Second batch of novels read in 2016…

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I did not publish posts about all the great books I read on a regular basis in 2016. I think I only posted one back in April but I have been reading-though a lot less than usual. I have been writing less blog posts as well so am behind in general. I thought I would use this Tuesday morning to edit and publish this post. Here is all I have been reading since my last post back in April.

euphoriacoverEuphoria by Lily King-I loved this book. It is about two anthropologists who are married and live in a remote area in New Guinea for a long time studying the various tribal cultures. The wife is more successful than the husband and resentments churn beneath the surface it seems. They then meet another male anthropologist and a bit of a love triangle ensues. I thought it was a great and interesting read that explored how complicated marriage and love can be.

And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile-This novel takes place in Nigeria and is about a nice young family in which one of the sons disappear quite suddenly. It takes a long time for the truth to surface but it eventually does. The family is forever changed as of that fateful day.

Circle of Friends by Maeve BinchyThis is about two best friends going to college in lat 1950’s Dublin. They meet new friends, experience betrayals, and deal with family issues. Lots of growing up in this novel. I felt it was very simply written but still you could imagine the characters coming to life.

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce-This novel is about a woman in a senior’s home who is dying and is waiting for an old flame who is walking across the country to visit her. As she waits she writes him letters and tells him truths. There is another book about the man doing the walking as well which I did not read.

lovingchecoverDiamond Head by Cecily Wong-This story covers the tale of an elite Chinese-Hawaiian family. An enjoyable book about family secrets and how complicated life can be.

Loving Che by Ana Menendez-This novel was a quick read about a Cuban woman who is raised by her grandfather. After he passes, she seeks out her mother who is still in Cuba. The mother sends her a package of letters and photographs detailing her story and focusing on her love affair with revolutionary leader, Ernesto/Che Guevara. She then travels to Cuba to find her mother.

The Year of the Ladybird by Graham Joyce-This book was not that great (only in my opinion, of course) but a fun summer read. It is about a young man in the 1970s who goes to work at a seaside resort in the UK. While he is there he learns the truth about his father’s death, gets involved with a married woman with a tough husband, and has a few other adventures. Supposed to be a ghost story as well but that does not really happen exactly…

thepariswifecoverThe Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan-This book is about four relationships and diamonds (or how they were marketed). A good read that was easy and enjoyable. I liked this writer’s other book, Maine, as well. My favourite sub-story was that of a French woman who leaves her husband for a younger American.

The Paris Wife by Paula McClain-This book is about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley. I totally enjoyed reading it and about their life in Europe in the 1920’s. It is fiction but is supposed to be fairly accurate to how they lived their life and with what circle of friends. Interesting stuff. Reminded me a lot of So Long, Marianne.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff-This book’s first half is basically about a marriage from the fairly positive perspective of a husband. The second half is from the perspective of the wife. The background of both individuals definitely affects their outlooks. Not my favourite book but okay.

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll-This book is written in the tone of a late 20’s bitchy New York woman who is a bit of a master manipulator. It goes back to her high school years at an expensive prep school where things did not go well for her and one tragic afternoon changed everything. Entertaining.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah-This book recounts the lives of two sisters during the Nazi occupation in France. One must cope with having a Nazi billeted in her own and the other joins the resistance. Definitely a good read.

anuntamestatecoverThe Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison-This novel is about a marriage that takes a dramatic turn. A woman goes about her comfortable life ignoring her husband’s faults and cheating. A husband is having an affair and all would have carried on if the mistress did not become pregnant and demand he leaves his wife. Husband is shot on day and the police wonder who did it…with the wife as the first suspect. The wife also wonders if she did it!

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay-A wealthy Haitian woman gets kidnapped while visiting her father with her American husband. It is an awful and traumatizing experience but she survives and then must deal with recovering. She finds strength and support in unexpected places.

Hang My Head and Cry by Elena Santangelo-Did not love this book. Was supposed to be a ghost story but really was not. It was a mystery novel. It is about a town in which bones are discovered at a heritage property. The ghost and fact finding eventually helps the group solve the mystery which went back to just after the Civil War is the US>

Men Without Women by Ernest Hemingway-This is a collection of short stories focusing on men. Some are short and some are a bit longer. Some I liked better than others. I just wanted to reading Hemingway again after reading The Paris Wife since he impacted American literature and all that. He writes in a clear no nonsense way but I think men are probably better with women though! Ha ha.

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