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What I’ve Read Lately

I’ve recently found the fervor to read again and it’s making me so happy! Without further adieu, here’s what I read lately.

When Breath Becomes Air

Summary: In this memoir, Paul Kalanithi takes us along his journey to become a neurosurgeon, and then a cancer patient. What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

Would I Recommend It: Oh gosh, I think EVERYONE should read this. While it can be a bit heavy on the medical jargon at times [which actually was super interesting to me], the depiction of life versus death and how Paul approached it is magnificent. I was absolutely sobbing by the end of this. Just, read this.

Mexican Gothic

Summary: After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find. Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

Would I Recommend It: This was the pick for my book club this month and wow, was it a wild ride! The writing was super gripping and you could just imagine every ornate detail that this house held. The twists and turns were jaw-dropping and I couldn’t put this down. I read Hulu is making this into a mini-series and I will DEFINITELY be watching. If you want a crazy thriller, go for this one.

How To Walk Away

Summary: Margaret Jacobsen is just about to step into the bright future she’s worked for so hard and so long: a new dream job, a fiancé she adores, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in a brief, tumultuous moment. In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Maggie must confront the unthinkable. Sometimes the last thing you want is the one thing you need. Sometimes we all need someone to catch us when we fall. And sometimes love can find us in the least likely place we would ever expect.

Would I Recommend It: I read this on the recommendation of a friend after I asked for a feel good book to take a thriller break. I read this in two days. The writing was sweet, there was drama, there was steam, and you were just cheering Margaret on the entire time. The ending was amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. You will definitely walk away from this book realizing there are all types of happy endings.

Summer Island

Summary: Years ago, Nora Bridge walked out on her marriage and left her daughters behind. She has since become a famous radio talk-show host and newspaper columnist beloved for her moral advice. Her youngest daughter, Ruby, is a struggling comedienne who uses her famous mother as fuel for her bitter, cynical humor. When the tabloids unearth a scandalous secret from Nora’s past, their estrangement suddenly becomes dramatic: Nora is injured in an accident and a glossy magazine offers Ruby a fortune to write a tell-all about her mother. Under false pretenses, Ruby returns home to take care of the woman she hasn’t spoken to for almost a decade. Nora insists they retreat to Summer Island in the San Juans, to the lovely old house on the water where Ruby grew up, a place filled with childhood memories of love and joy and belonging. What began as an expose evolves, as Ruby writes, into an exploration of her family’s past. Nora is not the woman Ruby has hated all these years. As the magazine deadline draws near and Ruby finishes what has begun to seem to her an act of brutal betrayal, she is forced to grow up and at last to look at her mother–and herself–through the eyes of a woman.

Would I Recommend It: I am a Kristin Hannah junkie, though they can be a bit hit or miss at times. This was a good mother-daughter story, and I liked this better than Night Road [also somewhat of a mother-daughter story] but not as much as Firefly Lane. I stand by the sentiment that KH writes about female relationships better than most. If you need something easy, give this a go. But, if you’re new to KH, definitely start with The Nightingale.

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