Beach reads

Remember how Chris surprised me with a trip to Cabo for my birthday?

Well, over the weekend, we snuck away for our trip for 3 days & 3 nights.

Quick, but just what we needed.

One of my favorite vacation past times is reading- beside drinking margaritas, sleeping in, loungin in the pool and turning my skin a golden bronze color (of course).

Actually, I love reading while I'm not on vacation too, but that seems to be the only time I get to read these days, outside of listening to books on cd in my car.

I've had the same pile of books next to my bed since Hunter was born.  My new mantra is, "if I have time to read, I have time to sleep," which doesn't bode well for that stack.

Seriously, reading has gone out the window.

Until vacation that is.

So, while gearing up for the trip, I gathered a few books that I wanted to pour through.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't take any hard hitting literature.

Here's what I finished on our trip and a few others I've completed whiled driving in my car in the last few months.

All the books by Gillian Flynn:

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I started with Gone Girl, which got me hooked on the author, and then dove head first into her other books on our trip.

Gone Girl is about a husband's search for his missing wife in a small midwest town when she disappears on their 5th anniversary.  Accusations, plot twists and conspiracy theories run rampant.  I loved this book, since I didn't know what was coming.  That is always a thrill with a who-done-it.  My only negative review of this book was that I didn't love the ending.  It isn't a deal breaker, and I would still read the book, but I love a great ending, and this one was only moderately passable.

Sharp Objects is about a reporter who gets assigned to cover murders in her home town, and is forced to face her childhood demons (and very strange family) in the process. This one had a good story line and very interesting characters, and it kept me guessing for a while...but in the end, I knew what was coming, which is half satisfying and half disappointing.

Dark Places was possibly my favorite vacation read.  It chronicles Libby, who was very young when her family was murdered and her only surviving family member was convicted and put in prison.  Two decades after that horrific event, she starts in on a wild goose chase to go back over the evidence and find out the truth of what happened. I liked how this was written, in that it was personal accounts of each of the key players from the night of the murder.  It flips between that day and the present as it unravels more clues. This one kept me guessing the whole time, and took some turns I wouldn't have guessed.  I couldn't put it down and was sad when it was over, because I wanted more.

Of the three, Dark Places was my favorite, although all 3 were worth the time.  Gone Girl is coming out in theaters this summer and it turns out, I wasn't the only one who didn't like the ending...apparently they are changing it for the movie (spoiler alert).

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For book club, we read Wild, by Cheryl Strayed.  This is also going to be a movie this year and is staring Reese Witherspoon.  Let me state for the record, that this is the ONLY book I've read in full for book club all year, and I finished it well after book club had passed, but it still counts! Luckily, I'm not the only one who is shamefully bad a reading the chosen book on time for our monthly long as you show up with baked goods or alcohol, all is forgiven.

I liked this book, but didn't love it.  It was an easy read and this autobiographical account of hiking the Pacific Coast trail alone was good by all accounts.  The only gripe I have about this one is that I have a hard time believing everything in this "true story."  I get the feeling that certain circumstances and events got embellished (or fabricated) for dramatic effect, or else I wouldn't have been able to get through 300 pages of a hiking story and Hollywood wouldn't have picked it up.

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I'm nearly finished with The Cuckoos Calling by Roberth Galbreath, which was a very thinly veiled pen name for Harry Potter's creator, J.K. Rowling. I haven't reached the end yet, so I can't fully comment, but since I'm listening to it on my commute I can honestly say that I wish that my commute was a bit longer, which is a sure sign that the book is good. I could be partial to the British man who narrates the book, as he also narrates my favorite book of late, the Night Circus, so I could be biased.

This one is about a washed up PI based in London who gets hired to investigate an apparent suicide of a well known celebrity.  He, a character in his own right, puts together the pieces of the "mystery" in an interesting way, and I have no idea how it's going to turn out.  Listening to the book on tape paints a lovely picture and hearing words like, bullocks, arse and grabbing a pint, makes me think that a trip to London is definitely in order.

And last by definitely not least is my favorite book of the year (so far), The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I listened to this one as well, and the narrators British accent painted both a black and white and brightly colored world with his words.  If you can listen to this instead of read it, I think it really enhances the experience.

This story is about love, dreams, the circus, two competing magicians and a dangerous game that they are unwittingly playing. I was sucked it from almost the first page, and I am not usually one to get all giddy about a book about magic.  It's really not about the magic, that is just a chess board on which the game to be played. It's beautifully told and I am still mourning the fact I read it so fast. This is a must read!

So, now that Hunter is sleeping through the night (please knock any wood for me), I am finally toying with the idea of reading a chapter a night (like the good old days).  So what are your favorite reads?  I could use some new suggestions, as that stack near my bed isn't getting any younger or more exciting.