May was a full month – Scottsdale trip, bridal shower, Memorial Day, a full work schedule, going to see Hadestown, book clubs, and everything in between! While it was busy, I made sure to get lots of good reading in during my downtime! This is the most I have ever read this early in the year – I’m feeling like I’m on track for my biggest reading year yet, and I’m not mad about it!
The Life Council by Laura Tremaine – 5 Stars
I have followed Laura Tremaine for years now, and I always love what she has to say, so of course I picked up The Life Council. It’s a book about adult female friendships and the different types of friends we all want and need in our lives. I loved her descriptions of each type of friend, the personal stories she shared, and the practical advice that came along with it. If you’re an adult woman that’s in her mid-late twenties and beyond, this book is a must-read!
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling – 5 Stars
I don’t feel as though this needs any explanation – it is what it is and I will never stop loving it.
Never Lie by Freida McFadden – 2 Stars
I think I initially gave this book three stars rather than two, but the more I sit on it, the less enthused I feel. I LOVED The Housemaid and The Housemaid’s Secret, so I was ready to devour the rest of McFadden’s titles. (I still will, but maybe just not as quickly as I did the first two). This is the story of a new husband and wife duo that are snowed into a home they were going to look at and uncover secrets they never expected. I was annoyed by every character in this book, but pushed through to see how it ended. It just didn’t meet expectations.
What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura VanderKam – 3 Stars
This book was very short and just fine. I love reading and learning about productivity and how to maximize your days, and this did that in the usual way.
I’m No Philosopher, But I Got Thoughts by Kristin Chenoweth – 2 Stars
I really wanted to love this book, but it fell so flat for me. I thought I would be reading a personal memoir of Kristin Chenoweth’s life, and while there are some personal stories, it was mostly a coffee table book / journal with a few stories peppered in. I was given an advanced reader copy through NetGalley, so I will say that my experience was completely altered reading it on a Kindle, but it felt like it was just the same picture of her over and over with some random quotes thrown in. I love Kristin Chenoweth, so I hope she comes out with something else.
Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes – 4 Stars
This was my Book of the Month pick for February that I finally got around to reading! It took me a while to get through (it felt verryyyy long), but I ended up really enjoying it! It’s the story of Sam, a downtrodden wife, mother, and employee who feels like she is living her life for everyone else instead of herself. And Nina, the jilted wife of an international billionaire who suddenly finds herself completely alone for the first time in her adult life. Their stories plus so many others connect in unexpected ways that draw you in and leave you cheering for the underdogs.
Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee – 4 Stars
I’ve seen this on people’s nonfiction recs lately and decided to give it a try. I expected it to be more self-help-y and less design-focused, although it was a pleasant surprise! The book focuses on 12 design principles and how incorporating each of those into our lives in different ways can bring joy. It was a really neat look at how the world around us truly affects everything, even if subliminally.
Happy Place by Emily Henry – 5 Stars
YES. Just yes. I have loved Emily Henry since I read Beach Read on our honeymoon, but this is her best work yet in my opinion. I felt like the characters were so rich and unique, and I loved how it was more than just a normal romance. It’s the story of Harriett heading to see her best I friends on their typical summer vacation at Sabrina’s family home in Maine, her happy place. But this year’s trip isn’t exactly turning out as she imagined. I just adored it all. Highly recommend!
The House of Kennedy by James Patterson – 3 Stars
I’m not sure why I picked this one up lol. It was fine and informative, but after it went past JFK’s timeline, I was less interested.
All My Knotted-Up Life by Beth Moore – 5 Stars
This is a memoir that must be read on audio. I adored listening to Beth Moore share her life story and how she became the woman she is today. If you’re a fan of Beth Moore in any way, shape, or form, you should read this!
As You Wish by Cary Elwes – 4 Stars
This is also a big audio recommendation! If you haven’t ever seen the movie The Princess Bride, just go ahead and skip this book, because you truly will not care. My dad brought us up on the movie from a young age, so I loved it so much! It’s written by Cary Elwes, also known as Wesley, and I expected it to be more his memoir, but it is literally the making of the movie as told by him! There are snippets from many of those involved including Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, and more, and it was just such a fun inside look at the movie.
Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter – 3 Stars
My friend Brooklyn sings Karin Slaughter’s praises, so I have been wanting to jump in for a while now! I started with Pieces of Her, and I was hooked from the very beginning! I got a little bit lost in the middle with the timeline jumps and alllll the characters and details, but overall was super interested in the story and how it would play out. It’s the story of Andrea, a 30-year old woman living at home with her mother, feeling like she’s stuck in her life. When Andy and her mom meet for lunch for her birthday and a shooter comes into the restaurant, Andy watches her mom turn into someone she’s never seen before, and begins to wonder who her mother actually is after all.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling – 5 Stars
I think this is my favorite of all 7 books. I’m just having a blast reading them again!!
The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner – 5 Stars
Wow wow wow. I’ve had this book on my list for so long, and I finally got it from the library. It was hard to read at times, but so good. It’s the story of Ruth Wariner, daughter of the founder of the Lebaron fundamentalist Mormon group that settled in Mexico in the 80s and 90s. Her father was murdered by his brother right after she was born, and she grew up in essentially a house of horrors from then on out. There are so many content warnings, so please look them up before you read, but it was a great memoir on overcoming and the human spirit.