Ten Books I’m Glad I Picked on a Whim

12c69-toptentuesday

I am good in planning,
except when I’m reading,
sometimes I follow
where my mood is swinging,
and here are the books
I’m glad I picked on a whim.

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Before I Go to Sleep

About: Memories define us.

So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love – all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.

Welcome to Christine’s life.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 (Good read, definitely!)

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Every Last Word

About: Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

About: EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

Kindred Spirits

About: If you broke Elena’s heart, Star Wars would spill out. So when she decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new movie, she’s expecting a celebration with crowds of people who love Han, Luke and Leia just as much as she does. What she’s not expecting is to be last in a line of only three people; to have to pee into a collectible Star Wars soda cup behind a dumpster or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖  (Good read!)

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova

Love Anthony

About: Two women, each cast adrift by unforseen events in their lives, meet by accident on a Nantucket beach and are drawn into a friendship.
Olivia is a young mother whose eight-year-old severely autistic son has recently died. Her marriage badly frayed by years of stress, she comes to the island in a trial separation to try and make sense of the tragedy of her Anthony’s short life.
Beth, a stay-at-home mother of three, is also recently separated after discovering her husband’s long-term infidelity. In an attempt to recapture a sense of her pre-married life, she rekindles her passion for writing, determined to find her own voice again. But surprisingly, as she does so, Beth also find herself channeling the voice of an unknown boy, exuberant in his perceptions of the world around him if autistic in his expression—a voice she can share with Olivia—(is it Anthony?)—that brings comfort and meaning to them both.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

About: A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

One Plus One

About: Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages… maybe ever.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 (Good read, definitely!)

The Small Backs of Children by Lidia Yuknavitch

The Small Backs of Children

About: In a war-torn village in Eastern Europe, an American photographer captures a heart-stopping image: a young girl flying toward the lens, fleeing a fiery explosion that has engulfed her home and family. The image wins acclaim and prizes, becoming an icon for millions—and a subject of obsession for one writer, the photographer’s best friend, who has suffered a devastating tragedy of her own.

As the writer plunges into a suicidal depression, her filmmaker husband enlists several friends, including a fearless bisexual poet and an ingenuous performance artist, to save her by rescuing the unknown girl and bringing her to the United States. And yet, as their plot unfolds, everything we know about the story comes into question: What does the writer really want? Who is controlling the action? And what will happen when these two worlds—east and west, real and virtual—collide?

Rating: 💖 💖 💖  (Good read!)

We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride

We Are Called to Rise

About: An immigrant boy whose family is struggling to assimilate. A middle-aged housewife coping with an imploding marriage and a troubled son. A social worker at home in the darker corners of Las Vegas. A wounded soldier recovering from an injury he can’t remember getting. By the time we realize how these voices will connect, the impossible and perhaps the unbearable has already happened. We Are Called to Rise is a boomtown tale, in which the lives of people from different backgrounds and experiences collide in a stunning coincidence. When presented the opportunity to sink into despair, these characters rise. Through acts of remarkable charity and bravery, they rescue themselves. Emotionally powerful yet tender and intimate, We Are Called to Rise is a novel of redemption and unexpected love.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖  (Good read!)

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places

About: Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
 
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
 
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

Summary and Photo credit: Goodreads


In response to The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday today:

May 17: Ten Books I Picked Up On A Whim (however you decide to interpret that (bought or read or something else) — I know most people read based on recommendation but we want to know those books you picked up without really hearing about or knowing much about!)

P.S. What one book would you add on this list?

Share it to me! 😀

~

Recent Five Star Reads

12c69-toptentuesday

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”― Jorge Luis Borges


What’s a paradise
without
five-star
reads?

I have my own
five-star paradise,
and my recent residents
are…


All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places

Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3) by Robert Galbraith (Pseudonym), J.K. Rowling

Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3)

Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav

Love & Misadventure

Lullabies by Lang Leav

Lullabies

Macarthur by Bob Ong

Macarthur

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova

Love Anthony

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

Photo credit: Goodreads


In response to The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday today:

March 29: 10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads (Or Ten Of The Best Books I’ve Read Recently

P.S. What are your recent best reads?

Share it to me! 😀

~

2016 Reading Challenge Update: Part 2

update

Before the year ‘leaped’, I was able to read four more books for this month. (My first update for February is here.)

So here are the awesome novels that I have read on and before the 29th. ❤

13th – A classic from the 20th century – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird

What is it about: Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior—to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

What I Love: The depth of the the topic told in an innocent view is just flawless. Now I know the meaning of ‘classic’

What I Don’t Love Much: Honestly, the pace of the first few chapters are a bit slooooow for me.

Wise Words: 

“I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”

“Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.”

“People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖  💖 (Good read, definitely!)

14th – A YA bestseller – Ten Thousand Truths by Susan White

Ten Thousand Truths

What is it about: “Thirteen-year-old Rachel is bad news, or so her foster care worker tells her. She’s been shuttled from one rotten foster family to another ever since her mother and brother died in a car accident five years ago, and she’s running out of options. So when she gets caught shoplifting and is kicked out of her latest home, the only place left to send her is the last resort for kids like her; a farm in the middle of nowhere run by a disfigured recluse named Amelia Walton, whom Rachel names ‘Warty’ because of the strange lumps covering her face and neck.

Rachel settles into life on the farm, losing herself in daily chores and Amelia’s endless trivia and trying to forget her past and the secret she’s holding inside. But when a letter arrives for her out of the blue, Rachel soon realizes that you can’t hide from your past – or your future.”

What I Love: The descriptions of the lovely farm is just so vivid that it felt I was also there.

The literal ten thousand truths are both entertaining and informative.

What I Don’t Love Much: It is a bit short of that ‘oomph’. That feeling which give readers a book hangover.

Wise Words:

“Most of the beliefs in our shortcomings are spoken much louder from within than from anyone else.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 (Good read, definitely!)

15th – A satirical book – Macarthur by Bob Ong

Macarthur

What is it about: A group of four boys with lives ‘destroyed’ in different ways but are united in ‘drugs’ and in a strong friendship bond.

What I Love: Powerfully written. The language used are explicit yet so real. The twists are jaw-dropping and saddening. The subtle way of tackling friendship within a group of ‘addict’ boys are heartwarming.

What I Don’t Love Much: None.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT read!)

16th – A science-fiction novel – The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

What is it about: Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

What I Love: I am no fan of fantasy and the ‘unplanned’ reading of this novel showed me I can love that genre, too.

Neil Gaiman is indeed a skill-full storyteller who can make you angry and scared. His words in this novel are short yet alive.

What I Don’t Love Much: None. 🙂

Wise Words: 

“Books were safe than other people anyway.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT read!)

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Pop SugarGoodreads, Quote Fancy, Board of Wisdom and Like Success

Story Summary: Goodreads


What are you favorite reads last month?

Have you read any of this?

Do you agree with me?

🙂

Let’s talk!

~