Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Quick Lit - August

I feel like I am constantly writing about books but "they" say to write what you know...and I know books and reading.  Obviously not ALL the books because that's literally (used correctly) impossible BUT, I do read a lot.  And summer reading is just my favorite.

First, a few other book reviews I've posted in the past month - all so enjoyable!

I'm very active on Goodreads and take great pleasure in reducing my TBR every time I start a new books.  Friend me over there!  And now, what else I've read in the past month, linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy!

Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships by Lisa-Jo Baker
This was a fantastic book on being a better friend.  It's pretty well acknowledged that friendships are much harder to keep as an adult, when there are families and jobs and kids.  It's not like high school and college where your friend could and were a constant part of your life.  Friend-time doesn't happen as much as I would like and this was an excellent reminder with tangible ways to improve that.  4 Stars

A Paris Year: My Day-to-Day Adventures in the Most Romantic City in the World by Janice Macleod
I so so enjoyed this book.  I've mentioned her first book, Paris Letters many times here before (1, 2, 3) and was eagerly awaiting this one (it's a SUPER rare book that I bought before reading it).  This isn't a straight memoir or story but a journal about a year in Paris, going through seasons and holidays, what her life looks like there.  It makes Paris sound pretty dreamy (as if Paris needed help with that) and made me even itchier to go back.  It was a quick and oh so enjoyable read.  5 Stars

Goodnight from London by Jennifer Robson
This author has been doing loosely connected set of books set during World War II, and since I've enjoyed the previous ones enough I was going to read this one too.   It's about a young American report, Ruby, who gets sent to London to cover the Blitz.  I've read many World War II novels in the last few years and this wasn't the best of the bunch but it was a lighter read than Everyone Brave is Forgiven, while covering a similar time and place.  There were a lot of time jumps (to get through the whole war) and I felt it was hard to connect with Ruby because of that, and always having to readjust myself to where in time we were and what had happened with her.  3 Stars

Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein
Another YA and I think my favorite of all the ones I've written about today.  Boy and girl are going into their senior year of high school.  Their Moms have been best friends for decades and arrange for the two of them to carpool to school every day, even though they aren't really friends.  And then things happen.  Yes, teenage problems but mostly enjoyable to read about.  And somewhat relateable since we've probably all lived through senior year of high school.  I enjoyed reading this one.  3.75 Stars

Always a Bridesmaid (for Hire): Stories on Growing Up, Looking for Love, and Walking Down the Aisle for Complete Strangers by Jen Glantz
I picked up this one after listening to her interview on The Smartest Person in the Room (a podcast episode I recommended back here).  The idea of a professional bridesmaid was so intriguing to me, a way to monetize something most of us do for free, granted for people we know and (should) love.  I liked the behind the scenes of getting her business going and the stories of what she did for various brides.  I did not need to read about her childhood and her looking for love (which, I realize was in the title).  If the idea intrigues you, you could save a lot of time and just listen to the podcast episode.  If you want to read about a stranger's love life, read the book.  2.5 Stars

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Here's what I remember about this book: it's 500 pages and a good part of a chapter dealt with a dog "emergency".  Actually, a decent part of the plot dealt with the main character's job as a dog walker WHICH should have been pretty obvious from the cover.  I'm not a dog, or animal person, AT ALL so I rolled my eyes more than once at all of this.  It's YA and about teens in that summer between high school and college (pretty sure?) and while I've read some good YA lately, this one wasn't one.  Definitely could have been shorter or maybe I just needed to like dogs more.  2.5 Stars 

The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments by David Lebovitz
So, I make a lot of ice cream.  You know that if you've been reading along for awhile (Ice Cream of the Week tag, almost 40 recipes there!) and I marked way. too. many. of these recipes to make.  And already have done a few of them.  And have ordered the book so I can reference often.  Definitely worth a look if you make ice cream! 5 Stars

Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
Picked this up because I enjoyed their book The Knockoff a few years ago (it made my Favorite Reads of 2015 list) and this one was fun too.  A humorous look at the fitness culture, with extreme workouts and diets.  If you've ever rolled your eyes at crazy diets and people's fitness obsessions, then you might enjoy this one.  3.75 Stars

The Good Widow by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
I've read all the previous books by these authors and that's usually a pretty good sign that I'm going to read the new one too.  This one was the story of a woman who finds out her husband has died in Hawaii...when she thought he was on a business trip in Kansas? (I don't remember, no offense to Kansas).  And he wasn't alone (all of this happens in the first few pages).  So, after being devastated and furious, she wants to find out what happened.  How her marriage and life fell apart all at once.   I liked the setting (Maui and the Road to Hana played a large part) and it was an interesting enough storyline.  Good summer read and not nearly a thriller in the vein of Gone Girl or Girl on a Train.  More of a light thriller, which is good for me.  I wish the cover was prettier though, you have Hawaii as a setting!  Use that!  3 Stars

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
A charming YA story about a girl who befriends the "weird" kid at school and they go through some tough life stuff together.  High school, not an easy time.  Probably harder when you don't fit in with the norm.  Somehow a lot of YA has made my list lately and this was one of the better ones.  3.5 Stars

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
A really short book (barely 100 pages) that I read in an afternoon.  The Queen of England is an unlikely reader, with all the empire running things she has going on but when one of her dogs escape and she ends up in a mobile library next to her castle, she picks up a book, and then keeps reading, getting in the way of all sorts of things.  A bit of a cute story but it got a little bogged down with deep thoughts on reading and writing.  BUT...it was super short and easy enough to read.  3 Stars

Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life by Lara Casey
This was a charming self-improvement book with lots of gardening metaphors.  I do not have a green thumb, at all, so maybe gardening wasn't really something I could relate much to and I didn't leave with any huge take aways but I was inspired while reading it.  So that's something.  3.5 Stars

What have YOU been reading this month?  What should I be reading? 

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