10 October 2018

What I'm Reading Wednesday {September Reads}

Hey y'all,

I was back on my reading game in September and with vacation in October, I can only hope to crank out a ton of books again. I will say, I was able to read a lot during the weekend Hurricane Florence hit NC as all of my usual plans were canceled due to flooding and wind damage. Let's get into it:

China Rich Girlfriend

China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians #2)On the eve of her wedding to Nicholas Young, heir to one of the greatest fortunes in Asia, Rachel should be over the moon. She has a flawless Asscher-cut diamond from JAR, a wedding dress she loves more than anything found in the salons of Paris, and a fiance willing to sacrifice his entire inheritance in order to marry her. But Rachel still mourns the fact that her birthfather, a man she never knew, won't be able to walk her down the aisle. Until: a shocking revelation draws Rachel into a world of Shanghai splendor beyond anything she has ever imagined. Here we meet Carlton, a Ferrari-crashing bad boy known for Prince Harry-like antics; Colette, a celebrity girlfriend chased by fevered paparazzi; and the man Rachel has spent her entire life waiting to meet: her father. Meanwhile, Singapore's It Girl, Astrid Leong, is shocked to discover that there is a downside to having a newly minted tech billionaire husband. 

The second in the Crazy Rich Asians triology, I enjoyed this book but I wasn't as in love with the story as it focused more on Kitty and Rachel. At the end of the first book you are waiting for Astrid's story which isn't as focused until the third book.

The Sound of Gravel

The Sound of Gravel: A MemoirRuth Wariner was the thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children. Growing up on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turned a blind eye to the practices of her community, Ruth lives in a ramshackle house without indoor plumbing or electricity. At church, preachers teach that God will punish the wicked by destroying the world and that women can only ascend to Heaven by entering into polygamous marriages and giving birth to as many children as possible. After Ruth's father—the man who had been the founding prophet of the colony—is brutally murdered by his brother in a bid for church power, her mother remarries, becoming the second wife of another faithful congregant.
In need of government assistance and supplemental income, Ruth and her siblings are carted back and forth between Mexico and the United States, where her mother collects welfare and her stepfather works a variety of odd jobs. Ruth comes to love the time she spends in the States, realizing that perhaps the community into which she was born is not the right one for her. As Ruth begins to doubt her family’s beliefs and question her mother’s choices, she struggles to balance her fierce love for her siblings with her determination to forge a better life for herself.

This was my book club book for September. I liked the book but it was a hard read for some of it and I would not recommend it to everyone as it is a memoir of a tough childhood.

Remember God (audiobook)

Remember GodI know God is loving; I know He is good; I believe He is big and powerful. But sometimes I wonder if He is really kind— really deeply always kind.
Is He?
Christians love to talk about how God is in control, but that’s harder to grasp when things aren’t going like you thought they would, when your life looks quite different than you imagined.
For centuries, God’s people have been building altars to Him—to remind themselves and the people around them of His work. His goodness. His kindness. Stacks of stones. Altars. Temples. Cathedrals. Why? Because they believed God and wanted to remember Him.
In the back of my mind, God reminds me that He is the same trustworthy God—the One who always finishes the stories he starts. And this is my story—of wrestling with our God who gives a limp and a blessing. A God who is always kind even when my circumstances feel the opposite. God is who He says He is. He is kinder than you imagine. In a world where it is easy to forget who He is, we will not. We will remember God.

I actually got the audiobook for Remember God as a freebie for pre-ordering the book and enjoyed hearing Annie read the book. This is a great reminder that the Lord is kind even when we don't always feel it. 

Rich People Problems

Rich People Problems (Crazy Rich Asians, #3)When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside--but he's not alone. It seems the entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe, ostensibly to care for their matriarch but truly to stake claim on the massive fortune that Su Yi controls. 
With each family member secretly fantasizing about getting the keys to Tyersall Park--a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore--the place becomes a hotbed of intrigue and Nicholas finds himself blocked from entering the premises. 
As relatives claw over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by his ex-wife--a woman hell bent on destroying Astrid's reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to billionaire Jack Bing, finds a formidable opponent in his fashionista daughter, Colette.

The third installment of the CRA's triology was probably my favorite of the series. It focuses more on Rachel and Astrid with a lot on family. I also enjoyed that the focus on the end was on the family rather than the funds.

My Oxford Year

My Oxford YearAmerican Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was thirteen: Study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day.
When Ella discovers that her English literature course will be taught by none other than that same local, Jamie Davenport, she thinks for the first time that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But a late-night drink reveals a connection she wasn’t anticipating finding and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more when Ella learns Jamie has a life-changing secret.
Immediately, Ella is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during a trial neither are truly prepared for. As the end of her year in Oxford rapidly approaches, Ella must decide if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for.

I had heard great things about My Oxford Year and while I loved the book it was deeper than your average chick-lit. I wasn't prepared for the "Me Before You" like turn in the middle of the book.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway (audiobook)

The Death of Mrs. WestawayOn a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.
Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

I had actually started this audiobook back in July but due to my accident, the rental car I had didn't have a CD player so back to the library it went. I have enjoyed Ruth Ware's other books, The Woman in Cabin 10 and In a Dark, Dark Wood so I was expecting more from this book. I felt that this was more suspenseful than thriller like her previous books.

The Boy is Back.

The Boy Is Back (Boy, #4)One post. That’s all it took to destroy the care free, glamorous life of pro golfer Reed Stewart. One tiny post on the Internet. 
Then again, it’s not like Reed’s been winning many tournaments lately, and his uncle isn’t the only one who says it’s because of the unfinished business he left behind back home in Bloomville, Indiana—namely Reed’s father, the Honorable Judge Richard P. Stewart, and the only girl Reed ever loved, Becky Flowers.
But Reed hasn’t spoken to either his father or Becky in over a decade. 
Until that post on the Internet. Suddenly, Reed’s family has become a national laughingstock, his publicist won’t stop calling, his siblings are begging for help, and Reed realizes he has no other choice: He’s got to go home to face his past . . . the Judge and the girl he left behind.
Becky’s worked hard to build her successful senior relocation business, but she’s worked even harder to forget Reed Stewart ever existed—which hasn’t been easy, considering he’s their hometown’s golden boy, and all anyone ever talks about. It was fine while they were thousands of miles apart, but now he’s back in Bloomville. She has absolutely no intention of seeing him—until his family hires her to help save his parents.
Now Reed and Becky can’t avoid one another…or the memories of that one fateful night.

This was a very quick read as it is written in all texts, emails, news articles, facebook messages, and journal entries. It was a cute read and I finished it in one night while babysitting.

What are you currently reading?

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  1. I was a little bit into Crazy Rich Asians but couldn't finish it before my library loan ended, so now I'm back on the wait list, but your reviews of the other 2 books in the series are making me even more excited to get back to it! I haven't heard of the Sound of Gravel, but it sounds really interesting, though definitely a hard topic.

  2. I don't read a ton of memoirs but I do have a fascination with cults so that would probably be one that I'd like. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. I'm currently reading The Death of Mrs. Westaway and haven't gotten far enough to know if I will like it yet or not!


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