June 1, 2017

What I've Been Reading... May, 2017

Reading is so relaxing for me, and surprisingly, I read pretty fast. Some days I really have to put it on my to-do list, but I always feel better when I do. A couple years ago, I mentioned that I was going to try to make it a goal of reading more, just because I feel much smarter when I do. 

Reading helps us to be more aware of the world around us and to have a stronger sense of empathy. Even if the subjects that I read about aren't an exact match, I always find myself identifying real life to what I read in books.

This year I set a goal to read 45 books in 2017, and as of the end of May, I've read 32. I'm guessing that I'll read my 45th book sometime in July. I've also tried to branch out a little bit more. Normally I don't love reading things that are too "fluffy" or too serious, but I've read a little bit of each so far this year. Check out what I read in May:

The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman ★★★
This novel centers around the life of Antonina Zabinski and her husband, Jan, in WWII Poland. They live and run the zoo in Warsaw, which they use to harbor Jewish escapees.

My book club chose this for our May read. I hadn't heard much about this book except that there is a new-ish movie out about it, so I was pretty excited to read it. However, as I got into it, I realized that this isn't written as a narrative. Although the major plot points were good, there was no sense of drama or urgency that you'd expect from a story like this. It was very dry.
**Check out my Book Club, "Friends, Wine, and Books," here. Our first discussion is on June 7!

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch ★★★★
Jason Dessen is a college professor, who fairly enjoys his life in Chicago. But of course, there are always questions of "what if" we had made different choices. Through some weird science, he gets thrown into an alternate universe and his life is totally different. The novel centers around his journey to get back to "his" true life.

This was chosen by the last book club I was in (which I got so frustrated with that I left it), but it had been on my list for a while. And guys... this book plays with your mind. I loved it. I would have given it five stars, but there are a lot of places where they really go in depth with physics, and I don't think it's needed.

The Gender Plan by Bella Forrest ★★★
Book Six of the Gender Game series continues Violet and Viggo's story, in their fight against Matrus. This book does have some important battle scenes, but it really feels like a bridge to get to the next book, which will be the last.

I have loved reading this series, even if the books individually aren't amazing. The plot is great, and they are so easy to read. If you are looking for some summer reading, I would definitely recommend this series. And bonus: they are all available for free on Kindle Unlimited.

Love Your Life, Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want by Rachel Cruze ★★★
Dave and I have really been trying to work on our finances, and wipe out some debt that we hold. One of my biggest problems during this process, though, is that I have a little green-eyed monster in my brain. I fall into the bad habit of comparison way too often, and that is just no good.

Rachel has some really good tips in her book, though at some points she does get a little bit preachy. I really enjoyed the part about finances in a marriage, and definitely took that to heart. If you are interested in learning more about the Dave Ramsey method, or if you follow this method, this would be a great book for you.

The Midwife's Revolt by Jodi Daynard ★★★★
During the American Revolution, Lizzie Boylston struggles as a widow and midwife in Braintree, MA. She is friends with the famous Abigail Adams and lives alongside a little group of Patriots. Lizzie suspects a Tory plot to harm Abigail, and the Parish is shaken up even more when there are two subsequent poisonings of guests.

I finished up this audiobook while I was doing some schoolwork and chores on Monday. Daynard did incredible research, and you would never suspect that this is actually a work of fiction. Everything seems so real and falls right in line with historical events. If you like to hear about the American Revolution from a woman's perspective, I highly recommend this.

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