Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Quick Lit - November

It's once again the time of the month where I share everything I've been reading.  I have 19 books listed below...I've been doing a lot of reading.  Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy and, as always, I'm very active on Goodreads and you can find me here!  Friend me there if you like what I read!

First, a few book posts from the past month:

And now everything else I read!

Sunset Lullaby by Robin Jones Gunn
Another book in the long, long, sets of series.  This one following Christy and Todd through more parenting, more life.  I appreciated reading about their parenting struggles, how some times kids are really difficult, how that season of life can be tough.  I will read absolutely everything she writes about these characters but this one also felt really final, a lot of lose ends tied up.  But reading about these people really does feel like connecting with old friends.  4.5 Stars

Daring to Hope: Finding God's Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful by Katie Davis Majors
I really really enjoyed her first book, Kisses From Katie (review here), about how this young woman moved to Uganda and ended up adopting 13 young girls.  Most of us can't imagine making that kind of HUGE life change.  This one continues her story, as she lives her life with her daughters, going through tough times, and looking for God's goodness in it all.  It was incredibly moving and inspiring. 5 Stars

Friendships Don't Just Happen by Shasta Nelson 
This book was a bit of a drag to get through.  I just could not concentrate on it.  I fully appreciate her message - you have to work at friendships and that people will come in and out of your life in different seasons.  You need people who are going through similar life stages but then also people who have known you forever.  I did finish but it was a bit of a slog.  3 Stars

Unqualified by Anna Faris
I have listened to Anna's podcast on and off over the last 18 months, depending on who her guest was, so I marked this to read over 6 months ago. Then Anna and her husband, Chris Pratt, announced their separation 2 months before the book release which made this interesting on a different level. You can tell some changes were made since that decision but there is still a whole lot about their relationship. She goes into some details about things that I don't really need to know but for the most part it was an enjoyable read, behind the scenes a little of some of their better known roles and also a look inside a high profile relationship in Hollywood.  3.75 Stars
In Your Dreams, Don't You Wish, Close Your Eyes, Without a Doubt, With This Ring by Robin Jones Gunn
I've been working on rereading all her younger series this year, these being #2-6 of the Sierra Jensen series, one of Christy's friends.  These are all really quick reads and rather different from the Christy books, but I think Sierra tends to be a more fleshed out character than Christy, the latter whose life seemed to mostly revolve around Todd.  I know, this makes sense to few people, but I've invested a lot of my life into reading about these characters over the last 2 decades!  3.5-4 Stars

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
I first read this author this summer when I read her latest, Windfall (review here).  I really enjoyed that one and was inclined to pick up some more of hers.  This was the story of two teens who accidentally, due to a typo, connect over e-mail.  The e-mail often, many times a day, and become quite close.  Then the guy surprises the girl by showing up in her hometown and, surprise!, he's actually a movie star and is filming his next movie there.  It was a little bit far fetched but still charming and sweet, which is basically what I want in YA.  3.75 Stars 

Dear Mister Rogers, Does it Ever Rain in Your Neighborhood? by Fred Rogers
This was a quick read but had some good parenting advice.  These are a collection of letters that were written to Mr. Rogers, it seems largely in the 80s and 90s.  My son is very much in the "ask all the questions" phase and reading how patiently and honest Mr. Rogers responded to all the kids made me more closely consider how I should be answering all my son's questions.  I'd recommend to other parents to very questioning kids! 4 Stars

Waterfalls by Robin Jones Gunn
Continuing my long reread of her Glenbrook series.  This one about Meridith who has always had a thing for movie stars, and then finds herself accidently in the company of one, who also happens to be an old neighbor of her sister.  It's dated (written in the late 90s) but I still really enjoy it, maybe, mostly, because I've read it so many times already.  3.75 Stars

Woodlands by Robin Jones Gunn
The 7th book in the Glenbrook Series, this one about Leah who daughter #6 and has always felt a bit like the unneeded one, the one that was supposed to be a boy.  She's lived in Glenbrook her whole life and dreams of adventure when it starts to come her way a little bit.  And she decides that maybe her life has enough of it and where she really wants to be is right where she is, mostly.  I've read this one much less than the earlier books in the series, I think it came out just later enough that I was busy with high school and wasn't reading as much as in my junior high days.  So not knowing the story super well made it an enjoyable read, being a little surprised at the turns the story took.  Cozy and enjoyable.  3.5 Stars

The Misfortune of Marion Palm by Emily Culliton 
This is one I should have given up on.  But I didn't.  Marion Palm has been embezzling from her daughters' fancy New York private school, where she has been working.  Then she disappears.  It's told from her point of view, as she hides, and also from her husband's, as he tries (kinda) to find her, and also her two daughters.  I was just expecting something different, something more.  It was fine but not for me.  2 Stars

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
Another YA pick.  I know this is a fairly big author in that genre but the first of hers I've read.   Louna is the daughter of a wedding planner.  Her Dad is long gone and turns out she lost another loved on in a very traumatizing incident.  That makes it hard for her to let another guy in, she just doesn't want to go through, or diminish, what she had before.  It was fine.  Not my favorite YA but I enjoyed reading it.  3.5 Stars

From a Certain Point of View by Ben Acker (and more)
This is the reallllly dorky book I was reading when I did my Day in the Life post a few weeks ago.  I know, it's a Star Wars novel.  I KNOW.  It's 40 stories about side characters in A New Hope (the original, original Star Wars movie...although if you didn't already know that you probably already stopped reading this paragraph).  It's stories that intersect with what was on the screen but never shown.  Like the creature in the trash.  Or a Mouse droid.  I liked some, liked others less.  It probably didn't help that most of my Star Wars knowledge comes from playing the Lego video game and/or reading picture books to our son.  But still, made me want to rewatch the movie.  So that's something.  3.5 Stars

 The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
The eagerly anticipated follow-up to her The War That Saved my Life.  That one was about 2 kids who are evacuated from London during the Blitz and sent to live with a single woman in the countryside, who most definitely did not want them.  But she doesn't want them less than their own mother.  The girl has a club foot and has had very limited exposure to people but she blossoms in this new setting.  This story picks up where the first left off, how they are all coping in the countryside, how the war touched everyone.  It was excellent and so well done. 4 Stars

What did YOU read this month?  I love hearing, especially if you read any of the same books!

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