Wednesday, December 6, 2017

November 2017 Reads and Goals Recap

This is going to look like a really slow month for me for reading, but I've got a good reason that I'll get to below.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid - This is the newest release by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and man, Taylor knocked it out of the park again! The story is about a Marilyn Monroe/Elizabeth Taylor-esque Hollywood actress who is telling her life story to a reporter. It flips POV from the reporter {who is going through her own personal problems} to Evelyn's story and I found myself really interested in both stories. Of course, there are a couple of twists along the way that just make the story even more exciting. I read this book in less than 24 hours - it's awesome.

The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes - This story is set partially in France during WW1 and also jumps to a present storyline set in England. It reminded me a little bit of The Nightingale (with the 2 sisters in occupied France and terrible Nazi horrors, etc.), but it was a really intriguing story - or really 2 intriguing stories. Sophie is one of the sisters living in France in 1916 keeping her family together and Liv has a painting of Sophie (not knowing who she is) hanging in her home in 2015. As a battle over the painting ensues, Liv learns Sophie's story, and it makes a huge impact on her. FANTASTIC story - I loved every minute of this read. It tugged at my heart strings with Sophie's story, and so many times I was going 'No, no, no' to both Sophie and Liv and the choices they were making, which was great for keeping me invested. SO GOOD.

Dust by Hugh Howey - I finished the Wool trilogy this month and thought the conclusion to the story was unique and interesting. It was definitely a more mature of a dystopian trilogy with some more adult stuff happening, but I thought it was very different than the others I read. Shift (the second book), is where you find out HOW people ended up living in silos under the ground, and Dust flips back and forth - switching plot lines seems to be my theme this month - from 1 of the people from Shift to the people we started following in Wool. I thought it wrapped up well, but I wouldn't say it was a happy ending. Overall, it was a satisfying conclusion!

Now onto why I had such a slow month...

Guys, for the first time in a LONG time I didn't finish a book. Like years probably. I was reading this book for 2 weeks and when my iPhone crashed the book expired and I had ZERO desire to check it back out. This book sounded so cool - it's a true story about a WW2 family who ran the Warsaw Zoo and used it to help Jewish people escape the Warsaw ghetto - but it was SO slow. For example, one person they helped had a huge insect collection - the author spent PAGES talking about his collection. ZZZZZZZ If she had focused on the actual family, the book would have been 50 pages. I'm curious how this was able to be made into a movie! Has anyone else read this? Am I the only one who thought this was a total dud?

Now to make an already wordy post even longer, I'm not going to do December goals since it would basically be CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so I wanted to share how I did with my November goals.

1. Schedule family pictures - I scheduled them and then decided to wait until the spring when I am a little happier with how I look/feel in my clothes.
2. Get to 3 miles running - I did this! Thanks largely to Orange Theory I have really increased my stamina and set out last week to get 3 miles done. The last half mile was absolutely hell on earth, and I stopped at 3.02 miles, but damnit, I finished!

3. Christmas shopping - I am 90% done! I really only need Santa gifts for the kids and am MAJORLY stumped, ugh. 
4. Order Christmas cards - ordered on 11/30 and mailed them out yesterday and today.
5. Start Oscar film watching - Checked off with Lady Bird! Allison - what's next?
6. Daily walks - Because of Paige's love of her stroller lately - and by this, I mean pushing it herself - we've been outside a lot more!


Natasha said...

You're not the only person I know who struggled with The Zookeeper's Wife. I kept pushing my way through it and actually it picked up about two-thirds of the way through and I finished the last bit in about an hour. But yes, it was definitely a SLOG. Urgh.

Kathryn Bagley said...

Just checked out The Girl you left behind!

Emily said...

Your right, that zoo book sounds totally captivating! Too bad they ruined it! Congrats on the 3 miles! Always a great feeling hitting a running milestone. :)

Erika said...

OKAY THANK YOU. I also quit Zookeeper's Wife last year about halfway through. JUST COULDN'T DO IT. I wanted to love it so much, but there were waaaaay too many rabbitholes about biology and what-not. I hate not-finishing books, but there you have it. I couldn't. I also finally gave up on Shift. I tried!! But after renewing it 3 times and still having almost no motivation to continue, I just gave it back to the library only half finished. I'm sad about it. Wanna just tell me how everything ends/goes?? Haha. Glad you loved Girl You Left Behind!! That's probably my top recommendation I've given out this year and so far I believe 100% of folks have also loved it!!! Soooo good!!