What I’ve Been Reading Lately: Buzzworthy Books

WhatIveBeenReading

Even though it’s prime reading time – hello, poolside reading – I haven’t been reading as much as I’d hope this summer. I brought home a stack of books from the library this week so I’m hoping for an upward trend.

The books I was able to squeeze in during this busy time, I thoroughly enjoyed and can’t want to share my thoughts about them with you. As always, I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share our latest and greatest reads.

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The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

“You know, one meets so many people, the years pass and pass, but there are certain times, certain people – they take up room. So much room…they move in and make themselves at home and start flapping their arms in the story you make of your life. They have wingspan.”

I’ve heard a lot of good buzz about this book and, I’m happy to report, it lived up to praise! It was a bittersweet story about love, family, heartbreak, acceptance and finally redemption. A young Boy Scout strikes up a friendship with Ona, an older (much older: 104 years old!) lady, while doing chores for her to fulfill a Boy Scout patch requirement. He convinces her to shoot for some Guinness World Records, giving her a newfound incentive and interest in life. Unfortunately, the boy dies suddenly, and his distant father steps in to finish the patch requirement, but also becomes attached to Ona in the process. They set out to answer some questions and revisit the past – both hers and his. There is a bit of healing for both of them along the way. The story takes its time but never lags. It’s a melancholy book but still hopeful and sweet.

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

“There just wasn’t enough time in 2008. It had become a limited resource. Back in 1998, the days were so much more spacious. When she woke up in the morning, the day rolled out in front of her like a long hallway for her to meander down, free to linger over the best parts. Days were so stingy now. Mean slivers of time. They flew by like speeding cars. Whoosh!”

Alice passes out at her spin class and gets a nasty bump on her head. When she finally comes to, she thinks it’s ten years earlier. She thinks she’s 29, newly married and has a baby on the way. To her shock, she’s actually 39, has three children and is getting a divorce. The last ten years of her life are completely gone. We, the readers, get to piece her life together through the memories of those around her. We also get to discover the harsh realities and pains of the past ten years, many of which caused strains on several of her relationships. She desperately wants everything to go back to how things were in her 20’s when she was still idealistic and naïve. Instead things get more complicated when her memory returns.

I really enjoyed this book! It’s a page-turner and an easy read, but it dives into some complex themes of love, family, heartbreak, disappointment, family/marriage issues, and how we change with time (and do we like those changes?). It was thoughtful and interesting, a bit sad, but also hopeful. A book I will think about for a while.

I’m eager to read Liane Moriarty’s other books now. I especially have my eyes on her latest: Truly Madly Guilty. (Unfortunately, many others want to read it too, because I’m 75th on the wait list at the library for it.)

Your turn: What have you been reading lately?

5 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Reading Lately: Buzzworthy Books

  1. Oh geez I didn’t even realize Moriarty had a new book! Going to get on the library waiting list now.

    I had the same reaction to What Alice Forgot – I couldn’t stop thinking about it and how to recognize little changes over time that add up to big life shifts.

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  2. I loved What Alice Forgot, and I’ve just recently read Big Little Lies, which was equally good–review here! I have to admit that in What Alice Forgot, the way everyone is conspiring to keep a big secret from her is weird and seems weirder when you find out what the secret is…but although that isn’t especially realistic, I liked the way it worked in the plot.

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