“She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” Annie Dillard
2018 was the year of reading for me. My goal for the year was 36 books and I surpassed it quickly! In fact, I ended up reading 74 books in total. My favorites from 2018 include: And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer and Longer; The Last Mrs. Parrish; Stay With Me; The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo; and The Mothers. With the beginning of the new year, I am looking forward to seeing what my faves are for 2019. Keep reading for my February book review!
So far, I have read the following titles (absolute favorites in bold): Becoming; What Is Climate Change; Wild; The Stranger In The Woods; The Type; She Felt Like Feeling Nothing; The Girl On The Train
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Becoming Michelle Obama
(3/5) This was one of the most anticipated books of the year and it came very highly reviewed, so, of course, I was really looking forward to reading it! Before I read the book, I listened to Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast episode with Mrs. Obama. The interview was great, however, it covered several topics from the book and I think having that interview in my head prior, lessened the experience of reading the book, hence the three stars. The book covers her childhood, early career, and the White House days, and offers a lot of behind the scenes insight into both herself and her husband. While I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would, I do highly recommend giving it a read.
Wild Cheryl Strayed
(4/5) I have Wild on my to-read list for years, since watching the film starring Reese Witherspoon, and it did not disappoint. Wild is the true story of one woman’s solo journey across the Pacific Crest Trail. It talks about the struggles that led to her making that journey and the struggles of the journey itself. It is inspiring and insightful and certainly worth the 315-page read.
The Girl On The Train Paula Hawkins
(3/5) Being perfectly honest, I do not get the mass hysteria surrounding this book. In fact, I debated giving it two stars, rather than three, because, for one, the writing felt slight amateurish (I did read her second novel Into the Water, and felt it was a step up from this one). The beginning of the story is very slow, and while this is technically a thriller (the twist at the end), the build-up was not thrilling, at all. In thrillers I have enjoyed, the twist is slowly revealed through clues left by the author, but this one felt like a more abrupt reveal. All in all, as thrillers go, this isn’t one of my top recommendations.
She Felt Like Feeling Nothing R. H. Sin
(2/5) One of my reading goals in 2019 is to read more poetry, and this book of poetry came highly recommended, but once again, I was disappointed. R. H. Sin is a man, however, this book seems to be written from the female perspective and it feels really forced. I was not impressed. I gave it 2 stars because there were a few poems that were striking, but overall, this fell really flat for me.
The Stranger In The Woods Michael Finkel
(3/5) I did not know anything about this real-life story before picking up this memoir, written by journalist Michael Finkel, and it was really interesting and intriguing. This is the story of Christopher Knight, who left home at age 20, and lived in the woods of Maine until he was caught by law enforcement three decades later. Through interviews with Chris himself, Finkel was able to write this incredible book about how he survived in the woods, alone, all those years. It is somewhat poorly written, in my opinion, so I only gave it three stars, but the true story behind the book, is worth reading!
The Casual Vacancy J. K. Rowling
(2/5) J. K. Rowling is a master, so I was interested in this mysterious book, but overall, it was slow and I didn’t fully get the plot line. It felt kind of like a jumbled concept, that could have worked as a short story, but instead turned into 503 pages. It deals with a lot of profound, adult topics, but I could not connect emotionally to any of the characters, and the lack of plot development until a third of the way in, was really hard for me. Give it a chance if you love Rowling, but there are a lot of better books you could be reading.