Tag: bookworm

Do you ever get lost in bliss when browsing up and down the aisles in a book store? It’s my favorite place to lose track of time! Whether it’s Barnes and Nobles, used book stores (my favorite), or even just the book section at Target, I live for finding new books. I gave the kindle a go a while back, but there is just something about the look, feel, and smell of a book. I may need to start building that bookshelf wall that I’ve been dreaming of in my mind for the past decade. Just for fun, here are a few of my favorite Pinterest inspirations. You can follow me on Pinterest HERE. Photo sources here and here.

Anywho, unless my husband wakes up and decides there is nothing he’d rather do than break his back for a few weeks to get me the bookshelf of my dreams, it’s not gonna happen. So I’ll continue overflowing my humble bookshelf until it can’t hold anymore. I was lurking around Target this weekend and loaded up my cart with all new reads for this month. I’ve really been tending towards thrillers and mysteries, they’re so good! I’m not sure why we as human beings love being held in a state of suspense for days while reading, but I love it. I’ve included all of the excerpts from Good Reads that I read before buying each of these. If you’re on Good Reads, add me! I would love to see what you’re reading.

  1. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins: When I read The Girl on the Train I literally couldn’t put it down. I’m pretty sure that I read it in about 6 hours of non-stop page turning. I have high hopes that this book will be the same, twists, suspense, and mystery! Synopsis – A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged. Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.
  1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: When I see that a book has won the Pulitzer Prize, it is an instant “well obviously I need to read that as soon as possible”. Once I read that it’s set in Paris and centers around World War II, I had to get it! Synopsis – Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.  In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
  1. Paper Towns by John Green: Have you read The Fault in Our Stars? I cried like a baby when I read it…like ugly cried. It was so good and I can’t wait to read Paper Towns, especially since it’s set in my city! I’m guessing Lake Eola will come up a few times. Synopsis – Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.
  1. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware: This is another book that I grabbed based on my love for an earlier book by an author. I read In a Dark, Dark Wood a few years ago while traveling for work and I really enjoyed it. I recommend it if you’re in the mood for a relatively quick read and a suspenseful tale! Synopsis – In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…
  1. All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda: Little known fact; I wanted to be an FBI Profiler when I was in high school. I read every true crime novel I could get my hands on. Ann Rule and John Douglas were my heroes, and I devoured their books every week. This novel seems to be along those lines and I can’t wait to dig in. Synopsis – It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched. The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing. Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

 

 

Years ago, when my brother Chris was 18, he recommended a book to me. Now mind you, Chris is the only person in my family that does not have a bone-deep love of reading; so I was very curious. The book was “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini, and I must have read it in about 14 hours of non-stop reading. It is set in Afghanistan in both the cities of Herat and Kabul. Ironically, Chris joined the Army that same year and was deployed to Afghanistan, to Kandahar. Both of my brothers each did two tours of duty in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.

When I read this book, my brothers were already in Afghanistan and my father was in Iraq. While this book is set at the start of the Soviet-Afghan War (considered to be part of the Cold War) and ends at the very start of the 9-11 attacks, I soaked up every ounce of Afghanistan history that is laced throughout this book. To understand what shaped today’s Afghanistan, one must look back at the Soviet’s influence, then to the Mujahideen warlord takeover, and finally to the Taliban revolution. The historical facts are all accurate, and Khaled Hosseini did a remarkable job of tying the historical truth in with a fictional story. Before he wrote “A Thousand Splendid Suns”, Khaled went back to Afghanistan, his birthplace, for the first time in 30 years. Many of the moving stories he heard from Afghan women made their way in bits and pieces to this book.


“One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.”

“A Thousand Splendid Suns” starts in 1964 and ends in 2001. The story follows two women from very different walks of life. Mariam was the illegitimate daughter of the wealthiest man in Herat, who was raised by her bitter mother in a shanty just outside of town. She worships her father, and decided to set out for the first time in her life. On her 15th birthday, she went to his house to ask to be part of his “real” family. This decision changed the course of her life, and set the story in motion. She is given away to a man named Rasheed, whom she was forced to marry. He takes her back to Kabul, where requires that she wear a burka and surrender to the lifestyle of being submissive and subservient to him. Laila was born to a liberal family in Kabul, and only ever knew freedom and happiness. The collapse of Mohammad Najibullah’s regime in April 1992, other wise known as the Battle of Kabul, starts the merging of their lives. Laila is forced by circumstance to marry Rasheed, and quickly encounters the horrors of an abusive and domineering husband.

If you had told me mid-read that this book would have a happy ending, I wouldn’t have believed it. As gut-wrenching as some of the events depicted in this novel were, I was so struck by the loving manner in which Khaled writes these women. His perception of Afghan women is very well illustrated in his words, and the character development that he took the time to do makes this book so captivating to me. What these women endured in this story, and what real Afghan women endured in real life, truly mystifies me. To think of a life in 1990s Afghanistan as a women sends a shudder down my spine, and the strength shown by Laila and Mariam made for the most beautiful read. This story is one for everyone, as is the inspiring message to keep hope alive, even in the darkest of hours. I was nothing short of inspired and awed when I finished “A Thousand Splendid Suns”, and I’m so thankful that my brother recommend it to me all those years ago.

One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2016 was to read a new book every month. I joined Book of the Month Club to shake things up and No One Knows was the first book I chose! I’ve loved being part of this fun subscription so much this year. The best part of getting a monthly choice is being introduced to books you may have never chosen on your own! You can sign up here if you’re interested.

Have you ever stayed up all night reading because you felt like your life would be incomplete without knowing the ending to the book?

That was me while reading this little page turner.

No One Knows by J.T. Ellison is one of those twisty, angst ridden novels that keeps you wanting to uncover the next secret. The story follows Aubrey who has mourned her missing husband for the past five years after he vanished on the night of a friend’s bachelor party. The police (and the public) targeted Aubrey as the prime suspect in his disappearance, and over time that slowly gives way to suspicion that he faked his own death. Now that five years have passed, his mother has made the decision to have him declared legally dead. The declaration causes old memories to surface and new facts to present themselves in the most intriguing way possible, sending Aubrey’s life in a tailspin all over again.

The clever twists and turns in this mystery will floor you. Just when you think you’ve figured things out, J.T. Ellison slaps you in the face with a new revelation. My focus is easily distracted typically, but No One Knows kept the wheels of my brain turning constantly. Like the rest of the story, the ending is so unexpected that I had to read it twice to make sure I comprehended correctly! I completely enjoyed reading this book; definitely a must for the mystery lover. Happy Reading!