What I Read in June

“We Are Water”, Wally Lamb

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I checked this ebook out from the library because I’d heard of Wally Lamb before and I knew my mom had recently read it and enjoyed it. Plus, the idea of a woman leaving her husband after twenty seven years of marriage for another woman intrigued me. I was a little overwhelmed when I saw the book is nearly six hundred pages but I decided to forge ahead anyway. It started slow for me but got much more interesting. This is a story about much more than a woman’s relationship with another woman. Each chapter is told from a different person’s point of view–the wife, the husband, the three children, a cousin, and a couple other people. Once I got a handle on where each person was coming from I liked this format very much. I also liked how the main female character channels her emotions, mainly rage, through her art. This isn’t a book I’d read again but I enjoyed the richness of the characters very much; more layers got revealed as I continued to read.

“The Life List”, Lori Nelson Spielman

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I found out about this book through Bookbub. Do you know about bookbub? It’s a free service you can sign up for HERE. You tell them what books you like and they’ll email you a daily summary of ebooks on sale or free. I’ve gotten several books that way.
This book is about a woman grieving her recently deceased mother. In addition to dealing with that loss, she also has to deal with the fact that her mother has given a sizable inheritance to her two brothers but has made hers conditional. She’s got to complete ten items on a life list she wrote when she was fourteen years old. The majority of the things require a complete overhaul of her life as she knows it–becoming a teacher, buying a house, having a kid. And she’s got to do it within a year. Motivated in part by money but mostly by the idea that her mother usually knew best, she decides to try. It’s an inspiring reminder that no matter where you are in life, you can always reinvent yourself and go in a different direction.
I had reservations about reading a random book I’d never heard of, but as soon as I started it and saw this I knew I’d made the right choice.

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Carl Jung quotes and references tend to pop up in my life.
Adding to my personal connection to this book, I commented on the author’s review of the book on Goodreads and she replied to my comment and said I reminded her of herself. And I wrote a short review of my own and she “liked” my review. I love the internet.
This is my favorite book I’ve read this year.

“Ten Tiny Breaths”, K.A. Tucker

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Another $2.99 bookbub find. This one is about a girl who is in a car accident that claims the lives of both her parents as well as her boyfriend and best friend. A couple years later she decides to pack up her and her teenage sister and start a new life in Miami. The idea of packing up and starting a new life in a brand new city has always intrigued me (I enjoy reading about others doing it) as well as characters who have basically nothing and need to make a life for themselves. The two girls end up in an apartment complex with a couple neighbors who end up becoming part of their lives. One, a single mom who bar tends at a strip club, and the other, a young guy with a mysterious past who the older sister is immediately attracted to, despite the fact that she tries to keep people from getting too close to her. This book is part love story, part mystery, and was very entertaining.

“Reconstructing Amelia”, Kimberly McCreight

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I knew this book was going to be sad but I checked it out from the library anyway. The premise is a fifteen year old girl dies after jumping from the roof of her school. Her single mother is devastated; especially when she receives an anonymous text that says Amelia didn’t jump. From that point on she’s on a mission to discover the truth; retracing the steps of the police detective who didn’t do a very thorough job. The book starts with Amelia’s death, then jumps from the point of view of the mother and Amelia several months before. In the process of learning what really happened to Amelia, her mom also learns a lot more about what was going on with her daughter right before then. There are some unexpected twists that made this book a real page turner.

“Changing Lanes”, Kathleen Long

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This is another book about a woman who has to reinvent her life after something unexpected happens. In this case, Abby’s fiancé flies to Paris for a month without telling her in advance. She’s left alone, with no contact from him, to try to decide what to do after she also loses her job and discovers their home is infested with termites. The book takes place in her childhood home of Paris, New Jersey, where she moves back in with her parents to figure out what’s next. I grew up in a small town (Carbondale, IL) and I know I don’t want to live in a small town, but I do find them relaxing and there’s something charming about being able to walk to the one bar, or one library, and everyone knowing each other. This is a lovely, often humorous, story.

“Someday, Someday, Maybe”, Lauren Graham

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Lauren Graham is famous for being an actress on shows like Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, but I’ve never seen those shows so I just know her from this book. It’s the story of a young actress approaching a self imposed deadline for making it in New York. She hasn’t had a big break yet, or many small breaks, so it’s not looking good for her. The book chronicles her relationships with her roommates and acting classmates and the various jobs she has to take to support her dream. I have no interest in acting or actors but I found the book entertaining nonetheless. It did end a bit abruptly for me.

These six books mean I’ve exceeded my New Year’s Resolution goal of twenty! I can’t believe it. Onward!

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6 responses to “What I Read in June

  1. I’m going to give “Reconstructing Amelia” a go – it sounds like it’s right up my alley!

  2. I have a growing list of books to read because of your reviews! I don’t have a lot of time to read but I’m trying to get in at least half an hour before bed. I’m never going to catch up at the rate you’re going but I love your reviews!

    • Thanks a lot! I’ve been reading instead of watching tv in the evenings, which is how this much reading is possible. I’ve been lucky to find books I prefer over tv.

  3. Did you ever read She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb? I did a long time ago and it was one of the hardest books to get through because it was so terribly depressing! I haven’t read We Are Water, but I can imagine how deeply developed the emotions of the characters are

    • No, but I’ve heard of that book. We Are Water is a little depressing too but developed is a good way to describe it–the characters had so many layers that were gradually revealed.

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