What I've Read Lately, Vol. VI | Alyssa J Cori: What I've Read Lately, Vol. VI

June 24, 2020

What I've Read Lately, Vol. VI

My last post about reading came out at the start of April. I've flown through 10 more books since then, so it's time for an update! I've covered a ton of genres, from historical fiction, to short stories, to thrillers so hopefully this gives you inspiration of what to pick up next.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! These are awesome books you should pick up for your summer reading

The Little Friend by Donna Tartt ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I love Donna Tartt and was completely taken with her other two works. The subject of The Little Friend was interesting and different than anything I've read before. Her prose is wonderful, her characters captivating, and her stories engaging. The Little Friend follows Harriet, a 12 and a half year old girl who sets out to avenge the death of her brother that took place when she was just an infant. There is a wide cast of characters and plenty of action, making the long book go by fast.

American Royals by Katherine McGee ⭐️⭐️

I read this book as a palate cleanser with the hope that it would be a light and fun novel. It was definitely light, but not too fun for me. The characters were predictable and tiring, and it didn't end with a nice, happy ending. I should have realized it was only the first book in a series so it needed to end on cliff hanger! While the concept was original, the end product is not something I'd recommend.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I really liked this look at how things can change in an instant, and how we can be tempted to go back in time. This book is about a man who is wrongfully convicted and how his wife moves on while he's in jail. Things can't go back to the way they were after their separation, and they both struggle with how to move on. It's a great look at expectations, fault, and right versus wrong.

The Dutch House by Anne Patchett ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book explores abandonment, ownership, and responsibility. A family lives in a mansion called the Dutch House, but happiness doesn’t last long when their mother leaves. A stepmother and two stepsisters come to live with them, and the story unfolds from there. It’s a wonderfully written story that makes you think about the bond between siblings and what is and isn’t worth holding on to.

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was intrigued by the subject of this book. It tells the story of Joy, an American woman who writes to C. S. Lewis about her faith journey and questions, and starts a correspondence across the sea. From her first visit to England, to the challenges she faces with family relationships, to her long burning love for her friend turned husband, it’s a compelling story. The reason I gave it three stars? PACING. Joy’s love for Lewis is apparent very quickly, but we wait until the last quarter of the book for any concrete sign that he feels the same. It’s a long game of back and forth (“are we friends, or are we more”) and then it’s nearly too late. I suppose that this is an accurate representation of how things developed between them, so I’m not sure what else I’m really expecting the author to do here. Perhaps this could have been a shorter novel?

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The first 3/4 of this book were very good, and the last 1/4 was great! I read The Night Circus and had high expectations for this Morgenstern book. The concept of an underground world where books and stories are treasures appealed to me as a reading lover, and the scenes in Manhattan were up my alley. This was a mystical and ever twisting story in a story that I would highly recommend!

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown ⭐️⭐️

This was a quick summer read that was part of my book club. It was fun to discuss with others and I don't think I would have picked it up on my own. This is the third Robert Langdon book from Dan Brown, and you don't have to read in order. The story is set in Washington, D.C. where Robert finds himself in a man hunt that begins when his friend's severed hand is found completely tattooed in mystical symbols. There is intrigue, murder, people who are not as they seem, and tons of interconnected events.

The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowely ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A book set in Manhattan, and on the Upper West Side no less, had a great chance of capturing my imagination. This novel rotates through the perspective of Smith, Clio, and Tate - alumni of Yale who have all had various experiences in life and love since their graduation a decade ago. Smith and Clio are best friends and roommates who have lived together since freshman year and post graduation. They bonded quickly when they supported each other through challenging times in college and their care and regard for each other continues well into their adult lives. We meet the women while Clio is struggling to develop a relationship with the shadow of her family's past hanging over her, and Smith is recovering from a devastating breakup. Tate comes on to the scene when he relocates to Manhattan to move on from his divorce.

The beautiful scenes of the city, bright and engaging characters, and focus on forgiveness (of yourself and others) made this novel a highly enjoyable read.

Music for Chameleons by Truman Capote ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I'd forgotten how much I enjoy short stories! In this book you get a mix of short stories, followed by a longer story, followed by more short stories - win, win, win. From conversations with Marilyn Monroe, to unsolved murders, to unusual and ordinary people in unique situations, this book is a delight at each page. The writing is compelling and there's something delicious about just getting a small taste of each character.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I loved this novel! Adult/child relationships make me so happy and this was the centerpiece of the story for me. The main character, the Count, is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol hotel as communism rises in Russia. His life and the story unfolds within the confines of the hotel, but feel as wide and varied as any tale. From interacts with a famous actress, to statesmen, to the staff, Towles gives us a lifetime of experiences over decades with the Count. Highly recommend!

What books have you been loving?

-Alyssa J

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