Goodness gracious, I have no idea why I haven’t done a book review post in so long. While prepping this post, I realised the last one I did was 18 months ago! The books in that post are some of my all time favourites, so go take a read of that one once you’ve read this one if you’re looking for even more great titles. I have decided to call this series of posts the Arum Lilea Book Club because I love the idea of discussing any great books. The books reviewed below all have really impactful themes running throughout and are definitely great conversation starters. I’d love to hear your thoughts on them.
I generally read a total mix of genres from historical fiction to suspensive thrillers to autobiographies and basically anything in between. In essence, I’ll read anything with an introduction and a conclusion. That being said, there should definitely be a book from this edition of the Arum Lilea Book Club that will tickle your fancy.
If you know anyone in the medical field, you’ll most certainly find this book entertaining. It’s such a humorous take on the things that happen in a hospital. It is written in a diary format where Kay jots down a few lines about every day at work through his time as a junior doctor all the way up to becoming a specialist. You will have a good chuckle at this story so it’s well worth a read purely for the laughs, however, it does have a serious underlying meaning that’s worth thinking about.
If you are planning to get married, are recently married or you’re anti-marriage, it’s definitely worth giving this book a read. It’s very well researched an explores gender inequality, the reason for most marriages (love or status), the impact of marriage on society, divorce rates, etc. It is so interesting and will really make you think a little bit deeper about marriage and not just focus on the white dress and the fairytale ending.
I had seen this book on Reese Witherspoon’s book club and decided to give it a read. It’s such a beautiful story about a little girl who was abandoned by her family and forced to look after and defend herself. She doesn’t go to school but her one single friend teaches her how to read and as she grows older she eventually becomes a specialist in the ecology of her area. She is shunned by the townsfolk for being a “marsh girl” and when a murder occurs in her small town, it was easy to pin it on the outcast. The quality of this writing is superb. It was such a lovely story that I didn’t want it to end.
I read this book after reading “Where the Crawdads Sing” which was interesting because again here is a story about a girl who educates herself and becomes an expert in her field. The difference here, however, is that this is non-fiction. Tara was raised as a Mormon with a radical father who obsessed over the end of the world and stored gallons of fuel and tons of food to prepare for the end of the world. He refused for his children to go to school for fear that the teachers would feed them socialist propaganda. Instead of attending school, the children had to assist their dad with scrapping metal which proved extremely dangerous and not without serious injuries. This also proved problematic because their father did not believe in hospitals so any serious injury was treated with herbs and essential oils. Tara decided to educate herself used her education as her way out of a life of abuse and indoctrination. Quite an interesting story about family ties and the difficult choice to break them.
What does it take to be the president’s wife? Mrs Obama explains it all. Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Michelle excelled at school which resulted in her moving to a better school which gave her leverage for her future. Having graduated from two Ivy league universities and built a successful career for herself, Michelle explains the role of the wife of the president of the United States and explores the balancing act that it required. The book focuses on her marriage and the give and take that was necessary, even if it meant giving up her role as a high powered career woman. It also looks at racial and gender inequalities that we are still experiencing today.
This is a chilling thriller that I could not put down. I think I read this book in 2 or 3 days. This story is about a woman who falls madly in love with a man that is good looking, wealthy and absolutely wonderful… until they are married. Her husband has built her a beautiful house which she sees for the first time when she arrives back from their honeymoon, only to find that all the top-notch security features are installed to imprison her in her own home. Paralysed by fear, either that he hurts her or her sister who is due to come and live with them, she needs to play along with his sick game to survive.
I have to start off by saying that I loved this book. It is so different to any other book I’ve read so it was refreshing to read something that was uncharted territory which is why I decided to include it in this edition of the Arum Lilea Book Club. Eleanor is a little bit odd and doesn’t quite understand social cues and for that reason she is, for the most part, alone. Initially, she gave me the impression that she was on the autism spectrum. She is very set in her ways and when a lovely man from work tries to befriend her, she struggles to understand why or how to accommodate this friendship in her life. As the friendship blossoms, he is able to peel back the layers and we eventually see why Eleanor is the way she is once we’ve taken a peek into her past.
This story, I would say, is one about regret. James is focused on ensuring his children achieve all the dreams he was unable to. Lydia, his favourite child, tries to please her father and not show what a weight this pressure has burdened her with. Little does her father know that while she is desperately trying to please him, she is struggling to be the success he wishes her to be. When Lydia’s body is found in the lake, the family is forced to examine the secrets that they have kept from one another in order to move forward and rebuild their lives after this tragedy. It’s a very moving story and one that explores a lot of difficult themes that run through day-to-day life.
That’s it for this book review. Would you like me to post an Arum Lilea Book Club post more often? Perhaps every quarter? If so please leave me a comment below. I’d be so happy to share more of what I’m reading with you and especially any great titles. You can also follow me on Goodreads if you’d like to see what I’m currently reading.