Books Read

Recent Reads 7.15.19

I read some more books! I am still a bit behind on my goal for the year, but at least I’ve managed to read a few more. I thought I’d share a bit about them today.

No Happy Endings – Nora McInerny Pumort

Nora is a local celebrity around here but she’s not famous because she ever wanted to be. After her husband passed away from a brain tumor she wrote her first book “It’s Ok to Laugh, Crying is Cool Too”, founded a non-profit called Still Kickin, formed a group called The Hot Young Widows Club and finally started a podcast called “Terrible, Thanks for Asking.” She writes so openly and honestly about grief but also other aspects of life. I enjoyed her first book so I knew I’d want to read her second one, No Happy Endings. In this book, she details how she found love again after her husband passed away and the mixed emotions that came with that. While her first book jumped around more from her life before and after her first husband, this second book details the first couple of years after he passed pretty much in order as it happened. These are tough conversations and tough feelings to process but she writes in such an approachable way. I always find her work to feel like we’re sitting down and tossing back a couple of beers or a glass of wine together. I cannot recommend her enough, even though I’m blessed to not have walked a similar path to her I still find her relate-able. 4/4 stars

Fly Away by Kristin Hannah

If you haven’t read the book Firefly Lane, avert your eyes to this review right now because there will be spoilers. Fly Away takes place in the months and years following the events that happen at the end of Firefly Lane. Tully is in a downward spiral after losing her best friend Kate to breast cancer. Kate’s husband is floundering trying to keep their family together. Tully tries to help but in the end makes things worse. When something horrible happens to Tully, Kate’s husband is her only emergency contact and races to be by her side despite everything that happened between them. And, the one person who was never there for Tully, her mother, also rushes to be by her daughter’s side and we finally get the story of why her mother was so absent and horrible all of those years. I will agree with many reviews I’ve seen of this book that it doesn’t hold a candle to Firefly Lane, but at the same time I did like seeing what happened to all of the people in Kate’s life when she was no longer with them. I also liked that we finally got an explanation of Tully’s mother’s life as well. It was a bit rough at points, but held my attention for the most part and Kristin Hannah remains one of my current favorite authors. 3/4 stars

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

I’d seen this book all over the place and was so excited to get a copy in a book swap last winter. I finally started it just before our vacation and read the majority of it in the hammock outside the cabin in Itasca. This book follows a character named Clay, an IT guy who was hit by the recession and has no job. He stumbles into a quirky looking bookstore in San Francisco and lands a job there and he soon discovers the store is home to some secret society that comes in to borrow books that are part of a larger puzzle. With the help of some friends Clay sets out to crack the puzzle and learn what the secrets of the bookstore really are. The characters are quirky and unique and the mystery element of just what this store is all about keeps the pages turning and I thought it was overall a fun read. 3.5/4 stars

And now I’ve hit a bit of a slump in my reading again. I started another Kristin Hannah book but while I’ve really enjoyed her writing I’m finding many of her books are similar in some elements, so I think I need to take a break from her. I have a book my mom borrowed me that I might try instead or maybe I’ll actually head to the library for a change. Have you read anything good lately?

6 thoughts on “Recent Reads 7.15.19

  1. That first book sounds really good. I skipped the second review because I want to read that Kristin Hannah book 🙂 I just read a book called The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo. I loved it! It was about a family, and it goes back and forth between different members and their relationships. I saw it recommended in the Oprah magazine and got it at the library right away!

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed Fly Away. I found Tully’s Mom just saved the book for me – I wish there had been more about her in it.

  3. I haven’t read any of these, but No Happy Endings sounds like a good one! And the 24-Hour Bookstore one seems quirky – I do love books about books, libraries, bookstores.

    -Lauren

  4. I haven’t read any of these (maybe my last completed book was … Call of the Wild, Jack London, fourth grade? Surely not …) But I love the premise of No Happy Endings and the cover art for the bookstore one.

  5. I’ve never heard of any of these books, but the first one in particular is of interest, so I just added to my TBR shelf. Thank you! I have this weird thing with murder mysteries and books that focus on grief… not sure what that says about me!

    I’m currently reading a book called The Arrangement which is about a couple (based in the Hudson Valley, NY, so not far from where I grew up) who decide that they’ll create an arrangement within their marriage to sleep with other people (kind of their version of Rumspringa). It’s really interesting and about a lot more than just meaningless sex and makes you wonder some things about relationships. It’s hard to put down once you’ve picked it up if you’re looking for a light (weird) summer read 🙂

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