Our reads from the month of May. Not pictured: Girl on the Train which was devoured digitally.
I’ve always been a big reader. As a kid, I remember my mom pulling me out the door to go to school while my nose was still buried in whatever book I was into at the time. I still tried to get through novels in college, though it was mostly after finals that I would plunge through a stack of books that had been waiting for me. And for awhile I even tried walking up subway steps when I just couldn’t bear to close my book before work in the mornings, but that really didn’t pan out well for me (ah, angry New Yorkers).
Well my friends, Ben and I had a month for the reading ages where we cranked through ten books altogether (me seven, him three). It helped that we were on a two week holiday (Thailand, we miss you! You were the best trip!) where the second week we spent lounging on the beach in Koh Samui drinking coconut water and passing books back and forth. Here’s the quick and dirty list of what we read (there are eight listed here because we both read Bonfire of the Vanities and American Sniper):
Bonfire of the Vanities – If you haven’t read this yet, do so immediately. I’ve been telling most everyone I talk to – my mom, best friend, strangers on the street, really everyone. Set in the ’80s with Park Avenue glamour, it’s a tale of a master of the universe’s fall from grace with so many interesting characters you won’t put it down. I finished the 750+ page book and exclaimed ‘Now THAT was a book.’ It’s now in my top 10, and I made Ben switch from the book he WAS reading to that one so we could talk about it together quicker. How’s that for a great book (and a great husband).
The Talented Mr. Ripley – I hadn’t watched the movie before reading the book (though I promptly found it on Netflix while were suffering from major jet lag back at home — I like the book better) and loved it thoroughly. It’s the tale of Tom Ripley, who isn’t going very far in life and accepts an offer from a former classmate’s shipping tycoon dad to go bring home his son from Europe. Tom quickly falls in love with Dickie Greenleaf’s luxurious Italian lifestyle and wants it for himself. Drama ensues in so many ways and you can’t help but want this unlikely villain to succeed.
The Cuckoo’s Calling – Written by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling), it’s a crime novel set in London where a model falls to her death and detective Cormoran Strike, who was practically out of work, is hired by her family who believes it was really a murder. It’s a page turner and had me going for a bit on what really happened to Lula Landry. Read it – it’s fabulous.
American Sniper – I gave this book to Ben a few months earlier and was so excited for him to dive in — and then me! It had me listening to Battle Hymn of the Republic as I drifted off to sleep one night, it was that patriotic (despite sharing all the ugly parts of military life). Written by the late Chris Kyle, it’s so conversational that it feels like you’re listening to this great soldier share his life story in the armchair next to you.
Sycamore Row – This was one of Ben’s, who also happens to be one of John Grisham’s biggest fans. The sequel to A Time to Kill, Ben gave this mixed reviews though he’s “glad I read it.” Set in Mississippi, it’s about the mystery of a man who commits suicide and his seemingly bizarre motivations for the way he left his fortune behind.
The Girl on the Train – A fun read with a twist. It’s another murder mystery so by the time I read it I was thinking I really needed to change genres. Still, it’s a book most everyone’s been talking about lately with Rachel looking longingly out the window of the train to nowhere each day over the house and life she used to have while creating stories about people she’s never met, until their worlds collide unexpectedly.
Jackie After Jack – A fascinating read on the life of Jackie Kennedy, who at the end of her life actually went by Jackie Bouvier Onassis. It goes from the harrowing days of Dallas through her marriage to Onassis and many men to her finding herself through working as an editor at Viking and Doubleday. It shows her many sides and despite it all, made me value her place in history even more.
Pride & Prejudice – I reread a lot of the books I have (Great Gatsby every summer for one), and Jane Austen is an author I always seem to come back to. She’s witty and the writing is so charming – I can never put this book down until the very last page. I want so much for Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth to realize their fate and always laugh at quick banter between Mr. and Mrs. Bennett.
There are 100 days between now and LDW – enjoy these reads during the lazy, hazy days of summer.