Ahh sweet summer time. Reading is one of my favorite things to do during these warm months (and cold months…well, any month really). I have some good reads to update you on so let’s dive in, shall we?
So far this year, my favorite book that I’ve read has been Back Roads by Tawni O’Dell. It’s so packed with juicy scenes, drama, and interesting characters that I couldn’t stop reading it. I would highly suggest this read for both men and women. It was also featured in Oprah’s book club, but that might be a deterrent for some folks.
Back Roads is about a 19-year-old guy named Harley who’s stuck raising his three younger sisters in the back roads of Pennsylvania after their mom was sent to prison for shooting their father. Harley works two jobs in order to care for his siblings and their needs. An unconventional love interest walks into Harley’s life and things get too complicated to bare.
I looooved this book. I think I might have loved it because there were a lot of sex scenes. Tee hee. But still, I thought the story was so captivating and chillingly realistic.
After that I picked up The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver which is a pretty thick read with not much pay off. I expected a lot from this one, but it didn’t keep me coming back for more.
The story follows a family of Southern Baptists into the jungles of the Congo to preach the word of God to the people of Africa. The father, a preacher is too absorbed in self-righteousness to recognize the wants and needs of his family. He has four daughters and a wife that follow his lead and eventually, break away and evolve into the people that they always knew they were.
The aspect of the novel that I liked best was that it was written in the voices of the preacher’s daughters and wife. Each chapter featured a daughter’s insight and all of them were distinctly different, even the two girls who were meant to be twins. Other than that I felt like it dragged a lot. It was emotional and even educational, but for some reason it bored me a bit. Not my favorite.
And lastly, I read Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. Damn this was a good read. I’m starting to realize that I enjoy a nice murder mystery every so often. It’s important to mix things up, right?
Sharp Objects is about a reporter from Chicago who is sent to cover a series of murders that took place in the small town she grew up in. Dreading this, the main character agrees to go to her hometown to report on the damage done. Whilst there she becomes absorbed in the case and all of the possible culprits.
I liked this story because it was so precise and to the point. It’s around 250-pages so it’s a perfect summer read to take on vacation or something of the like. I thought the characters were all well-developed despite the thinness of the book. The tone of the novel was perfect as well as the predictability level. Flynn seems to lead the reader in one direction and then whip them around once they believe they’ve figured it out. I would have trouble picking a favorite between Sharp Objects and her other book, Gone Girl.
What have you been reading lately?
16 thoughts on “Lily’s Literature #16”
I’m too embarrassed to admit the “fluff” I’ve read lately. I really liked Flynn’s writing but I hated Gone Girl. She made me really hate the characters. My next read : Shotgun Lovesongs. Happy weekend Lily.
Do not be embarrassed. Fluff is good. Fluff is great. At least you’re reading something. I’ve been at a standstill with Lolita for over a month now and it’s really slowing down my reading goal.
I think the characters are supposed to be easy to hate? But I know what you mean. I like Flynn’s writing as well, but sometimes it comes off as too confident, if you know what I mean?
Never heard of Shotgun Lovesongs! Enjoy!
I’ve read two of Tawni O’Dells books and enjoy her dark and twisty characters. I read Kingsolver years ago and couldn’t get into it either. I’ve read all of Flynn’s books and liked them all, again dark and twisty! I’m going to read Gone Girl again before movie comes out. I’m reading Summer a House with Swimming Pool by Koch. The main character is not likeable at all.
Have you read The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison? If you like Flynn you’d probably enjoy this Lily.
So sorry I missed you but we had such a great time. Hope you are wonderful!
I’m glad you enjoy some dark and twisty books every now and then, much like myself! I’ve never heard of Summer a House with a Swimming Pool. Too bad about the main character–I always hate that.
I haven’t read The Silent Wife, but I will put it on my list! Thank you!
I know! i wished I could’ve been there, but I had to go back to work 😦 So glad you got to meet my mom though 😀
I’ve read Dark Places and Gone Girl, but haven’t yet read Sharp Objects. I really want to, though. I loved Gone Girl, but Dark Places was a little too gory for my tastes. I like more of the psychological thrillers than the blood and gore action. Nice post.
Hmm I wonder if I’ll like Dark Places then? I don’t usually read books with a lot of gore, so that should be interesting. Maybe I’ll try it? I know what you mean though–the psychology is the best part!
Thank you! So glad you stopped by!
Finished The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster, which was trippy and uber-post-modern, not everyone’s cup of tea. Then whipped through Levels of Life by Julian Barnes, which starts out being about early photography and ballooning but ends up being an essay on grief, specifically Barnes’s grief for his wife. Somehow this works. Heartbreaking and wise. And now for something completely different: just started The Love Song of Jonny Valentine by Teddy Wayne, whose humour I know from McSweeney’s. We’ll see.
Wow those all sound like really smart books (probably because I’ve never heard of them and I just imagine that you read smart, tough reads…lol). Do you read more than one book at a time, or do you just focus on one?
(I can’t do more than one.)
I don’t like to read more than one book at once. FYI, The Love Song of Jonny Valentine was like reading the autobiography of Justin Beiber, only slightly more endearing. Not a bad summer read but not earthshattering; ended up being more touching than funny.
Haha good to know. I might skip that one. Or maybe put it at the very end of my 200+ list of books to-read.
Nifty reviews, Lily. With your comments on the first book I think you’ve let slip that you’re a bit of a minx.
I’m currently reading a book about life in Britain just after WWII. It’s kind of drab and depressing but jolly interesting. Next time someone goes on about the good old days I can tell them that they’re full of shit.
Apart from one brief mention of kissing at the very start, there’s nothing minxy about it at all.
Hah just a bit, Michael 😉
I don’t get how you can read all of those boring non-fiction smarty-pants books without wanting to dieee. I even got my degree in history and would never dream of reading that stuff (but maybe it’s because I had to for 4 years straight?)
Nothing minxy? Not my style! I need some juice!
Oooh! Interested in reading Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects – I think my mum read it last year and thought it was very twisted but great,
Yeah! You would enjoy it I think! It’s very quick. Like 250 pages. So you could probably read it on a weekend if you wanted to?
Just this morning I finished “The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair”. Highly recommend. Big book but great story and characters and twists.
I loved the Poisonwood Bible which isn’t like me but I really loved it.
Cool! Thanks for the recommend! I’ve never even heard of that one. I’ll add it to my list.
Lol no, I wouldn’t have thought that you liked The Poisonwood Bible! But that’s cool. it was definitely interesting in some parts.