December 2017 Books of the Month
Each month, JARED (Jennie, Abi, Rosa, Emily and Dana) will share some books we are currently loving. Let us know your favorite books in the PY Facebook Community!
Hardcore Twenty-Four A Stephanie Plum Novel, by Janet Evanovich
If you know about Stephanie Plum then you know about Stephanie Plum. While this series is one of my favorites, and Stephanie is my favorite fictional bounty-hunter, I must admit the earlier tomes hold more appeal; let’s face it, it’s difficult to keep things fresh on the 24th installment. If you don’t know about Stephanie Plum, you can learn more about her here.
My sister, Tammy, introduced me to the series ten or so years ago. Shortly thereafter, my cousin, Marcie, told me about a really funny book she read where the heroine reminded her of me, the heroine was Stephanie Plum. On one hand, I do relate to Stephanie: weird stuff always happens to her, she lives close to her parents and often mooches home cooked dinners, and she’s average but shows an amazing amount of moxie when forced. On the other hand my life is entirely different than the bomb-shell bounty hunter’s: I have a stable job, none of my cars have exploded, (in Hardcore Twenty-Four alone, Stephanie goes through one less car than I’ve had in my entire lifetime!) and I don’t have two hot men vying for my attention. For the record I’m team Ranger, no wait, team Morelli, no wait…if Steph doesn’t have to decide I don’t see why I have to either.
Hardcore Twenty-Four introduces zombies and decapitation to the traditional Janet Evanovich formulaic sequence of events…but it kinda works. Along with some really good one liners, Morelli is overworked trying to solve all the murders, Ranger is Ranger, Grandma Mazur tries on-line dating, and Lula’s outfits are as over the top as her personality. I have given up on further character development or expecting Stephanie to evolve (she could use a community like Pursue Yourself) and have decided to enjoy the ride…as long as I don’t have to ride in Stephanie’s car.
All the books in the series are quick reads, if you find yourself with a couple hours to spare and are looking for a book that will make you laugh, look no further than Stephanie Plum.
The new year is a time to reset my journey, make new goals and purge all of my junk, both material and emotional. To help you on your journey of pursuing yourself by combatting the clutter, here are my top two favorite guides that offer simple solutions to overwhelming situations. (synopses pulled from Amazon)
Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker – Seven is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) tookseven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.
Clean House, Clean Planet, by Karen Logan – Go green with this rollicking guide to eco-friendly cleaning alternatives that will help you save your health, your money, and your planet.
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
Liane Moriarty examines the everyday lives of suburban women to find the deep places, the intrigue, and makes you wonder about what lies beneath in your own world. This book, The Husband’s Secret, came out in 2013. It focuses on the lives of four unique women drawn together by events at the primary school that all their children attend. The women in this book are easy to identify with because they represent rich, single, working, artistic, abused, flighty, caregiver types. Best of all, it reads like a mystery where you wonder how it will all turn out and there is a bit of a who-done-it feel. These novels by Moriarty trump all the romance novels I read as a teen during summer vacation as a way to remove me from my own world – just like a good book should.
I’m all over the map when it comes to books. I usually have an audiobook, a Kindle book, and a paper book going at any given time. So my recommendations will be eclectic and varied – every genre of fiction, plus some memoirs and professional development books thrown in. I ALWAYS love new recommendations – I hope you’ll share some with us.
This is really nine books, and the three trilogies can be read on their own. But don’t do that – read all nine. Robin Hobb has created a super cool world with amazing, fully fleshed out characters. I’d categorize them as fantasy, but in the same way that Game of Thrones is fantasy – mostly real people with small bits of magic thrown in. In fact, there are some similarities there – vaguely medieval feeling, monarchs vying for power, kingdoms rising and falling, political intrigue, dragons, etc. But they’re “cleaner” than the game of thrones series. I’d let my 12 year old son read them. If you’re looking for a series with a little meat that you can sink your teeth into for the next few months, this is it. I think you’ll love the main characters, Fitz and the Fool, as much as I did.
Non-fiction recommendation: Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
I’m a big Brené fan already, but with her latest book, I felt like she was speaking directly to me. I guess that just goes to show that this need to cultivate true belonging is a universal feeling. If you feel like you’re sometimes on the outskirts, like you’re having trouble connecting, grab this book. And then get a copy for your sister and your friends. And then come chat about it with me in the PY Facebook Group.
Happy reading, everyone!