I really enjoy reading book recommendations or “What I Have Been Reading” segments and realized I have never done one of these. So, I thought this would be a good time since we are at the halfway mark of the year. I know! How can 2018 already be half over? Time is going way too fast for me.
This list is not in any particular order. The links I provided are only for general information. I do not get a kickback. Here it goes:
His Father Still
The story, told from the father’s perspective, interweaves the trials and tribulations of raising children and then at one of the worst periods the unthinkable happens. Tim tells the story honestly while also leaving his other family member’s privacy intact. It is a heartbreaking story told with such heart. There is some religious undertones which I usually do not enjoy but they are handled well in this rendition. I would definitely recommend this one.
The AutoImmune Solution
Dr. Myers, a functional medicine doctor, describes how she healed her own body’s inflammation using functional medicine remedies such as diet, sleep, and exercise. I enjoyed the book but found it so similar to many others in this arena. Much of it was redundant and I honestly could not imagine how I could adopt the eating plan for me and still cook for my family. A good read if you are just starting out on this journey.
Saving Charlotte: A Mother and the Power of Intuition
Pia de Jong does a superb job in this memoir of her daughter’s first year of life. Honestly, I am in awe of the decisions she and her husband made for the newborn daughter which ultimately saved her life. Her descriptive prose had me yearning to visit Amsterdam. I read about this book on either a blog or another book list somewhere and wish I remember where so I can thank the reviewer. I had a difficult time putting this book down anticipating what was next.
A Three Dog Life
Abigail Thomas weaves us through the story of her husband’s accident, rehabilitation, and relocation through beautiful prose. I had read Safekeeping:Some True Stories From A Life a few years ago so I picked this one up thinking the subject matter would be dogs. Well, she does discuss her dogs but the main subject is her husband and his traumatic brain injury. Those of you who follow this blog will understand the shock I experienced when I first started. So much of the story resonated with me even though her husband was much older at the time of his injury. Thomas is a beautiful memoirist and I highly recommend this one.
I Forgot To Remember: A Memoir of Amnesia
I met the author, Su Meck, during a journaling workshop and we have since become friends. I initially was intimidated because she was a published memoirist (one of my dreams). Her memoir details a freak accident at her home when she was only 20 years old and the resulting amnesia. I am awed by her story and recovery. She touches on a lot of issues in the brain injury and medical field as well as the effects it had on her relationships and her family. Her story gives hope to a number of survivors trying to regain their lives.
How To Walk Away
I received an advance copy of Katherine Center’s newest novel and the moment I read the first page I was memorized. I was very impressed by the amount of research she did to accurately describe a medical rehabilitation setting and some of the other medical issues touched upon. The storyline was believable and explored so many different paths. It was not predictable which I appreciate since I get tired of the stories that can all be wrapped up so nicely at the end. This is a must read and makes for a good beach read as well.
She Matters: A Life In Friendships
Another recommendation I received after I wrote a piece about friendship while taking an online writing class. Susanna Sonnenberg weaves her stories of friendship woes and triumphs through different phases of her life. She also includes her relationship with her mother which was brilliant since our mothers are our first foray into friendship. I thought I would get more clarity from this but still enjoyed it.
What Alice Forgot
I am a fan of all the books I have read by Liane Moriarty and this one didn’t disappoint. Again, I was surprised when the main character has a concussion and forgets the last ten years of her life. The storyline kept the suspense going though some of it was a little far fetched. I had a hard time putting this one down as well since I wanted to find out where the characters were going, I definitely recommend this one. It’s not my favorite novel by Liane but definitely ranks as one of the better ones.
Tell Me More; Stories About The 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning To Say
Kelly Corrigan is such a prolific writer and I am a huge admirer of her work. I have read all of her previous books and this one did not disappoint. She is approximately my age so I have an easy time relating to her stories of growing up, leaving home, striking out on her own, marriage, and children. Her descriptive writing brings you right there alongside her as she witnesses the deaths of her father and best friend. It is heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time. A must read!
This is a beautiful story spanning so many generations. Yaa Gyasi intertwines the stories of generations seemlessly. My book club read this and I started listening to it but had to switch to traditional format so I could keep track of the characters and how they connected. It is beautiful and raw. There are parts that are hard to read but so worth it in order to get to the others. The research that went into this novel is astounding. This is a book that is almost impossible to describe. I definitely recommend this one. Take your time to fully immerse yourself in the unique storytelling. This book brought about quite an honest book club discussion as well.
Take Me With You
I had never heard about this or the author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, prior but I enjoyed this one. Since I finished I have yearned to travel the country and see Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, etc. The story is a little hard to believe but winds it’s way through many dimensions which I won’t reveal here since they could be spoilers. A good read but I wouldn’t go running out to buy it.
Everything Happens For A Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved
This book written by Kate Bowler lives up to all the hype you most likely have heard. A beautiful story told through the authors heartache of a stage 4 cancer diagnosis while in the prime of her life. At the time of her diagnosis Kate has a young child, loving husband, and a great career. She takes you through the diagnosis and beyond and back through her upbringing. It is brutally honest and revealing. This is a must read. Kate also has a podcast Everything Happens with Kate Bowler which I recently started listening to.
The Course of Love
I picked this one for our book club and though it was good, I was a bit disappointed. I was expecting something much different so this may have attributed to my opinion. The story is good, believable but jumps ahead in the end. It could have been wrapped up a bit differently.
I have now read a number of Dani Shapiro’s books and this one is excellent. She weaves her story through the present and past so seamlessly and it leaves you wanting more. She tells the trials and tribulations of marriage and how devotion is so imperative. This is another must read.
I bought this book because the author found out he was adopted by accident and later searched for his biological parents. He used some ancestry tools and I was hoping to gain some insight in how to search for the missing puzzle link. I was very disappointed. He was able to get names which helps tremendously. Though, this didn’t help me in my search for answers hopefully it will help others. The book did give a bit of resources at the end which I have used as well.
Little Fires Everywhere
I read Celeste Ng’s previous book and was thrilled when I heard she had another book. Little Fires tells the story of a family with teenage children and how things are not always how they seem. They appear to have the perfect life but once you peel the layers you find the broken pieces. Celeste is able to intertwine so many elements back and forth. I really enjoyed this one. I was reading it during a day off from school and remember how thankful I was that my girls were playing nicely so I didn’t have to stop. A definite read and contender for one of the best books of the year.
Braving The Wilderness
This is the most recent book by Brene Brown. I absolutely adore her. I feel we could be friends, if we ever met. I really enjoyed this one. One of the reasons is she explains more about her past and her upbringing and how she battled her way through her family and school. It felt that she was actually more vulnerable here. She does repeat some from her other books but it is helpful as it relates to the subject matter here. I have tried numerous times to hear her speak and each time the tickets are sold out before I log on. I will keep trying. This is another great read.
Please let me know your thoughts on the books here or any other recommendations you may have.