As part of my Bucketlist goal #2, which you can read about HERE, I have been delving back into the world of books. I want to share which ones I have loved and hated and all of the in-between this past month.
So here is my #Julywrapup in books!
THE STRANGER BESIDE ME: TED BUNDY: THE SHOCKING INSIDE STORY by Ann Rule
This was a hefty read. Over 500 pages of information and heavy emotions. It took me a month to get through it but totally worth it. It was absolutely fascinating. I have seen quite a few documentaries and thought I understood the darkness and mystery surrounding Ted. Ann Rule offered so much insight and information. It was beautifully written and easy to read despite the length, subject matter, and the immense amount of facts. But more importantly she brought so much emotion and light to the victims. Highlighting how terrible it was to loose those girls. Gave them a voice. Thank you Ms. Rule for sharing your side of the story and putting so much work and effort in telling the story of all characters to this story: including police forces, detectives, journalists, lawyers, judges, the families of the victims, and of course those who perished at the hands of Ted.
” ‘Conscience doth make cowards of us all’ but conscience is what gives us our humanity, the factor that separates us from animals. It allows us to love, to feel another’s pain, and to grow. Whatever drawbacks are to being blessed with a conscience the rewards are essential to living in a world in other human beings.” -Ann Rule
PRIDE AND PREDJUDICE by Jane Austen
A classic, obviously. And a favorite of mine since I was in middle school. I HAD to read it again to bring back the magic of reading. I wanted to get excited about the characters and completely transported from this world and after such a hefty commitment to Stranger… I needed it. Jane Austen just got it. She understood the human conscience so well therefore her characters are so relatable. The human emotions she describes are so accurate. It has been years since I read it last, and before I had dealt with real love and heartbreak but boy, she got it. I related to Elizabeth more than ever, and found quite a bit of comfort in Victorian England. Anyways, I loved it as always.
“Elizabeth had never been more at a loss to make her feelings appear what they were not. It was necessary to laugh, when she would rather have cried.” -Jane Austen
“Elizabeth’s spirit’s soon rising to playfulness again, she wanted Mr. Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love with her. ‘How could you begin?’ said she.
‘I can comprehend your going on charmingly, when you had once made a beginning; but what could set you off in the first place?’ ‘I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” -Jane Austen (SPOILER… my favorite part….ugh)
THE GUNSLINGER (DARK TOWER #1) by Stephen King
I did not like this one. At all. I read over half and had to stop. It was very slow and overall felt like a young man’s fan fiction. Apparently it’s like a “prologue” to the rest of the series, but it just did not have my attention. This was my first Stephen King novel, so I was sad to be so disappointed. I will though make sure to read at least one of his other more popular ones. So give your recommendations!
NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro
This was a, “It was good. I didn’t LOVE it. Probably won’t read it again.” I can see why it has won awards. The story was interesting, and the writing overall very well done. For the longest time (like the first half of the book) I couldn’t figure out whether it was a historical, dystopian, or plain Jane fiction. I did eventually feel connected to the characters, but there was not an overwhelming need to know what happens to them. It would be a good book to start conversations about culture, humanity, and how humans view each other. I’m glad I read it, and I would recommend it but not an absolute “stay on my bookshelf” read.
“I think of my pile of old paperbacks, their pages gone wobbly, like they’d once belonged to the sea.” -Kazuo Ishiguro
“I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast, And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding as hard as they can, but in the end it’s just too much. The currents too strong. They’ve got to let go, drift apart.” -Kazuo Ishiguro
I AM MALALA: THE STORY OF THE GIRL WHO STOOD UP FOR EDUCATION AND WAS SHOT BY THE TALIBAN by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
Ever since seeing the documentary of the same name and hearing about her story, I have wanted to read Malala’s memoir. Overall, what an inspiration. I think it is important to be aware of the world, other cultures, as well as other people’s struggles. It brings into perspective what is actually important in life and how lucky we are. I admire Malala’s bravery and dedication to what she has decided is her life’s purpose. Education is important and should be given to all. Violence and discrimination for power should be stopped. It was not the most engaging read, but inspiring. She gives a look into her beliefs, religion, culture, country, fears, joys. Yes, like many others, would relate it to The Diary of Anne Frank. Malala is on the top of my list of inspirational people on this planet.
“Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.” -Malala Yousafzai
“Some people are afraid of ghosts, some of spiders or snakes – in those days we were afraid of our fellow human beings.” -Malala Yousafzai
“We human beings don’t realize how great God is. He has given us an extraordinary brain and sensitive loving hear. He has blessed us with two lips to talk and express our feelings, two eyes which we see a world of colors and beauty, two feet which walk on the road of life, two hands to work for us, a nose which smells the beauty of fragrance, and two ears to hear the words of love.” -Malala Yousafzai
BEFORE WE WERE YOURS by Lisa Wingate
Loved loved loved this book. This was by far my favorite read all month. So many gorgeous passages. The mystery is engaging all the way through. The human relations are real and beautiful. I liked the switching between time and characters. The message of love, family, and courage thrives all the way through and leaves you inspired at the end. I caught myself squealing, laughing out loud, and crying throughout. The historical significance is interesting, sad, and important to acknowledge. Overall such a good story and book and I will recommend it to everyone. As well as keep it on my shelf..
“I shush my mind, because you mind can ruin it if you let it.” -Lisa Wingate
“Life is not unlike the cinema. Each scene has its own music, and the music is created for the scene, woven to it in ways we do not understand. No matter how music we may love the melody of a bygone day or imagine the song of a future one, we must dance within the music of today, or we will always be out of step, stumbling around in something that doesn’t suit the moment.” -Lisa Wingate
“A woman’s past need not predict her future. She can dance to new music if she chooses. Her own music. To hear the tune she must stop talking. To herself, I mean. We’re always trying to persuade ourselves of things.” -Lisa Wingate
So here you go…a July summer month in books…here’s to the next month!
Thanks for the Adventure Books!
Bucketlist update: 11/52