For The Love Of Books | June 2017

Happy July!

In the month of June I read three books and started a bunch of others (see what I completed at the bottom of this post). I'm finding myself in one of those seasons where I am just hungry for information and content and right now I'm getting pulled in a bunch of different directions for my books - which is exciting and a little overwhelming but also awesome. The stack next to my bed is growing again. In this season I'm making time for reading in the morning after going on my walk, at the pool with the kids in the late afternoon/early evening, and then before bed. 

I also started an online workshop with Gabrielle Bernstein that is inspiring me in a bunch of ways right now so I ordered a bunch of her books (Spirit JunkieThe Universe Has Your Back, and May Cause Miracles) as well as A Return To Love by Marianne Williamson. Trying to make time for this kind of reading in the morning and then fiction later in the day. 


This post is part of my monthly series "For The Love Of Books" where I track and share what I've been reading in 2017. I'm also trying to do that on Goodreads as well if you are already into that platform. My hope is to post on or near the first of each month to share what I ended up reading last month and then share what books I'm selecting from Book Of The Month (BOTM) for the next month.

Please Note // This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Today is July 1 and that means it's time for current BOTM subscribers to choose books from this month's selections.

For July's Book Of The Month I chose just one book because I've got so many others in progress right now: 

  • The Windfall by Diksha Basu
  • I also went in and added another book to my order after reading more about the selections so Final Girls will be coming to me soon. 

Sometimes people ask how I have my books already when most people are just choosing? I initially received a gift subscription from Katie for Christmas and started posting about it on Instagram because I was so in love with the idea of getting a book in the mail each month. After that I was contacted by their media team and invited to be part of their Ambassador program where they give me the chance to see the books in advance and they send them to me in exchange for a post when the new books become available each month.

JULY BOTM PROMOTION // Try Book Of The Month for 3 months for just $10 per month. 


IN PROGRESS

Currently Reading:

Started But Haven't Finished // Sometimes I start a book and get part way through and set it down for one reason or another - lately it's been that I've been more excited to read something else:


READ IN 2017

NOTE: (BOTM) means the book came from the Book Of the Month Club

JANUARY

  • You Will Know Me (BOTM) // First book from BOTM. Read it in a day and a half (suspense). Enjoyed. 
  • Lucky You (BOTM) // I remember liking this one as I was reading it but to be honest I can barely remember it now. This is why I'm trying to remember to post some short thoughts on Instagram when I finish each one. 

FEBRUARY

  • Behind Her Eyes (BOTM) // Suspense. Crazy twist. Enjoyed. 
  • Perfect Little World (BOTM) // Vacation read. Liked the change of pace on this one (had been reading more suspense). This one was a sweet little story with topics of motherhood and family and tribes of people and how things change. 
  • What Alice Forgot (Kindle) // Vacation read. Totally enjoyed this story and imagining what it would be like to experience memory loss in this way. Not suspense.   

MARCH

  • The Twilight Wife // Aaron picked this one out at Target to read while we were on vacation and I read it when he was done. I thought this one was okay - probably had something to do with the fact that I read What Alice Forgot right before this one and they both deal with memory loss (this one is more suspense).
  • The Stranger In The Woods (BOTM) // Non-fiction. This true story about a man living in the woods of Maine for almost 30 years read like a long-form magazine article. I enjoyed the break from the fiction I've been reading. 
  • Exit West (BOTM) // This one was a lot different from what I've been reading and I appreciated it for that. Different kind of narrator (omniscient) and subject matter (refugees). Glad I read it. 
  • Marlena (BOTM) // Gave this one three stars on Goodreads. I'm going to go with "like" but not "love" on this one. I kinda think, after finishing it, that it might be one that will pop up in my mind as I go about my days (so maybe it should get a better review). I enjoyed the story and she used a few writing techniques that I really liked. Sometimes it felt slow and I just wanted her to get on with the story :).
  • Pachinko (BOTM) // Seriously loved this one and am super glad I picked it up again after putting it down before our Mexico trip. Epic generational tale of Koreans living in Japan (really loved learning more about that). 

APRIL

  • Good As Gone (Kindle) // Definitely stayed interested and engaged with the story and wanted to know what was going to happen. As others have mentioned, the beginning felt stronger than the end. Felt like the author had a unique voice. Glad I read it. Three stars. 
  • American War (BOTM) // This book took me longer to read than others recently and sometimes I would forget that it was a future US civil war vs. the past civil war and I wondered more than once where in the world the story was actually heading (and was it actually heading anywhere)? There were days where I felt like I was making myself read it - which I don't always don - but for some reason I wanted to keep reading. There was a certain point in this book, probably more than halfway through the story, where I realized that this was an exceptional book. I finished it today and I think it's one of the best books I've read in awhile. I found the author to be an extremely sophisticated writer/storyteller who was very purposeful and deliberate with his prose - I can't remember the last time I really felt that way about the words I was reading on the page.
  • Into The Water (BOTM) // A super fast, page-turning read for me. At first I felt like it was hard to keep up with all the different narrators but as I got more into it I was able to keep all the characters straight (it was one of those where I needed to keep flipping back and forth to remember who was who). Definitely enjoyed for a quick read! 

MAY

  • Since We Fell (BOTM) // Totally enjoyed this one. Kept my interest with it's twists and definitely wanted to know what was going to happen in the end. As you might tell from most of my reviews, I'm not a super critical reader. If I like it, I like it and I liked this one.
  • Woman No. 17 (BOTM) // This one was a just-okay for me where I definitely felt like I was making myself finish it. 
  • Small Great Things (Kindle) // So, so good. Hard and thought-provoking and worth it. Definitely my favorite of the month. 
  • The Butterfly Hours: Transforming Memories Into Memoir //Picked this one up randomly at a bookstore. I'm always attracted to books about memoir writing (totally in alignment with my memory keeping endeavors) and this one really filled me up these last few weeks as I was working on some new classroom content. Patty Dann also loves to use one word jumping off points to pull stories from our memories/prompt us to tell more (similar to my 31 Things and 31 More Things workshops) so I loved checking out her writing style and reading her stories. I loved how her writing is fact based but conveys so much meaning and feeling just via the ways she chooses to construct her sentences. Quick and easy read.

JUNE

  • The Sisters Chase (BOTM) // Loved the story and the characters. 
  • Chemistry (BOTM) // I really enjoyed the totally different writing style - basically it's written in snippets of thoughts/memories/etc. Being introduced to different writing styles is definitely one of the things I'm loving from reading so many books right now. I really liked the micro-story approach (a lot like what we do with memory keeping) and I also really liked the weaving of science/chemistry in with the lessons of life and love and moving forward. Super quick read. 
  • This Is How It Always Is // Jessica Turner told me I had to read this one next so it jumped to the top of my list after I finished Chemistry. This book was amazing. Basically I feel a whole lot of love for this story. For the characters, for the message of acceptance and inclusion, for the nuances of the middle-path. Highly recommended.

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13 thoughts

  1. busywoman139 says…
    07/01/2017

    Not sure if you ever do audiobooks but I heard on the What Should I Read Next podcast that the audio version of Born A Crime is really great since Trevor Noah narrates.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      07/02/2017

      I think I'm going to switch to that (from the regular book) - that would be great to listen to while I'm walking!

  2. judyg says…
    07/01/2017

    I almost picked The Windfall, but decided on The Final Girls. I love thrillers, especially in the summer. I have been on a major reading binge, I've read 26 books this year. My goal is 50, but also have a few scrap booking goals, so we'll see how it goes! Thanks again, Ali, for your motivation.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      07/02/2017

      Me too - that's why I ended up getting it too :). Let me know if you want to read The Windfall and I can drop it off!

    2. judyg says…
      07/02/2017

      I would love to read it when you are done. Thanks Ali.

  3. hedyhahn says…
    07/02/2017

    I first read 'Return to Love' about 24-25 years ago and was blown away by the book. I still have it and the old diskette of the book that I like to listen to from time to time. I think I need a CD version now !

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      07/02/2017

      Awesome - looking forward to reading it.

  4. birdnscrap says…
    07/02/2017

    Thanks for these recommendations, Ali!
    Loved "The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane" by Lisa See. She's a great writer.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. ksimeck says…
    07/03/2017

    HUGE fan of Gabby's. I often open Miracles Now to a random page to guide my meditation practice. It's also, of course, the perfect spot.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. jessicanturner says…
    07/17/2017

    I'm so glad you loved This is How It Always is! I knew you would. Others to add to your reading list - Dark Matter and Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Both are 5 stars. :) I also just did the audio books of Not My Father's Son and Between Breaths. They were fantastic.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      07/31/2017

      Loved Dark Matter - read that one last year!

  7. CasieGutierrez says…
    07/25/2017

    Ali,
    How did you like The Windfall? I just signed up for BOTM club (using your link) and I am excited to start next month!
    Casie

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      07/31/2017

      Haven't finished it yet - picked it up a couple times and ended up reading Final Girls instead.

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