Monday, December 7, 2015

what i read in november

It feels like November just disappeared into thin air. I suppose that's what happens with these later months when the time changes and the sun seems to go into it's own form of hibernation. (Was Daylight Savings particularly challenging to adjust to for anyone else?) I struggled reading this month, mostly because I was exhausted by the seemingly midnight dark now characteristic of 7:00PM.

Alas, I did finish a few reads PLUS an eBook that I felt like you NEEDED to know about.

Let the record state: I adored What Alice Forgot. That made me nervous to dig into this novel. When I read one thing by an author and adore it, I then fear nothing else will measure up and I will come to hate the author for giving me one great read then falling short. BUT, that was not the case. In fact, I really, truly enjoyed the "moral" of the story that is Big Little Lies.

I struggled with the format at first -the perspective comes from several of the characters- and transitioning from one family to the next, but I also found myself involved in the drama of the plot quite quickly. I feared the book would feel TOO LONG coming in at 440 pages of elementary school mama drama, but it didn't. There's substance in those pages even if not obvious in the first 50.

I was thrilled with Big Little Lies (thankfully) and say, go and read.

This book couldn't be a simpler read. Really, it's predictable and obvious and screams Chick Flick (in the best of, I want to see this movie, kind of ways). It felt so good to have a happily ever after book in my rotation this month.

I ended up listening to this on Audible and oh how much I deeply loved the narrator. Lou, the main character, was relatable, someone I wanted to have as a friend and who I think is much like myself. There's something about a reflectiveness in characters that keeps me deeply engaged and interested in the happenings of their plot. And this book definitely kept my attention rapt. Plus, the food descriptions were divine.

I do wonder if the physical book has the recipe for the coconut cake in it because I want to make it and eat it and share it with special people who mean the world to me just the way Lou did.

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.**  

The outset of the book seemed so promising: soon-to-be Harvard alumni reminiscing on their last four years in college as graduation approaches when the murder of a classmate disrupts all festivity. I was thrilled with the rich plot moves and thick character development (because what's a psychological thriller without rich characters?) but was met with disappointment upon diving deeper into the book. While the characters are developed and their flaws revealed, the plot becomes stagnant in a swamp of annoying people. The richness of the cast seems to trap the plot, requiring it to dance around the whims of its subjects which lends to a plot that doesn't move or twist, dip or dive, but instead sits passively. 

I wanted to drop the book, to set it down and not pick it back up, but I was terribly hopeful the ending would offer me redeeming value. Unfortunately, not so much, the questions left open at the close of the novel made me further annoyed, not hungry for more of Kirman's work.

I read this for #Collaboreads. You can see all my thoughts here.

Social media marketing works for me and I picked this up after seeing it on one of Hannah Brencher's Instagram shots. I fi"m completely honest, bible study has fallen flat on it's face this year. I'm just really struggling to get myself into a quiet place regularly... Even occasionally. I'm determined to make a difference next year and to pursue Him in a more relentless way, but I need help and this was it for me.

It's only 41 pages, so nothing overwhelming. It's not going to revolutionize your life with no fail bible study tactics. BUT, it's going to make approaching the bible easier, less intimidating, more wonderful. Johnson uses lots of tools to assist her in her bible study time and, well, I need those. She's not peddling some ten day bible study plan that you've got to follow, but instead points you in the direction of long-term books and references to help you direct your path through the bible.

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