Monday, January 15, 2018

Quick Lit - January

I like to end the year by reading Christmas-y books and rereads of books I know I've enjoyed in the past.  Sometimes those categories overlap but either way, December is a lot of comfort reading.  Then kicking off January with non-fiction and getting back to my TBR!  I'm here on Goodreads and pretty active (I might check it more than once a day) and get a spark of joy every time I can mark a book as finished.  Friend me over there if you are too!  Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy!

Other book posts in the past month:

And everything else I've read!

Winter Street, Winter Stroll, Winter Storms, Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand
I have read all of her books and this series is among my very favorite.  Like all her books, they are largely set on Nantucket and these follow the Quinn family who own and run an Inn there.  There is a missing son in Afghanistan, possible jail time, secrets being revealed, and a lot of family drama.  Yet, underneath it all you know the whole family really loves each other.  The family dynamics remind me of The Family Stone, one of my all-time favorite (Christmas or not) movies.  Winter Solstice was new this year and is supposed to end the series (but she said that last year too).  I will be rereading these every December for a long time.  4.25 Stars

The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas by Ann Voskamp
My 3rd or 4th time reading this Advent devotional which unfolds the story of Christmas with genealogy and the Jesse tree.   Helps me stay a little more focused during the busy of December.  High recommend this! 5 Stars

Jesus Always: Embracing Joy in His Presence by Sarah Young
2017 was my third year reading one of her devotionals (first, Jesus Calling and then Jesus Today) and find them perfectly sized daily readings and reflections.   Highly recommend any of them.  5 Stars
Far From the Tree by Robin Benway
I won this one in a giveaway from Go Fug Yourself, which I was super excited about (books might be my love language).  It's the story of 3 siblings who were put up for adoption, two were adopted, the third is in the foster system.  It made me feel so many things, as an adoptive mom and just as a person.  Really looks at the side of the birth mother which is so so so important.  Recommend this especially to anyone going through adoption but you don't have to have first hand experience with that to get something out it.  4 Stars

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
A reread and one of my favorite reads of 2016.  Natasha and Daniel meet on what might be her last day in America, as her family is being deported that evening.  But Daniel doesn't know that when they meet and he has his own big (teenage) life things going on.  It explores all sorts of things including how interconnected we all are and how life can change in an instant.  It held up very well to a reread.  4.25 Stars

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
I've read all her books but this one is most definitely my favorite, my 4th time reading it!  And I might enjoy it more every time!  Even with "Summer" in the title, a good chunk of the story takes place around New Years Eve which makes it a perfect book to end or start the year (also, a good chunk takes place over the summer, obviously).  Mostly rich people trying to figure out their lives in the 1930s.  It might be one of my all-time (or at least last 5 years) favorites.  4.75 Stars

Miss You by Kate Eberlen
This book reminded me of One Day by David Nicholls in that in follows two people over a long period of time, checking in on them periodically.  Except in One Day those two people knew each other and in Miss You, they do not.  Although they seem like they should have meet, life keeps getting in the way.  They both have had some loss in their lives and things aren't going so great for either for a long time.  But life keeps moving.  3.75 Stars

Words in the Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
I liked this book in the beginning and then it lost me a little bit.  It's about Rachel who moved away and suffered a huge loss.  It's about Henry who used to be her best friend (before the moving away) and whose family runs a failing used bookshop.  There is a section in the bookshop where people can write in books or leave messages and those are pretty intriguing but overall, I just wasn't feeling it in the second half.  But it has a high rating on Goodreads so I seem to be largely alone in that.  3 Stars

The Aisles Have Eyes: How Retailers Track Your Shopping, Strip Your Privacy, and Define Your Power by Joseph Turow
This book made me want to cease all internet shopping and pay for everything in store with cash.  EXCEPT that some stores are (apparently) working on cameras and software that can recognize you when you walk in, just by your face, and automatically figure out your mood.  So there is no way of not being tracked.  It made me frustrated with how we are tracked everywhere, much more than I thought, how they can connect your digital self and actual person.  It made me revisit all my social media settings, how much I am sharing, and where.  It was tough to get through at times but it was enlightening, even if I didn't like what I was being enlightened about. 3.5 Stars

Seasons of Waiting: Walking by Faith When Dreams are Delayed by Betsy Childs Howard 
I did this one on audio at 1.5x speed (the reader was a slow talker) and it made for some great listening while cleaning out closets and cupboard.  I've talked many times about my lack of patience through the adoption journey and this was perfect for this time, as we are still waiting on (another) baby.  It made me feel less alone, gave me reassurance for getting through the tough days.  It wasn't just about waiting for a baby, although that was most applicable to me, but gave a few other examples as well.  Definitely a great listen for me.  4 Stars

The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois
I remembered reading this book a few times, 20+ years ago and enjoying it.  It is a mostly delightful (fictional) tale of a man ~150 years ago who traveled by balloon across the Pacific Ocean, spent a few wonderful days on a strange and diamond covered island in the South Pacific and then spent more days floating in a balloon.  It was written over 70 years ago and there are a few things that probably wouldn't get published (much less win a Newbery) now but is easier to overlook given the time it was written.  I loved the logistics of all the balloon travel and how people on Krakatoa live.  4 Stars

What have YOU been reading?

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