June has plagued Jason and I in terms of sickness. It all started the weekend before Memorial Day. Jason came down with a fever. Then, Sunday of Memorial Day, I started getting sick and stayed sick for the entire week. Then, Jason got sick. I haven't felt normal the whole month and this week, it started getting worse again (coughing, sneezing, stuffed up, headaches, nauseated tummy, fevers, etc.).
So, basically, I've done of a loooot of reading this month because of all the resting I've been doing. Here's what I read this week:
I love reading Christian fiction, but sometimes it can be hard to find good Christian authors who don't write Amish Christian fiction, which I do enjoy, but I do not want to read all the time. Enter Denise Hunter. I've read all of her Nantucket series books and I've started reading some of her older books now. Enter Sweetwater Gap. I loved that the story was set at an apple orchard. As some of Denise's books can be, it was a bit predictable, but really, sometimes I just like books like that. Sometimes, I don't want to be surprised and confused, trying to remember a winding story and difficult characters. Sometimes, it's best to leave things simple. And Denise really excels at that.
Through GoodReads.com, I first learned of Barbara O'Neal. Her books looked interesting and chick lit-y, so I thought I'd give them a go. I was both happy and disappointed I did. Confession: I like reading books with characters that are similar-ish to me. Is that weird? I don't know. If I'm reading a book and think to myself, I would never do that (not out of judgement but more out of, if I wouldn't, who really would because there's a lot I would do (probably more I wouldn't, but whatevs!)), I'm turned off. I like to read books where the characters can be related to me. And this book didn't really have that. Nevertheless, the book was interesting and intriguing. It was surprising and not very chick lit-y, I thought. I could see men reading this book and enjoying it. So if you and your partner enjoy reading the same books so you can discuss them, this one may be a winner for you! I will try her other books to see if I enjoy them, as they do still sound good. We shall see!
And the real winner of this week, in terms of the fiction books I read, was The Book of Tomorrow. Ah, Cecelia Ahern, you never let me down. I love, love, love this author. Thankfully, I can say I knew her before - before the movie was created from her book, P.S. I Love You :) I love it when I can say that. Granted, that was the first book of hers I read (ahem, it was the first book she ever published). But I read it way back before a movie was in the theaters. P.S. I Love You is, for me, one of the greatest tales of love of all time. If you've seen the movie, you've been done a terrible injustice and you must read the book immediately to salvage what could have been, what should have been. Cecelia's books are imaginative, unique, and thought-provoking. And they are chick lit-y (is that a word?!?!) books. I get a little thrill whenever I see a new book is coming out from this wonderful author. And this book did not disappoint. A must read!
Since I was already feeling down and out from being sick, I guess my sub-conscious decided reading sad non-fiction books this week would be a good fit. I read I am Nujood, age 10 and divorced by Nujood Ali. This was, surprisingly, a quick read but sad. I agree with the author - people really shouldn't even been allowed to get married until they are 22 (or 25 - the age I always, always knew I would get married). It's not that I don't think you can find love earlier (I fell in love with my now-husband one week shy of my 19th birthday). I just think you need to grow as a couple and learn as a couple before taking a vow to stay together in love for all of time. Anyway, I digress. Little Nujood is impossible not to love. Her story is, sadly, not unique but likely a story Westerners won't have heard before, and I certainly hadn't. Eye opening and uplighting.
And finally, to my last book. I read Two Kisses for Maddy by Matthew Logelin. I first heard this story on the Oprah show back in 2009? 2008? I'm not too sure now. Whenever it first aired, I think. I heard a rerun ran this past week so if so, you may just be hearing of this story. Matt and Liz were high school sweethearts and married after college. Liz became pregnant and had a difficult pregnancy. She gave birth to Maddy prematurely, and Maddy was in the NICU right away before Liz could hold her. Liz collapsed on the way to hold her baby for the first time, and she died that day. An uplifting story ensues. Matt's language is a bit... well, let's say he drops the f-bomb a lot. But then again, picture your partner (particularly for you husbands, your WIFE) dying the day after your child is born. I think I'd be dropping the f-bomb a lot, too, to be frank. Matt is lovable, as is adorable Maddy. A great book, but one I fought tears through so have Kleenex handy!