May was finally a month where I felt like I was back in my reading groove. I burned through the books this month – some audio, some physical. I think July will be the same because we have a vacation coming up next week, and then lots of pool reading in my future! See what I read in June below!
WRITERS & LOVERS BY LILY KING – 3 STARS
I saw this book allll over bookstagram when it first released and have had it on my list ever since! Writers & Lovers follows an aspiring writer who is working on her first novel while struggling to keep up with her debts and navigating her tumultuous love life. It really reminded me of Ask Again, Yes for some reason – I’m not sure why because the plotlines didn’t really have any parallels – but overall I liked it fine and wanted to know how it ended, but wasn’t just enthralled with the story.
MAKE YOUR BED BY WILLIAM H. MCRAVEN – 3 STARS
This book was based off of a commencement speech given by Admiral William H. McRaven at UT Austin in 2014. He outlines ten principles that he learned during Navy Seal training that have gone on to impact his experience in the Navy as well as his life in general, the first being “make your bed”. This was a very quick read that I found interesting in hearing his stories from training and beyond.
THE LAST THING TO BURN BY WILL DEAN – 4 STARS
I won this book on Goodreads and didn’t remember what it was about, but wow I was hooked from the beginning! A woman is being held captive in a tiny farmhouse out in the country, and we follow her captivity and story of survival. It reminded me of an old episode of Criminal Minds, and I was stressed the entire time trying to figure out what the heck was going to happen.
ONE TO WATCH BY KATE STAYMAN-LONDON – 5 STARS
I started this book the day before the newest season of the Bachelorette premiered which was perfect timing! One to Watch is the story of Bea, a plus-size fashion blogger who shares her dislike of the popular dating show “Main Squeeze” online and subsequently becomes the star of the show herself. I really loved Bea’s character and all of the fun romance that happened throughout the book. This was one of only seven books that I included on my Summer Reading Guide that I hadn’t yet read, so I was glad to be able to check it off my list!
NEWS OF THE WORLD BY PAULETTE JILES – 4 STARS
I’ve had News of the World on my list since earlier this year when I heard it was being made into a movie! Of course, I pictured Tom Hanks throughout the entirety of the book, and it ended up being a wonderful read. Captain Kidd is tasked with reuniting a young orphan with her relatives after she’s been raised by the Kiowa tribe for the last four years. It was adventurous and heartwarming all in one.
CATCH AND KILL BY RONAN FARROW – 5 STARS
Holy moly, I can’t believe I didn’t pick this book up sooner. Ronan Farrow blows the lid off of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, sharing the lengths that the media and other high-profile individuals went to keep it under wraps for so many years. Highly recommend.
THE BEST YES BY LYSA TERKEURST – 5 STARS
Lysa TerKeurst is an automatic author for me – I know that I will love and learn from anything she writes, and The Best Yes is no exception. In a time when I am almost constantly feeling overwhelmed and anxious, The Best Yes is all about making intentional, God-fueled choices that ensure you are saying no to the things that do not matter so you can make more room for the things that do.
PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION BY EMILY HENRY – 5 STARS
Emily Henry is at it again! I read Beach Read on our honeymoon last summer and absolutely loved the story, and People We Meet On Vacation is just the same! Poppy and Alex are best friends who have become slightly estranged in the last two years, and Poppy decides to make a last ditch effort to restore their friendship by inviting Alex on one of their famous summer trips. You will love the storyline and fall in love with them and their friendship. I’m reading this as part of the Jordan Tailored Summer Book Club, which you can join anytime!
ANNA K BY JENNY LEE – 3 STARS
Anna K was also included in my Summer Reading Guide in the “if you like Gossip Girl” section, and it truly parallels the teen drama in so many ways. I can’t say that I really loved Anna K because it just felt so unrelatable, but I think that was a big reason that we all loved Gossip Girl so much, as well. Anna K is a retelling of Anna Karenina (which I am about to read very soon), so I’m excited to see all of the parallels to the original story.
BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE BY FREDERIK BACKMAN – 5 STARS
Frederik Backman can do no wrong in my book – every single book of his that I’ve read has left me in awe of his ability to tie a story together in the most beautiful and unexpected way. I love how he fixates on the tiniest details of a story and makes them feel important. Britt-Marie Was Here is about a woman in her sixties on her own for the very first time, navigating the mundanities of life that she’s never had to face alone before. She is particular and clean and absolutely hilarious, and I wish that this story could have gone on forever. Highly recommend.
FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL BY SHERI FINK – 4 STARS
I was in fifth grade when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and left so many displaced and in need of evacuation. Five Days at Memorial detailed the happenings at Memorial Hospital in New Orleans in the five days following the impact of Hurricane Katrina and the ripple effect that followed those events for years to come. I thought I was going to be reading about a natural disaster, but it was so much more than that.
You can follow along with my 2021 reading here!