What I Read Lately

It’s been a minute since I shared what I’ve read lately [you can catch the last post here]. Life has gotten busy again and reading has fallen a bit down on the priority list, but I’ve still read a few [really good] books these last few months so let’s dive in.

Of Women and Salt

Synopsis: From 19th-century cigar factories to present-day detention centers, from Cuba to Mexico, Gabriela Garcia’s Of Women and Salt is a kaleidoscopic portrait of betrayals―personal and political, self-inflicted and those done by others―that have shaped the lives of these extraordinary women. A haunting meditation on the choices of mothers, the legacy of the memories they carry, and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their stories despite those who wish to silence them, this is more than a diaspora story; it is a story of America’s most tangled, honest, human roots.

Would I Recommend It: This was a book club pick and I really enjoyed it. The stories of Jeanette and Carmen are intertwined with those of others and all culminate in a gorgeous and heartbreaking story of life as a woman of color. I definitely recommend this if you’re wanting a story of mothers, daughters, and wives with a dose of history.

The Midnight Library

Synopsis: Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

Would I Recommend It: I DEVOURED this book. This is truly one of my favorite books of all time. It is so introspective and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to hear about all of Nora’s lives. If I recommend one book so far this year, it’s this one.

The Guest List

Synopsis: On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast. And then someone turns up dead. 

Would I Recommend It: This was juicy and suspenseful. Being told from the perspectives of many attendees of the wedding, you really got to see the whole picture at a fun pace. It’s probably middle of the road of all the murdersque thrillers I’ve read, but I’d say give it a go if you’re looking for something salacious and a bit different. The ending was a bit predictable but how you got there was definitely exciting.

An American Marriage

Synopsis: Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together. This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. 

Would I Recommend It: This was another book club pick and I devoured this on our flight to Texas. It is written so well and also told from the view points from all the protagonists. It’s so interesting to see how multiple people can perceive one situation so differently. It was heartbreaking and thought-provoking. I do recommend this one.

The Hunting Wives

Synopsis: Sophie O’Neill left behind an envy-inspiring career and the stressful, competitive life of big-city Chicago to settle down with her husband and young son in a small Texas town. It seems like the perfect life with a beautiful home in an idyllic rural community. But Sophie soon realizes that life is now too quiet, and she’s feeling bored and restless. Then she meets Margot Banks, an alluring socialite who is part of an elite clique secretly known as the Hunting Wives. Sophie finds herself completely drawn to Margot and swept into her mysterious world of late-night target practice and dangerous partying. As Sophie’s curiosity gives way to full-blown obsession, she slips farther away from the safety of her family and deeper into this nest of vipers. When the body of a teenage girl is discovered in the woods where the Hunting Wives meet, Sophie finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and her life spiraling out of control.

Would I Recommend It: Oh this was a juicy one! In the beginning you relish in hearing about how Sophie slowly starts to envelop yourself into, first, the thought of Margot, and then into her crew itself. Then as the murder piece comes in, it just gets more exciting from there. I recommend this one.

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