What have you been reading lately? IT'S BOOK TIME. In case you have no interest in reading all of my rambles, I've included basic yes-or-no verdicts below each title.

1. The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
YES (MATURE AUDIENCE)  // So much hype with this one. I definitely couldn't put it down. I read this one and Luckiest Girl Alive in a few consecutive late nights. This one had such great suspense - it was definitely thrilling, even when I figured it out earlier than I anticipated. That said, I didn't really find the ending that believable...kind of felt like a stretch to me, but I still enjoyed it. Everyone compares it to Gone Girl. Why is every suspense thriller now compared to Gone Girl?

For Fans of: Great Britain, MYSTERY! INTRIGUE! BLACK OUT DRUNKENNESS! (Who is actually a fan of that? Whatever, there's a lot of it in there), Gone Girl

Quote: “I have never understood how people can blithely disregard the damage they do by following their hearts.” 


2. Luckiest Girl Alive, by Jessica Knoll
Hard to say yes in good conscience, NO if we go to church together..ahaha
Reese Witherspoon's production company has already bought the rights to this book. I don't even know how many days it was even published before they did that, so clearly I was intrigued because I love Reese Witherspoon. (She produced Gone Girl...ENOUGH WITH THE GONE GIRL). This is actually my own fault, because I keep reading books that have "The next Gone Girl!" listed on the cover. Anyway. I read this on my phone. AN ENTIRE BOOK, ON MY PHONE. My poor retinas. It was the only available format for me to read it right away. This was...traumatizing. Any person that willingly reads the sinister looking book with a black death rose on the cover clearly deserves to be traumatized, I guess. It was really upsetting, and unfortunately for my tender heart, completely impossible to stop reading until you find out what happens. In a very important justice kind of way. Though, congratulations to Jessica Knoll on writing something so crazy and immediately having it turned into a movie.

For Fans of: GONE GIRL, OF COURSE! Life in the Big Apple, schools full of rich kids, nightmares, anything twisted that Gillian Flynn writes

Quote: “There is something about seeing someone from behind, something about the way people walk away, that I've always found unnervingly intimate. Maybe it's because the back of the body isn't on guard the way the front is - the slouch of the shoulders and the flex in the back muscles, that's the most honest you'll ever see a person.” 


3. The Secrets of Midwives, by Sally Hepworth
Yes, read it!
LOVED THIS. I am fascinated by midwifery, I love Ina May Gaskin (even with my joyful epidural experience). After the first two heavy books I read, this was a welcome respite from all of the murdering. This was about three generations of midwives - each with their own secrets and how to finally share them. It was fairly predictable, but I enjoyed the characters and I loved reading about the births.

For Fans of: Birth stories, midwifery, The Business of Being Born without naked Ricki Lake, Call the Midwife

Quote: "That superhuman feeling people describe? It has nothing to do with the baby comes out. It's about what happens to the mother. You'll grow extra hands and legs to look after your baby. You'll definitely grow an extra heart for all the love you'll feel...the second you see this baby, you won't care if it came out your stomach or your nose." 


4. Scary Close, by Donald Miller
Yes! Read and discuss.
Oh, Don! This was great. I still think A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is my favorite, but that has much to do with the season I was in when I read it. Once I finished it, I started reading it again to Bryan when we are in the car since our drive is so long. It's brought about great discussion. Whether or not it's your favorite Donald Miller book, his vulnerability is so brave and admirable -- made me want to follow suit. You can't help but finish it and be so proud of him and happy for him. 

For Fans of: Boundaries by Henry Cloud, memoirs, dudes talking about feelings, Love Does by Bob Goff, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

"To remind myself to never go back to being careful, I made a list of new freedoms. It looked like this: I am willing to sound dumb. I am willing to be wrong. I am willing to be passionate about something that isn't perceived as cool. I am willing to express a theory. I am willing to admit I'm afraid. I'm willing to contradict something I've said before. I'm willing to have a knee-jerk reaction; even a wrong one. I'm willing to apologize. I'm perfectly willing to be perfectly human."

5. We Are Called to Rise, by Laura McBride
Yes, read it
An interwoven collection of hardships from the perspective of several different characters - set in the suburbs of Las Vegas. I didn't find myself drawn to any of the characters besides the main little boy, Bashkim. He will melt your tiny heart into a puddle. It was so beautifully written -- a beautiful portrayal of how we all respond differently to the things that break us.

For Fans of: the movie Crash, desert living, stories of redemption, war stories

Quote: “It all matters. That someone turns out the lamp, picks up the windblown wrapper, says hello to the invalid, pays at the unattended lot, listens to the repeated tale, folds the abandoned laundry, plays the game fairly, tells the story honestly, acknowledges help, gives credit, says good night, resists temptation, wipes the counter, waits at the yellow, makes the bed, tips the maid, remembers the illness, congratulates the victor, accepts the consequences, takes a stand, steps up, offers a hand, goes first, goes last, chooses the small portion, teaches the child, tends to the dying, comforts the grieving, removes the splinter, wipes the tear, directs the lost, touches the lonely, is the whole thing. What is most beautiful is least acknowledged. What is worth dying for is barely noticed.”


6. Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan
Sure, if you're looking for a fluffy vacation read or something to read on the plane
This really requires no description - it's exactly as it sounds. I loved reading about the culture in Singapore and Hong Kong, but eventually I was like okaaaaay I get it YOU'RE RICH. Some of the descriptions of the opulence made me roll my eyes.

For Fans of: The Devil Wears Prada, the Shopaholic series, fashion, cash money records taking over 99 into 2000 (name that song)

WHAT HAVE YOU READ LATELY? Loved or hated -- tell me!

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