What I love most about reading: It gives you the ability to reach higher ground. And keep climbing.Oprah
Last week I talked about 6 audiobooks I’ve loved recently and now I’m going to talk about 6 more that I ADORED. These are on a whole other level for me for various reasons and I knew I wanted to give them their own separate post.
Warn your library that you’ll be coming in HOT this week with requests for books and audiobooks after reading this. It’s also fun looking at this list and seeing how varied my tastes have become. I used to only read thrillers and now I can’t get enough of every genre. I listened to all of the books below and the narration was perfection, but that doesn’t mean you have to listen to them. Go check out a physical book too!
Also, never hesitate to drop me a comment or message about my posts or these books! I love hearing what you guys think. I hope that you have as much fun reading these posts as I do writing them.
Finding Me by Viola Davis
I already viewed Viola Davis as the ultimate actor. Ever since I first saw her in The Help I was completely entranced by her talent and seeing subsequent interviews just made me love her even more. She is the epitome of talent. As an aspiring actor myself and as someone who works full time in the industry, memoirs by actors/directors/etc are always something on my radar. They are typically fun, sometimes enlightening, and are a great way to pass the time.
Finding Me was on an entire other level. This woman went through more in her lifetime than 100 people normally do in theirs. She lived without electricity, in rat-infested homes, faced hunger and poverty and racism, and so much more. Her narration ensnared me. Her story gripped me and didn’t let go until it was done and I’m still reeling from just how awe-inspiring her story is. Saying Viola Davis is a role model for the rags to riches story for someone who truly deserves it is the understatement of the century. I hope you read this and become as inspired as I was and that it also pushes you to work as hard as you can for the life you dream of. It’s hands down the best memoir I’ve ever read.
The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb
As someone who has played the cello since middle school, I can honestly say there are not enough orchestra-related thrillers. THERE’S SO MUCH POTENTIAL. While this thriller focused on a violin, I was invested from the first sentence. It follows the story of a black violinist with a violin passed to him from his grandmother which turns out to be one of the most sought-after kinds of violins. I’ve been lucky enough to see a real Stradivari in person and hear it played. It’s next level incredible. So is this book.
This book is fraught with family drama and international mystery solving with a protagonist you’re literally screaming for to win the best underdog comeback known to man. Maybe it was the musical connection for me and the fact that I love an underdog, but this was absolutely one of the best written books I’ve read in a long time. You could tell the author loved music and writing throughout the entire book. The narration was also ridiculously good. Can’t recommend this enough.
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez
Want an eye opener? Even the first few sentences are shocking. I was SO infuriated reading this, because it’s absolutely true. It’s a sad truth that most of the data that runs the world from medicine to technology to office temperatures are all based on men. Even studies for women’s products, services, or medicine are largely made up of men during the trials. The author breaks down the book into industries and then goes to town on statistics and how the biased data negatively impacts women.
Not only does the book point out these instances, but it does a fantastic job of showing how if just tiny things were adjusted to include women circumstances would be vastly improved not just for women but for all genders. It’s truly a fascinating read on gender bias and how it affects almost every detail of a person’s life. A lot of times these books just point out the flaws but this one did get more into potential solutions which I loved. If you want to get fired up and start making change in the world, start listening to this one. Men, this is a great book to get a quick picture of how data focusing solely on men affects the women in your lives.
The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston
What happens when ghost writer who has the ability to see ghosts gets writers block and the ghost of her editor appears? So many amazing things. First of all, how unique and fun is this story line!? This story might look like a typical fluffy romcom but I was so pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be much more than that. Don’t get me wrong, the book is hilarious and is absolutely a romance. However, for me, the author took it somewhere completely new and fun and fresh.
It tackled grief, loss, the meaning of life in a non-cheesy way, the supernatural, and finding yourself especially when you are in a place where you don’t feel like you fit in. The characters were just so lovable and you found yourself rooting for them the entire time. I also appreciated the maturity of the relationships. Instead of having a bunch of grown ass adults acting like angsty teenagers with the emotional intelligence of a snail, they were what I’ve always wanted characters in romance books to be. After listening to this, you’ll walk away feeling like romance is absolutely not dead and that meaningful goals in life often are scary to even think about, but it’s more terrifying if you never give yourself the chance to try.
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
Alice Feeney is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. She’s nothing short of masterful at giving stories the most delectably creepy twists or what I like to call “mind fucks”. The story’s premise is simple. Amber wakes up in a hospital but she can’t move or even open her eyes. No one knows she’s awake or aware. The book alternates between the present and the week before following the events that led to the characters’ current circumstances. Was it the husband? What even happened? Is this her childhood coming back to haunt her?
I got goosebumps listening to this. Yes, I was listening during my 5am workouts in the dark outside, but even if I wasn’t this book would’ve given me chills. I will never spoil a book, so don’t worry, but I will say that I did not see this twist coming. Alice Feeney’s twists are always something you put together a little too late and then it hits you like a freight train. In the literary world, this is heaven for readers. I’ve been looking for authors like B.A. Paris, Greer Hendricks, and Simone St. James and (dare I say) she might surpass them all? I just got her newest book, so I have high hopes I’m about to be creeped out (happily) once again.
The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn
I love a good historical fiction book, especially when they center around one of the World Wars. I hadn’t picked one up in a while since I sort of burned myself out reading so many at once. This came up on the Libby app and I was immediately intrigued. Lyudmila Pavlichenko is someone from history I would love to meet and her accomplishments are incredible by history’s and today’s standards.
The Diamond Eye follows this infamous sniper’s life from childhood through WWII and beyond. It did such a fantastic job of portraying the character that I felt like I was right there with her. She was an incredible sniper, but there was so much more to her that I’d never known until this book despite it being a work of historical fiction. This is hands down one of the best historical fiction books I have ever read. The characters were flawed and vibrant, the story was captivating, and it was a masterful escape into the past.