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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Books I Read in May (And Whether or Not You Should Read Them).

Two. I read two books in May. To be fair, I've had a lot going on with Christopher's graduation and buying a house and all. But when I got pregnant, someone told me I would never ever have time to read a book ever again in my entire life (just a bit dramatic to say to someone, but okay), so I'm feeling pretty good about myself.

Also, I've crossed over to the side that believes listening to a book is the same as reading it. It's better than watching TV, right?!

Anyway, on to the books! 

No One Knows by J.T. Ellison 

Plot: In an obsessive mystery as thrilling as The Girl on the Train and The Husband’s Secret, New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison will make you question every twist in her page-turning novel—and wonder which of her vividly drawn characters you should trust.

The day Aubrey Hamilton’s husband is declared dead by the state of Tennessee should bring closure so she can move on with her life. But Aubrey doesn’t want to move on; she wants Josh back. It’s been five years since he disappeared, since their blissfully happy marriage—they were happy, weren’t they?—screeched to a halt and Aubrey became the prime suspect in his disappearance. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness, questions. Why didn’t Josh show up at his friend’s bachelor party? Was he murdered? Did he run away? And now, all this time later, who is the mysterious yet strangely familiar figure suddenly haunting her new life?

In No One Knows, Ellison expertly peels back the layers of a complex woman who is hiding dark secrets beneath her unassuming exterior. This masterful thriller for fans of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins will pull readers into a you’ll-never-guess merry-go-round of danger and deception. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops…no one knows.
 -via goodreads 

My thoughts: I downloaded this book on a whim without knowing anything about it (something I never do) because I had an Audible credit about to expire and this was recommended based on my previous purchases. Funny enough, it ended up being about a girl married to a guy in med-school in Tennessee (that's where I'm from). It was fun to have so much in common with a main character in a mystery. 

Now...I base "shocking twists" in books on Gone Girl (SPOILER COMING) and when we find out she's really alive. When I got to that point in the book, which I was reading on my phone, it shocked me so much that I dropped my phone in my coffee. There was no phone-dropping with this one, but more of a "Okay, I see the twist coming. Wait...there's more to it? Oh, and more? Wait, again?" A bunch of little twists that spin the story around and around until you're finished with the book and you kind of understand how you got there, but it was quite the ride.

Should you read it? Yes. Goodreads is right in comparing this author to Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins. If you like mysteries, this one is worth a read. 

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Plot: "Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy." -via Goodreads

Favorite Quote(s): SO. MANY.

"So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?" 

"“Recognizing that people's reactions don't belong to you is the only sane way to create. If people enjoy what you've created, terrific. If people ignore what you've created, too bad. If people misunderstand what you've created, don't sweat it. And what if people absolutely hate what you've created? What if people attack you with savage vitriol, and insult your intelligence, and malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud? Just smile sweetly and suggest - as politely as you possibly can - that they go make their own (beep)ing art. Then stubbornly continue making yours.” 

My Thoughts: There's a John Green Quote that says, "Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.Big Magic is that book for me.

Reading it was a mix between being at a conference and hearing these great talks about creativity and having coffee with an encouraging friend and meeting with a therapist who already knew about all your inner turmoil. It touched me so much that I'm tearing up just writing this. Every other page I felt myself saying, "me too, me too, me too." If any part of your life involves any sort of creativity at all, please, please read this book. 

Should you read it: YES. 

What did you read this month?
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  1. I'll have to check these out! Everyone seems to be raving about Big Magic!

  2. No One Knows is on my list! I will have to check out the second book!

  3. Oh, gosh. I'm afraid I might get buried from my reading list. I'm so behind my reading challenge for the year. But I can make more room for these. :)

  4. That second book sounds so good & worth reading! I've never heard of it so thanks for sharing! :)

  5. Big Magic has been on my list for a while -- after reading your review, I have to read it!

  6. Girl... in two months I finished one book. And I don't have a baby or a new house or a doctor husband. Haha. Two books is GREAT!

  7. I cannot agree that listening to a book is the same as reading it. I feel like both are valid, but they are completely different experiences! Example: I read Jim Gaffingan's book on food and found it extremely annoying. The structure and writing style didn't work for me at all. But I listened to his next book and loved it! For me it worked so much better in audio because the author was reading it, and it was just better. Also, reading takes focus and quiet, whereas with listening you can do it almost anywhere, so I feel like I've earned it more to say I read a book vs. listened to the audio. Ah! Sorry to go off on a whole thing. This is a topic I've thought a lot of bought and (obviously) feel passionately over. ha! But you're great. The end.

    I need to add No One Knows to my list! Sounds really good.

  8. No One Knows has been on my To-Read list, and now I want to get to it sooner! Also, I love audiobooks--they make my commute so much more tolerable!

  9. No One Knows sounds like a really good read! I'm always looking for a good mystery to read!

  10. Really want to check out Big Magic!

  11. BRB, adding No One Knows to my list! I absolutely love Gillian Flynn and I loved The Girl on the Train annnd I love Liane Moriarty.

  12. No One Knows has been on my list!

    I don't think reading a book and listening to one are the same though.

  13. Gotta love when you have two good books! They both sound super interesting!

  14. I love Gillian Flynn, so No One Knows sounds right up my alley! Thanks for the recommendation!

  15. I thought the ending of No One Knows was so weird with all the twists coming at once like that. Such a good read, though!

  16. Adding both of these to my Goodreads! Thanks! I just finished The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, which was really good. Takes place over a long period of time, but kept my interest. I also finished The Nightingale and oh my goodness, one of the best books I've ever read!

  17. I haven't started listening to books yet but I have heard it is such a game changer. I'm sure once I start I will be hooked!

  18. Big Magic is on my summer reading list and this post made me THAT much more excited to dig into it!

  19. Both of these sound so good! I bought Big Magic a while back, now I need to actually get around to reading it :)

  20. I loved Big Magic so much!! I did a review on it if you wanna check it out :)


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