You guys, these are some of the best books that I’ve read in a long time! Sometimes it’s hard when there is such an abundance of books to read.. Which ones do you choose? You certainly don’t want to waste your time on a mediocre one. I found all five of these books to be absolutely worth my time!
The Island Beneath the Sea
by Isabel Allende (fiction, audio) – worth a read
I listened to this one on audio and this is one I think I would appreciated more if I were reading the physical book instead. The production could have been done much better, in my opinion. I also felt like the narrator was just reading facts at the beginning. I could picture myself immersed in this book if I were reading it myself and I might understand or get a better grasp of some of the French words if I had read them in print.
While the story is a bit long and slow in some parts, it really is a unique one from a different perspective than I have ever read. Assuming some of the historical aspects are true, I got a glimpse of life of Haiti and New Orleans in the 18th and 19th centuries when slavery was a “natural” part of society.
Confessions of a Paris Party Girl
by Vicki Lesage (nonfiction, audio) – MUST LISTEN
Okay, not everyone is going to love this book. I admit it. You may not even like it if you are a francophile or an American who has studied or lived in France.
But I loved it. Lesage’s voice is authentic and I loved to hear her struggles as a twenty-something in Paris – alone. While I studied in France way before the days of cell phones and Craig’s List and I was by no means alone, I felt like I could relate in a way. Plus, I have dined and drunk wine from baby bottles at her beloved Refuge des Fondues! Her tales are fun, light-hearted and something I just needed to hear right now.
The Girl with Seven Names
by Hyeonseo Lee (nonfiction) – MUST READ
I couldn’t stop reading nor could I stop telling everyone about this book. This is the true story of Lee’s life in and (unintentional?) escape from North Korea. She is just a bit younger than me, so it was crazy for me to picture what things were like while she grew up. I kept thinking, HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS? I could only imagine what life was like for her through her stories and as she stated, she had it pretty good. I also liked that there was a map in the book showing her route and other defectors’ routes. The difficulty astounds me.
I couldn’t stop talking about this book after I read it and have since recommended it to so many friends… I’ve also been that annoying person who says, “DID YOU KNOW?” about apparently everything I now know about what North Korea was like in the 90s. I’m sure some people just want me to shut the hell up already.
Instead, just read this book. I felt so ignorant while reading it; but also realize how much I’ve taken for granted the lifestyle I was given at birth.
Girl, Wash Your Face
by Rachel Hollis (fiction) – MUST READ/MUST LISTEN
YOU GUYS! THIS BOOK! It was recommended to me by my library audiobook app after I listened to You Are a Badass. I didn’t know anything about it. But it looked like a short enough listen.
AND THEN I LISTENED TO IT – TWICE.
I liked it so much that I could see myself buying a copy and then totally geeking out and highlighting passages. Despite the fact that there is a big section about parenting and motherhood in the book, I don’t believe that it detracted from the overall message. I have a friend, though, that disagrees. She wished she could skip over those parts.
Hollis talks about the Lies we tell ourselves, then gives personal accounts of how she overcame them in hopes that everyone can take something away. It helped me look at certain parts of myself in a whole new perspective.
The thing is, I’m nothing like Hollis. I’m not a mom of four. I’m not looking to build an empire. I’ve been through some dark moments, but nothing like those she’s been through. But I still found that I could relate.
I’ve since recommended it to so many people, one being my hairdresser who said she’s already listened to it three times! Her husband even listened to it once (though the book is geared more toward women, as you can tell in the title).
Since then, I’ve found out that Hollis has kind of a cult following! She has released a “movie” in theaters which I think is motivational piece? called Made for More. Maybe live? It’s hard to tell. It was one night only, but they are doing an encore on Monday, August 13, 2018.
In any case, I just felt like this book fell into my lap at the right time. READ OR LISTEN TO IT.
by Kathryn Stockett (fiction) – MUST LISTEN
Okay, so I know I am behind the times on this book. It was published in 2009 and was even adapted to the big screen. After seeing the movie Hidden Figures with my mother-in-law, she asked me if I saw this movie. I have never read the book nor seen the movie; but it kept coming up on lists of “best audiobooks”, so I finally picked it up from my local library.
I would have to agree! The voices are superb and I don’t know how or what could make this book any better than it is. PERFECTION. I immediately looked up the author and her goodreads profile said that she is “currently working on her second novel”. I’m amazed she hasn’t put anything out since this one.
What is the best or most surprisingly good book you’ve read lately?