Best Books of 2018 (So Far!)

Hi, readers!

As we are now more than halfway through the year, I thought I’d share my favorite books I’ve read so far this year. This is the biggest post I’ve ever written for the blog, so let’s get right to it!

Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown

“True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are.” Social scientist Brene Brown, PhD, LMSW, has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives–experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging.

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James (read my review here!)

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware (read my review here!)

On 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 centre of it.

Educated by Tara Westover (read my review here!)

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent.

Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (read my review here!)

In Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. While her work has earned her comparisons to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, she has a voice that is all her own. In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.

A wife refuses her husband’s entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store’s prom dresses. One woman’s surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest. And in the bravura novella Especially Heinous, Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show we naively assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgangers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes.

Earthy and otherworldly, antic and sexy, queer and caustic, comic and deadly serious, Her Body and Other Parties swings from horrific violence to the most exquisite sentiment. In their explosive originality, these stories enlarge the possibilities of contemporary fiction.

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager (read my review here!)

Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings–massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett (read my review here!)

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean (read my review here!)

A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance—including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.

A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to such unexplored pleasures.

Bourne may be a prince of London’s underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness—a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them… even her heart.

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Twelve-year-old Astrid has always done everything with her best friend Nicole. So when Astrid signs up for roller derby camp, she assumes Nicole will too. But Nicole signs up for dance camp with a new friend instead, and so begins the toughest summer of Astrid’s life. There are bumps and bruises as Astrid learns who she is without Nicole…and what it takes to be a strong, tough roller girl.

Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare (read my review here!)

As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities.

And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.

Ugly duckling turned swan?

Abducted by handsome highwayman?

Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?

No, no, and… Heh.

Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?

This one.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (read my review here!)

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo (read my review here!)

Yejide and Akin have been married since they met and fell in love at university. Though many expected Akin to take several wives, he and Yejide have always agreed: polygamy is not for them. But four years into their marriage–after consulting fertility doctors and healers, trying strange teas and unlikely cures–Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time–until her family arrives on her doorstep with a young woman they introduce as Akin’s second wife. Furious, shocked, and livid with jealousy, Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant, which, finally, she does, but at a cost far greater than she could have dared to imagine. An electrifying novel of enormous emotional power, Stay With Me asks how much we can sacrifice for the sake of family.

Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee (read my review here!)

Christine Hyung-Oak Lee woke up with a headache on the morning of December 31, 2006. By that afternoon, she saw the world—quite literally—upside down. By New Year’s Day, she was unable to form a coherent sentence. And after hours in the ER, days in the hospital, and multiple questions and tests, her doctors informed her that she had had a stroke. 

For months afterward, Lee outsourced her memories to a journal, taking diligent notes to compensate for the thoughts she could no longer hold on to. It is from these notes that she has constructed this frank and compelling memoir.

In a precise and captivating narrative, Lee navigates fearlessly between chronologies, weaving her childhood humiliations and joys together with the story of the early days of her marriage; and then later, in painstaking, painful, and unflinching detail, the account of her stroke and every upset—temporary or permanent—that it caused. 

Lee illuminates the connection between memory and identity in an honest, meditative, and truly funny manner, utterly devoid of self-pity. And as she recovers, she begins to realize that this unexpected and devastating event has provided a catalyst for coming to terms with her true self—and, in a way, has allowed her to become the person she’s always wanted to be.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (read my review here!)

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins (read my review here!)

Morgan Jerkins is only in her twenties, but she has already established herself as an insightful, brutally honest writer who isn’t afraid of tackling tough, controversial subjects. In This Will Be My Undoing, she takes on perhaps one of the most provocative contemporary topics: What does it mean to “be”—to live as, to exist as—a black woman today? This is a book about black women, but it’s necessary reading for all Americans.

Doubly disenfranchised by race and gender, often deprived of a place within the mostly white mainstream feminist movement, black women are objectified, silenced, and marginalized with devastating consequences, in ways both obvious and subtle, that are rarely acknowledged in our country’s larger discussion about inequality. In This Will Be My Undoing, Jerkins becomes both narrator and subject to expose the social, cultural, and historical story of black female oppression that influences the black community as well as the white, male-dominated world at large.

That’s it for today! What are your favorite books of the year so far?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Reading Wrap Up: June 2018

Hi, readers!

It’s that time again! Today I’m sharing my reads from this past month. All things considered, this was a pretty good reading month. I even had two 5 star reads!

This month I read…

Books: 7

Books by women: 6 / 7

Books by PoC: 2 / 7

Favorite pick of the month: Educated by Tara Westover and The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

Now, onto the books!

Educated by Tara Westover

If you haven’t read this memoir yet, it should be at the top of your list. Westover’s life story is remarkable and inspiring. Her pursuit of higher education after growing up in a Mormon survivalist family is incredible. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and you can read my review here.

The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig

I’ve previously read some of Williams’s and Willig’s books and thought this joint novel was a fun story. The three authors weave together three different timelines quite well, making this an enjoyable read. I thought the switching stories were fun but the overall pacing suffered quite a bit as a result. I liked this book but I’m not sure I would really recommend it. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

I loved the newest thriller from Sager. This one follows Emma’s return to Camp Nightingale, fifteen years after her first and only other visit when her three cabinmates disappeared without a trace. I devoured this in two days and it’s definitely one thriller you should add to your summer reading list! I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and I’ll share a review here next week!

Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang

I really enjoyed this short story collection! Chang deftly writes about class dynamics and gender politics. The stories in this collection were engaging, heartbreaking, and surprising. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and look forward to reading more of Chang’s work.

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

This is a great read that follows one Cuban-American woman’s journey to Havana after her grandmother’s death. Cleeton does an excellent job of capturing the emotions of those who left Havana during the revolution and those who stayed. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can read my review here.

The Room on Rue Amélie by Kristin Harmel

This is a beautiful story about three people in Nazi-occupied France during WWII. I loved reading about how ‘ordinary’ civilians sacrificed their lives and did extraordinary things for the greater good. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can read my full review here.

The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

This is the newest Williams book that follows one American family in the 1950s and 1960s. I enjoyed how this story follows the different classes on one island and explores how the characters’ lives intersect. I’ve read a handful of Williams’s previous books and while I enjoyed this one, I liked some of her earlier books more. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars and I’ll share a review here next month.

That’s it for this month! What books did you finish this month?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Reading Wrap Up: May 2018

Hi, readers!

It’s that time again! Today I’m sharing my reads from this past month as May comes to a close. In my May TBR post, I shared my goal to read books written by authors of color only. I did not accomplish that goal, mainly because I eventually realized many of the books I wanted to read this month were darker in tone and content. You can read a bit more about that in this post. All in all I still had a pretty great reading month! I’ll first share this month’s reading stats and then move on to highlight the books themselves.

This month I read…

Books: 8

Books by women: 8 / 8

Books by PoC: 2 / 8

Favorite pick of the month: The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

Now, onto the books!

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

A lot of people loved this book but unfortunately I was not one of them. The imagery and use of color in this story is beautiful. Astonishing Color addresses depression, suicide, and grief and I had a difficult time connecting with the story as a result of my personal experiences with these topics. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars and you can read my review here.

By the Book by Julia Sonneborn

Looking for a Jane Austen retelling? Sonneborn did a great job of reimagining and modernizing Persuasion, which is a fantastic Austen book. This retelling is super cute and fun, and Sonneborn is clearly a big fan of both Austen and Persuasion. I would definitely recommend this for Austen fans, as well as to anyone looking for a quick and breezy summer read. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare

I think Tessa Dare is quickly becoming my favorite romance writer! This is a fun and charming read with a hilarious premise that I refuse to spoil. Also, there’s a mystery! The characters are realistic, endearing, and hilarious. I flew through this story and was quite bummed when it ended. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

This story is absolutely beautiful. The writing is incredible. I would actually stop and reread passages just to appreciate the language better. This is a beautiful story about family that I can’t stop recommending! I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can read my review here.

Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

This was the book to burst me out of my depressing book slump! Romancing the Duke is a quick and easy read. I finished it over the course of a day. This book had some surprising plot twists and nice renditions of genre cliches. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and you can read my full review here.

A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny

Yay, Louise Penny! This is the fourth book in Penny’s famed series following Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. A Rule Against Murder offered a quaint change of pace from the previous novels set in Three Pines. I enjoyed the new characters in this story, as well as Penny’s usual insightful commentary on people, the world, and ethics. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

This short story collection is Reese Witherspoon’s book club pick for May. And it was so great! I previously read Sittenfeld’s book Prep and after reading this collection, I know want to read her backlist. These stories are insightful, witty, relevant, and engaging. I can honestly say I enjoyed every single one. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and will share a review soon.

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

This was a frustrating book. I was disappointed with the plot due to the troubling storyline involving a supposed romance between an adult man and a child. It is a quick read, which is lucky because I was not glad for much else in this book. I gave this book 2 out of 5 stars and you can read my review here.

That’s it for this month! What books did you finish this month?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Currently Reading: May 2018

Hi, readers!

Happy Friday! Anyone have any exciting reading plans? I’m hoping to make some good progress on the books featured below. I haven’t made a lot of time for reading so far this month, and I’m hoping to remedy that before May ends. Today I’m sharing the four books I’m currently reading. Do you like to read more than one book at a time? I find it helps keep me reading because I always have something to choose from and all the books are different.

Let’s get to those books!

Killing the Black Body by Dorothy Roberts

This is a really powerful, difficult, and necessary read, particularly for white people. Only by learning how black women’s reproductive rights have been challenged, diminished, and ignored throughout history can we do better in the future. I’ve read a little over 100 pages and am hoping to catch up this weekend. I’ll definitely post a full review when I’m finished.

Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang

I’ve only finished one of the novellas in Fallen City, but I really liked it! It’s great to read books in translation and be exposed to new cultures, customs, and traditions. Chang’s writing almost has a dry wit to it, which makes for some very insightful reading about China. I’ll post a full review here when I finish.

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

I only recently started The Poppy War but I’m enjoying it so far. I’ve heard from multiple people and sources that this is a violent and traumatic read, so please do your own research before starting this book if that might affect you negatively. Also, while this book stars a teenager, it is most definitely not YA. This book is for adults. I’ll post a full review when I’m finished and will share more about any content warnings.

You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

This short story collection is the May pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club! I’m really enjoying the stories thus far. They’re about people and the different kinds of relationships we have with one another, including spouses, friends, and family. I’ll definitely share my review here once I finish these short stories.

That’s it for today! Have you read any of these books? What are you reading lately?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Reading Wrap Up: April 2018

Hi, readers!

It’s that time again! Today I’m sharing my reads from this past month as today is the last day of April. I didn’t read as many books this month, mainly because I finished two 500+ Page books. And those take a lot of time! I’m looking forward to getting back to my regular reading schedule next month. I’ll first share this month’s reading stats and then move on to highlight the books themselves.

This month I read…

Books: 6

Books by women: 5 / 6

Books by PoC: 2 / 6

Favorite pick of the month: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Now, onto the books!

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

This book was on my radar for a long time. I mentioned it in my Anticipated Winter Books post and was fortunate to have an ARC. The Belles is a fun, detailed, and adventurous first novel in a new YA series. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can read my review here.

The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny

At this point, you know how much I love Louise Penny! This mystery book was no exception and I look forward to how the story develops moving forward. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can read my review here.

Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After by Heather Harpham

Happiness was the April pick for the Reese Witherspoon book club. This is a beautiful memoir about one family and their tragic and tumultuous years while their daughter was sick. Happiness is memorable, engaging, and absorbing. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can read my review here.

Liar’s Candle by August Thomas

This was a highly anticipated new release by a debut author. Liar’s Candle is a thriller set in Turkey that had a plot bombshell every ten pages. I finished this mainly to see how all the pieces fit together. Overall, the story was fine, but I would not recommend it. I can also see this story being adapted for film or TV, and at times it felt like the author was already preparing for that. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This was a reread for me and I loved it even more the second time around! Little Women is a beautiful story about the March family and the ups and downs in their lives. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and you can read my review here.

The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson

Honestly, I still can’t believe I finally finished this book! This is a fun, adventurous, and memorable story that I would highly recommend reading. But don’t be afraid to take your time with it. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can read my thoughts about The Odyssey in this post.

That’s it for this month! What books did you finish this month?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

5 Star Review Update

Hi, readers!

Back in January I announced I was trying something new. I selected five books that I thought would be 5 Star reads for me, and shared them here on the blog. You can read my initial thoughts on these books here. I’m pleased to announce that I finally got around to reading these five books! My star ratings were a bit all over the place for these books, which makes for a fun roundup. Today I’ll be sharing a few thoughts on each one. Overall, I thought this was a really fun experiment and something that I’ll definitely be doing again this year!

And now, onto the books!

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Starting things off with a bang, this YA fantasy book was a DNF for me. I think I read roughly 80 pages and found that I was bored, uninterested in any of the characters, and underwhelmed by the story. You can read more of my thoughts on this book in this post, and I would not recommend this book.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

I only read this book about a month ago, but I loved it! This contemporary story about a small community and the choices and secrets they must live with was a 5 / 5 star read for me. You can read my full review here. I highly recommend this book, especially if you enjoy quieter stories that focus tightly on one family.

Still Life by Louise Penny

Ah, my beloved Louise Penny. I fell hard and fast for Penny’s books this year! Reading Still Life quickly set me down the slippery slope that is her Three Pines series. You can read my review here and I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this book, especially for fans of Agatha Christie and quieter mysteries.

Wildwood by Colin Melroy, Illustrations by Carson Ellis

And here we have another book that was a DNF for me! I only read about 60 pages of this book and found myself completely uninterested, underwhelmed by its obvious comparisons to other (better) children’s books, and extremely unimpressed with the writing. I do not recommend this book.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

This book was phenomenal! I read this 400+ page book in one day. I could not put it down! Obviously, I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and you can read my full review post here. I highly recommend this book, especially for fans of Old Hollywood movies.

That’s it for today! Have you read any of these? What book do you think you’ll really enjoy?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Reading Wrap Up: March 2018

Hi, readers!

Today I’m sharing my reads from this past month. Overall, it was a pretty great reading month filled with a few mysteries and quite a few 5 star reviews! I’ll first share this month’s reading stats and then move on to highlight the books themselves.

This month I read…

Books: 11 and 3 that I marked as DNF (did not finish)

Books by women: 11 / 11

Books by PoC: 3 / 11

Favorite pick of the month: The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Now, onto the books!

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware (out May 29!)

The newest book by Ruth Ware is probably my favorite one of hers! It’s different from her previous books but in a fantastic way. If you haven’t read any of Ware’s books, I would highly recommend her! I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and I’ll post a review here to the blog shortly!

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

This was my first time reading one of Tessa Dare’s books and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I found this book to be charming, witty, and laugh out loud funny. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can read my full review of this book here.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

This book is quite a gem! It’s the March pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club. You can read my review of this book here and I would definitely recommend this book for its heart, introduction to Punjabi culture, and engaging storyline. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

I fell in love hard with Louise Penny this month! This is the second book in her bestselling series about Three Pines and I thought this sequel was every bit as good as the first book. I cannot recommend Penny enough! I wrote a review of this book, which you can read here. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this book. I found it to be a powerful and focused look at how one community deals with hardship. The characters were well written and relatable. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and you can read my review post here.

Reading People by Anne Bogel

This is a fun nonfiction read about different personality tests and types. It’s certainly interesting to think about and provides good insight into how people are wired differently. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

If you enjoy graphic novels, I highly recommend this one! Jamieson did a fantastic job telling a lovely middle grade story about two friends and the struggles of growing up. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

And we have another great read! This is such a fast and unputdownable read and I definitely recommend this if you’re a fan of true crime. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can read my review here.

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

This was a remarkable book from start to finish. It’s a quick read and Adebayo does an incredible job of painting an intimate portrait of the lengths one couple will go to in order to be happy. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and you can read my full review here.

Still Life by Louise Penny

Here we have it! It’s the book that started it all. I read this entire book in just one day because I was completely entranced! This is such a great mystery series and an excellent first novel. You can read my review here. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

I read this book for the first time ever this month! I’m still not sure how I missed reading it before when really enjoyed it. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can read my review here.

That’s it for this month! What books did you finish this month?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Reading Wrap Up: February 2018

Hi, readers!

Today I’m sharing my reads from this past month. Overall, it was a pretty great reading month filled with some classics and a few new releases, too! I’ll first share this month’s reading stats and then move on to highlight the books themselves.

This month I read…

Books: 6 plus 5 books that I marked as DNF (did not finish)

Books by women: 6 / 6

Books by PoC: 2 / 6

Favorite pick of the month: This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins

Now, onto the books!

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

I practically devoured this ARC. It is a fantastic thriller with a ghost story, too! This book comes out on March 20 and you can read my review here. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

I was fairly disappointed in this book. It was Reese Witherspoon’s February book club pick and I just didn’t see what all the fuss was about. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars and you can read my full review post here.

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

This was one of those books that I’ve been meaning to pick up for a long time and I’m so glad I finally did! I thought this was a wonderful story and Maisie is a delightful sleuth. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can expect a full review coming soon!

This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins

This will come as no surprise if you saw my review yesterday, which you can read here, but I think this memoir is phenomenal. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and cannot recommend this enough.

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

This book is such a gem! It’s a contemporary romance that I would particularly recommend if you’re looking for some lighter reading. You can read my review here and I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Women & Power by Mary Beard

This is quite the intriguing little read! It’s remarkably short and provides some interesting food for thought, especially if you’re a fan of Ancient Rome or the classics. This book is too short to review but I did share some thoughts in this Currently Reading post. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

That’s it for this month! What books did you finish this month?

I am an affiliate with Book Depository and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Reading Wrap Up: January 2018

Hi, readers!

Today I’m sharing my reads from this past month. Overall, it was a pretty great reading month filled with some classics and a few new releases, too! I’ll first share this month’s reading stats and then move on to highlight the books themselves.

This month I read…

Books: 12 plus 2 books that I marked as DNF (did not finish)

Books by women: 11 / 12

Books by PoC: 2 / 13

Favorite pick of the month: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Now, onto the books!

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

Wow, did I struggle with this book! I was about halfway through when I marked this book as DNF. You can read my review here. I gave this book 2 / 5 stars.

Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown

I picked this book up on a whim because it was Reese Witherspoon’s book club pick for January. I’m still thinking about this quick read and know I’ll pick it up frequently in the years to come. I’ll post a review of this book soon. I gave this book 5 / 5 stars.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

It has been such a delight to reread the Harry Potter series. I forgot so much of book two as it’s been quite a while since I read this book. Can’t wait to continue my rereading, even as the books start to pick up significantly in length! I gave this book 5 / 5 stars.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

I’m so pleased with how fantastic this series is even though I’m an adult. I highly recommend taking the time to reread these books! I’ll post a full review of this series once I finish rereading them all. I gave this book 5 / 5 stars.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

This short story collection is haunting, lyrical, and memorable. I highly recommend taking your time with this one. I gave this book 5 / 5 stars and you can read my full review here.

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean

This book felt considerably darker. Even though this book picked up as it went along, there was a certain lack of charm in this book that precious books in the series handled marvelously. I’ll post a full review shortly and still plan to read the singular remaining book in this series. I gave this book 3 / 5 stars.

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean

This was a great sequel in the Rules of Scoundrels series! I wrote a full review for this book, which you can read here. I gave this book 4 / 5 stars.

A Rogue By Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

This book was fantastic! I picked it up on a whim from the library and promptly devoured it. You can read my full review here. I gave this book 5 / 5 stars.

Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen

This was my last Austen novel! This is a great book to end on and I found this book to be charming, surprising, and memorable. I gave this book 4 / 5 stars and I’ll update my Jane Austen Introduction post with more thoughts on this book.

The Strays by Emily Bitto

This book was…interesting. I continue to have contradictory thoughts about this book in the days since finishing. I’ll post a full review here on the blog to further process my opinions. I gave this book 3 / 5 stars.

Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee

This was such a beautifully written memoir. I highly recommend this quick read that will prompt wonderful thoughts on memory, time, and connections. You can read my review here and I gave this book 5 / 5 stars.

What Happened by Hillary Clinton

I’m so glad I read this memoir. You’ll definitely tear up while reading, but I thought this book was very cathartic. I gave this book 4 / 5 stars and you can read my review here.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

This book is a must read! I devoured this book in one day and can’t recommend it enough. I gave this one 5 / 5 stars, obviously, and you can read my full review here.

That’s it for this month! What books did you finish this month?

I am an affiliate with Book Depository and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

#24in48 Readathon Wrap Up

Hi, readers!

I mentioned last week that I was participating in the #24in48 Readathon over the weekend. You can read my TBR post here, where I also shared more about the challenge and my thoughts on readathons overall. Even though I didn’t read for anywhere close to 24 hours, I am proud of how much reading I did do this weekend!

Let’s talk about the books I read…

First, I finished The Strays by Emily Bitto. I’ll have a review post coming soon for this book but I will say now that I enjoyed it but didn’t love it. At 238 pages, this book is a quick and easy read. The Strays is a moving story about female friendship, growing up, and growing out.

Second, I finished No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean. I had several hundred pages to go in finishing this one, and it was a delight to finish it this weekend. This is the third book in the Rules of Scoundrels series and I found this one to be a little slow to start. I liked it overall and I’ll share a full review soon.

Third, I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s been years since I read this book and I’m planning to do a reread of the series this year! This was a quick and easy read because it’s technically a middle grade book, and I enjoyed it immensely. I’m going to hold off on reviewing any of the Harry Potter series until I’ve reread all seven and then I’ll do one larger series review post.

Fourth, I started Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I’m almost halfway through this one and expect to finish it within the next two days. Again, this is a quick read so I’m flying through it!

That’s all for today! Did you participate in the #24in48 Readathon over the weekend? What books did you read?

I am an affiliate with Book Depository and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!