Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Reading Wednesday -- June 2016

For this months Reading Wednesday, I'm sharing one must read and one guilty indulgence. As of now, I am on pace to hit my 25 books read this year. I'd love to exceed my goal but life just doesn't all for much reading nowadays. I currently have 20 books on my bookshelf that need to be read, that doesn't include book club books we are going to be adding to my to read list. But here are the books I was able to read in June along with my to read list for July.

Book Club Pick
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
During a summer party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is happily dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and watches as her mother speaks to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime. A crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy—her vivacious, loving, nearly perfect mother.

Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress living in London. The family is gathering at Greenacres farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this may be her last chance, Laurel searches for answers to the questions that still haunt her from that long-ago day, answers that can only be found in Dorothy’s past.

Dorothy’s story takes the reader from pre–WWII England through the blitz, to the ’60s and beyond. It is the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined. The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams and the unexpected consequences they sometimes bring. It is an unforgettable story of lovers and friends, deception and passion that is told—in Morton’s signature style—against a backdrop of events that changed the world.

My Review
This is a must read book. I loved this novel from the first chapter. The ending is one that you never ever see coming which I love in books. I don't want to always read something that is predictable. I had this mystery figured out at least five different times throughout the book. Because I'm smart like that, you know? But then new information came to light so I had to change my mind never imagining the ending being what it was. The author guides the reader to an understanding of each character’s motivations and helps us sympathize with them. Add this to your must read list; you won't regret it.

Personal Pick
Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again by Teresa Giudice
The star of The Real Housewives of New Jersey and three-time New York Times bestselling author offers a behind-the-scenes look at life in prison, her marriage, her rise to fame, the importance of her family, and the reality TV franchise that made her a household name in her explosive and ultimately uplifting first-ever memoir.

Teresa Giudice, star of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, has seen it all, but nothing—not even Real Housewives scandals—could compare to the media firestorm that ensued after she was convicted on federal fraud charges.

The infamous, fun-loving Jersey mom of four was sentenced to fifteen months in the same prison where Piper Kerman—the real-life inspiration behind Orange Is the New Black—did her time. Her tiny prison cubicle in Connecticut felt so far removed from the glamorous world portrayed on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. What was a skinny Italian to do? Keep a diary, of course…

In her very first tell-all memoir, Teresa comes clean on all things Giudice: growing up as an Italian-American, meeting the love of her life and starting a family, dealing with chaos and catfights on national television, and eventually, coming to terms with the reality of life in prison. Featuring never-before-seen scans of her prison diary, Turning the Tables captures some of the most memorable moments of her prison stay, including the cringe-inducing fights she witnessed, the awkward conundrum of being trapped when a fellow inmate had a…guest…over, and the strength she found while confined between four concrete walls.

Even at her lowest of lows, Teresa was able to live la bella vita by staying positive and realizing her purpose. Friends, foes, and fans have speculated about Teresa’s prison experience, but nothing will prepare you for the revelations she makes in this entertaining and heartwarming memoir.

My Review
This was an impulse pick when visiting the library. It was on display on the end cap and since I'm a huge of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, this was an obvious choice of a guilty pleasure read. Here are my thoughts on this book in a nutshell -- 1) Teresa was guilty of her crimes. She never says that in the book but it's perfectly clear she made less than innocent decisions with her husband 2) Teresa's biggest fan is Teresa. Throughout the books she praises her character, her faithfulness, her love of family. If you your character was so "grand" how come you are in prison? and 3) My thoughts on her guilt have something to do with her vision board. She put one together while in prison, displaying things she helps for when she is out. The word money is written 3 (maybe 4) times. Clearly this is someone who puts more value on materialistic desires than being an honest person. So unless you get a kick of out reality TV, Teresa's show in particular, I would skip this book. But as a fan of the show, I just had to give it a try. 

For June, I will be reading Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker and The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews. I am hoping to read a third book but know that I want to read these two first.

Now it's your turn to share what you've been reading. Add our button to your book themed post and linkup your book reviews and lists. You have until July 4 to add your May reading list.

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