January 12, 2016

Books On Books On Books

Last month I failed miserably getting my book post up for Steph's linkup. Thankfully I was able to get myself in gear this month and complied most of the books I read between Thanksgiving and New Years. There was a lot of travel time last month so I used it to read books when I wasn't studying BODYPUMP material. I finished two books the last few days, but will save those for the next recap. I have to say, this was a pretty awesome group of reads, I was very happy with my selections and think most of you will enjoy them all too.

"For much of her life, Anne Morrow, the shy daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, has stood in the shadows of those around her, including her millionaire father and vibrant older sister, who often steals the spotlight. Then Anne, a college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family. There she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’s assurance and fame, Anne is certain the celebrated aviator has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong.

Charles sees in Anne a kindred spirit, a fellow adventurer, and her world will be changed forever. The two marry in a headline-making wedding. Hounded by adoring crowds and hunted by an insatiable press, Charles shields himself and his new bride from prying eyes, leaving Anne to feel her life falling back into the shadows. In the years that follow, despite her own major achievements—she becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States—Anne is viewed merely as the aviator’s wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence, and to embrace, at last, life’s infinite possibilities for change and happiness [picture and summary via Good Reads]."

 This book was grabbed on a whim many moons ago but I was unable to finish it before it had to be returned to the library. Then it was unable for a few months and finally it came back to Kindle in December so I was able to finish the story. WOW, I learned a lot about Charles Lindbergh and most of it I was not a fan of at all. I had no idea he was so cold, nor that he was a Nazi supporter until Pearl Harbor or that he was a MASSIVE cheater. I found myself feeling badly for for Anne and then wanting to shake her and tell her to move on because of how Charles treated her. My heart broke for her during the Lindbergh kidnapping and I was shocked at how paparazzi and gossip hungry America was even back in the 20s and 30s. I'd liken this book to the Paris Wife, interesting but infuriating at the same time.  

* * * *
 "Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

Combining Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading." [Picture and summary via Good Reads].

I can't remember who suggested this book [sorry] but I know it was put on my list by a blogger. And a big thank you to that blogger [again SORRY I can't remember which beautiful lady suggested it], this book was a really fun read. McLean was an intriguing and cute character and her traveling life was enjoyable to read. Of course there were some sticky family moments that had me shaking my head, but overall a great quick read that brings about great lessons on family, friends and life. 

* * * * 1/2
"For over a decade, Jenna Metcalf obsesses on her vanished mom Alice. Jenna searches online, rereads journals of the scientist who studied grief among elephants. Two unlikely allies are Serenity Jones, psychic for missing people who doubts her gift, and Virgil Stanhope, jaded PI who originally investigated cases of Alice and her colleague. Hard questions and answers." [Picture and summary via Goodreads].

Honestly, I don't even remember checking out this book on my Kindle. It was with the follow five and once I was done with them I started reading without ANY idea of the summary. Initially it was a bit confusing, but after the second chapter I was hooked. I found myself falling in love with elephants from the writer's descriptions, I had no idea they were such a matriarchal species. Jenna, Serenity and Virgil are all well written characters and the final twist at the end was something I did NOT see coming. This book was informative, intriguing and fun to read and one I think anyone would enjoy.

* * * * 1/2
"There are stories no one knows. Hidden stories. I find those stories for a living. To most, it looks like Beecher White has an ordinary job. A young staffer with the National Archives in Washington, D.C., he's responsible for safekeeping the government's most important documents . . . and, sometimes, its most closely held secrets.

But there are a powerful few who know his other role. Beecher is a member of the Culper Ring, a 200-year-old secret society founded by George Washington and charged with protecting the Presidency. Now the current occupant of the White House needs the Culper Ring's help. The alarming discovery of the buried arm has the President's team in a rightful panic. Who buried the arm? How did they get past White House security? And most important: What's the message hidden in the arm's closed fist? Indeed, the puzzle inside has a clear intended recipient, and it isn't the President. It's Beecher, himself.

Beecher's investigation will take him back to one of our country's greatest secrets and point him toward the long, carefully hidden truth about the most shocking history of all: family history. "[Picture and summary via Goodreads].

Beecher White has become one of my favorite literary characters. I've been a Meltzer fan for years, but the Culper Ring series is best work in my opinion. This book is number three in series and it was a great wrap up of many plot lines. Reading these books makes me KICK myself for not going to archiving or historical preservation, it all just sounds so fascinating [yes I know it's a book, it's my thoughts, haha]. The truth Beecher stumbles upon is an intriguing concept and one I kind of saw coming randomly. If you want to read this book you'll need to read the other three in the series, otherwise it won't make a lot of sense. Definitely a series to check out if you like Meltzer, American history and intrigue.

* * * *
"Hannah Griffin was a girl when tragedy struck. She still remembers the flames reflected against the newly fallen snow and the bodies the police dug up--one of them her mother's. The killer was never found. . ..

Twenty years later Hannah is a talented CSI investigating a case of child abuse when the past comes hurtling back. A killer with unfinished business is on the hunt. And an anonymous message turns Hannah's blood cold:

Your Mom called. . ." [Picture and summary via Goodreads].

I was kept on the edge of my seat throughout the story line. Not sure how I feel about the ending, would love to discuss with anyone who has already read the book. This was my first Olsen book and will definitely check out more of his work, he has a great action/mystery prose while creating interesting and believable characters. Mystery and crime stories are some of my favorite novels so this book filled the genre niche for the month quite nicely. Hannah's grief is really gripping, but sometimes I felt it was a bit out there in her search for closure. Very quick pager turner, perfect for a trip on a plane or in the car. 


* * * *
"To the outside world, they seem to have it all. Cassie Barrett, a renowned anthropologist, and Alex Rivers, one of Hollywood's hottest actors, met on the set of a motion picture in Africa. They shared childhood tales, toasted the future, and declared their love in a fairy-tale wedding. But when they return to California, something alters the picture of their perfect marriage. A frightening pattern is taking shape—a cycle of hurt, denial, and promises, thinly veiled by glamour. Torn between fear and something that resembles love, Cassie wrestles with questions she never dreamed she would face: How can she leave? Then again, how can she stay?" [Picture and summary via Goodreads]. 

In all honesty this book was not what I expected at all, but that isn't a bad thing. The story starts of after something happens and then everything flashes back and forth to the past and current day. I felt sorry for Cassie for awhile and then honestly kind of judged her for her decisions, I don't have experience with abuse so maybe that was wrong. I did find the ending appropriate and really enjoyed the character development that Picoult is known for in all her books. If you're a fan of hers you'll really like this book and I honestly think it's a great book to give her a try as an author.

* * * * 1/2
"After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss. [Picture and summary via Goodreads]."

I really liked this book, even though the story line is quite a sad one. Stedman does an incredible job of weaving together different people and circumstances and has the ability to make you connect to each and every character. I found myself asking 'What would I do' multiple times and think that is a testament to the author. I HIGHLY suggest this book to everyone, good beach, plane, or anytime read.

Skimmers: All books are worth a read, you just have to enjoy the genre. 

What are some of the books you're reading right now?



BLovedBoston said...

What happened to goodbye sounds like my kind of book also really intrigued by the president's shadow!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

Meghan @ Me as Meghan said...

I love Jodi Picoult books...she always does SO much research for her books and you can really tell while reading. My favorites by her is Plain Truth and Handle with Care. Sarah Dessen book's are great too, they always have such a good lesson on life, whether it be about family or romantic relationships! The Aviator's Wife seems really interesting!

Caitlin Elizabeth said...

Some of these sound really good, I will be saving this to look back on for the future! I think I'll skip the Aviator's Wife though because I hated the Paris Wife... couldn't even finish it.

Pamela {Sequins and Sea Breezes} said...

I have What Happened to Goodbye on my to read next list! Along with like 10 other books but hey, it's only January so I have plenty of time haha! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I might try the Olsen book. And Beecher White sounds like a character I may enjoy too!

I didn't see the ending coming in Leaving Time either.

kerri @ cheshire kat said...

so many books! look at you go. i'm not as much into historical stuff but 'what happened to goodbye' def caught my eye. great reviews too!

xoxo cheshire kat

Christina Straub said...

I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult, although it's been years since I read one of her books! I am going to be adding "Picture Perfect" to my list!

Christina :: Simple and Delish

Elle Sees said...

i haven't read any of these books--not even any of Jodi's--so I am all into these reviews! thanks for doing the reading for us and giving us your honest thoughts. happy tuesday sweet girl!

Michelle said...

I really enjoyed Leaving Time. Read it last fall and it was one I would highly recommend. Of course, none of Jodi's books ever disappoint me. Thanks for linking up today at Tuesday Talk. I needed a new book to read and I see The Aviator's Wife everywhere. Adding that to my library list.

Sara Elizabeth said...

You guys get so much reading done!!!! I'm absolutely in awe of you, lol! I love Sarah Dessen though it's been YEARS since I've read her books!! You've given me some things to add to my fun list, so thanks for that!!

LMW said...

Jodie Piccoult is touch and go for me. And I tend to steer towards murder mysteries, but these all sound good and I love things rooted in fact and history.

Liz Jo said...

I'm a big fan of Jodi Picoult and Sarah Desson will have to check out those books! They all sound really interesting albeit sad.

liz @ sundays with sophie

Katie @ Champagne and Suitcases said...

I need to start reading again... it's just an extra thing to pack though when I'm traveling and I'm still a believer in books, I refused to give in and read on an ipad!

Rebecca Jo said...

Two Jodi Picoult books! :) I used to read all her stuff - I need to get back into her writing. I always enjoyed it

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

totally agree with the light between the oceans. it really made me think what would i do? and i honestly didn't know! i could identify and relate to every single character. added the sarah dessen & jodi picoult books to my list!

Emily said...

Oh man, I wish I could get into reading books like the rest of you. I just lose interest too quickly and reading blogs seems to take up enough time.

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

Wicked Snow sounds really good, going to check it out.

Lindsay at Lindsay'sSweetWorld said...

Several of these sound really good, so thanks for the suggestions! Now to find time to actually read them!

Kelsey @ The Peacock Roost said...

Several of these sound really good! Thanks for sharing :)

Jessica Sweet Little Ones said...

I must be out of the loop because I haven't heard of any of these! Thanks for your reviews. I definitely have some new authors to add to my reading list. Thanks for linking up with Tuesday Talk! -Jessica, Sweet Little Ones

emily @ a little bit of emily said...

I definitely want to check out The President's Shadow. I love political/historical books, even though I mostly stick to "fun" reading. Thanks for sharing!

Kate at Green Fashionista said...

Wow you're rockin' it this month gurlie! These all look like great reads, especially the Aviators Wife. I'll have to add that to my list :)

Green Fashionista

AiringMyLaundry said...

I love Jodi Picoult books. I really enjoyed that one.

The Aviator's Wife sounds intriguing!

Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand said...

The Light Between the Oceans has been on my tbr for a while now. I need to get to it. I added A Wicked Snow. It sounds like my kind of read.

Emily Ballard said...

Just found your blog (:
I'm brand new!!
I'm always in need of a good read..
once I MAKE the time for it!
Nice to meet you (:

Katie Elizabeth said...

I've also read The Light Between Oceans and loved it. It may be time for a re-read soon! And I'm a HUGE Jodi Picoult fan but haven't read either of these so adding them to the list!

Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders said...

You were able to read a lot of books over the past few months! All Light Between The Ocean sounds like a great read, and I'm going to add it to my list on Goodreads! The Aviator's Wife sounds like a good read too, and I have a feeling that I'd want to shake her too and ask her why she's still with that crazy man!

beingwoven.org said...

Thanks for some great recommendations. I love to read and review mostly children's books, but a few adult historical fiction or nonfiction find there way into my reviews too. I am glad to have found you through Tuesday Talk linkup because I like to know more about books before diving in.

Nikki said...

That Sarah Dessen book sounds good. Do you have a goodreads.com account?

Laura Marie Keenan said...

I really enjoyed The Light Between Oceans. And if you need a new reccomenf ruin, read The Storied Life of AJ Finkry as well as Calling Me Home.

Jen said...

I am slacking on books, ugh! I need to fix it.

Fairy Princess Jord said...

You've read so many intriguing books. I love to read so I am always looking for new suggestions. I feel like I've read "What Happened to Goodbye" before but I can't quite remember...I've accidentally reread a few books before because I couldn't remember if I actually read them or just wanted too. Halfway through I remembered, hehe!

Kristin said...

I did like Leaving Time and I'm not a die-hard Picoult fan. She does weave a good storyline though.

Katie @ Running With Wine said...

Wow you did a lot of reading!! I loved loved loved the Leaving Time, I think because elephants are my favorite animal. The description for The Aviator's Wife sounds very familiar to The Paris Wife, its about Ernest Hemingway's first wife. So if you liked the Aviator's Wife you would probably like The Paris Wife, I thought it started off slow but I really enjoyed it.

Jennifer said...

What a great list! I'm writing these down and checking them out soon! Thanks so much!

Simply Alexandra // My Favorite Things said...

I need to read more Sarah Dessen. I read one over the summer, and it was pretty good. I think I should definitely look into more of hers. I really want to read The Light Between Oceans as well. On the fence about the Aviators Wife.. intrigued... but on the fence. :) XO -Alexandra

Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

Teh Megan said...

Leaving Time has been on my TBR list for a few months now. Maybe after this book challenge I'll get on it.
I enjoy Sarah Dessen books, but I save her for when I need easy reads. I think I've wavered back and forth about adding The Light Between Oceans to my list.

Rose @ Ramblin' Rose said...

I LOVED Light Between Oceans. Even though it was a sad book and I found myself getting angry at some of the characters, I thought it was a good story and the ending was nice.
I read Picture Perfect so long ago that I can't even remember it. Like the description doesn't even right a bell but I did love Leaving Time. I loved the elephant aspect of it and the twist! I totally did not see that coming.

Sara said...

I'm intrigued by all of these! My to-read list is growing pretty quickly.