Recent Reads 1.13.20
My goal for the year is to read 30 books. I’m off to a good start, just two weeks into the New Year and I’ve already finished three books. I hope I can keep this momentum going. One way I’ll do that is by sharing the books I’ve read here as I’ve often done before, hopefully once a month. Here are my first few reads of 2020!
The Only Pirate at the Party – Lindsey Stirling
A family friend introduced me to Lindsey Stirling a few years ago and I’m a sucker for violin music, so I became a fan. I also followed her on social media and she’s just spunky and fun and an interesting person to me. When I found out she wrote a book, I knew I’d want to read it. I love autobiographies, they are one of my favorite type of books to read. I received The Only Pirate at the Party for Christmas and dove into it right away.
Lindsey’s personality shines through the entire book. She talks about her childhood and how she was always unique and different from everyone else but she never let it get in her way or get her down. She learned at a young age she had a disorder in which the right and left sides of her brain didn’t always communicate when it came to things like reading and it could be corrected with an eye patch. When wearing her patch, she liked to pretend she was a pirate – and that’s where she got the name for her book.
The book covers how she got into both dance and violin and combining the two together when her parents couldn’t afford to send her to lessons for both. She talks about her journey to stardom and that the road wasn’t easy – she was eliminated from America’s Got Talent and also suffered an eating disorder – but she never gave up on her dream and finally found success by releasing videos on YouTube. Now she has celebrities asking to work with her and she’s toured the globe. Overall this was a fun read and a great message about never giving up on your dreams. It’s definitely made me love Lindsey even more. 5/5 stars
The Beautiful Ones – Prince
This was another Christmas gift and another book I devoured rather quickly. This is Prince in his own words, the only memoir we will ever get from him. He was working with a publisher and editor on getting this book written when he tragically passed away in 2016. It took a few years, but the editor he was working with compiled what Prince had already written and combined it with notes, pictures, and original lyrics from Prince’s estate. The result is a beautiful and haunting look at the man Prince was, giving us a glimpse of who he was and yet he still remains a mystery.
The first portion of the book is the editor’s own story of the months he spent getting to know Prince and working with him on the book. His story is similar to others I’ve read who worked with Prince – how you never knew when Prince would call but when he did you jumped and did what he wanted. How he could mysteriously just appear at an event and sneak away just as quickly. And, like many who were close to him in those final months, he also says looking back he can see the warning signs that something wasn’t quite right with Prince.
The next part of the book are the chapters Prince had written. He talks about his childhood, how his first memories are of his mother’s eyes, how he was affected by his parents divorce and his mother’s re-marriage. He talks about his first girlfriend and going through puberty and what he remembers from his school days. Getting this glimpse into his life makes him just a little more down on our level. It definitely leaves you wishing there was more.
The final part of the book are pictures and old notes and original lyrics in Prince’s handwriting that were shared by his estate interspersed with excerpts from various interviews he gave over the years that kind of help tell the story of how he became a star. It was a pretty good way to kind of round out the book. I think this book was very well done and honors him in an appropriate way. We can only imagine what the entire thing would have looked like if he was still here to have finished it. 5/5 Stars
Home Again – Kristin Hannah
I love Kristin Hannah and will read anything she writes. I bought this book back this summer but hadn’t had a chance to read it yet. I honestly don’t know why, from the second I picked this one up I was hooked.
This book follows the story of Angel DeMarco, a bad boy Hollywood actor who has heart disease and thanks to his rock and roll lifestyle has let it deteriorate to the point that a heart transplant is deemed necessary. He is sent to Seattle, his hometown that he ran away from 17 years earlier. The cardiologist assigned to his case is the very reason he ran all those years ago – his old girlfriend Madeline Hillyard. Madeline has raised the child that Angel fathered with the help of Angel’s brother Francis, a priest who secretly loves Madeline as well. Now that her daughter Lina is 16, she is asking about who her father is. Madeline wants to protect Angel’s privacy and also protect Lina from getting her heart broken, but after tragedy strikes the family and Angel receives his heart transplant, the truth comes out. It turns out Angel needs Madeine and Lina just as much as they need him and somehow they come together as a new family.
I will admit I read some of the review on Goodreads after I finished this one and if I had read those reviews before reading the book I might not have picked it up. A lot of folks are saying this book reads like a bad Lifetime movie. I will say it is a bit more “romantic” than some of Hannah’s other books I’ve read and without giving a way the ending, it does kind of wrap up in a neat little bow, to the point I was almost waiting for the other shoe to drop (I blame Firefly Lane for that one) but at the same time I kind of liked that it was a happy ending. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the world is kind of icky right now, so it was kind of nice to read something that felt good. Overall I enjoyed it. 4/5 stars
I have a few books I’ll be borrowing from my mom to read next. Are you reading anything good right now? I’m always looking for good suggestions!