Happy Monday, friends!
Did you guys have the opportunity to read any good books over the weekend? I’m currently making a dent in Elin Hilderbrand’s The Island, which is the first one of hers I read that isn’t based on Nantucket, but across the sound on Tuckernuck Island. I’m also reading Blossom Street Brides by Debbie Macomber which I picked up in the B&N bargain bin in December. I’m only a few chapters into both, but I can tell they’re going to be great beach reads here in the dead of winter, so I’ll be sure to include them on my next What’s On My Nightstand round up. Of course, you can always keep up with what I am reading over on Goodreads—feel free to friend me!
One last thought for you before we dive into the books I’ve read this past month—I think I read more when I am reading more than one book at once because I have a book for no matter what mood I’m in. For instance, this month I read a memoir about grief that was really heavy at times, so it was nice to have a lighter book to switch over to, as opposed to not reading at all. I generally have one book in my purse that I read while waiting for people or on the Metro, and another book on my Kindle that I read before bed at night. That’s what works for me, but I encourage you to try reading more than one book at a time, too, and let me know what you think!
PRIMATES OF PARK AVENUE // WEDNESDAY MARTIN
I really wanted to like this book more than I did since I thought it would be a great look into the exclusive lives of Manhattan’s elite. Okay, so maybe I thought it’d be a little more Gossip Girl and a little less sociology 101. The timeline jumps around a lot—I finished the book with no idea how old her kids are now even though they are central characters—and besides her and her husband, none of the moms are really developed into characters—just an “other.”
I’d recommend skimming this book if you’re interested in it, as opposed to reading the whole thing. The two chapters that stand out the most to me are—1) where she compares the women of Soul Cycle to the women of Physique 57, a popular NYC barre class, as I thought it was hilarious, and 2) when she talks about her miscarriage. It might be the most real and open discussion of miscarriage I’ve ever read, and think it would be really helpful for any woman to read.
RARE BIRD // ANNA WHISTON-DONALDSON
This was far and away my favorite book this month, but I may be a little biased. I’ve read Anna’s blog, An Inch of Gray, for nearly four years now. Her son, Jack, died in a tragic flash flood accident when I was in college and even though I didn’t—and still don’t—know the Donaldson’s, I heard about it right away as the family goes to my best friend Hilary’s church. My parent’s basement flooded the same day, but that event was really put into perspective when I heard about the loss Anna, Tim, and Margaret were facing.
This memoir follows the events of that tragic day and how the family coped the year after Jack’s death. I’ve always loved Anna’s writing style, and this memoir stays true to the tone and openness through which she shares her journey of grief on her blog. While many of us have not lost a child, I think the theme of this book transcends that kind of loss and applies to anyone struggling with their faith when God does not always give us what we want. I’d highly recommend this book to anyone!
A SUMMER AFFAIR // ELIN HILDERBRAND
Did you really think we’d make it through What’s On My Nightstand without an appearance by Elin Hilderbrand? Ever since I found out my library has free Kindle rentals, I’ve been making my way through her collection of books.
Like many others, this one is set on Nantucket and follows a group of eight friends, four couples, two of which tragically die at the beginning of the book and leave behind their two young children. The six remaining friends must overcome their loss while also shepherding along the now-parentless children. This one wasn’t my favorite of hers because the tone was much sadder and the forbidden romances she is known for affected more people this go-around. However, if you’re in a pinch for a beach read and this one is in the bargain bin, I’d say go for it.
So I’d love to know—what’s on your nightstand?