Thursday, March 12, 2020

Quick Lit - March

Happy mid-March reading!  I feel like I've been devoting more time to reading lately and yet aren't getting through books fast enough as I'd like sooo...I must need to read even more.  Which is only a problem because of parenting, work, and household running demands.  So, don't know when that will improve.  Maybe over spring break?

I'm on Goodreads a lot here and Instagram slightly less often here.  And now I have a screaming baby so this post needs done!

A few other book posts in the past month:

 And everything I've read in the past 30ish days!

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
I picked this up because I enjoyed a different book by them and I've heard them (it's a friend writing duo) mentioned as writing enjoyable romance books.  Well, this helped me figured out that I love the "started as friends which then turned into more" trope MUCH MORE than the "we hate each other but secretly love each other but we are never going to talk about our feelings" trope.  This was the latter.  Although, it did take place in Hawaii so it had that going for it.  I can see why this would be for some people but it wasn't for me. 2.5 Stars

The Sisters of Summit Avenue by Lynn Cullen
This book was delightful to me because two of the three locations are places VERY familiar to me and I was constantly amazed at seeing places I know very well in print.  Our favorite meat market even got a mention in the acknowledgements!  But it was actually the third story line taking place with the "Bettys" of Betty Crocker that had me most intrigued.  I honestly don't remember much about the story line, just the locations.  There were sisters, I remember that. 2.75 Stars
Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski & Amelia Nagoski
This book was mentioned SO MANY PLACES before I finally decided to add it to my to-read list.  I think the title is misleading from what is actually inside the book, or at least from what I got out of the book and how I heard it described by others.  The part the title relates to is about how women are stressed out often but don't complete the cycle so their bodies are holding onto all this stress.  Which just adds more stress.  There were very helpful techniques in there for releasing stress which made me even more anxious to get back to my running.  But all that was in about the first 1/3 of the book.  There was also a lot about how the patriarchy is suppressing all of us women which was empowering but got a little tiresome and not what I thought I was going to be reading.  However, it did encourage me to speak up more at work (I work with all guys) and address some sexism in our everyday lives (I've been ranting on Twitter about how the mail is addressed) so...still helpful.  3.5 Stars

In Like Flynn and Oh Danny Boy by Rhys Bowen
I've been reading through this historical mystery series this year and these were books #4 & #5.  The covers I show here and the ones I mark on Goodreads are not the actual covers I check out from the library - the ones I actually get are NOT good.  Molly is attempting to be a female investigator around 1902, a time when women didn't do such things.  I feel like I say the same things over and over again about these - I enjoy her spunk and her drive to do a "man's" job.  I enjoy seeing NYC over 100 years ago.  And the 5th one had some surprising pro-life messages in there.  That was nice to see (I could also be reading too far into that one).  I plan to keep reading these! 3.25 Stars

Followers by Megan Angelo
I enjoy reading the occasional dystopian future and this was that.  It goes between two timelines - I think 2015 and 2050 or there abouts.  In 2015, a young woman and her roommate turn one of them into an internet sensation but then there is a mysterious event that isn't explained until almost the end of the book that causes most people to live their lives away from the government controlled web.  It takes the book to figure out what happened around 2015 to make people step away from the internet.  It was interesting and made me wary of the role technology plays in our lives. 3.25 Stars
All the Ways We Said Goodbye by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White
This was maybe my favorite read of the month and one I almost wrote a separate blog post for but...time.  I've read all of Beatriz Williams' books and really enjoyed this trio's first joint effort, The Forgotten Room. I enjoyed their second, The Glass Ocean less was was glad this new one was more like the first than the second.  It follows three different women in three time periods, who all spend considerable time at the Paris Ritz (where I just got sucked down a rabbit hole of looking at pictures, I'd like the suite with the rooftop patio and view of the Eiffel Tower, please).   The story lines cover parts of World Wars I and II and what these women did to survive those times.  Plus, there is a (mentioned but little seen) character named Diana, which OF COURSE I liked. 4 Stars

Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra
This is a modern retelling of Little Women, taking on the oldest two sisters.  I haven't read Little Women in 9 years and so the story details are a little fuzzy but I did enjoy when I figured out this modern take's interpretation of those events.  Meg is an overwhelmed stay-at-home Mom (I could relate) and Jo is a food blogger living in NYC (I could relate a little).   I found these faithful to the spirit of the books - the sisters are very there for each other, etc.  This painted Mr. March is a very poor light though, I don't really remember anything about him from the original except that he was gone.  3.5 Stars

The Secret of Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale
Southern novel about a group of 3 best friends.  There were definitely parts that made me a little eye-roll-y (maybe because I've never had friends close enough I'd want them in gynecologist appointments with me?) and some squeamish (the protagonist married her husband when she was 17 and he was 27 and he said he had been waiting for her to grow up for awhile.  Ick.).  But then I also shed A LOT of tears by the end so I still found it moving in some ways.  3 Stars

Books I Read to Luke (almost 7)
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Luke LOVES this book.  I was a little bummed when he said his teacher read it aloud to his class in the fall but he liked it just as much the second time through with me.  It is so well written and is interesting for both kids and adults.  I know I either read it myself or had it read to me as a kid but I forgot all the details so it was fun to read it again with him.  We have the live action movie ready for our next family movie night! 4 Stars

"B" is for Betsy by Carolyn Haywood 
I have very fond memories of reading some of the Betsy books as a girl after my godparents gave me two as a birthday presents one year.  I didn't know how Luke would feel about them but since the series starts with Betsy as a 1st grader, just like him, he was interested in them!  I think this one had a copyright of 1939 which means it's a little dated but that has good and bad parts.  We definitely intend to keep going with the series, I'm especially excited to get to the two that I still have my paperbacks of.  3.75 Stars
Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary 
I didn't read three chapter books with Luke this month but I realized this had never made any previous lists.  Luke and I started the Ralph series last summer (I remember finishing the first on our Michigan vacation last June) and finally finished it up, we are in the middle of quite a few series!  I think this one was the strongest of the three although in my head I had merged the stories from them all from my own childhood readings.  Luke liked the school setting and, again, a little dated (although decades newer than Betsy) but pretty enjoyable. 3.75 Stars

What have YOU been reading lately?  (I literally want everyone in my life to tell me everything they are reading at all times.  This is not an exaggeration.)

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