“When I was small and easily wounded books were my carapace. If I were recalled to my hurts in the middle of a book they somehow mattered less. My corporeal life was slight the dazzling one in my head was what really mattered. Returning to books was coming home.” --Lauren Groff
It's been a busy month including a lot of time in airports and on airplanes, which means the list is long! Truly a month of the good, the bad, and the ugly...
The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah: I've loved Kristin Hannah for years, and her latest offering is, in my opinion, one of her best yet. The novel tells the story of two very different sisters living in Vichy France and their respective attempts to aid the Resistance and survive. I couldn't put it down...and cried like a baby (on an airplane) for most of the last hundred pages. Beautifully written and gripping.
Outlander, Diana Gabaldon: My beloved colorist Jen recommended the "Outlander" series to me and I am absolutely obsessed. The first book centers around the events leading up to the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 in the Scottish Highlands and meshes fascinatingly with post-World War II England in the weirdest but most wonderful way.
Dragonfly in Amber, Diana Gabaldon: This sequel to "Outlander" starts off in Bourbon France and ends with the Jacobite rebellions. It's such a great read...romance, mystery, and history all combined to totally suck me in.
The Voyager, Diana Gabaldon: Book 3 of the "Outlander" series moves twenty years past the Jacobite rebellions and focuses on Hanover rule in the Highlands, the emergence of the triangle trade in the West Indies, and even starts off a little bit of pre-Revolution America. RIVETED, I TELL YOU.
Open Road Summer, Emery Lord: I've followed this author since she used to blog, and her writing style is incredibly relatable and sweet. This was a quick "read over a few days' lunches" book...sort of a Taylor Swift meets Sarah Dessen type young adult charmer.
The Start of Me and You, Emery Lord: Similarly, this one is geared to a much younger audience than me, but I wanted to see how her blog voice translated to a novel. This was another quick, light, heartwarming read I'd recommend to pretty much any teenager.
Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff: This was a recommendation at the MSP bookstore, and I have to say it was kind of a letdown. The premise of the book...the tale of a couple's marriage, from each perspective, both on the surface and underneath...was promising, but the execution left every character unlikable and Groff's writing style just kept irritating me--way too choppy for my taste (AND WAY TOO MANY PARENTHETICALS [irony intended]).
Grey, E.L. James: Oh god, I'm so ashamed to admit I've read this, let alone re-read it, but I downloaded it drunk one night and it was the only thing synced to my iPhone in the iBooks app on my way home from Columbus. OH THE HORROR. It's just as misogynistic and poorly-written the second time around, if that's any reassurance.