Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Quick Lit - July 2021

Happy Quick Lit!  July has been a good reading month for me so far and I hope to keep that momentum going for awhile!  I don't know what it is but our days seem to have a bit more margin in them lately.  I don't know if it's getting up BEFORE THE SUN (5:30am) and thus giving me time to read in the mornings or not planning my whole day around school runs (ALLELUIA) or less time on my phone (very likely helpful), but I've been getting in more reading time lately and I love it.  Also, still reading to the boys and reading more to Luke when Sam is "napping".  Summer has gotten busy, fitting in all kinds of fun things but there is still a lot of downtime which is so crucial to my sanity.  July is the best month of the year (a fact) and I love it!

I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy, post about some books on Instagram here, and about all the books I read (to myself and my boys) on Goodreads here!

Two other book posts in the past month:

Things Luke (8¼) and Sam (3¼) Like

Now everything else I've read!

The Road Trip by Beth O'Leary
This was the third of hers I've read over the past few years and not my favorite.  Ex's get thrown together in a tight car while they are going to the same wedding with some other people.  Adventures abound, even more problems.  Why they broke up is very slowly revealed.  Also, British.  I read it shortly after our own road trip which, thankfully, had 0 ex's (neither of us have any anyways...) and no car problems (praise the Lord.). 3 Stars

Don't Make Me Turn This Life Around by Camille Pagan
This has a fantastic cover but I really remember very few details about the plot.  Like...off the top of my head I remember NOTHING.  It was short, under 300 pages, and I know I read it fast and liked picking it up but all I even vaugely remember about the plot is that someone maybe was dissatisfied with their life...and then they maybe want to turn it around??  Hahahaha, ok, I've got nothing but I know I enjoyed it when I read it.  3 Stars

Beth and Amy by Virginia Kantra
I had read the first in this series, Meg & Jo, over a year ago and quite enjoyed the modern adaptation of Little Women.  Meg is a housewife, Jo is a food blogger, Beth is finding her place with her music, and Amy is trying not to crush on Laurie too much.  I think I liked this second one even more, with the bond and problems of the sisters, and the Amy & Laurie romance.  I haven't read the actual Little Women in 10 years but I still remembered enough that made these extra fun to read. 3.5 Stars

Satisfied: Finding Hope, Joy, and Contentment Right Where You Are by Alyssa Bethke
Alyssa Bethke is someone I trust to write good non-fiction about life and faith and family and how to meld all those but still be a person.  Also, she lives in Hawaii with her family which sounds dreamy but I'm sure it's not always so.  This is VERY much a faith based book, about how to find satisfaction by seeking Jesus in your life.  I know that's not for everyone but I really appreciated her words on the subject. 3.75 Stars

Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey
Kerry Winfrey has been a consistently reliable author for me with her last 3 books.  This one was less YA, the protagonist was mid-late 20s I believe.  She feels a little lost in life and then falls in a bit in love with a "hot Mr. Rogers", a man about her age who does a local tv show with puppets and talking to children in a gentle manner.  That might sound a little off putting but trust me, it was enjoyable.  Also set in Columbus, Ohio which I have little experience with but I appreciate a Midwest setting all the same.  3.75 Stars

Starfish by Lisa Fipps
Middle grade novel told in verse from the perspective of a pre-teen (12? 10? I don't remember) who is larger and whose mother is uncomfortable with this fact.  She is comfortable only in the pool where she feels close to weightless.  It was moving and had a lot of fun little details in the story like making a new friend who can only speak in rushed sentences at a time at the peak of her jumps on the trampoline next door.  Quick read but a good one. 3.75 Stars

Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau
Like a chaste Center Stage (I loved me some Center Stage the spring I graduated from high school...a really long time ago) but set in Paris and with A LOT more pastries.  I know the tiniest bit of ballet from the tiny bit we had with color guard in high school (and many viewings of Center Stage) and know a tiny bit about Paris (from our 8 hours above ground there 9 years ago) but neither of those really matter and this would still be really fun YA without those connections. 3.75 Stars

That Summer by Jennifer Weiner
Did I initially want to pick this up because, not only was there a character named Diana BUT also that the story line hinged on this fact???  Yes, absolutely that had something to do with it.  A bit of a mind twister where what I thought the book was originally about was not quite what it was about and the leading into untangling that was an enjoyable read.  Also, two characters named Diana and that lovely peachy cover.  4 Stars

Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson
This is one I already had on my TBR but then I bought at The Bookshelf in Thomasville, GA when I convinced my husband to add almost 2 hours to what turned out to be a 20½ hour drive home (the man is a saint, at times).  I had scoured their website before the trip so I could have an idea of what I wanted to buy and this was one I picked since I knew I wanted to read it, Morgan Matson is pretty reliably good YA, and it was a hardcover for under $20.  Then at checkout the lady pointed out that the back cover had a large picture of a dog.  I hadn't looked at the back and really considered telling her I didn't want it because the only Morgan Matson book I haven't enjoyed had WAY TOO MUCH DOG in the story line.  LUCKILY, this one had some dog but it was a bearable enough amount for me.

A story told mostly over the course of one evening of two BFFs having adventures in NYC with no cell phones and without parental permission. I imagine it would be especially fun if you come from a theater world but I don't and I still really enjoyed this.  Hijixs ensued AND it made me want to go back to NYC AND see a Broadway show.  It was really fun and I really enjoyed it. 4 Stars

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
Another slightly twisty novel where you don't get the whole truth of what happened (on many fronts) until the end of the book.  The relationship between twin sisters, one with sensory issues and the other who might be a bit manipulative.  There is an semi-accidental pregnancy, a library features heavily, a romantic interest living in a van on purpose, and a lot of sister drama.  This is how I like my twisty novels, not too dark but lots of intrigue.  3.5 Stars

Anne of Manhattan by Brina Starler
This is a very progressive retelling of Anne of Green Gables set in modern times where Anne & Gilbert grow up together on Long Island and then run back into each other in college in Manhattan.  All the major characters are there, just in very different versions of the classic book.  It was certainly more open door than I was expecting and there were a lot of character adaptations that I found...puzzling.  I think Beth & Amy (above) was a better modern retelling of classic lit, even if I am more familiar with the Anne story.  Also, the THIRD book on the list this month with a character named Diana.  I know this Diana goes far back but I really think my name is having a comeback, I keep seeing it pop-up.  3.25 Stars

The Guncle by Steven Rowley
This is the story of gay uncle Patrick, GUP, who takes the two young (6 and 9) kids of his brother and deceased BFF (who had gotten married and Patrick felt a bit pushed out by that) in the summer immediately after the kids' mother dies.  They are all grieving together in Palm Springs.  It was a very encouraging story despite the grief, GUP working through his own grief while also helping the kids through theirs but still helping them just be kids.  It was also more open door than I would have liked but only two instances I think, the relationship between GUP and the kids was ridiculously charming and heartwarming.  3.25 Stars

Read with Luke
The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
I either read this and/or had it read to me by my Mom when I was a kid.  I think I may have made a shoe box diorama?  I started this with Luke on our vacation and then it took me exactly a month to finish with him (those 130 pages are dense!) but once we got going we enjoyed the story.  I only remember bits of the story (really the overview version) so it was fun to be surprised right along with Luke.  I think this covered Native Americans and Americans' problematic relationship rather well - there is talk from the Native Americans about how the white man is taking their land and why that is presenting a problem.  The boy at the center of the story, Matt, thinking this is wrong but also knowing his family is looking to move here and that he is still alive at the mercy of the Native Americans who keep saving his life and teaching him skills.  It was a good way to introduce Luke to issues like that but also in an enjoyable survival read.  3.5 Stars

What have YOU been reading lately???

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