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Monday, August 29, 2016

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

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Plot: Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.

Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations of our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm. -via Goodreads

Favorite quote:

My thoughts: I absolutely love Liane Moriarty's books. I was so excited to read this one, but it was very different than I expected. That doesn't make it a bad book by any means (it's not!), it was just less mysterious and shocking than I expected.

Most mysteries go like this: You find out an event that happened (like murder or kidnapping or something like that), and then you're introduced to all of these characters and have to figure out who did this thing. 

Her mysteries go like this: You're introduced to all of the characters and the mystery isn't who did what, the mystery is that there is a thing has already happened you have to figure out what that thing is. I love it. 

This book follows that model, it just does so in what feels like a milder sense. It focused more on the characters than the events. 

Should you read it? If you're already a Liane Moriarty fan, yes. If you're not, start with What Alice Forgot or The Husband's Secret. 

The Vacationers by Emma Straub 

Plot: For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. The sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, its tapas and tennis courts, also promise an escape from the tensions simmering at home in Manhattan. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated.

This is a story of the sides of ourselves that we choose to show and those we try to conceal, of the ways we tear each other down and build each other up again, and the bonds that ultimately hold us together. With wry humor and tremendous heart, Emma Straub delivers a richly satisfying story of a family in the midst of a maelstrom of change, emerging irrevocably altered yet whole. -via Goodreads

Favorite quote: 

My thoughts: I picked up this book, read the first six or seven chapters, and then completely forgot about it...never a good sign. 

Jack took an extra long nap yesterday, so when I saw it on my dresser, I decided to finish it. 

And I liked it!

I don't think it's as amazing as everyone makes it out to be, but I do think it's a raw and honest (so therefore sometimes sad and sometimes funny) look at family, friendships, mistakes, and just life. 

When I finished the book, I felt like nothing had really happened, but I still felt closure. And really, it's not a book where a lot happens. It's a family and some friends who go on vacation together, and you get a view into their lives and their pasts and their mistakes and what they're going to do about all of that. 

It made me think a lot about my own life and family, and I always love when a book that really has nothing to do with me can make me feel a connection like that. 

Should you read it? Sure! But if you decide to skip it, you're not missing out on anything life-changing.

What did you read this month? I really need an "absolutely loved it" kind of book for next month...send one my way!

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