Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I had avoided reading this book because I heard a review where someone said it was pandering to 80s nerds. They felt like it was too much about nostalgia and not enough plot. I’m so glad I finally read it myself because I disagree. I recognized some of the references in the book but for the most part I was blissfully unaware of all the details covered. So for me it was just a fun engaging read and toward the end I was looking for more jobs to do so I could continue listening to the book. (Warning: language).
Educated by Tara Westover
This book was simply incredible. Like a train wreck you can’t look away from, that somehow turns inspiring in the end. Tara Westover’s life story is captivating. I do feel the need to add a disclaimer. Tara comes from a Mormon (LDS) background; however her upbringing is in no way typical of most members of that faith. Her parents are fanatics, and have taken their beliefs to an extreme. Because I am LDS, I feel strongly the need to qualify her experience as far, far from how Mormonism is meant to be practiced. With that said, I could not put this book down and I kept monopolizing dinnertime conversation to tell my family all about it.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
I have re-read the first three Harry Potter books multiple times with various children, but haven’t re-read books four through seven since they first came out. It was delightful to be back in that world and experience it again for the first time in many years. This series is beloved by millions for a reason.
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
I have mixed feelings about this book. I loved the story. It’s packed with strong women and well defined characters. I was invested immediately and wanted to see the story to its conclusion. However, there were just a few too many “steamy” scenes for my comfort (I put that in quotation marks because some of them are consensual and many are not. If this is a trigger for you, you may want to avoid this book).
Bear Town by Fredrick Backman
Let me start off by saying that I LOVED A Man Called Ove. Loved. (And the movie is so, so good) I did not love Bear Town. In fact, I debated about not finishing on multiple occasions. I was deeply attached to the characters so I powered through. Fredrick Backman is a master of developing flawed but deeply lovable characters.
The language is among the worst I’ve experienced and still actually finished the book. To tell the truth, I was conflicted about even posting about it here. But I did read it, and some points I really loved. It covers hard topics and is a bit too graphic for me in places. (Warning: Language, language, language and some other graphic scenes)
A fun, girl-power story set during the Revolutionary War. We enjoyed reading this aloud together during Morning Time. There were some parts that were funny, some a little slow, but overall it was very enjoyable.