2017 Books · april2017reading · Quick Lit

April Reading

Unfortunately, my reading took a major hit in April so this round-up will be rather short.  Looking forward to a hopefully slower summer so I can catch up on lots of good reading. 🙂

Speak Love

I actually read this over about four months with a group of teenage girls that I teach at my church.  Every Friday night, they piled into my living room to eat cheese dip and cookies and talk about what they learned from this book.  It quickly became one of the highlights of my week.  I thought this book was perfect for teenagers.  Annie has a down to earth writing style that is instantly relatable, but she also packs lots of truths in.  I got a lot out of it myself, and it served as a great starting point to talk about some hard issues my girls deal with.

the Wife

This seems to be one of those books that you either love or just feel ehhhhhh about.  I fell into the later category.  It wasn’t that the book was bad; it just didn’t wow me.  Even now thinking back about it, I can’t remember any characters that I particularly loved.  The ending was good but not overwhelmingly so.  Confession – I am not a huge fan of this time period (1920s).  Some people absolutely love the glitz and glam of showgirls and mobsters, but I’m just not one of them.

Radium

I loved this book!  Meticulously researched, it tells the story of the young women hired to paint clocks that glow in the dark because of radium.  At the time, they were told it was good for them… until they all started to die horrific deaths.  It was hard to read, because of both the trauma they went through and the inability of their employers to take any responsibility whatsoever.  However, it is an important book, and the beauty of the women’s strength will stay with me a long time.

Life Intended

Technically I finished this one at the beginning of May, but I’m throwing it in because my reading life was so paltry last month!  This was a sweet and somewhat predictable book.  It deals with the grief of losing someone in a way that was sad but not overly depressing.  It more focuses on what you do with your life when it doesn’t turn out the way you planned.  This would make a great beach read.

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2017 Books · april2017reading

The Radium Girls

Radium

Y’all.  This beautiful book caused my jaw to drop no less than ten times as I was reading it, and then at the end, I was curled in the fetal position sobbing like a baby.  (That may be a slight exaggeration but seriously, I was crying pretty hard.)  I knew nothing about this when I picked up the book.  I heard about it on two different podcasts and thought it sounded interesting so I requested an advance copy from NetGalley.  This is one of the most remarkable books I have ever read.  It focuses on hundreds of women who were dial painters in the early 1900s and used radium in the paint.  They were told it was completely safe and even good for them, only to be exposed to significant amounts of radioactivity that caused horrific deaths for most of them.  They literally put radium in their mouths.  What these women went through was pretty unbelievable and yet their employers denied for decades that they did anything to cause their symptoms.  I can’t recommend this one highly enough.

What I Liked: It is meticulously researched yet it reads like a novel; it is incredibly interesting; there is a section on a husband and wife that is the most heartbreaking picture of love and devotion I may have ever read; and I’m happy to know an important part of history that I didn’t previously.

What I Didn’t Like: Some of the description of what the girls went through was graphic and disturbing to read but it really needed to be in the book in order to understand it.

5 Stars

2017 Books · april2017reading · Murder Mystery

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress

the Wife

I read this historical murder mystery for the Modern Mrs. Darcy book club.  So far, I’ve noticed that I’m rather lukewarm about a lot of the monthly picks.  They aren’t necessarily picked because they are books we will all LOVE but because they offer good discussions.  This is based on a real life unsolved murder of Judge Crater in 1930.  This book is the author’s creative take on what could have happened but is most likely far from the truth.

What I Liked:  The ending had a pretty good twist and I loved that it was all based on real life people and events.  My favorite part was at the very end where there is a section with each character and a description about whether that was factual or embellished for the story.

What I Didn’t Like: Most of the story felt pretty slow (especially the first half), even though many of the characters were sympathetic, I didn’t feel a huge connection to any of them, and much of the ending was confusing (in the book club, everyone is constantly trying to figure out exactly what happened and why).

Three Stars

Recommended for: Fans of murder mysteries and historical fiction.