Tuesday, January 28, 2020

January Reading List

Reading more books is one of my top New Year’s Goals for 2020, so at the start of the month I ordered about six books from Amazon as motivation. I always like having a stack of unread books sitting around for time simple reason to always have a book on hand and just because you never know what you are going to be in the mood for next. Last year there was so much going on that the year honestly felt like a sprint; I just never seemed to have that much free time and when I did I choose to zone out and watch Netflix…not the greatest choice, I know. So far for the year of 2020 I have read two books, which is a giant improvement from last year already! 
The Future of Us, by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler was the first book I read of 2020. One of my guilty pleasures is reading young adult books. The story lines are just so easy to get lost in, they’re usually a quick read, and the writing in the young adult novels of today is a lot more complex than it was ten or fifteen years ago.

 After seeing the Netflix series, 13 Reason Why, I became curious about Asher as a writer, and he is such a great story teller, plus, I’m happy to say that the other books I’ve read of his do not have as dark of a story line as 13 Reasons Why. 

I loved reading The Future of Us, because it takes place 90’s, my childhood, and brought back so many memories of what lifestyle used to be like. I have become so attached to my phone and computer over the years, and it is so weird for me to think that at one point in time I lived in a time period where a computer in a house was not common place and if you had a cell phone in the early – mid 90s people were seriously impressed. 

It’s 1996 and Emma just received her first computer as a gift from her dad, her long time best friend, Josh, gives her an American online CD-ROM so she can sign up for email. Once the download is complete another sign in box appears, leading Emma and Josh to discover Facebook. At first they thought that someone was playing a joke on them, but eventually came to the realization that they are getting a glimpse into their future. 

The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah, is the second book I ready for 2020. Like 10 or 15 years ago, which now seems like a lifetime ago, I read my first Kristin Hannah book, Firefly Lane, maybe I was too young at the time to fully appreciate the storyline or her style of writing, but I remember thinking at the time it was a good book, but I wasn’t tempted to read another one of hers. A couple years ago I kept hearing such wonderful things about Hannah’s book, The Nightingale, and I thought that I give it a read, and I am so glad I gave her books a second chance, The Nightingale was an amazing read, amazing story line, writing, and just everything about it was so well done. The Great Alone is right us there with The Nightingale; her ability to tell a story and the details she works in is something to be praised. 

For Leni Albright, there was always a level of uncertainty to her life – she had been the new kid at school more time than she would like to remember and she was never in one place long enough to truly feel like it was ‘home’. Her dad Ernt, a former POW, came home from the war a changed man who is unstable and has a violent temper. When he loses another job and the opportunity to move to Alaska presents itself Ernt makes the impulsive decision to move his family to America’s last frontier. 

At first, Alaska seems like the answers for all they have been hoping for. The community is spread out, but made of strong men and women willing to help the Albrights prepare for their first winter. Leni grows to identify Alaska as home and finds herself as well as love there. Unfortunately, Lani and her mother soon come to realize that when the nights grow longer and darker in Alaska it only makes her father worse. The worries of bears, wolves, and other Alaskan wildlife fads once it becomes evident that her father only gets worse as the nights become increasing longer, an it is up to Lani and her mother to save themselves. 

The Great Alone is a story of how resilent the human body can be, how strong a person can be when they need to be, and how fragile things can seem. 

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