I am so proud of myself for finishing three books for January! According to Goodreads, if I keep up the pace I’ll hit my 35 book goal right on time. This month I want all my books to meet categories in either of the challenges I’ve chosen to participate in because I’m still missing a lot of chosen books for many of the categories so I don’t feel like I’m making much progress participating. So for this month’s reads I’ve chosen:
1) CUBBYHOLE KID BY C.E. JOSEPH
Reading Women Challenge category: A biography
Goodreads Description:Cubbyhole Kid tells a harrowing survival story of a young four-year-old boy as he recounts his days being raised in a strict Irish Catholic family while expressing his gratitude and love for two incredible women that saved his life—his protective fourteen-year-old sister, his godmother, and his beautiful, religious mother. Together, along with his other siblings, his brothers, they painfully navigated their abusive, alcoholic, ex-military father through the mid-1960s, Los Angeles. While dealing with a severe childhood anxiety, suicidal depression, physical and learning disabilities at such a young age, the boy traveled inside the cubbyhole, a small, two-by-four middle section of the family station wagon, unexpectedly experiencing his World War II veteran father’s life-threatening road rage.
With the fear of death always looming, the boy witnessed his father’s all too familiar, unpredictable violence, explosive temperament, and heavy drinking during our country’s escalating involvement in the Vietnam War, the hippie cultural movement, riots in the streets, and arguably the heyday of rock-and-roll music.
The story describes the boy’s fond memories and relationship with his older sister, who bravely kept him shielded from their father’s harsh punishments and became like a second mother to him. While he experienced the beauty of life outside the home during his sister’s “coming-of-age” teenage years, along with her friends who were part of the youth cultural shift that seemingly took place overnight. The nightly demonstration of violence and abuse, coupled with his father’s unwillingness to accept the generational changes taking place with society’s youth, and his mother’s unexpected illness, would seem too much and test the young boy’s faith.
2)THE SECOND HOME BY CHRISTINA CLANCY-
Reading this for The Modern Mrs. Darcy Challeng category: A Debut Novel
After a disastrous summer spent at her family summer home on Cape Cod, seventeen-year-old Ann Gordon was left with a secret that changed her life forever, and created a rift between her sister, Poppy, and their adopted brother, Michael.
Now, fifteen years later, her parents have died, leaving Ann and Poppy to decide the fate of the Wellfleet home that’s been in the Gordon family for generations. For Ann, the once-beloved house is tainted with bad memories. Poppy loves the old saltbox, but after years spent chasing waves around the world, she isn’t sure she knows how to stay in one place.
Just when the sisters decide to sell, Michael re-enters their lives with a legitimate claim to the house. But more than that, he wants to set the record straight about that long ago summer. Reunited after years apart, these very different siblings must decide if they can continue to be a family—and the house just might be the glue that holds them together.
Told through the shifting perspectives of Ann, Poppy, and Michael, this assured and affecting debut captures the ache of nostalgia for summers past and the powerful draw of the places we return to again and again. It is about second homes, second families, and second chances. Tender and compassionate, incisive and heartbreaking, The Second Home is the story of a family you’ll quickly fall in love with, and won’t soon forget.
3) SISTERS BY RAINA TELGEMEIER
Raina can’t wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren’t quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she’s also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn’t improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something doesn’t seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.
Raina uses her signature humor and charm in both present-day narrative and perfectly placed flashbacks to tell the story of her relationship with her sister, which unfolds during the course of a road trip from their home in San Francisco to a family reunion in Colorado.
4) THE STORYTELLER’S SECRET BY SEJAL BADANI-
Reading this because I loved Badani’s last novel, Trail of Broken Wings
As always, leave me the links for your February TBR below. Happy reading!