordered my June Book of the Month book and added an additional book so I’ll be prepared for my upcoming vacation!  What books are you reading?  What would you recommend as a MUST read?




 

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