Tuesday, July 3, 2018

June Reading Log 2018

June has been a super busy month, lots of babysitting.  I love spending time with our little grandchildren.  I didn't get done the reading I wanted too.  I only was able to read one middle grade book.  So next month I will try to read my middle grade books first.  

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich was the first book and only book I read this month for the Battle of the Books.  Wow! It was a good historical fiction book about a little girl named Omakayas who lives with her family on an Island of  the Golden-Breasted Woodpecker, somewhere near Lake Superior. Her family tries its best to live as it has always lived before the “white” people came.  They build a birchbark house in the summer and during the fall they go to the ricing camp for a big harvest and feast. During the winter months they move to a cedar log home at the Maple Sugar camps.  Omakayas has a typical Native American childhood, she fights with her brother, she adores the new baby and she tries to be like her big sister. However as she is growing she is learning about her calling, however one day a stranger comes to camp and changes everything for Omakayas’ family.  #middlegrades #battleofthebooks2018

A House Without Window by Nadia Hashimi was a powerful story.  I picked this story as one of my Modern Mrs Darcy Challenge books (a book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion than your own) Wow did I learn a lot about another culture.   The main character, Zeba has been a loving, devoted, and more than patient wife and mother.  However her life is suddenly changed one day when her husband, Kamai, is found murdered in their courtyard.  Zeba is in shock and unable to speak about her whereabouts during the day. Zeba is arrested for the crime and put in a jail for women.
As Zeba waits to see the judge, she meets lots of women who are in jail as well.  I was surprised at the reasons for some of the women’s incarcerations. . We also learn more about Zeba and her life in her community and her family.  Zeba’s lawyer is Yusuf, an Afghan-born, American-raised young man. He is commitment to helping his homeland develop into a country with fair laws. This book has many unexpected twists and turns and a really good opportunity to see into the world the Afghan women live.  This is a *****/5 star book. I will put this on my tentative list for top ten books of the year. #MMDbookchallenge2018

Perfectly Yourself by Matthew Kelly  These are my highlighted notes from the book.  I hope to go back to them and reflect on the questions in my journal.   What is the one thing about yourself that would most radically improve your life if you changed it?  Lesson One:  Celebrate Your Progress  Lesson Two:  Just Do the Right Thing Lesson Three:  Put Character First  Lesson Four:  Find What You Love and Do It   Lesson Five:  Live What You Believe   Lesson Six:  Be Disciplined   Lesson Seven:  Simplify    Lesson Eight:  Focus on What You are Here to Give   Lesson Nine:  Patiently Seek the Good in Everyone and Everyone and Everything   #unreadshelfproject2018

Beartown by Fredrik Backman is about  a tiny hockey community.  The actual community is slowly falling apart but the hockey team holds it together.   Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of the town rest on the teenage boys.  The boys are treated the superstars in the community. They feel they can do no wrong, especially the star of the team, Kevin. After the semi-final win there is a big party for the team and Kevin commits a violent act that will forever leave a young girl, the president of the hockey team’s daughter, scarred.  Now sides and alliances are made and friendships are torn apart. Who will be honest and stand up for what is right? This story is a *****/5 star book.

I read The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath, because it was highly recommended by other readers on Instagram and by Modern Mrs. Darcy.  She had it on her list of 25 Classic Books Women Should Read. I found the book to be very depressing and I often lost interest in the story.  I guess this book was not for me. #classicbooks

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner is a beautiful story about a family that moves to Philadelphia in 1918.  This was my first book of the month club pick for my birthday gift from Andrew and Caitlin.  It has been sitting on my tbr pile since January. I finally got around to it and it was a wonderful story.  This couple and their young girls move to the city in hopes of a better life. They do have a good life but it was not what they were expecting.  One of the girls breaks out with the Spanish Flu while Pauline’s husband is away at training for the war. Pauline (the mother) does so much to help out her girls, the uncle and the neighboring families, she forgets about herself.  While visiting a sick family, one of the girls finds an orphaned baby boy. As the Bright family loses a member of their family they hold on to the baby and raise him as their own. This is an amazing story of sacrificing for others.  This is high on my tentative list for top ten stories of the year. *****/5 stars #unreadshelfproject2018

This is my Paris book of the month, Letters from Paris, by Juliet Blackwell.  This is the story of Claire, who honors her grandmother’s wish to go to Paris and discover the secret of the artwork, “L’Inconnue”—or The Unknown Woman, that Claire has always admired in the attic.  She finds a letter in the box and Claire is determined to find out the secret. She goes to Paris where she stumbles upon a job at an art shop as an translator. Of course she falls in love the the sculptor at the shop and together they piece together the secret.  The is a fun little romance book that I give ***/5 stars to. #unreadshelfproject2018

Alright, I’ll be honest, I purchased this book based on the adorable cover and because it said book club in the title.  Lucy’s Little Village Book Club, by Emma Davis, turned out to be a charming little romance story.  Lucy works at the library in a little English village called, Tilley Morton.  Lucy begins a book club and meets some new people. She really wants to help them, especially Callum.  The story is about the how the members of the book club overcome their obstacles in their life with the help of their new friends.  I give this book ***/5 stars. It is a delightful read.

I am trying to find a new mystery series to read because I am almost done with the Three Pines series.  I believe it was @theloudlibrarylady who suggested Joanne Fluke books so I tried the first one, The Chocolate Chip Murder.  It is about a young girl named Hannah who runs, The Cookie Jar, in the town of Lake Eden.  When there are two murders in the town Hannah gets involved with her brother-in-law (a police officer) and her sister (a real-estate agent) to solve the crimes.   As Hannah goes to talk to potential suspects she always takes cookies. The author includes the recipes in the story. There is some humor in the book as Hannah’s mom is always trying to redo Hannah’s image and set her up with the men in town.  I give this story ***/stars.

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