As of Lately: Books

This is the third post in the As Of Lately series


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My New Year's Resolution this year was to read two books a month. At first I was really into it and logging every book I read into GoodReads. But like so many other New Year's Resolutions, I started slowing down in March... 

Here are my favorites so far this year: 


1) The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah

A #1 New York Times bestseller, Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year, and soon to be a major motion picture, this incredible novel had me staying up until 2 am every night... it's that good.

Bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the devastation of World War II while shedding light on an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France―a heart-breaking beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel that everyone should read. 


2) The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a deep look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional. When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant and charismatic father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family.

The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.

This memoir made me rethink the huge homelessness problem in San Francisco and made me grateful for my upbringing and dedicated parents. 

*Don't forget to watch the incredible movie after reading. 


3) The Hours - Michael Cunningham

In The Hours, Michael Cunningham draws inventively on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tell the story of characters struggling with the conflicting claims of love and inheritance, hope and despair. 

The book focuses on three generations of women affected by the classic novel Mrs. Dalloway. In Richmond, 1923, Author Virginia Woolf is writing Mrs. Dalloway and struggling with her own mental illness. In 1949 Los Angeles, Mrs. Brown, wife of a World War II veteran, who is reading Mrs. Dalloway, plans her husband's birthday party. In 1999 New York City, Clarissa Vaughan plans a party to celebrate a major literary award received by her good friend and former lover, the poet Richard, who is dying of an AIDS-related illness. 

*Don't forget to watch the movie (Nicole Kidman won best actress!) after reading. 


4) After the Eclipse: A Mother's Murder, A Daughter's Search - Sarah Perry

After the Eclipse is a memoir and beautiful memorial for a mother stolen from her daughter, and a successful attempt to cast light on her life once more.

When Sarah Perry was twelve, she saw a partial eclipse of the sun, an event she took as a sign of good fortune for her and her mother, Crystal. But that brief moment of darkness ultimately foreshadowed a much larger one: two days later, Crystal was murdered in their home in rural Maine, just a few feet from Sarah’s bedroom.
The killer escaped unseen; it would take the police twelve years to find him, time in which Sarah grew into adulthood, struggling with abandonment, police interrogations, and the effort of rebuilding her life when so much had been lost. Through it all she would dream of the eventual trial, a conviction—all her questions finally answered. But after the trial, Sarah’s questions only grew. She wanted to understand her mother’s life, not just her final hours, and so she began a personal investigation, one that drew her back to Maine, taking her deep into the darkness of a small American town.

What are you currently reading? What are your favorite books I should check out? Let me know!