Monday, August 15, 2022

August 2022 Book Review

Oops! It's been 6 months since I've shared a reading list and I do apologize. I've been rather busy and haven't made as much time for reading as I normally do. I do have a few goodies to share and always, LOVE to hear about what you are reading in the comments!

Margaret Atwood never disappoints in my opinion. Her writing is as masterful as the stories she creates. I am so glad I found her through the college freshman reading assignment of The Handmaid's Tale. I've watched the series with fascination and had been looking forward to this follow up for quite some time. I finally read it on Kindle and flew through it! It was every bit as interesting and compelling and unpredictable as all of her books. If you liked the Handmaid's Tale, I would love to hear your opinion of this one. I truly enjoyed the characters, the conflict and the continued saga.

Kristen Harmel has quickly become a favorite author of mine in the historical fiction genre. She writes characters that feel really true to their time period and this one skips from current day to WWII and she masterfully captures the emotions and expectations of both generations. The story is one that is both fascinating from the war story to the love story as well as the intergenerational relations. I highly recommend this book and any other she has written.

I'll admit I had this in my Audible list for probably a year before I actually listened to it. I am glad I finally gave it a shot. It was a wonderful story of a therapist who goes into therapy and then discovers more about herself and her relationship to her patients and her therapist. It's interesting and not overly analytical as one might assume. It is about her life choices and her choices as a therapist that really reflect who she wants to be how she wants to help/serve her clients. I would highly recommend this book if you are at all interested in the dynamic of these relationships or just curious about therapy in general.

This is the origin story of my favorite bookshop in Paris and so I felt compelled to read it after having visited the shop Shakespeare & Co last year. It's a fascinating tale of the literary culture of Paris the early 1900's. It features many famous authors and performers of the time. The story feels true to itself and is well told, but as is often the case, reality is not as romantic as fiction. I loved the grit and determination and perseverance but if you are looking for the happy ending, it is not what you would expect. Obviously, the bookstore survives in another form still today, but this story proves that history once gone, cannot be remade.

Anne Tyler writes the most wonderful quirky characters and unexpected relationships in all of her novels, this one included. I had mixed feelings about this one though. The family featured in this book didn't seem to care for each other very much. Not that they were antagonistic as much as just apathetic. I did enjoy some of the relationships later in the book, that took place during the pandemic, but overall it wasn't my favorite of hers.

Isabel Allende was also an author I found in college and love to devour her gorgeous stories that are rich with detail, intrigue and passion. The family sagas almost always include some political drama as well (as does her real life) and I appreciate those connections. The perspective is always both intimate and encompassing. This is a story that has all the aspects you would expect from her, such a strong female family matriarch, lots of extended family members with their unique qualities, coming of age struggles, political strife, and love and loss and love refound. I would recommend all of her books!

I honestly only picked this one up on Audible because Stephanie Howell (most prolific reader and book reviewer on the internet! xo) recommended this one recently. It is as beautifully written as she described and the pages are filled with gorgeous quotes and observations of life and love and I honestly can't put it down. I do wish I had a paper copy and I would be highlighting the heck out of this one!

Full disclosure, I'm on my second attempt at this one. I tried to read it earlier this summer and it just stalled for me at about 100 pages in. It did leave me curious enough to pick it up again and I'm enjoying it this time around. It was probably just me. I love the strong characters that are intertwined with their spiritual selves and each other in surprising and unique ways. It is very magical and mystical, both things I enjoy, but it's also very realistic in some ways. It's just a fun convergence of real life and 'what the heck!' I would recommend it if you like that sort of surprise in a story.

This book was recommended by Cathe Holden on her Instagram video as she toured her creative library. I would highly recommend the video as well as the book. I do love all things Paris and collections and creations, and this book comprised all those loves. It is beautifully written and will be referenced many times, most especially before my next visit to Paris!

If you like to entertain and eat and visit with family and friends and eat or just chat and eat. This is a book for you! I love the gorgeous photos and the fun ideas and simple recipes in this book. Mostly I love the inspiration we get from it. This summer we have done lots of boards for both family and small gatherings here at home and this is perfect for when everyone is standing around in the kitchen with a drink and we all pitch in to make it pretty before we devour the yumminess! I highly recommend this and her previous book below...

This is the book that started us on our 'board' obsession! It's the reason I now collect beautiful cutting boards and wooden trays and cute bowls with an excuse! It a fun way to inspire not just eating but connecting! If you haven't tried this with your family or friends, you will be amazed!

Yes, I realize that this list is ALL OVER THE PLACE, but so has my summer! I've had a wonderful time just being with family and relaxing at home between house projects, work stuff and life. We have had our ups and downs but sharing the laughs and tears with those who offer the best hugs is really what makes life sweet, don't you agree?



The fine print: as always these reviews are linked with affiliate links which means I make a few cents off each purchase when you buy using them. Thank you so much for your support! Happy reading!

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