July: In the Books
July has flown by. I was in and out of town, but I did manage to squeeze in three books. (If I'd done that every month, it would have put me right on target for 36 in 2016...but I have not.)
We road-tripped to Florida last week, and I convinced my friends to take a little detour to Page and Palette, a bookshop in Fairfield, AL that had been recommended to me by one of my reading friends. (Thanks, Gwen! We enjoyed it so much.) It was the sweetest shop. There was an attached coffee shop, and I would have stayed all day if we hadn't had 7 hours of driving left before we would make it home.
My favorite thing about going to smaller shops like that one is finding books I wouldn't otherwise know about. One of the ladies who worked there asked me what books I've read recently that I liked, and when I told her, she gave me lots of good suggestions. It was kind of like the Amazon "other books you might like" except an actual human being was making the recommendations. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about Amazon and getting any book delivered to your doorstep in 48 hours, but it's fun to go to these smaller places where a real live human still tells you what they like and what you might like. I left with FIVE books. I haven't started any of them yet, but I'm excited to get to them.
I've decided I'm going to explore one independent bookstore a month. I went to bunch of them in Houston a couple of years ago, and it was such a fun day. I'm going to revisit some of those and maybe make it a point to find ones in towns I visit. Because it's fun!
Okay. Onto the actual books I've read.
Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist. I just finished this one last night. I read it slowly and mostly right before bed because it was more of a collection of essays and thoughts than a continuous story. But I really enjoyed it! I read Bittersweet and Bread and Wine years ago, but this was her first book, and it was interesting to read it having read the others. She wrote it during a time when she was less sure about everything in her life, when she was less settled and more was in flux (at least it seems that way to me as the reader), and there was something refreshing about remembering that people have not always been in the places that they are.
What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman. This book was a little disturbing. Interesting. Thought-provoking. But disturbing. It's set in an insane asylum and blends of a present-day story with one that took place in the 1920s and 30s. The historical story is the disturbing one. Because this girl is basically trapped in an insane asylum by her parents. And she can do nothing about it. Ugh. It makes me feel the same way I feel when I think about that move Gravity where those people just float off into outer space. It makes my skin crawl. But the book was still a good story!
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. Surely you knew it was coming. Another Kate Morton book. I really like all of the books I've read by her. Every time I read one, I think that it is my favorite. But this time, while I loved this book, I decided that my favorite is still The Forgotten Garden. Which feels like maybe my favoritism is less blind than it was. So, if you're going to start with one, start with The Forgotten Garden. [And then read them all!] I also figured out a tiny piece of the ending of this once before I got there. There were still twists I didn't see coming, but it made me feel like I kind of know her now. Plus, I kind of want to be a detective and this may be as close as I get.
Happy reading! If you need me, I'm aiming for one book per week in August.