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

September 16, 2020

What I've Read Lately, Vol. VII

I have seriously neglected to do a What I've Been Reading Lately post for quite some time! You can check out the last one here. These are posts where I share reviews from each book I've read to give you ideas of what to add next on your to-read list!
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Check out the books I've been reading lately to get inspiration for your own reading list

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was not quite what I was expecting. Based on the title, you’d think you’d be reading about love story after love story of a starlet, when in reality there is one great love story told. Evelyn Hugo sits down to tell her life story to a young writer, and what unfolds is a rags to riches, star crossed lovers, and heartbreaking tale. Definitely recommend this if you want a fast, addictive read!

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I didn't write a review when finishing this book because it was a lot to process. This is a great read if you are interested in learning about the systems that rule our justice system and its impact on black men. I thought it was well written and researched, but just know that it is not intended to offer any solutions. Rather, it's a detailed exploration on the problem, leaving others to come up with the solution.

The Forest by Edward Rutherfurd ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I love Edward Rutherfurd books, and have documented my love many a time. However, this one dragged on for me. I don't know if it's because this is one of his earlier works or if it's because the location didn't captivate me, but I have to give this three stars. Like all of Rutherfurd's books, this novel focuses on multiple families throughout the ages in one location. There were some standout stories woven in, but the history didn't grab me.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I tore through this book in two days - what a thrill! The story, character development, and writing style all made this an immersive read. It follows the life of a girl who grows up completely on her own in a marsh in North Carolina in the 50s and 60s. Her resilience and creativity help her to survive, but she is forever impacted by the way she was abandoned. She gets close to few people in her life, and is misunderstood by many. The story ultimately centers around a murder trial where she is the defendant. Highly recommend this novel!

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I thought this book was too straightforward at first - how could I have figured out the criminal so quickly? Am I just that smart. Nope, there’s a MAJOR twist that you have to wait until the end to find out.

The novel chronicles a series of murders in a small town through the eyes of a reporter who grew up there. Basically everyone has some sort of mental disorder and you’ll cringe a bunch wondering if anything like this could actually happen in real life.

This is a quick, gruesome read that will keep you up late.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was a wild one. I read this for a second book club I joined (yay!), and can’t wait to hear what the rest of the group thinks. The story follows a young woman who is sent to visit her recently married cousin in a large and strange home. Her cousin is no longer herself, with a mysterious illness, and the husband’s family is odd - no electricity in the house, no talking during meals, and other rules that don’t make much sense.

Eventually the main character realizes that something the family is doing is causing her cousin’s pain, and she goes on to find out that supernatural pursuits rule the household. The book moves quickly, though I will say I arrived at the solution for their escape about halfway through...there could have been more surprises.

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I re-read this book in 2020 after reading it for the first time in 2014, and it is still a 5 star standout! Dale Carnegie has a way of weaving together advice, stories, science, and faith in a compelling and inspiring way. Putting challenges into perspective and realizing the physical, emotional, and relationship benefits of setting aside worry have re-inspired me to take a look at my life and habits. Highly recommend this book.

I wrote a post about this book and plan on going more in depth soon!

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I flew through this book! It was another book club read where I probably would not have picked it for myself, but am so glad I got to read it. This novel follows Jason, a happy family man and professor. He gets kidnapped and wakes up in a world he does not know. From there, he has to fight to get back to his family and the world he loves. It's trippy at times and heart wrenching at others. I stayed up far too late one night to finish it.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was an emotional and troubling novel, particularly because the story is based on real events. Going between two different generations, Before We Were Yours tells the tale of siblings who were stolen from their home and sent to an orphanage. From violence, to splitting up families, to mistreatment, it is a heart wrenching read. The novel explores the idea of "keeping the past in the past" versus knowing where your roots truly lie. I definitely recommend this book, but keep in mind it is very tough to hear about the trauma these children go through and to know it was at the hands of a real person.

One Day in December by Josie Silver ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ok, so I enjoyed this book and read it fast, but the characters make choices I can’t get behind. From lying, to infidelity, to avoiding choices, it’s hard to totally get behind them or feel pleased with a happy ending. I’d recommend this as a palate cleanser type book, but beware that you won’t find many role models here.

What books have you been reading lately?

-Alyssa J

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