Recently Read v. 7

While I wasn’t blogging for quite some time (this is my 5th post of 2017 so I’ve already blogged more in 2017 than I did in 2016!), I was still reading! I read some great books in 2016. Here’s what I’ve read most recently.

Station Eleven

Oh my gosh, I loved this book. I have an affinity for post-apocalypse/sci-fi/dystopian future scenarios and this book was the perfect combination of that and real humanity.

I don’t want to give anything away but if you liked the movie Contagion or World War Z (although this isn’t a zombie book, I promise), you’ll probably really like this. The description on Amazon doesn’t do it justice and neither can I. This was my favorite book I read in 2016.

The Rosie Effect

The Rosie Effect is the follow-up to The Rosie Project which I reviewed here (along with some other great books). If The Rosie Project was about getting married, The Rosie Effect is about…you guessed it….babies.

When he and Rosie get pregnant, Don goes into research mode and approaches fatherhood the same way he initially approached finding a wife – in an overly scientific fashion. As you can imagine, mild chaos ensues.

I enjoyed reading from Don’s perspective again. He’s a narrator unlike any other I’ve read and I think he’s helped me to better understand people with autism.

Still Alice

Still Alice is about a woman’s diagnosis and progression of early onset Alzheimer’s disease, written from her perspective. I found this to be incredibly heartbreaking, especially as the author did a phenomenal job of demonstrating how Alice’s illness is affecting those around her (and often how unaware Alice is).

If you’ve known someone who has suffered from Alzheimer’s or dementia, this will hit close to home and really give you insight to what may be happening from their perspective. It was heartbreaking and it felt so real. It is absolutely worth a read. I felt shocked the entire time I was reading that this illness actually exists. It’s so cruel.

I actually watched the movie adaptation last night and was astounded by how much they stuck to the book.

As a side note – my copy of this book is the movie edition of the book printing. You know, it has Julianne Moore on the cover with the whole “now a major motion picture” (shown above). I have to say, I always try to avoid buying these editions. They seem somehow less authentic. Anyone else?

American Wife

I picked this book up at a used bookstore in Florence after I’d read all the other books I brought to Italy during bouts of time zone induced insomnia. This book that follows the life of Alice Lindgren, a fictional character loosely based on the life of Laura Bush.

It is fairly long and goes through her life from childhood all the way through to her time as first lady. The book is not a biography but there is so much that is pulled from Laura Bush’s life, it actually made me grow quite fond of her. It was fascinating to take a (fictional) peek into what life might be life for some of America’s iconic, privileged families.

It also left me wondering how often she disagreed with her husband in their private life. Alice frequently disagrees with her husband, something that I’d never pondered might be an experience that many first ladies share. I really enjoyed this novel and would highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy learning about the people behind politics (or at least imagining how their lives might be).

War Brides

Set in a small village in England, the book follows the lives of several women leading up to World War II and then their stories as they intertwine throughout the war and decades in the future. I feel like there was one too many characters, as I frequently forgot which storyline belonged to which character and who was married to who. It has a 4.5 star rating (with over 10k reviews) on Amazon which I think gave me unrealistic expectations.

I did enjoy the storyline of the young jewish girl, Tanni, who is abruptly married to a family friend in order to get her out of the country. I had never considered that this sort of thing happened but I’m sure it did.

I read this most recently and I’m decidedly meh about it. I really enjoyed much of the story up until the sort of over-the-top ending.

What I’m reading now: The Girl With All the Gifts

I’m loving this book so far. This was an Amazon recommendation based on Station Eleven. I can’t wait to see the movie!

Looking for more recommendations? Here’s Recently Read Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, Vol. 4, Vol. 5, and Vol. 6 (this one is probably the best batch).

So tell me, what have you read recently (or are reading now)? Recommendations please!

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