Thursday, May 3, 2018

April Reading Log 2018

Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors is the second book Katie wrote about her life’s journey in Uganda.  (The first book is Kisses for Katie.)  I received this book as a Christmas gift from Monica. 

Katie is an extraordinary young woman who moved to Uganda to follow her life mission to help others.  She has adopted 13 young girls and started the Amazima Ministries.    Daring to Hope recounts Katie’s struggle with her faith as she helps terminal friends.  

It is amazing to me how someone with fourteen children can find more time and energy to help others with more children.  Katie writes about people she takes into her home that are homeless and out casted by their own families because of their illness.  She writes about her struggles, as her prayers for life for her new friends are not always answered.  She has to go through theses struggles to learn through God. 

This is my current read for Day 1 of Anne Bogel’s #12daysofBookstagram.  I love this book.  First I love the cover it is the most beautiful book cover.  Second I love the references to gardening and reading about her imperfect attempts is giving me the courage to try to garden again.  Third I am inspired by Lara Casey's faith and trust in the Lord.  She is so down to earth with her approach to praying.  I will be looking into more of her books and products. 
Day 2 of #12daysofbookstagram, book stack.  This is my little collection of Pride & Prejudice books.


Day 3 Favorite Reading Spot #12daysofbookstagram   I don’t have a favorite reading spot.  I pretty much read everywhere, on the sofa, in my rocking chair, in the car, in the bed and on the front porch.  But my favorite reading takes place with my little grandchildren.  I feel very strongly about reading and I hope to pass down my love for reading to them.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman, was a cute story about a bond between a granddaughter and her grammie.    Elsa adores her grandmother.  Her grandmother is crazy but is always there for her.  Grammie tells her crazy stories and makes her feel better after a bad day at school.  However Grammie passes away, and leaves behind a huge adventure and mystery for Elsa to solve.  As Elsa begins to deliver Grandma’s letters she also learns more about Grandma’s life before Elsa, some good and some bad.  Elsa meets all the people living in their building and sees them in a new light and becomes friends with them. 

I loved this quote about a grandmother (Day 4 #12daysof bookstagram  favorite quote.)  What a perfect  description of what a grandmother does.  Someone who is always there for their grandchild no matter what. 

I picked up Sourdough by Robin Sloan because I absolutely loved his other book, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore.   I found, Sourdough, to be an interesting story about Lois Clary who works as a software engineer in San Francisco at a robotics company. She doesn’t like to cook so she orders take  out food everyday from the two brothers who run a tiny take-out restaurant. Then the restaurant closes because the brothers have visa issues but they leave Lois the bread starter behind. She must keep the starter alive; she must feed it daily, play special music, and learn to bake it.
Lois begins to bake the bread and begins to experiment with the starter until she develops delicious bread.  She is able to sell the bread and eventually makes it into a special food market where she makes the bread with a robotic arm.  She gets caught up in the world of food and the history of the starter.  It is a great story ****/5.  
Day 5 More than books  #12daysofbookstagram
In Louise Penny’s 12th novel, A Great Reckoning, Armand Gamache begins a new challenge as Commander at the Sûreté Academy.  He has high expectations to retrain the cadets to be a kinder and thoughtful force.  As always Gamache tries to make the transition smooth, however when the old commander turns up murdered events change quickly. 
Not only is Gamache a suspect for the murder but  so are all the cadets.  There are so many questions that lead to Gamache:  Why is the map important?  Who is Amelia, one of the cadets, to Gamache?  Why are there so many fingerprints on the weapon including Gamache’s?
This story ties up so many story lines that have continued from previous books:  Gamache’s relationship with Michel Brebeuf, The history behind Three Pines and finally the depth of Gamache’s kindness and forgiveness. 
This is a *****/5 star book. 
Day 6 Flat Lay #12daysof bookstagram

I was so excited to read By the Book, Julia Sonneborn.   To be honest I picked this book based on the cover.  What’s not to love, a red door, a pile of books, and a bike?  This cover was designed to entice me to buy it.   Anne is an English professor at Fairfax College in California.  She must write and sign a book deal in order to unsure that she will get tenure. If that is not enough pressure she discovers her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college and her father is ill.  As the school year continues Anne pines over Adam and the life they had planned.

It’s funny that Jane Austen’s classic; Persuasion is her favorite book because this book is a modern retelling of Austen’s book.  It’s a cute ***/5 star story.
 Day 7 on my nightstand #12days of bookstagram

This is book two in Sherry Thomas’s Lady Sherlock series, A Conspiracy in Belgravia.  It is a complex mystery about Charlotte Holmes.
Lady Ingram, wife of Charlotte’s friend, wants Sherlock Holmes (Charlotte) to find her first love, Charlotte has a hard time with this case because the missing man is, Myron Finch, her illegitimate half brother.  As Charlotte unravels new information she needs to figure out if her friend knows about his wife’s betrayal.   This mystery is a ****/5 story. 
Day 8 Book and Beverage  #12daysofbookstagram


Today I took my little sweetheart to the library, we read books about trains, trucks and orange clownfish.  We picked up two flyers:  The Summer Programs and Reading 1,000 books before kindergarten.  Day 9 library   #12daysofbookstagram

This is what I have on my May TBR list right now.  I will add more after I meet with my new summer reading group of kids.  Day 10  Books you want to read #12daysofbookstagram

Day 11 Bibliophile Life  #12daysofbookstagram
This is a peek inside my book journal.  I am doing things a bit different this year to save time.  When I type up my reviews and take my photos I condense the size so I can get several review on the journal page.  I also try to indicate what book challenges I am participated in by reading that book.  This saves me a lot of extra work of handwriting each entry.  The book Still Me by Jojo Moyoes is a fun light read.  I enjoyed this book more than the second book.  I liked that Louisa was able to develop her own voice and do some good for others.  I give this book ***/5 stars.   
 Day 12  Shelfie #12daysofbookstagram
This is my office/craft room.  I have changed it a lot over the years.  I used to do more crafts and school work in here.  However I needed a place for the books I enjoyed.  This is one of my favorite rooms in the house. 

I listened to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman on Overdrive and enjoyed it a lot.   I loved Eleanor’s social awkwardness.  As she navigates social media and social events all to meet a man, she finds the perfect friend for her is right in front of her at work.    There are many complex layers to Eleanor’s life and she still has a lot to work through but her new friend Raymond helps her see she has someone looking out for her.   I would give this book a ****/5 star rating.   I laughed and really felt for Eleanor’s tough life. 

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, is a book about the friendship of two girls from a poor neighborhood in Italy in 1950.  Lila and Elena begin their friendship in primary school and compete for grades, friends, and the teacher’s attention.  As they grow older the continue to compete for acceptance, attention and continual friendship.  I give this book ***/5 stars.  

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes is an amazing story about standing up for others.  This book won the Newberry Award in 1944.  It’s an old story, but still relevant today.  Wanda is picked on at school because she has a Polish name, wears the same dress every day and comes from a poor neighborhood.  Peggy and Maddie pick on Wanda  each day because Wanda says she has 100 dresses in her closet.   Maddie feels bad about how she treats Wanda but doesn’t do anything about it.    This is a wonderful story for all children to read and discuss.  #middlegrades  #battleofthebooks2018  

Monday, April 2, 2018

March Reading Log 2018

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, took me forever to read.  I almost gave up reading at the beginning of the book because it just seem like a lot of rambling,  However Cheryl convienced me  to hang in there and keep reading.  The second half of the book was wonderful.   Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences of a young girl into adulthood who is living in England.  Jane’s parents die when she is very young and she is sent to live with her uncle’s family.  Once her uncle passes away her Aunt is very cruel to her. She is sent away to an all girl school.  The school is like an orphanage for unwanted girls.  It is very strict and religious.  At sixteen she becomes a governess and falls in love with the master of the house Mr. Rochester. 

 84 Charring Cross Road by Helene Hanff, is a wonderful story about a writer in New York City and the employees at an used-book shop in London, England. 

It is the actual correspondence between author Helene Hanff and the booksellers.  Even though they never meet in person, they develop a friendship based on their love for books.  It is a charming story that shows the love and kindness that readers share everywhere.  It is an adorable ****/5 star book. 
#unreadshelfproject2018  #mmdreadingchallenge2018

One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul is a look into a young girl’s life who struggles as she grows up with her Indian immigrant parents in Canada.  She is exposed to stereotypes, and sexism and other cruelties of society.     This was one of my challenge books for Modern Mrs. Darcy, to read a book about another culture.  This was definitely outside my little box but it was interesting.  I think it is ***/5 stars. 

It’s out of control, my love for this series.  I have two more books left before I will be forced to wait for the new book to come out.  The Nature of the Beast was a bit different from the other books.  Armand is trying to enjoy retirement but a little boy is murdered in Three Pines and the former Chief Inspector’s team comes to town to help him solve the murder.  There are spies, terrorism and even a serial killer in this book.  I give this book ****/5 stars.  #unreadshelfproject2018

Maisie Dobbs  by Jacqueline Winspear was a recommended by topshelftext on Instagram.  Maisie starts working for Lady Rowan Compton at the age of 13 as a servant.  The story begins in 1910 in England before WW1.   Lady Compton realizes that Maisie is extremely intelligent.  She sets her up with a tutor, Maurice Blanche.  Maisie studies with Maurice however is called to serve as a nurse during WW1 where she falls in love with Simon.  When Maisie returns after WW1 she becomes an appetence of Maurice and then eventually Maisie starts her own business as an investigator after he retires.  As she investigates a place called The Retreat, where WWI veterans go to get away from society, she discovers the veterans  have to sign away all their money.  An nobody ever seems to leave that place alive.    I give this book  ****/5 stars. 

In the morning I like to read books that I think will somehow improve my life.  I found this book on instagram and I am not going to lie, I am a sucker for simplicity books and throw in the pink flowers and of course I had to get the book, Soulful Simplicity by Courtney Carver.  My goal this year is to get rid of stuff my husband and I don’t use.  I really liked the short chapters; it made it easy to read one or two chapters a morning. 
Quick Take Aways:
·      I do things I don’t want to so I can be healthy.
·      Make a list of ten things you don’t want to do that you know will help you.  Then choose one thing from your list and put it into action immediately.
·      What changes do I HAVE to make to be healthy NOW and in the future?
·      Create your own project 333!  33 clothes items for 3 months. 
·      Create a daily routine that contributes to your long-term health and goals.

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate is a middle grade book that has a lot of today’s social issues packed into a heart-warming story.  Red is a neighborhood tree that is home to many animal families and a silent observer of the people in the neighborhood.  People have brought their wishes to the tree each year for over 200 years.   Over the years the tree has witness many new families in the neighborhood, some families were welcomed and others were not.  The book deals with friendship, hatred, stereotypes, and building a community of understanding.  I thought it was a ***/5 star book.
#middlegrademarch   #middlegradebooks

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser is my second middle grade book for Middle grade March.  The Vanderbeekers are a biracial family that lives in Harlem, New York in a brownstone.  The family is part of the community.  They know almost everyone in the neighborhood by name.  The just before Christmas their landlord decides not to renew their lease.  What will they do?  They have lived here forever and they don’t want to move.  They have 11 days to win over their landlord and change his mind.  I  like this book for kids for several reasons:  1.  It shows a positive family unit.  2.  It shows siblings with differences still working together.  3.  It shows the kids getting involved with their neighbors.  I give this book ***/5 stars. 
#middlegrademarch   #middlegradebooks