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May was a busy month of traveling for me. Normally that would translate to a lot of reading, but sadly it didn’t 🙁 However, I’m pleased that the books I did manage to add to my reading journal were out of my comfort zone because as a reader, I’m always looking for ways to go beyond my normal reading pattern.
As you’ll see below, the books that took stretched me this month included the genres of science fiction, memoir, and young adult. For the most part, they were all really good reads and I hope you’ll consider adding them to your TBR list!
Books I Read This Month
Author: Anna LeBaron
# of Pages: 302
My father had thirteen wives and more than fifty children . . .
This is the haunting memoir of Anna LeBaron, daughter of the notorious polygamist and murderer Ervil LeBaron. Ervil’s criminal activity kept Anna and her siblings constantly on the run from the FBI. Often starving, the children lived in a perpetual state of fear—and despite their numbers, Anna always felt alone. Would she ever find a place she truly belonged? Would she ever be anything other than the polygamist’s daughter?
Filled with murder, fear, and betrayal, The Polygamist’s Daughter is the harrowing, heart-wrenching story of a fatherless girl and her unwavering search for love, faith, and a place to call home.
My thoughts: I’m always fascinated by people’s lives and how they shape them into the person they are today, so I enjoyed reading this memoir. While I thought it would focus more on her dad, it was still insightful on how hard it was for her to be part of a cult and how getting out of it was more difficult than anyone could imagine. Heartbreaking yet encouraging, this is a 4-star book in my opinion!
Author: Matt Haig
Genre: Science Fiction
# of Pages: 299 pages
Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe, there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?
In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting blockbuster novel, 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.
My thoughts: I honestly can’t remember when I read a science fiction book I enjoyed so much!! Granted, it’s only listed as sci-fi because of the whole time travel/parallel universe concept but otherwise, I think it would fall into general literary fiction. I loved the main character, Nora, and truly wanted her to find her happy ever after. Like most of us trying to find fulfillment and satisfaction, Haig does a wonderful job of drawing us into the story and causing us to reflect on our own lives. With almost 80,000 4.5+ reviews and numerous awards, I highly encourage you to check this book out (kudos if you check it out from the library!)!
Author: Jewell Parker Rhodes
Genre: Young Adult (specifically 8-12 years old)
# of Pages: 241
When her fifth-grade teacher hints that a series of lessons about home and community will culminate with one big answer about two tall towers once visible outside their classroom window, Dèja can’t help but feel confused. She sets off on a journey of discovery, with new friends Ben and Sabeen by her side. But just as she gets closer to answering big questions about who she is, what America means, and how communities can grow (and heal), she uncovers new questions, too. Like, why does Pop get so angry when she brings up anything about the towers?
Award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes tells a powerful story about young people who weren’t alive to witness this defining moment in history, but begin to realize how much it colors their every day.
My thoughts: I really liked the premise of this book but it fell short of my expectations. I’m not sure if it was because the writing was meant for young readers, but it felt very stilted to me (however as a former elementary teacher, I’ve read lots of YA books and know that even young kids appreciate good writing). I also felt that some of the concepts were confusing and wondered how a child would understand if I couldn’t! By the end, I was disappointed that it wrapped up so quickly when there could have been so much more depth to it. But then again, I’m 50 so maybe it’s an age thing 🙂 I think this could have been a really good book to help kids understand something that is so important to our nation that they have no clue about, but sadly it wasn’t.
Now that summer is upon us I hope to make up for lost reading time with all the books I have stacked up in my office. So. Many. Books. Is there anything you would recommend I add to the pile? If so, leave a comment below and let me know!