A Reading Re-Cap Because I am too Lazy to Write an Individual Post for Each Book & End of Year Well Wishes

I could lie. I could say I’ve been really busy and have not had the time to write proper reviews on the following books. But I won’t. I have just been really lazy. It’s been a long year and I am tired. The holidays are always exhausting so needless to say writing book reviews has not been in the forefront of my mind these last few weeks of the year.

Just a reminder, even though this is the last week of the year and everyone else seems to be writing about their favorite books of the year, and their yearly reading recaps that is not what this is. This is just about the last four books I read.

Thirteen. I cannot tell you the last time I read a mystery/thriller. Let alone a good one. This was insane. Technically, this is number four in a series but you do not need to read the three books before – thank. god. Other than the recommendation from a bookish friend, the tagline really made me pick this one up: “The serial killer isn’t on trial.
He’s on the jury.”
It is the murder trial of the century; the accused murderer is a well known celebrity. And his attorney is a former con-man.

The book is gripping from the first chapter. There are a lot of characters and several layers of plot twist that keep the story moving along. It’s a page turner that has set the bar for any future mystery/thrillers I may read in the future.

Talking to Strangers. Went into this one completely blind. I read nothing about it; knew nothing about it. I assumed what the book was about by the title and did not even take notice that the author wrote a book I really enjoyed earlier this year, Blink.

Honestly, I thought Talking to Strangers was going to be a book about talking, to, strangers. Because I don’t. And it makes me really uncomfortable. But that is not what this was. This is about how we interact with strangers; the assumptions we make about strangers. The book opens with the story of Sandra Bland. Sandra Bland is the black woman who was pulled over on a traffic stop in 2015 and a few days later, while in jail, she killed herself.

In addition to Sandra Bland, we learn about the assumptions made about Amanda Knox (the American woman who was accused of killing her roommate in Italy). And whether people knew about what Jerry Sandusky was up to years before. There is also a deep discussion on why it seems like college campus sexual assaults are on the rise.

The book comes full circle and closes with Sandra Bland. How what happened to her was because of someone who defaulted to their truth. How assumptions were made. The person who interacted with her had no idea who she was, or what her history was. Just like Sandra had no idea about who she was dealing with and their history.

We believe someone not because we don’t have any doubts but because we don’t have enough. Belief is not the absence of doubt.

Malcolm Gladwell

Regretting You. I have yet to read a book by Colleen Hoover that I have not really enjoyed. And I loved this one! Morgan wants nothing more than to make sure her 16-year old daughter, Clara, does not repeat her mistakes. Which include getting pregnant and married way too young; denying her own dreams to take care of a family. The only person that keeps the peace between Morgan and Clara is Chris, Clara’s father and Morgan’s high school sweetheart husband.

One day there was an accident which throws Morgan and Clara’s life through more than one hoop. Like any mother/daughter story there is a lot of resentment and misunderstanding. Even though this is mostly a story about a mother and daughter, there is a love story for both Morgan and Clara.

I absolutely loved their story. I cannot count the number of times my heart felt full and then broke. This was by far my favorite fictional book I read in 2019. This was by far one of my favorite fictional books I read in 2019. The other one was Verity, shocking.

Waiting to Be Heard. This is Amanda Knox’s story. And while I know the basics of her story, I really picked it up because it was quoted in Talking To Strangers. From what I gathered, she never “acted” right for having a roommate who was just killed. I say it all the time, but most people do not realize that no two people act the same in the face of tragedy.

I always felt bad for Ms Knox. Being young, and traveling abroad and then to be accused for killing someone in that foreign country. It always seemed so scary. After listening to her words in her voice, if everything happened the way she said it did… it is beyond scary.

It was nothing remarkable, but I overall enjoyed it.

I could pretend that I am going to write an end of year (reading) re-cap, but I won’t kid myself. I think I ended 2019 on a high note with these. These last four titles are not indicative of the reading I did this year. Reviewing my Goodreads, I did not realize that 2019 was a year of non-fiction for me. Out of the 39 books I read, 22 were non-fiction. A lot of great honest words by a lot of great authors. I learned so much from each and every one of them.

Regardless if you are an active reader or not, I hope you ended your year strong. Reading wise, I hope it was quality of quantity. Reading is not a competition – it is a hobby to be enjoyed; lesson to be learned. I hope whoever is reading this ended their calendar year different than how it started. I hope something was learned and growth was had.

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