Monday, June 15, 2020

Quick Lit - June

A lot of things have changed in my reading list in the past 30ish days.  BIG as in our libraries have reopened for curbside pick-up of holds AND they doubled our allowed holds from 5 to 10.  I added my new 5 holds on each of our 3 cards (myself, my husband, our 7 year old) within 20 minutes of that announcement going live.  I've made frequent stops, so frequent that I've picked up 83 books in less than a month; I REALLY missed library books.

I'm still reading some on my phone, since the library is a little slow on getting new releases but that will probably taper off now with my additional 5 holds (it's seriously magical).  Five of these were read on my phone which is still a significant percentage.  I will not miss the end to that much!

I'm on Goodreads here, Instagram here.  Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy.  And for once, I've had no other book posts in the past month!  I really try to blog less in the summer to spend more time with my boys!  Here's what I've been reading!

 Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
This came highly recommended by Annie B. Jones of The Bookshelf, about a young(ish) boy (10? 11?) who is the sole survivor of a plane crash that killed every other passenger and crew on board, including his parents and older brother.  He is sent to live with his only living relative - his aunt and uncle.  This means not only adapting to this new reality of his immediate family being gone AND worldwide notoriety, but also living in a completely new place.  That's a lot.  The book covers quite a few years, how he handles the immediate aftermath and goes through most of high school I think.  It was moving and heartbreaking and so good. 4 Stars

Being Known by Robin Jones Gunn
This is the newest book in the long going saga of Christy Miller and her Forever Friends.  This series centered around a new friend that first showed up in The Baby Years but Christy and Sierra are still pretty central characters.  The book felt a little preachy at time, a tone these don't usually have, but I still enjoyed reading more about the continued adventures of these friends and how they are coping with marriage and motherhood.  I've been reading about these characters for 2/3 of my life! 3.5 Stars

The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradel
I heard many good reviews for this one over the past year and when I needed a new book to read between waiting for others and this was immediately available on Libby, well it won.  Told in much the same format as Kitchens of the Great Midwest (which strangely I read right at the beginning of quarantine and this at the end of our hard-core quarantining), with each (long) chapter centering on a slightly different character whose arc overlapped with other chapters (a couple of characters may have had a few spread out chapters about them).  I don't drink much beer and know even less about how it's made but I still found this incredibly interesting and fascinating.  And beautiful writing.  3.75 Stars

The Island by Elin Hilderbrand
I've been reading this every Memorial Day weekend for many years now and so enjoy how it kicks off my reading summer.  2 sisters, their mother, and their aunt spend a month on Tuckernuck island, a small island off the coast of Nantucket.  Their only power is through a generator and only water is cold, unless heated on their camp stove.  All 4 ladies of romantic problems with various partners but I enjoy how they find what matters most while living so rustically.  I really enjoy this book. 4.5 Stars

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hen Wen
I had heard this was a fast paced YA novel about a teen who is sent to spend the summer living in Taipei to learn more about her heritage before she goes to college.  I think I started reading it too fast so the first 1/3 was just a blur to me but then I slowed down a bit and enjoyed it more.  It's not even my favorite YA book I've read this year but it was moving in the end.  3 Stars

The Last Illusion, The Amersham Rubies by Rhys Bowen
The Last Illusion was my last unread physical library book when the libraries reopened, I had been reading so many e-books I hadn't gotten to it.  The magician setting wasn't my favorite but I still find Molly compelling, even if I've slowed down my reading of her a bit.  Amersham is a short story set before the series that I bought through Kindle with digital credits.  It took 11 minutes to read but did help give a little context for the start of the series (it was written much later on). 3.25 Stars

Pastry Love: A Baker's Journal of Favorite Recipes by Joanne Chang
Ohhhhh...I love a good pastry and this was written by the founder of a bakery we visited when we were in Boston.  I picked up the physical copy shortly before the library closed and then, when I finally read it, marked TOO MANY recipes I want to try.  I should have read it earlier in quarantine when I had more time at home!  This would be one I'd consider buying since I am interested in making more pastries! 4 Stars

All Adults Here by Emma Straub
This was described, somewhere, as having similar vibes to The Family Stone, a movie I watch faithfully every Thanksgiving Eve while addressing my Christmas cards.  That made it a no-brainer to pick-up.  It's about a widowed mother, her 3 adult children, and specifically, ~13 year old granddaughter, who mostly live in a small-ish town on the outskirts of NYC.  It felt like a lot of current issues were packed in (gay marriage! Transgendered! abortion!) when maybe just picking one or two would have been better.  These were not people I was entirely cheering for, they had questionable motivations at time but I was glad to see them all settled and things mostly resolved in the end. 3.25 Stars

Savannah from Savannah by Denise Hildreth
This is a reread although I hadn't read it since before I started using Goodreads so it's been awhile.  I have memories of first reading this my senior year of college, when I first started to emerge from my "most of college reading slump".  I had planned on rereading it this year in anticipation of our planned trip to Charleston, South Carolina with a day trip to Savannah, Georgia...but then that got canceled (by our Air BnB host).  I really identified with Savannah when I first read this since she was freshly out of college and finding her way.  Our lives are a little different now although I do remember what it was like to be early 20s and freshly into the workforce!  I like her pluck and devotion to her family and Cokes.  I still, maybe 4 readings in, don't really care about beauty pageants but I still enjoy spending time with Savannah.  And maybe someday we'll enjoy spending time in Savannah the city again.  3.25 Stars

Go to Sleep (I Miss You): Cartoons from the Fog of New Parenthood by Lucy Knisley
Graphic novels aren't something I've read many of but I think I've read all of Lucy Knisley's.  I could completely relate to the title alone, how many times have I just wanted to the boys to go to then Matt and I can discuss all their cute (and frustrating) moments.  And look at pictures of them being adorable.  This was a quick read but worthwhile and enjoyable.  3.75 Stars

L'Art de la Liste: Simplify, Organise and Enrich Your Life by Dominique Loreau
I LOVE a good list.  They are right up there with spreadsheets in terms of my favorite organizing tools.  However, I didn't understand this book.  It encouraged the reader to make approximately 1,000 different list as a form of journaling but then maybe make little lists but transfer them to a computer program at the end of the day so you never run out of space.  I don't know, it did give me a few ideas I'll probably incorporate into my bullet journal but I didn't get much out of it otherwise.  2.5 Stars

Read with Luke
Better Together by Kallie George
The 3rd book in the Heartwood Hotel series that I've been rereading (at his request) to him this year.  This was the spring book even though we finished it after school was out (but school was also out extra early this year).  We have really enjoyed these, it makes me a little sad to think that he might outgrow them before the seasons line up to start them again! 4 Stars

That's what I've been reading, how about you?

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