Tales & Tiger Lily: July 2020

My sister recently joined bookstagram as @talesandtigerlily. Her name is Caroline, and Tiger Lily is her adorable sidekick (pictured above). Since she's discovered a love of reading, I've had the best time talking about books with her. Be sure to check out her introduction post to get to know her better. Once a month, you get a new installment of Tales & Tiger Lily. In each post, she reviews three of her favorite reads from the previous month and ends with a list of everything she read with ratings (and links to reviews, if applicable). Her top three from July:

“Anyhow, most people never looked at anyone else with any clarity, one eye forever turned toward themselves.”

A crazy cult story with eccentric characters? Sign me up. Baptism by soda instead of water? I’m here for it. Lacey May is 14 and has grown up in Peaches, California where everyone worships their cult leader and believes that he will help end the drought. She lives with her alcoholic mama but ends up staying with her grandma Cherry, but I wanted to pluck her from her toxic home environment so she could live with me instead. The people of the town are all brainwashed and listen to whatever BS the cult leader preaches, thinking he holds the answers to a better life. Poor Lacey May, how much I wanted to give her a big hug and be her friend. 

But really I would give this book all the stars in the universe. Godshot made me laugh out loud one second, and my stomach twist in knots the next. It will make you feel every emotion under the sun. You will love some characters and hate others, and that is the perfect kind of story to me. This book is EVERYTHING. I’m adding it to my list of favorite books I’ve ever read. | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ

“As you made your way through life, there were people who stuck, the ones who stayed around forever and whom you came to need as much as you needed water or air. Others were meant to keep you company for a time. In the moment, you rarely knew which would be which.” 

Friends and Strangers is a book about Elisabeth, an accomplished writer and new mom, and the friendship she develops with Sam, a college student she hires to babysit her son. This novel explores modern motherhood, privilege, and how our paths in life are determined by the choices we make.

Where do I even begin? I read some reviews that people couldn’t stand the main character and thought she was a terrible person. I guess those people wouldn’t like me in real life. She has a lot of judgmental thoughts which she tries to replace with the word banana. This made me laugh. Do you know how many times I catch myself being critical? I am also extremely hard on myself. If we really paid attention to the thoughts we have, how many of them are kind thoughts?

I also loved Sam and her desire to figure out the correct path for her life. She is dating someone other people don’t seem like to like, and she doesn’t know how to handle this. Their desire to want the best for her comes out like an attack. Is it best to speak your mind and stop someone from making a decision you don’t think is good for them, or do you trust they will figure it out and make the right choice? 

I really enjoyed this book, but I don’t think it is for everyone. If you are in the mood for a slow burn, character-driven story about life choices and relationships, this is the book to read. For me, it was thought-provoking and one that will stay with me for days. | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ.5

“You don't realize how language actually interferes with communication until you don't have it, how it gets in the way like an overdominant sense.”

Writers & Lovers is my favorite book I’ve read this year, so I really wanted to read Lily King’s previous book, Euphoria. This novel tells the story of three anthropologists in 1933 exploring the land and tribes of New Guinea. The trio begin working together, but as they bond with one another, it quickly leads to tension and jealousy.

King’s ability to craft such beautiful prose and transport you into a different time and place is outstanding. The entire time reading this book, I just kept thinking how creative and talented King is as a writer. As much as I loved these parts, the characters’ past losses/struggles and their desire for human connection is what moved me the most while reading this book. There is a lightness of spirit and yet there is such depth to the characters.

I seriously loved this book. I think it was the combination of my love for Lily King’s style of writing, the setting of the story, and her ability to display the vulnerability and desires of humankind. | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ

Recapping the Rest of Caroline's July Reads:
The Girls by Emma Cline | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
The River by Peter Heller | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ.5 Review
The Lightness by Emily Temple | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ • Review
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Barshardoust | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ.5 Review
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ Review
The Whisper Man by Alex North | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ (Not Pictured)
I Left the House Today by Cassandra Calin | ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ (Not Pictured)

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