Book Review – First 5 of 2020

One of my goals for 2020 is to read 20 books. It’s the end of September and I’m on book 12 (Conversations with RBG by Jeffrey Rosen). I’m in search for my next book so please let me know in the comments if you’ve recently read one that you recommend! Below is my review for the first 5 books I read in 2020.

  1. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I started reading this at the very end of 2019 and carried over into early January 2020, all while I was visiting my in-laws down in FL. It’s a light and easy enough read that I read a lot at the beach and pool. Eleanor is a quirky woman who lacks social skills. She befriends a co-worker after they help save an older man’s life. This book held my interest but I’m confused as to why one of the characters was even in the book at all. I finished this book feeling like I missed an underlying message about this particular character. Overall, I felt it was “okay”.

2. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This book is beautifully written and grabbed my attention instantly. I really enjoyed how Owens wrote the chapters from different years and points of views. I felt that helped my get a better idea of what each character was like. Kya, known as “Marsh Girl”, lives alone for most of her life and studies the biology of the marsh. She befriends two young men, Chase and Tate, and falls in love for the first time. This book has many twists and turns, and kept me on my toes until the very end.

3. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

I love thrillers and could not put this book down – I think I read it in 5 days! The main character, Alicia, shoots her husband and never speaks again. She then becomes a patient of a psychotherapist named Theo, who is determined to not only find out why she shot her husband but also to get her to speak again. Full of twists and turns, my mind was constantly changing about what was about to happen next and I highly recommend this book!

4. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Shanghai Girls tells the story of two sisters, Pearl and May, who live comfortably in Shanghai until their father gambles their money away and needs to sell the sisters to men who have traveled from California, all while the Japanese are bombing Shanghai. Their life from this moment on is full of loss, devastation, and secrets. As I continued to read this book, I felt myself get sadder and sadder – Pearl and May go through so much together and most of it left me feeling heavy. I finished this book feeling pretty down and excited to start something new.

5. Educated by Tara Westover

Tara was born into an Idaho family of survivalists. Growing up, she never went to a doctor or school, and didn’t enter a classroom until she was 17. I feel like my jaw was on the floor the entire time reading this book. Everything she went through growing up including violence and injuries sustained while living in Idaho left me feeling so impressed because she eventually went on to study at Harvard and Cambridge. I watched so many interviews of Tara after finishing this book and would love to hear her speak in person one day. She writes and speaks so elegantly and beautifully. I highly recommend reading Educated!

I hope you are inspired to read one of these books! Let me know in the comments which book you are planning to read or if you have a recommendation. I’m always looking for books to add to my list 🙂

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