I set a goal to read 40 books in 2019 and I think I’m off to a pretty good start. I read a total of 9 books in January. I know I am posting this a little late but I still wanted to share what I read so far and how I felt about those books.

Becoming by Michelle Obama.  

“In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same” –– Goodreads

★★★★★ I tore through this. I really miss the Obamas. I loved hearing Michelle Obama’s story. I loved hearing about her relationship with her grandfather– it reminded me of my own. It was also, of course, really cool to hear about her love story with Barack.


The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.

A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov’s experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.” — Goodreads

★★★ I definitely read this book quickly and the story itself is an amazing one— this is the story of a real couple who survived the Holocaust and were able to build a life together after it was over. However, I don’t feel like the story was told as well as it could have been.


You by Caroline Kepnes

A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, debut author Caroline Kepnes delivers a razor-sharp novel for our hyper-connected digital age. You is a compulsively readable page-turner that’s being compared to Gone GirlAmerican Psycho, and Stephen King’s Misery.” — Goodreads

★★★ I read this after binging the on-screen version on Netflix. Honestly… I liked the on screen version of this better. I feel like seeing the character being played versus reading about it made it easier to convey who Joe is and how he thinks without being so…. crass.


Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

“Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.

In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice…” — Goodreads

★★★ This is the sequel to You. I decided to read it even though I wasn’t crazy about the first book because I was hoping to get some answers for season two of the show before it comes out. This sequel felt really unnecessary. It also reaffirmed the fact that there is someone out there for everyone. Even Joe Goldberg. Also… does anyone have a count on how many times this book used the phrase “mug of piss?”


milk and honey by Rupi Kaur

“milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.” — Goodreads

★★★★ I have known this collection existed for a long time, and I had read various poems before I read the book but I am glad I picked it up when I did. My heart needed it. I really need to pick up The Sun and Her Flowers now.


The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

“Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown” — Goodreads

★★★★ Kristin Hannah has become on of those authors whose book I will book up without reading what it’s about. She creates such fulls characters and the stories have so much heart. This one was beautiful and left me in tears by the end.


The last three I read were featured in previous posts so I will link to those below.

                               

A Girl, Her Dog & A Snowy Weekend In – Read my thoughts and reviews on The Silent Patient and Winter Garden

I Might Regret This (Too) – Check out my thoughts and review of I Might Regret This and how the book fell into my lap at the perfect time.


 

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