August 14, 2023

June and July (and August so far) Books.

First up, the chapter books Wells and I read:

Sunset of the Sabertooth

Midnight on the Moon

Ghost Town at Sundown

That's nine Magic Treehouse books so far this summer and he has officially lost interest in them. 

He's back into non-fiction fossil and snake books and has a particular interest in the rainforest right now. 

Next, I did not finish:

The Party Crasher by Sophie Kinsella --quit at 28%

I felt like we got the meat of the story in the first 10%. Like, that was it. It was interesting and I wanted to know more but then it just became a story of unfortunate hijinks (I'm assuming...I quit right when things were getting silly).

The Prisoner by B.A. Paris -- quit at 20%

Meh. I didn't really care. I hate descriptive build-the-setting with your imagination books and since the main character was trapped in a room in the present-day scenes, I skimmed a bunch. But then I also didn't like the backstory that was happening in the past. It just seemed dumb? Something about some very shallow characters? For some reason, it reminded me of The Boxcar Children the way things started falling together and into place in such a shallow way. 

Happy Place by Emily Henry -- quit at about 50 pages

The cover of this book is so gorgeous. I admit, 50 pages is as far as I've ever gotten in an Emily Henry book. I wanted to like it, I really did. 

My library hold for Spare also came in after 8(!) months. It's. an. ebook. I have no intention of reading it. I just wanted to see how long it would take to get the opportunity to read it through our slightly-worthless Pulaski County library system. (I was in there hoping to find a few picture books the other day...they don't even have a card catalog system for patrons to use. I was *slightly horrified*.)

I DID finish these: 

Raising Emotionally Strong Boys by David Thomas

Someone posted this online and I was reminded that I wanted to read it. #1 because I have a young boy. #2 because I'm about to move back into the world of spending my days with all kinds of 8 and 9 year old boys. I feel like knowing this information might make that easier to navigate. And, yes, I could see exactly where Thomas' ideas could've fit in beautifully to classes I had in the past. 

Unfortunately, this isn't super applicable to Wells. Most of the examples in the book were about adolescents. There's a lot of information about how to lay foundations as parents though, so it's worth a read if you have boys at home!

I really do like David Thomas and Sissy Goff. They're great at what they do so I think this is credible and important information. They do the Raising Boys and Girls podcast together.

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch

Okay, take back what I said about that above book^. THIS is the book every parent needs to read. It's actually applicable to anyone, parent or not. It hits on our own entitlement as first-world citizens and how we need to focus on ourselves and our kids when it comes to being grateful. It really goes into "main character syndrome". We all think we're the center of the universe and that's just not how it works. 

It's so much more practical than a book by a therapist. It gives the reader real advice, anecdotal stories and experiences, and a-ha moments (for me at least!). 

I listened to the audio and didn't like the narration at all but I was so into the book that I didn't even care once it got going. Seriously, this is the book everyone (parents, grandparents, teachers) needs to read. 

Little Girl Vanished by Denise Grover Swank

I have fallen off the DGS train a bit in the last few years because I wasn't super into some of her books. But I still get her newsletters through email and saw this new series that released this month. 

This was put together well. It was a good story. Sad, of course, with lots of true crime elements thrown in. I like her writing because it's easy to follow. She does add in lots of characters you have to keep straight, especially toward the end. It's worth a read and I'll be getting the next in the series when it releases in January. DGS is pretty easy to follow along with because she does put out multiple books a year. 

It's One of Us by JT Ellison 

This pulled me in right away. It gets weird-ish and kind of predictable kind of quickly but I find that about all JT Ellison books. Suspend your belief. Especially at the end. However, it, I think, exposes so very heard truths about the fertility industry when you really think about what's happening in the book. 

The Beach at Summerly by Beatriz Williams

This author will never let you down. She's the only historical fiction I will even attempt to pick up these days. I burned myself out on HF between 2012-2016 so I tend to stay away from it. But I like that she can write about WWII without actually writing about WWII. All of her books are that way! I actually did this on Audible because I had a credit to spend. Highly recommend. Not as good as Our Woman in Moscow from 2021 (which I read in hardcover) but it's still really good. Go read her backlog if you have an itch for historical fiction. You won't be disappointed. The bonus is that there's a through-line of characters between Our Woman in Moscow and The Summer Wives (if you read that one) but you don't have to have read those to understand this. 

Ward D by Freida McFadden

I read all her books in the last year because they're so quick and enthralling. This is a good one too but I'd say it'd make a better horror movie than a book. The ending was very good. All of her books have a little twist at the end. 

Just the Nicest Couple by Mary Kubica

I couldn't put this one down. I sat hunched over on a bar stool on a Sunday night just trying to finish it. Seriously very, very good. I can't believe it only has 3.5 stars on Goodreads. It's a suspenseful thriller. That's all you need to know going into it. 


Half a year into my 50 book goal, I am about two books behind, but I have all of these half finished. 

I am who I am. I just hop from one to another, depending on my mood. 

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