Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Quick Lit - February

It's once again the time of month where I link up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share what I've been reading!  I've been knocking through books lately but that's largely due to rereading the Little House series for the first time in over 20 years but those will be getting their own separate post.  Here is everything else I've read in the past month!  As always, I'm very active on Goodreads!  Follow me there!

Other book posts this month:
Book Love: A Year of Living Danishly
Book Love: Girl in the Blue Coat
I also did a short series on easy books to read if you are trying to get back into a good reading habit this year!
Easy Books for Getting Back in a Reading Groove - Chick Lit
Easy Books for Getting Back in a Reading Groove - Memoir
Easy Books for Getting Back in a Reading Groove - YA
Easy Books for Getting Back in a Reading Groove - Wanderlust

Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies by J.B. West
My aunt recommended this (and lent it to me) after seeing that I enjoyed reading The Residence a few months ago.  J.B. West was a long time usher at the White House, covering multiple presidents.  He was there when FDR died, there when Kennedy was assassinated.  He left at the beginning of Nixon's term (I believe).  I don't remember what president The Residence started with but I feel like these didn't overlap, or not much if they did.  I wasn't alive for any of the presidencies in this book but still was vaguely familiar with them through history classes.  In our very divided political climate, it was so nice to just read about the presidents, First Ladies, and their families as people, not politicians.  Read about the history of the White House and how the various families used it.  Especially recommend if you just want a break from all the division in our country right now.  4 Stars

A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay
I liked but didn't love this.  The story skipped a few times and I was left thinking I missed a few pages or something.  But I did appreciate the positive mentions of the Catholic faith, I rarely read Christian Fiction where the characters are Catholic and I appreciated that!  Also, all the ingredients of food were incredible, made me wish, again, that I could really cook.  3 Stars

The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams
I've read all her books and this one was not my favorite.  Like most, it was told in split timelines - the 1930s and 1998 with two women discovering things and living life in the same building in New York City.  There was a rather graphic almost rape? (definite sexual abuse) scene that was hard to swallow and overall the whole prohibition story line wasn't my favorite.  I enjoyed it but it won't be one I reread like A Hundred Summers3 Stars

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World: How One Family Learned that Saying No Can Lead to Life's Biggest Yes by Kristen Welch
This book wasn't quite what I was expecting.  I thought it could have used maybe a little more editing and a little more cohesion but the message was very good.  The author tells stories about raising her 3 children, the oldest now being in high school and the youngest in middle school.  We haven't reached most of the stages of parenthood that she writes about but I still appreciated what she was saying.  It was also barely 200 pages so super quick and easy to get through.  Definitely some food for thought in there.  3 Stars

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
I've read and enjoyed a fair number of YA dystopian/set in the future novels and this was another one.  I really liked the premise - it's about 100 years in the future and most of Manhattan (about 100 blocks of it) is consumed by this giant tower, 1,000 stories high.  It was like SimTower on steroids.  The higher you lived, the richer you are.  I found the world very intriguing and mostly well thought out.  But then the guys...there is something I want to say here but won't because SPOILERS but...I was yelling at the book towards the end, and yelling at my husband "This book has BLANK" (You can read my review on Goodreads if you really want to know what that was.) So.  It was hard to get over that but I still marked the sequel as "to read" so apparently I'm still interested enough.  3 Stars

How to Celebrate Everything: Recipes and Rituals for Birthdays, Holidays, Family Dinners, and Every Day in Between by Jenny Rosenstrach
I wasn't too impressed by this one in the beginning - when she was going through the standard holidays and her family's traditions for them.  I really liked the second half when she was talking about their own quirky traditions and celebrations and how the little special routines can make a difference.  I marked waaaay too many recipes I want to make and am definitely using her basic kid's party plan for when we finally have one for Luke! 4 Stars

My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes) by Luisa Weiss
I enjoyed this book, as much as I have other similar travel/food memoirs.  The author grew up in Berlin, then was bounced between divorced parents and as an adult - living in Berlin, Boston, New York, and Paris.  She cooks a lot along the way, of course there is a guy and some really beautiful sounding scenes in Italy.  (Can I trade passports with her??).  If you are interested in travel or food, this might be for you.  It made me wish I could cook better.  And travel more.  3.5 Stars

The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart about Money by Ron Lieber 
Seeing as I spent 8 years in public accounting before staying home with Luke and I have a 10+ tab spreadsheet to keep track of our own finances, making sure Luke has good money sense is something that is rather important to me.  I agreed with pretty much everything in this book and there are parts we can put into practice now, even with an almost 4 (!!!) year old.  Strongly recommend for anyone with kids still at home! 4.5 Stars

The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs by Elaine Sciolino
This book was written by an American woman who has lived for many years (decades?) in Paris, moving near the Rue des Martyrs with her husband once their children were in college.  She falls in love with this street and all the people who live and work there.  It was a little pretentious but mostly enjoyable.  3 Stars

Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France by Craig Carlson
This 1) made me want to go back to Paris.  And 2) made sure I absolutely never want to open a business in France (which I had no plan to ever do anyways).   It's the story of an American man who moved to Paris in his late 30s to open an American style dinner.  And all the headaches (and some rewards) he encountered along the way.  I don't think I'd want to eat American style food if I had a short stay in Paris but for ex-pats or longer visitors I can see how it would be appealing! 3 Stars

What have you been reading and maybe loving this month?  I don't need them but love getting recommendations!

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