renee nicole says

hi! i'm renee.

blogger, wine enthusiast, amateur photographer, long distance runner, book reader, music appreciator.

chicago born and raised.

my husband and i welcomed our baby girl to the world in february.

here you'll find some things i like.
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Posts tagged "what i've read"

i’ve been reading like crazy lately - 7 books in the last month or so! i think i’m finally back in the game and wanted to share some good reads with all of you. and here you go, the laziest book review ever:

LOVED : we are water, the valley of amazement, the husband’s secret, tiny beautiful things (which i pick up and read intermittently)

LIKED : the invention of wings, orphan train, the one and only

MEH : the goldfinch (long, pointless, can’t believe i finished it)

jury is still out on Me Before You as I just started it last night, but so far so good. 

latest book report

i really enjoyed both of these books. lots of heart, good character development and the kind of book you can sit and read in one sitting.

i was told that i wouldn’t have time to read anymore after having a child, but i beg to differ - reading (on my iphone kindle app) is the only thing i can do while nursing and pumping!

gold by chris cleave

this was the best book i’ve read this year. the relationships, the inside look at the olympics, the heartbreak… all of it was fantastic. i had read little bee (also by chris cleave) and was underwhelmed, so i didn’t expect much. i was wrong. a must read! 

the girlfriend’s guide to pregnancy by vicki iovine

i’ve already mentioned this book in a previous post - but for any pregnant mamas who want a funny, relatable book, definitely pick this one up.

everything changes by jonathan tropper

i loved the main character in this book, he was such a hopeless romantic at heart. i thought the ending was fantastic. if you’re into a tropper, read this one next.

the road of lost innocence by somaly man

admittedly, i have weird obsession with “oppressed women overcome their plight”-type books. i don’t even know how i stumbled across this book, but i’m glad i did. the personal account of somaly man being sold into the sex trade in cambodia wasn’t too gruesome but didn’t leave out any details. i enjoyed the end of the book that provided details on what she’s doing, and what we can do to help stop this horrible epidemic.

the art of racing in the rain by garth stein

as i’ve been out walking quite a bit lately, i decided to listen to a book - something i hadn’t done before other than on very long car rides. i loved this book, and i loved the reader’s voice as Enzo (the family dog). this book has long been on my “to-read” list and it was the perfect soundtrack for long walks with my own pup. 

to be sung underwater by tom mcneal

lately, i have been purchasing WAY too many kindle books and not reading and/or finishing them before downloading another. this gets expensive and is dumb, so i mandated to myself that before i download any more books, i need to read at least 2 that i already own. this was one of them. i’ll be honest, this book isn’t really my cup of tea but it has some great points regarding marriage, love and parenting that i appreciate. but overall, slow moving. 

see previous book reviews here.

what have you read lately? anything i should put on my must-read list? 

gone girl

of course i read this, in less than 24 hours, and loved it just as much as everyone else. not only was the story suspenseful and pretty much insane, i love gillian flynn’s writing. this book is in the running for top 5 of the year so far.

the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime

sometimes i like to go back and read books that were popular a few years ago, but somehow i missed. this was one of those, and i’m glad i did. it manages a heartwarming depiction of autism that could have otherwise been condescending. definitely a must-read for everyone at some point.

hand me down

this one was just ok… too whiny for me and i hated the mother in the story so much that i almost quit reading it. quick read though, didn’t waste too much time.

dark places

i loved gone girl so much, i had to check out gillian flynn’s earlier novels.  her writing style was still developing, but the plot and character development was all there. i read this just as quickly as gone girl and thoroughly enjoyed it.  i also started to wonder where this girl gets all of her deep dark scary thoughts.

sharp objects

this was my least favorite of her three novels, but i still enjoyed it very much.  i’ve started to notice a theme: female villians, especially mothers and wives who are lacking in crucial ways. i’ve thought more than once about emailing her to inquire about her inspiration for these dark twisted women. needless to say - i can’t wait for her next book!

where we belong

i had never read any of emily giffin’s books, as fluffy chick lit isn’t really my style, but i needed a bit of fluff after all the violence and deception as noted above.  this book centers around a mother who gives her daughter up for adoption at eighteen, and basically what happens eighteen years later.  i of course found this interesting as i’m about to become a mother, but the book was pretty much what i expected: fluffy chick lit.

up next: jonathan tropper’s everything changes

wild: from lost to found on the pacific crest trail, by cheryl strayed

this book, plainly put, is beautiful.  the writing draws you in and you can feel the raw emotion from the author as she works through the most difficult period of her life.  i wasn’t incredibly interested in the plot before i started reading - i’m not into the wholehatchet-esque, stuck in the woods with no dialogue story lines - but this was anything but that. sure, there is a lot of internal dialogue as cheryl retells stories of her past, but it’s full of interesting anecdotes both about her past and the people she meets on the trail. 

all in all, it’s about a woman re-solidifying her place in the world, mentally and emotionally.  one of the best books i’ve read this year, and far cry from this literary nonsense.

book report times two:

the baker’s daughter by sarah mccoy

have you read sarah’s key? this is essentially the same book, but not written quite as well. we all know how much i love holocaust fiction, so i did enjoy reading this - but the story has been told.

the surrendered by chang-rae lee

this is a beautiful book, and it is beautifully written. sticking with the war theme (i’m predictable), it chronicles the lives of three people who are irreparably affected by the korean war. i highly recommend this one.

up next… wild by cheryl strayed.

before i go to sleep by s.j. watson

a thriller of sorts, this book is a page-turner - i could not stop reading until i knew what happened! the plot: a woman wakes up every day not knowing who or where she is because of amnesia caused by a trauma. she becomes skeptical that those around her are lying to her, including her husband.

it’s really good! i read it in basically one day. somewhat predictable, but i can definitely see this turning into a movie.