Sunday, November 4, 2018

October 2018 Reading Log

Once again I look back at the month of October and I think, WOW, where did this month go?  I did not read as much as I would have liked to this month due to a lot of headaches. However the books I read were amazing.  The Great Alone was by far my favorite book.  I think Kristin Hannah is great writer.  I am thinking of reading one of her books a month in 2019.  

Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, was a reread for me.  I know I read this when
I was in high school but I did not recall a single thing in the story.  I also felt like I should
reread it because I often hear references to this book or the characters in other books.  
The third reason I felt I had to reread the book was that I purchased this beautiful copy
of the book. I did not remember how dark this book was.  The story is retold by the
housekeeper/nanny perspective. The story is all about love and revenge. The cruelty
towards children and women during that time period is unbelievably.  #classic

The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah, is just an amazing *****/5 star story.  
Ernt Allbright is a POW from the Vietnam war. After he loses yet another job he
moves his wife Cora and daughter Leni off the grid to Alaska without much planning in Fall.
 Ernt drinks a lot and suffers from PSD. All these elements build to a lot of obstacles for
Cora and Leni. I am looking forward to my first buddyread with this book with
@kirst_reads_books.  #buddyread #unreadshelfproject2018

Knots in My Yo-Yo String An Autobiography of a Kid, by Jerry Spinelli, was my only Battle of the Books read this month.  I have to be honest I did not enjoy this book at all. It was a memoir and it was very hard for me to relate to it.  Young boys will probably enjoy it because Jerry’s early life centered around sports. #battleofthebooks2018

The Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, is a beautiful book.  Sara,
although strange character, is a wonderful example of what is means to be a beautiful
person inside and out.  Her kindness towards everyone even those who are not kind
to her is a true example of being humble and kind but what really stood out to me was
her ability to give to others.  When she was hungry and had not eaten for days she still
gave food to another girl who she felt was even hungrier than her. That in my eyes is a
gracious soul. #classic #unreadshelfproject2018

I read, The Red Notebook, this week.  It is an adorable romantic story that takes place in my favorite city, Paris.  I give this story ***/5 stars. Of course I would like it this story, when Laurent , a bookseller, finds a handbag on a Parisian street there is a red notebook inside with notes from the owner about her life.  Laurent feels a strong connection with the owner. It really is a sweet short love story.  #unreadshelfproject2018

I have to be honest I picked The Bookshop of Yesterdays,
by Amy Meyerson for two reasons:  1. There was a stack of books on the cover, and
2.  It was about a bookshop. Right there in my mind is two stars.  
When Miranda inherits her Uncle Billy bookstore she has to work through debt,
trust issues, and issues with her parents to make the store work.  She is a history
teacher on the East Coast and the bookstore is on the West Coast and she has to
make some major life decisions. Even though the story is predictable it still is a cute mystery/love story.   I give this book ****/5 stars.

I picked The Truth According to Us on an impulse because it was by Anne Barrows who co-wrote, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.    The story takes place in a small town where everyone seems to know everyone else’s business.  Willa, a young girl, is desperate to find out more about her father. Layla, a visitor to town, is there to prove to her dad she can do anything by herself.  Both Layla and Willa find themselves allies as they forge forward searching for the truth.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

September Reading Log 2018

September is Back to School month and that means that I am back to work. So my reading time is cut in half. However I am still trying to met my goal of reading one adult book and one middle grade book a week.

I thought Loved Walked In, by Marisa de los Santos, was a beautiful story.  Don’t you wish everyone in society would step up to the plate and take care of a child in such a kind and loving way if something happened to you.  That is what Cornelia, the main character did, her character was a great example of kindness and love. I give this book ****/5 stars.

Belong to Me is part two the book Loved Walked In.  This book had some great parts, a neighborhood of friends that support a dying friend, a father stepping up to the plate for a child he never knew about and new friendships found in unlikely people.  I thought it was a wonderful book. It reminded me to be open to all people because friendship happen in unlikely places. #unreadshelfproject2018

I started Eligible last year and then set it aside.  I was determined to finish it this year.  Eligible is modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice with the Bennet family from Ohio.  You will enjoy the comparisons to our time with your favorite characters. I give this book ***/5 stars.

I read Anne Bogel’s new book right away when it arrived. I’d Rather Be Reading.  OMG!  It is scary but I think Anne can read my mind.  So much of what she wrote in the book is true about my reading life.  A happy day for me involves book mail. I love my quiet time for reading each day and get grumpy when I don’t read.  I love decorating my house with books. I always have a book on my phone that I am listening to and one that I am reading.  Book are my happy place.

I finished the middle grade book, Danny the Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl.  It is a cute book about a boy and his dad.  The little boy learns secrets about his dad and other people in the town.  It is a fun and silly story. #battleofthebooks2018

George vs. George is a non-fiction middle grade book.  Sometimes I think I missed my calling, I think I should have taught middle school history.  I would have loved incorporating literature into my classes. This is a short read comparing the lives of George Washington and King George of England.  I found it very interesting but again I love history. #battleofthebooks2018

The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green is an absolutely beautiful Young Adult story.   Hazel and Augustine are two young teens who are dealing with cancer. The book deals with the individual feelings of dealing with terminal illness as well as understanding what their family members experience as they helpless become a cheerleader from the sidelines.  #unreadshelfproject2018

I think Maria Semple is becoming one of my favorite authors.  I can really relate to the neurotic main characters. Eleanor is going through life, which she knows is not perfect, but firmly believes she can make the changes to make things different.  However her plans begin to fall apart as her son, Timby, calls home from school telling his mom he is sick. I found this story to be hilarious. I laughed and the craziest things in this story.  I enjoyed listening to this book. ****/5 stars.

This is another book from the Battle of the Books list.  This was definitely outside my preferred gene comfort zone.  Gregor the Overlander I would consider a fantasy book.  The large spiders, bats, rats, cockroaches all talked and to be honest I just wasn’t interested.  I know the message was about accepting differences but it was hard for me to get passed giant rodents.  #battleofthebooks2018

The Journey to Jo’Burg, is a story about  two courageous young children who travel from their village to Johannesburg which is about 200 miles to find their mother.   Their little sister is very ill and they want their mother to come home and take care of her. The children learn along the way that things in South Africa are not always fair and equal.  #battleofthebooks2018

Friday, September 7, 2018

August 2018 Reading Log


In August, Augie and I started going to Baby and Me time at our local library.  
The time is real close to his morning nap time but he hangs in there.  
His favorite part of the program is the peek-a-boo scarves.
He loves playing with the colorful scarves.  We can only go once a month in the
Fall because of my work schedule but we love it.

A Simplified Life by Emily Ley, was my bedtime read this month.  I love reading something relaxing in the evening that I can easily step away from.  I also love to read something that can add a little bit to my life as well.

Quotes I want to remember from the book:  
  • “I want a life that is rich, sweet, and uncomplicated.  I don’t want to be weighed down by day-to-day responsibilities."  
  • "I want to be able to enjoy Saturdays, making memories with my family instead of folding mountains of laundry. "
  •  I want dinner to be a calm time to reconnect and enjoy good food with the people I love…...I want to be able to sit with my kids or with a friend and wholeheartedly listen…...I want to be able to enjoy this beautiful life, not be constantly overwhelmed by it.”  
  •   “Our home held only absolute necessities and cherished treasures.”
  •  “Give yourself the time and grace to go little by little.”  
  • "Finding ways to serve your spouse, giving without expectation of return, exemplify a strong union to your children, speak softly, demonstrate healthy love to your children, make your marriage a priority Date Nights, show affection."
  •  Crafting intentional, shared family memories and spending individual, quality time with each child.   #unreadshelfproject2018

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng is one of those books that catches you out of nowhere.  
It is so captivating it is hard to put down. There is a typical rich family,
The Richersons, who rent a home to the poorer family, Mia and Pearl Warren.  
While Pearl is captivated with the rich lifestyle of the Richerson’s and the steadiness of the family.
The Richersons are captivated with Mia’s cooking and photography.
The lives and beliefs overlap and influence one another and their decisions.  
At the end of the story I still wanted to know more…..I give this book ****/5 stars. #unreadshelfproject2018

My Endless Summer is part 2 to the A Cafe by the Sea both by Jenny Colgan.  
It was a nice way to finish up my summer break now that school is back in session.  
The book is about Flora and Noel’s struggle with a long distance romance. It is a cute little book.
 I give it ***/5 stars.

I just finished Summer At Little Beach Street Bakery and tobe honest I don’t think I am reading the books in order so I am getting a bit confused on the timeline of things.  
However I find the stories of Polly and her pet puffin cute and whimsical. I give this book ***/5 stars.

I have to be honest, I had a hard time with this book, A Barrel of Laughs A Vale of Tears.  
It’s target audience is 4th and 5th graders and the humor is for them.  
I know kids will find this book hilarious but I wasn’t in that place this weekend.  
It was just to bizarre for me. #battleofthebooks2018

Well I’m all caught up with the L. Penny books.  I just finished Glass Houses and once again this is a wonderful mystery series.  Once again there is a mystery brewing in Three Pines, there is a mysterious figure standing in the center park area of Three Pines, all day long, the figure does not move it just stands there looking ahead.  The Three Pines community in creeped out by this figure standing there and wants Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, to arrest him or something just get him out of the area.  However Superintendent Gamache does not have a reason or a cause to arrest the dark figure. Just because he is creepy is not a crime. Then one night the figure disappears and a young girl is dead in the basement of the town’s church and Mrs. Gamache find her.  Some months later in July, the trial has begun and it seems like Chief Superintendent Gamache is on trial but is it all a set up to catch the real murder. #unreadshelfproject2018

Big Little Lies has been out for a while but I finally got around to reading it.  
It was a fun book about murder/friendship/ and acceptance.
I just loved how the characters bonded together and how their lives overlapped.  
It is amazing how women can be the best of friends and your worst enemy at the same time.
I have read several Liane Moriarty books and this was my favorite one.  I enjoyed reading this book,
it was hard to put down. I give it ****/5 stars.

Abel’s Island by William Steig was a cute book about love, courage and friendship.  
It was about a mouse that is caught up in a storm and taken from his wife and friends.  
He has to make due on an island by himself until he can find a way to escape.

Baseball Fever is a cute book for baseball lovers.
It was an endearing story about a father and son trying to find a way to relate to each other.  
It is a quick and easy read.   #battleofthebooks2018

All-of-a-Kind Family is a adorable book about a Jewish family living in New York City in the early 1900’s.  I really liked the connection the children feel toward the local librarian. The book focused mainly on the family life and their traditions.  #battleofthebooks2018

Charlie Pippin was my fifth children’s book and WOW was it ever thought provoking and realistic.  
The story follows Charlie a little girl in sixth grade struggling to get along with her father.  
All of Charlie’s good intentions don’t seem to work out and she gets in more trouble at home and at school.  
When Charlie does her report on the Vietnam War, a war her father fought in, somehow she gets in more trouble.  
She doesn't know what else to do. #battleofthebooks2018

My Oxford Year is a wonderful story about a young girl, Ella, who is off to Oxford for one year.  
She is a very independent person. However on her first day there she runs into a handsome man, Jamie,
who happens to be her professor.  They decide to have a “no strings” relationship.
However life and feelings get in the way of this plan. This is the perfect “Chick Flick” book.  I give it ****/5 stars.

I read Rebecca when I was a teenager but honestly I didn’t remember a thing.  I am so glad I reread Rebecca. There are so many layers to this story there is no way I could have understood it at such a young age. #unreadshelfproject2018  #classics

OMG!!! A Fall of Marigolds is a beautiful story.  It centers around an antique scarf and how is came to
America in 1911 to Clara Wood’s life.  Then somehow ends up in Taryn Michaels’ life on Sept. 11 in
New York City. Clara’s and Taryn’s stories are so enchanting and heart breaking.  This is truly an amazing story.
I loved it and give it *****/5 stars.

The Glass Castle is another book that I read this month that left me speechless.  
WOW! This is an eye opening story. It made me think about why people make the choices they make.  
When I see a homeless person I make a lot of assumptions, but this book reminded me that everyone
had a story and reasons for what they do.  It reminded me that I need to listen to people first instead of
judging and asking if and how I can help. This is a *****/5 star book. #unreadshelfproject2018