As I look back on my choices so far this year, I see a running theme of strong female characters. None are without flaw, some of them and aren’t particularly “likeable” and yet I’ve enjoyed each story so far. This month I started with a couple more stories told from the accounts of strong female characters, then I jumped to magic and fantasy. A long car ride for spring break gives you lots of time to turn the pages.
Now That You Mention It- Kristan Higgins is an author I found by randomly perusing shelves at the library. I am a person that will judge a book by it’s cover, and so far she hasn’t steered me wrong. This book is about growing up, leaving behind the old to begin anew, yet finding yourself right back at your roots. It takes place on the east coast jumping from Boston to an island off of Maine, and I felt myself relating to Nora about going home when it was needed most, and finding out that maybe all the things that used to be awful aren’t so awful after all. I particularly enjoyed the Maine accent the author through in. Phonetic pronunciation of dialects makes me smile, especially east-coasters.
We Were Mothers- Another book discovered because I was aimlessly browsing, and the title is what drew me in. I do enjoy thrillers, and this one was interesting because all of the voices are tied together by a character that is dead. The theme of protecting the ones you love, and how motherhood defines us was at times hard to swallow and at other times ripped my heart out because as a mother I imagine if I were in those shoes I may just act the same. The characters are human, they are messy, and they are flawed. The men in their lives are incredibly disappointing, and that part made it all the more heart-wrenching to read. Not because you feel bad for them, but because you know women in your own life (and maybe that includes yourself) that are in a similar situation. I really enjoyed this book (I read it in one day), and I’m glad that aimlessly wandering around the fiction section landed this one in my lap.
Atlas Six- I really wanted to enjoy this one, but I just couldn’t dive in. Six Medians (magicians) with various capabilities are recruited to join an Elite group and become the best in the world. There’s just one catch that will put all of them in a compromising position. It moved slow, the characters weren’t all that likable and the fact that it jumped around between six different voices as well as side characters made for too many things for me to keep strait. Hence why I’ve never read Game of Thrones I suppose. I did finish Atlas Six and start Atlas Paradox, but I stopped a couple chapters in. Maybe I’ll revisit it eventually, maybe not.
Never Finished- Two things about this: First, I love David Goggins and generally anything written by men that have served in the Special Forces (especially the SEAL Teams). Second, if you are going to read this, listen to it as an audio book. I read “Can’t Hurt Me” when it came out a few years back, and I heard Goggins speak at an event. He is as hard as they come, rough edges are what make him the rock that he is. To survive what he has to become the man he is, there is no other way around it but going through. I loved the audio book because he has a narrator, then at the end of each chapter he gets on podcast-style and walks through what was just read. The most impactful chapter was the one in which he talks about his childhood and his mother is also on the podcast speaking to the events. It is so raw, and a testament to what we can endure but also what happens when we choose to not let the shitty hand we were dealt define us. Goggins isn’t for everyone, but I will read or listen to most anything he puts out or is featured on. I also found myself pushing just a little bit harder during a run while listening to this audiobook. Coincidence? I think not, 😉
As March came to an end I found myself struggling to read as much as I had been in January and February. That isn’t much of a surprise as I know I either read voraciously or I become passive and bored with almost everything put in front of me. Hopefully I’m able to push through the dry-spell of reading. We shall see, my list isn’t getting any shorter.