- If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim – 5 stars. Tragic, honest, refugee story about Korean girl finding her way through choices of practicality and following her heart. I was rooting for this story.
- The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang – 3.5 stars. This story about a person with Aspergers navigating the world of romance through an unconventional arrangement. Completely charming story. I loved getting inside the characters’ heads. Way too much explicit adult content for me to mention without a disclaimer, otherwise it would have been a solid five stars.***
- The Incendiaries by R.O Kwon – 3 stars. Distressing and difficult to follow, but a notable novel whose characters struggle with each other and religious extremism.
- A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua – 3 stars. Fascinating story about a woman sent to give birth in California, completely with an escape, car chases, immigration hardship, and last-ditch entrepreneurship.
- P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han – 4 stars. I enjoyed the first book in the series the most. I was frustrated with this one because for most of the book the relationship I cared the most about was at odds with itself and I had no idea if it would resolve. I guess it is about highschoolers, but still. It’d be nice if it wasn’t always the relationship giving the drama to the story.
- Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han – 4 stars. Another fun one. Didn’t quite live up to the first one, but I thought it tied things together all right.
- The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory – 3 stars. Another fun read with way too much adult content. But still super interesting seeing how this relationship began, how they navigated and addressed cultural differences, and the significant and positive role their friends played in helping them figure it out.***
- Clock Dance by Anne Tyler – 4 stars. An interesting, beautifully told story of a fairly normal person coming of age and growing old. Weighing the hopes of others with her own. told with three or so chapters of a situation in a woman’s life with a 10 year gap in between each.
- A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult – told in reverse starting at the last hour and back hour by hour. 4 stars. Through a hostage situation in a clinic this thoroughly dramatic and human interweaving of stories breaks the controversial topic of abortion down into people and experiences instead of issues. ->> Disclaimer: I now know more about abortion than I ever wanted to know, but the complete honesty about the issues on both sides of the argument is compelling. Also: I had no idea what this was about when I picked it up or I may not have attempted it. Brilliant, human, distressing.
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson – 5 stars. Most likely you’ve already heard of this one. Written by a lawyer who specializes in representing people on death row. Powerful story telling, compelling arguments, and a revealing look at the justice system in the US.
- A Prayer Journal by Flanner O’Connor – 3 stars. Just not what I expected it to be. Short and interesting.
- Start with Why by Simon Sinek – 4 stars. Great insights here. I read this fairly quickly. Main idea seemed to be if you know why you want to do something it will be more important to everyone involved in the process and the results.
- Finding Holy in the Suburbs by Ashley Hales** – 5 stars. Excellent, theological, practical. Challenging how we think about our everyday life in the consumer focused suburbs of the United States, but also speaking with full understanding while encouraging us to look a little deeper even here. See my full review with my favorite quotes here. I’m currently giving away a copy on my instagram. Giveaway ends 11/19/18.
- The New Bohemians Handbook by Justina Blakeny – 5 stars. Gorgeous photos and great inspiration for dreaming up some new possibilities or finding out what you like in home decor. And if you love plants, textures and bright colors in your home this book is just magical.
- The Lord and His Prayer by N.T. Wright – 4 stars. I was hoping for something a little more in depth, but it was a useful quick read on the Lord’s Prayer.
- I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel** – 5 stars. This was like sitting down to laugh about all your foibles with a similarly bookish, cool and collected, funny, and self-aware friend. Short and sweet essays, with a glimmer of nostalgia. I enjoyed it.
What have you read and enjoyed this month? Will you add any of these books to your list?
I’m linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy for a monthly reading recap: QuickLit. Find more short and sweet reviews at Anne Bogel’s linkup!
(Disclaimers: * Post contains amazon affiliate links. ** I received review copies of two of these books from the publishers. All opinions are my own. Thanks, IVPress and Baker Books. *** Sometimes I feel like I should give a sexual content warning, but that is a personal preference since I tend to like to avoid too much. I usually mention a warning when it is explicit and repeated, but not if it’s something quickly glossed over or takes up less notice. Hopefully it helps you choose what to read.)