Bookclub

20 BOOK REVIEWS

Yup, I’m still going! And I’ve already hit my minimum goal of reading 40 books in 2020 and excited to keep going! I’m hoping that I’ll surpass my lofty goal of reading 50 books this year. I’d like to think that I could set the same goal for next year, but really hoping that we don’t have another quarantine, and pretty sure I should give lots of credit to attaining my goal to that. But, we’ll see!

Check out my book reviews of the last 20 books that I read. There are some REALLY good ones that you should definitely check out, and some that I think you’d do fine to miss. If you missed the other post of the book reviews of the first 20 books that I read this year, check out this post!

SHOP ALL 20

NO. 1 BETTER THAN BEFORE

Gretchen Rubin’s book on The Four Tendencies I really enjoyed and how it broke dow the personality types and how to communicate the best with each. This book talks about habit-forming behaviors and how you can use your personality type to your advantage. I personally love these kinds of self-knowledge books and read a few pages where I’m pretty sure I said outloud, “yup! I do that”, and “yup! I should do that”. If you’re looking to change things in your habits or have tried something over and over again, check out this book! Who knows? It might give you a tip that will completely change your New Year’s Resolutions outcome.

NO. 2 SUCH A FUN AGE

This one I wasn’t a huge fan of. Kind of surprised that it made it onto Reese’s bookclub. It does have some twists and I enjoyed the development of the characters, but it really doesn’t go anywhere. As I finished it I remember thinking that the end had almost nothing to do with the majority of the middle of the book. Now, it did keep me reading, but it wasn’t one that when I closed it up I thought, “ya, people should totally read this”!

NO. 3 GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY

If you have followed me for a while, then you know that I love everything Rachel Hollis. I have read all of her books, listen to her podcast weekly, and have participated in her 90 Day challenge. This, is her husband… well, I guess her soon to be ex-husband. It’s kind of crazy because many of the podcasts of Hollis that I have listened to was of the two of them talking about their relationship and how they keep the ‘love alive’, joke’s on me, I guess? Anyway, I’ve really loved Rachel’s books and found them super inspiring, this one, was not my favorite. You might still really like it because it does pack a lot of information, but because it packed in so much information and so many tips, it almost felt like a CliffNotes version. I felt like at the end of every chapter I thought “wait, they’re not going to talk more about that?”

NO. 4 AMERICAN ROYALS

Okay, now THIS one I loved. It is a fiction book following the family and children of who would have been the royal family of America, if that was a thing. It’s funny how they reference former presidents as Kings, and just to think about the concept as a whole. Either way, I’m kind of a sucker for anything having to do with royalty, and the drama of this family, the dynamic between the siblings, and the cliffhanger at the end? So good! I was so glad that I found and read this book not long before the sequel came out, scroll down to see my review on that one too!

NO. 5 THE PARIS HOURS

This one took me a while to read. It was hard to get into, and when I did sit down and dedicate myself to it, it was kind of hard to follow. It is the story of four different people and their lives in Paris, well, their completely different lives in Paris. The ending is kind of magical and rather deep, but considering you have to get through four completely different storylines to get to it, I found it rather confusing. I found myself having to backtrack a bit to remind myself who was who and what was what. People smarter than I might not have as hard of a time to follow, but I prefer a book to come together and connect earlier than the last chapter.

NO. 6 NORMAL PEOPLE

Another book that I wanted to read because I thought it would be really good considering it was made into a television series. But, now I’m not even going to waste my time on the series… except maybe for the accents. Everything is more interesting with an accent. To me, nothing happened in this book. Absolutely nothing. It follows a high school boy and girl who develop a relationship then follows that relationship through and after college, but it’s not what you think. It’s not like this crazy love story where people are running through the airport to get to the other. I did not like this book, like, at all. Sorry.

NO. 7 THE VANISHING HALF

I loved how this book has characters that you don’t normally have in traditional books. I think it’s so important that everyone is represented in literature so that everyone can see themselves in stories and books. It also covers cultural differences and a feeling of identity within cultures, actually super pertinent to this year. It takes place over several decades and follows a few families and does tie back together. I really enjoyed it and think that it’s an important read for everyone.

NO. 8 I KNOW WHY THE AGED BIRD SINGS

Everyone needs to read this book. Everyone needs to read Maya Angelou. Period. Her take on her own upbringing and childhood is an eye opening read and her writing, well, incomparable.

NO. 9 NINE PERFECT STRANGERS

Okay, this one is a great one! It’s a mystery and a bit of a drama and I just kept reading and reading and reading! It follows nine strangers (duh) that go to what they think is a health retreat. They signed up for it as individuals, couples, families, thinking they would go to a beautiful health retreat and leave completely different people! Some getting over divorces, some trying to reconnect, some trying to lose weight and find themselves, all sorts of stories. After they get there they realize that it is absolutely nothing like a spa or what they thought and the person that is running it has some secrets of their own. Are you intrigued? Yup! Read it!

NO. 10 AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE

Another incredible appropriate book to read this year, this book is an eye opening take on one marriage that goes through an incredible challenge, that they shouldn’t have been in, at all. It will give you another eye opening perspective on the state of our country.

NO. 11 A SPARK OF LIGHT

I love Jodi Picoult. Love love love. She somehow always finds a way to make me cry. This follows several different characters through one day that completely changes their lives. It is told backwards chronologically which can be a little difficult to piece together, but kind of what makes it so interesting. Now, it does cover several really sensitive subjects so could be something that a lot of people wouldn’t want to read, but when you read through the story and the stories of the characters, it might even change your mindset on several of the subjects.

NO. 12 I’M STILL HERE

Another book that many many people should read. It covers several everyday encounters, experiences, regular everyday events at work that are experienced completely differently based on your race. Anyone who feels like they need an education on the experiences of someone else in our country today should read this book. It will open your eyes to everyday occurrences that sheds more light on the inequality of our nation and people’s ignorant behavior.

NO. 13 THE GUEST LIST

This one I read in a day, because I literally couldn’t put it down. By the end of the day I was sitting on the couch absolutely glued to my Kindle, shushing my husband every time I sensed he was about to speak and interrupt the book. This mystery is a total thrill ride and has made me want to read everything else she wrote. It follows the wedding weekend of one glamorous couple on an isolated island and how several of their guests know each other, love each other, and even hate each other. If you’re into thrillers and want a book that will keep twisting and turning and make you want to keep reading no matter what you have going on? This one is for you.

NO. 14 I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST ME

Give me all of the Brene Brown. I love all of her books and will be reading Rising Strong next. I think that everyone needs a reminder that no matter how bad we feel, or guilty, or like an outsider, odds are insanely good that many of the people around you feel the same way. Plus, it is a reminder that those who are making you feel guilty, mom shaming you, or passing those not-so-subtle but oh-so-judgey comments is not an indictment on you. As hard as it may be to remember, but everyone needs a good reminder, thus, needs to read this book.

NO. 15 CITY GIRLS

While I admire Elizabeth Gilbert and hold Eat Pray Love in a special place In my heart, this one was not as revered. I enjoyed the story and the writing kept me reading, however it was another one of those books where the end I feel, had nothing to do with the story as a whole. I felt as if Gilbert wanted to tell the story of a strong woman in a time where women weren’t supposed to be so strong and independent, but wanted to have it connect to present day, however it didn’t quite. I would have liked the story of the young woman and her journey of moving to New York by itself, but the book’s attempt to bring it to present-day and connect it to a different story was, a bit of a stretch. However still entertaining!

NO. 16 A BURNING

This is an impactful book and an amazing story, but it is a different way of writing which can take getting used to. There are several different character’s point of view, so that in combination with the style of writing can be hard at times, but the story and the impact did make for a great book.

NO. 17 BIG SUMMER

Oh my goodness this book! I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect as I bought it on a whim in Target because I had seen the cover so many times. But this was an amazing read. I think it was also one that I read in two days because I just couldn’t put it down. It follows a young woman who has struggled throughout her life with confidence, and when her friend gets married, those struggles actualize in a very dramatic way. There are tons of twists and turns and the writing will keep you reading. Like, until it’s over.

NO. 18 MAJESTY

This was the sequel to American Royals and it was so good!! I am a sucker for the drama of the royal family, and it picks up pretty much right where it leaves off. I’m not sure that I like it as much as the first one, but it does give each of the characters conclusion.

NO. 19 HOMEBODY

So this isn’t exactly the normal book that I read, but seeing as I’m getting more into interior design and people keep asking how I’m studying, I’d figure I would include it. I love anything Joanna Gaines, and this book has tactical and legitimate tips and tricks. Not to mention it has some beautiful pictures and inspiration included. I have had it for a year or so now as a coffee table book, so if you’re not interested in reading the whole thing, it can always act as decor itself!

NO. 20 DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING

If you’ve followed Rachel Hollis for a while, you know that she has created an empire. You might also know that a few months ago she announced that she and her husband were getting divorced. This book was originally started in the middle of the pandemic and how to handle loss and difficult situations, I think that when her marriage issues reared its ugly head, she edited the book a bit to include some fo those details. It’s not at funny or uplifting as her usual work, but it is absolutely an inspiring read. It at times doesn’t sound like Rachel, meaning you can tell she has had a very tough few months, but I admire everything she does and think that the courage it took to write this book is no exception. If you like her, you’ll like this book.

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2 thoughts on “20 BOOK REVIEWS

  1. I happened to stumble across this book review list while on Google looking for evidence that the character Alix was loosely based around Rachel Hollis because there are some similarities. I would suggest re-reading this book. You may have missed the message behind the book, which is about the parallels between Emira and Alix’s lives and how Alix views Emira, her white employee.