2016 Reading Update | 1

22 April 2016

I know it's taken me four months to give you a reading update in 2016. Oops, my bad, don't hate me :) Last year, as you may or may not remember, I challenged myself to read 50 books. I was ecstatic when I finished my goal! 50 books is such a huge accomplishment, and while I would love to to that again this year, I decided to set myself a smaller goal in 2016. So, 2016! 40 books! Let's do this!

Here are the first 10 books I've read in 2016. What have you been reading?

A novel loosely based around the life of Zelda Fitzgerald, this book is perfect for a light summer read. Zelda Fitzgerald's reputation is as famous as the roaring 20s themselves. The Southern Belle who's fame and fortune was accompanied by heartbreak and tragedy. Fowler gives life to that reputation by creating a story around Zelda and her turbulent life married to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Overall the novel was  and entertaining and sad read.  

I'm not even sure why I picked this short story up. I had just finished 'Z', a fictionalized novel on the Fitzgeralds, and I was really itching to read something written by F Scott. Having only read 'The Great Gatsby' previously, I had high hopes for 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button'. Boy was this whole story strange. Everyone knows the story, even if it is only the movie version, but I can honestly say without a doubt this one took me by surprise. Other than being well written, the story itself was hard to digest. It wasn't beautiful or sad, it was just weird.

THE WITCHES: SALEM, 1692 | Stacy Schiff
The hype surrounding 'The Witches: Salem, 1692' did in fact drawn me in. It is rare to find a complete history of such events, and Schiff's work was highly anticipated in both the academic and general community. I will admit, even as a historian I found myself having to put this book down for weeks at a time. There was so much to process that I found it almost exhausting. That being said, this was not a book I picked up for entertainment purposes. I wanted to study the complete history of the Salem Witch Trails and that is exactly what Schiff presented. One of the best histories I have read in a while. 

GIRLS WHO TRAVEL | Nicole Trilivas
If your a member of one of the many Facebook travel groups out there, you may have seen this title floating around. I was in the mood for some light material after reading a heavy history book, and 'Girls Who Travel' caught my eye. Set in London, an American girl finds adventure, boys, and fun. This whole book wasn't exactly my cup of tea, but perfect for some light reading to fill your time. 

STATION ELEVEN | Emily St. John Mandel
I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get into the theme of this book. I'm all about apocalyptic plots on the screen, but reading the summary had me second guessing this choice.  It did take me a few chapters to understand Emily St. John Mandel's writing style, but by chapter four I was hooked. The parallels between the world before and the world after were so beautiful created that the entire story itself becomes enticing. I would highly recommend this book to, anyone really!

ME BEFORE YOU | Jojo Moyes
Yes, I know. I'm JUST now reading this. As I have stated before, I am a firm believer in reading a book before seeing the movie. As soon as the first trailer was released I immediately grabbed this book and began reading. I read it in a single day! The was not the most well written novel, nor the hardest read. However, I still found myself extremely emotionally attached to Louisa and her quest to make the people around her happy. It was an absolutely heart wrenching story of the most unusual friendship, and to this day the plot still sticks with me. 

I found myself rather disappointed with this pick. I was lead to believe this book would be discussing Anne Boleyn's upbringing and how she was shaped into the woman we all know. Although Bordo touched on Boleyn's upbringing, the majority of the novel was centered around the years of Henry VIII. Understandable as there is not much research on the childhood of Anne Boleyn, but slightly misleading. Nevertheless I was touched with Bordo's personal connection with the protagonist. 

WHAT SHE KNEW | Gilly Macmillan
MANY people recommended this book to me, solely because it takes place in Bristol, England. I LOVED reading a book with a familiar setting. I knew the streets and buildings Macmillan described, making this terrifying tale feel realistic. When a young boy goes missing, everyone close to him becomes a suspect. Even the people who love him the most. Although not my favorite thriller, it can compete easily with the likes of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. 

My least favorite Harry Potter can still be better than most books I read. Need I say more?

I love the journalistic voice of Krakauer's books. His research into true and unbelievable topics is always fascinating.  This one was no exception. My knowledge of American cults was limited to what I saw on TV. However, this book truly terrified me. I really had no idea the extensiveness of cult communities right in my own backyard. 

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