Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Recently Read - Vol. 20 (June '17)

June was somewhat of a slow month for in terms of reading, but that's ok.  I had a lot of other things going on in terms of entertainment and activity.  I started three and finished two.  (I'm not giving up on the on third one, yet, so I'm not mentioning it.)  Here's what I read last month:

Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance
Read June 1-8 | Format: Audiobook | My rating: 4.5/5

Think - Memoir of a regular ol' Joe Schmo who overcame many cultural and economic obstacles

Hillbilly Elegy is complex, candid memoir of not only a man, but also of a culture.  In this memoir, the author chronicles his life and the hardships he endured as a descendant of Appalachians, or as he calls them on more than one occasion "hillbillies" or "hill people."  Despite having never lived in the geographical region of Appalachia (Middletown, OH, the author's hometown, is not a part of Appalachia), Vance considers himself an Appalachian and this is something I took particular offense to initially.  

I was born and raised in Appalachia and even though I no longer live there, I spent a quarter of a century in that geographical region.  I feel as if I have earned the right to call myself an Appalachian, a title I wear proudly.  Vance is the descendant of Appalachians; his grandparents, who relocated from Jackson, KY to Ohio before his mother was even born, were Appalachians. I'll be honest, in the beginning I was very put out with him and considered him an imposter. Because of this, it took me a little while to get over it and to fully allow myself to hear what he was trying to express.  What finally softened my stance towards him was acknowledging that although he didn't necessarily grow up in the geographical region, due to the strong influence his grandparents had in his upbringing, he did grow up within the Appalachian culture, the culture his grandparents took with them when they left the hollers of eastern Kentucky.

Anyway, Hillbilly Elegy is not just J. D. Vance's story, which is rather remarkable. It's also a look at troubling mindset that has taken root not only in many Appalachians, but also in many Americans across the country.

This is one of those books that I will read again, but I will do so with the print version.  The audiobook version is fine, especially given the fact the author performed the vocal narration, but there were so many points that Vance made that I wanted to highlight or go back and re-read.

Reaper's Fall by Joanna Wylde
Read June 17-23 | Format: Audiobook | My rating: 4/5

Think - Hard core romance novel meets Sons of Anarchy

As I have mentioned before, sometimes I just get a hankering for a certain type of book that involves a badass alpha male on a Harley.  This is not a book for the faint of heart or the easily offended due to its very explicit sexual nature and language.  The fifth book in the Reapers MC serious, it's not my favorite, but I did enjoy it and I liked it better than the last one. 

Have you read any good books lately?  

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

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  1. The Hillbilly book keeps coming up & I'm interested...but cautious. As an SOA fan, I might have to check out the Reaper MC books :)

  2. I definitely took photos of some of the print version of Hillbilly Elegy. I think you need to see it in print to process fully.

  3. I admit that I've been avoiding Hillbilly Elegy but it sounds like something I ought to read and need to be open to understanding. Your description of the Reapers MC - Hard core romance novel meets Sons of Anarchy - did make my heart pitter patter a bit. I definitely need to keep this series in mind when I crave some bad boy. :D

  4. Loved hearing your thoughts on Hillbilly Elegy! I've been really bad about reading non-fiction this year for some reason, but it's one I'd like to read eventually.

  5. Hillbilly Elegy sounds super interesting!

  6. Hillbilly Elegy sounds like a really interesting read! I read The Glass Castle last year and really enjoyed the book a lot, and I believe that a good portion of it is set in the mountains in West Virginia.

  7. I really liked Hillbilly Elegy and I said to someone else, Steph, I think, that this book worked really well as a memoir rather than a study. I appreciate your opinion as a native of Appalachia so much. It gives a different perspective from people like me reviewing it.

  8. I've read many talk about Hillbilly Elegy, but you are the first to convince me to read it.

  9. I hear good things about Hillbilly Elegy, but I don't know if it's for me or not. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on both of these.


  10. i keep hearing about Hillbilly Elegy so will have to add it. i love a good romance, and every time you mention a harley romance it reminds me i want to read one!


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