It’s been a few weeks since I last updated about what I’ve been reading. In that last update I wrote about two books I didn’t love and mentioned another I was slowing reading through – and that one wasn’t a favorite either. I did read two other interesting books, so here are my reviews!
In some ways, The Autobiography of Us reminded me of The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart (my review). Both stories are about life long best girlfriends and the “act of betrayal” that ends the friendship. Unfortunately, I did not like this book as much as I liked The Myth of You and Me. “Coming of age in the patrician neighborhood of Pasadena, California during the 1960s, Rebecca Madden and her beautiful, reckless friend Alex dream of lives beyond their mothers’ narrow expectations. Their struggle to define themselves against the backdrop of an American cultural revolution unites them early on, until one sweltering evening the summer before their last year of college, when a single act of betrayal changes everything. Decades later, Rebecca’s haunting meditation on the past reveals the truth about that night, the years that followed, and the friendship that shaped her.” There were parts of this book that were good – things about the 60s and how women were held back from their goals just because they were women – but for some reason I couldn’t really get into the story. I didn’t like the characters and I couldn’t understand a lot of their emotions or identify with their motivations. I think maybe the read was too heavy for me. Many of the reviews found the book to be engrossing and captivating, but I just did not feel that way.
The next book I read was Dare to Be Tempted by Eden Davis. I won this book from a giveaway at Goodreads. “Aleesa is happily married and deeply in love with her second husband, and knight in shining armor, Army Reservist Walter Davis. After a two-year tour in Afghanistan, he returns home injured, impotent and struggling to keep a wartime secret that is sure to end his marriage. While Walter was away at war, Aleesa worked hard on his homecoming gift, a bound ‘freak book’ featuring all of her delightfully decadent sexual fantasies, complete with boudoir photos taken by the talented and oh-so tempting Josiah Newman. But since his return, sex has been a nonstarter, the freak book a dismal failure, and as Walter struggles to come to terms with the ghosts of his warrior past, Aleesa finds her storybook marriage spiraling into the abyss of anger and depression. While she’s off on a girls’ getaway, Walter spends his days reading and getting lost in her sexual scenarios. His emotions span the gamut from anger to empathy and gratitude. Hoping it will assuage his guilt for being a failed husband, and allow them to move on, he gives his wife the ultimate anniversary gift—forty-eight hours to fulfill any sexual fantasy of her choosing. Aleesa, hurt and angry that Walt would even suggest such a thing, initially declines, but when his secret comes out and the truth is revealed, his gift becomes her ticket to ultimate revenge. But if she accepts, will it also unwrap the final bow holding together their troubled marriage?” I must start this review by saying that this book is classified as erotica. I knew this before I started to read, but I was surprised by the book in a few ways. First of all, if you’ve read 50 Shades of Grey, this is nothing like it. You might expect a book classified as erotica to have sexual scenes on every page, but it definitely did not. It had a real story about a couple and the effects of the husband’s deployment to Afghanistan. The sexual content was pretty much only in the fantasies written by Aleesa as a gift to her husband. This was another surprising part of the book for me – the language used was not very appealing. If the fantasies were removed or written less graphically, this book could be a novel with an interesting story about a couple struggling through a difficult time. In other words, this book is about a marriage, what happens when a couple is apart for two years due to deployment, forgiveness, choices, and true love.
The third book I read was Killing Me Softly by Nicci French. I won this book from Goodreads as well. “Alice Loudon has it all: a devoted boyfriend, a marvelous circle of friends, a challenging job as a research scientist. Then one morning, on her way to work, she exchanges a lingering look with a devastatingly attractive man. Adam Tallis is the essence of every female fantasy--a daring mountain climber who has been hailed as a hero. As a lover, he is more passionate than Alice's wildest imaginings. Soon there isn't anything or anyone she wouldn't give up to stay by his side. Soon all she has is Adam, and life with this stranger will take her to new heights of madness...and fear.” I very much enjoyed this book. It’s a thriller and it’s entertaining, well-written, and thought provoking. A girl leaves the life she knows to move in with a man she only just met and you know that can’t go well! There are hints that Adam is a little crazy right from the start and when you find out the truth you can’t help but shudder at the events that occur. I definitely recommend this one!
1. What are you currently reading? Tell us about it!
2. What is one book you think every person should read at least once in their life? Why?
I was so sure that most of the people answering this would say The Bible that I started clicking through the link up responses just to see if I was right! I wasn’t. A lot of people mentioned various classics. At least 3 people mentioned Harry Potter. Ashley even suggested that everyone should read at least one Jodi Picoult book – well after I finish the book I’m currently reading, I’ll have read them all! Ok, I still can’t think of a book that changed my life. But here are my 2 favorite books that I have read over and over and recommend.
3. Do you think you could ever write a book? If so what genre would it be?
I always wanted to write a book. I tried to write a novel once. I considered writing a memoir but decided I’m just not that interesting. I don’t think I’m talented enough to write a good book.
4. Do you listen to audiobooks? Do you look for the same things in an audiobook that you do in one you’ll read?
I don’t. The only audiobooks I’ve listened to are the Harry Potter books. I also read them though. I used to have to drive to see clients as part of my job and I was in the car at least 3 hours per week or more, so I would listen to Harry Potter – technically while working! It was great.
5. Can you suggest a book of each type for others to try:
Fantasy – That would have to be Harry Potter. The whole series.
Nonfiction – Ok I just spent way too long trying to figure out what nonfiction books I’ve read and can recommend. The genre really covers a lot doesn’t it? So I’ve decided to recommend The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel.
Fiction – See above.
Romance – The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Classics – Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Young Adult – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
What have you been reading lately?