Book Meets World January 2020 Reads


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I thought I would start this new series but revealing a little secret about me… I love reading. As much as I love reading now, it wasn’t always smooth sailing. I learned things a bit differently than the other kids and English was my second language, this all made reading difficult. I remember the summer going into second grade, my family didn’t go to Portugal because I needed a reading tutor. Everyday that summer my brother would walk the four blocks with me and then leave to go do what fourth grade boys did in the summer. I’d hated it.

Luckily my reading did improve and soon enough my reading level was far greater than my grade level, but I still hated it. Then in seventh grade I found a copy of the Great Gatsby. I’d decided to read a few pages one lazy afternoon and was hooked. I fell in love not only with the story but with reading.  After that I devoured books. On a trip to costco my dad let me get the Davinci Code, mom protested and said that being in eighth grade, I’d never finish it. Within the week I had completed the book.

Then life happened. I went to college, graduated, got internships, had a career and read less and less. When I quit my job in 2018 I promised myself I would do more reading. I did more reading but then I got home in 2019 from traveling and decided I wanted to go back to school. I finally felt ready to take that leap and dedicated the next few months to attaining it. Which leads me to 2020. Now having submitted all my materials and have a ton more time, I am turning my attention once more to books. Because when you can’t travel, the second best way to get somewhere is through books.

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January was a slow month because I was still finishing up applications. I read three books and listened to two audiobooks. Funnily enough the audiobooks were companions to two of the books. I started out intending to listen to only the audiobooks but then loved the stories so much I read the books as well. I love audiobooks and loved the narration in particular from Armie Hammer and Claire Danes. Usually I would read a couple of chapters and then listen back as they read them to me the next day.

Call Me By Your Name –

Call Me By Your Name –

The Handmaid’s Tale-

The Handmaid’s Tale-

Beneath the Scarlet Sky-


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Call Me By Your Name

This is a new all time favorite book. This book traveled with me from a bookshop in Knotting Hill, London… all the way to New York. Guilty of watching the film before reading the book, I feel in love with Elio and Oliver’s story long ago. Andre Aciman’s writing captures first love so vividly. It brought me back to when I was young and my first love. This novel is one of those rare gems that while written by an adult, captures youth and first love so accurately. At times the way Elio felt was exactly how I felt when I feel in love for the first time. Elio and Oliver’s story felt so real and I was heavily invested in their relationship, which left me gutted, through their ups and downs. Call Me By Your Name is hands down one of my favorite love stories, and the book is one I plan to devour over and over again. In fact, I loved the book so much, I bought the audiobook. Armie Hammer’s voice is seriously so sexy. I loved recapping what I’d just read by listening every night to the audiobook.

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I have so many favorite quotes from Call Me By Your Name that it was hard to pick just one. When I read this one, I had to reread the whole page because it was so beautifully written. Aciman is a master at capturing that, all consuming first love hysteria, that we’ve all experienced.


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The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale has long been on my to read list. I am obsessed with the show and was excited to finally read Atwood’s vision. While slightly less horrifying than the show, this book was mentally hard to read at times. I could not put it down and devoured it in two days. I’ve read reviews that didn’t like this book and claimed that their was no explanation for how the future came to fruition. Atwood does briefly explain the events that lead to to it but leaves some gaps, which I appreciated. I think that’s part of what makes this book work even in 2020. Because we can implant current technology, events and even leaders into the book, making it still relevant to today. I do not think that this made the book any less impactful or distracting. I loved the Handmaid’s Tale and think it has earned its status as a literary classic.

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This quote really stuck out to me when I was reading. It was poignant and lays out the purpose of the Handmaid’s Tale, to give these women their spot on the page.


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Beneath the Scarlet Sky-

Fun fact about me, WWll fiction is my favorite genre to read. I am a huge history buff and am always looking to learn more about the past. I am especially perplexed by the events leading up to and surrounding the holocaust. There are a lot of books about WWll that take place in France, England or Germany but not a lot in Italy. The cover caught my eye but I picked this book because I was intrigued by Pino and what the war was like in Italy. I was not disappointed, this book is simply gut wrenching. Pino is just a teenager when the war breaks out and he has to endure so much to stay alive. Based on the true story of Pino Lella, Beneath the Scarlet Sky is a must read, especially for history buffs.

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This quote hit me hard. I can’t imagine living through WWll and seeing the death and destruction. And yet Pino is right because nature knows none of it, it continues to grow and die, with or with us.


February TBR

The Silent Patient

The Testaments

Mrs.Everything

Dopesick

Such a Fun Age

The Nickel Boys

Walking with the Wind

Ask Again, Yes

The Water Dancer

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

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