I have to tell you I am really looking forward to going somewhere warm in the near future. I have been noticing the Facebook posts of my friends, and many of them are already talking about their upcoming trips to hot and sunny destinations in the coming weeks. I’m ready to go!

Reading all those Facebook posts made me realize it is time again to share my list of books I have recently finished reading. I love to check out recommendations and see what others are currently reading, and I also enjoy taking in the various perspectives others share on particular books. I also have a few favorite friends on the site goodreads.com and often look at what they are reading. But, I still get my best recommendations from a dear friend (thank you to Tracy) I have known since fifth grade; of course, she also happens to be a teacher!  As well as our beloved Bookman book store right here in Grand Haven.

So, here it is—Tiffany’s “Unofficial” Book Reviews. I have listed ten books I have recently read and my opinion of each one. I rated each book on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) stars:

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (4 Stars)—Rowers from the University of Washington share their quest to row in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. This was a very interesting read!

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (4 Stars)—This book takes place in Amsterdam in the late 1600s. It is a love story (sort of) with a secret twist, and I didn’t see the twist coming. If you like historical fiction and a good mystery, I would recommend reading this book.

Us by David Nicholls (4 Stars)—A couple is approaching their 25th wedding anniversary, and their marriage is falling apart so they plan a trip. This book takes a look into a 25-year-old marriage and what has evolved in those 25 years. This was ironic for me because my husband and I just celebrated our 25th anniversary and went to a few of the same places mentioned in the book.

Eve by Wm. Paul Young (1 Star)—I loved The Shack by this same author, so I thought this would be another quick and enjoyable read. I picked it up in the airport and thought I would enjoy reading it on vacation. Yuck—it took me forever to get through it, and I wasted several weeks just trying to finish it!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (3 Stars)—This was a beautifully written story, and the author described every scene in great detail, but it seemed to drag on a bit too long for me. Many other people had recommended this book very highly, so I expected to not be able to put it down. Unfortunately, this book also took me too many weeks to finish and didn’t hold my attention.

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (4 Stars)—This book was recommended by my neighbor, so I knew it would be good. And, it was! The book was based on the history of a young girl who was given a slave at the age of 11, and it described her struggle to help free all slaves.

The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin (4 Stars)—The story of Charles Lindbergh’s life is told from his wife’s point of view. I’m glad to see how far women have come in their relationships with powerful men over the years.

The Senator’s Wife by Sue Miller (3 Stars)—In my opinion, this book is exactly what you would expect of a “retired” senator who has a beautiful, young woman move in next door to him and his wife. I enjoyed the book and the writing, but the story itself is one that is far too common and ticks me off!

Young Money: Inside the World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits by Kevin Roose (3 Stars)—I sure hope today’s college graduates aspire to have more than the type of life described in this book—a job in “that building” working for “that company” with a Greenwich Country Club membership. There is so much more to life for these young men and women than what is described in this book. I hope college graduates will continue to look past what was acceptable for their parents and realize there are other options for employment beyond working for big corporations.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (4 Stars)—It was interesting to read about how quickly life as we know it can change. We live such a fast pace in our lives, but we could go back to the pioneer stage in the blink of an eye. I believe this could actually happen; in fact, it’s just a matter of when it will happen.

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