July 29, 2014

July Books

Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella  A
This is probably cheating because I've read it (several times) before.  But it's quite enjoyable and I think you should give it a go if you like sweet chick-flick love stories.  Of course, I don't actually like chick-flicks, so Sophie Kinsella is as "chicky" as I get.
To me, listening to her books is like watching a favorite movie again.  It's very comforting.

Teacher Man by Frank McCourt  B
I first read half of this book back in 2006.  My grandmother recommended it to me and I remember borrowing her copy.  Years later, I bought a copy at a used bookstore in Anchorage.  I finally finished it.  Only took 8 years… It's an interesting story and is pretty spot-on and he talks about his years as a public high school teacher in New York City.  Obviously I can't relate to all of it, but it was a good read, as far as memoirs go.  If you like non-fiction, and like to be amused by the wiley ways of high school students, you might want to give this a try.  McCourt is the Pulitzer Prize winner who wrote Angela's Ashes.

The Hatfields and McCoys by Otis K. Rice B-
This is not a Hatfield and McCoy book for beginners.  If you're a beginner, I recommend Blood Feud (it comes with a genealogy chart) and the mini-series that was on t.v. two years ago.  That will get you started.  This book dives right into things and is a good non-fiction refresher if you're familiar with the story of the two families.  It wasn't as fascinating as some other books I've read on the subject, but wasn't bad.

Delicious!  by Ruth Reichl  A+
This is possibly my favorite book so far this year.  I found it on the shelf of "new" audiobooks at the Ft. Carson Library and with 11 discs, it kept me busy for awhile.  I'd never heard of it before, but the blurb on the back seemed interesting enough so I figured I didn't have anything to lose.  It was wonderful.  If you like food, if you liked Julie and Julia, if you consider yourself a cook or baker at all, you will like this book.  It made me hungry and the characters were very well-written.  There's some twists involved and they don't explain everything all at once, which is a good thing!  Highly recommend!  Seriously.  Read this book. I was originally thinking this would make a fabulous movie, but it's too involved to be done justice in 2 hours.  I think it could easily be made into a t.v. show.

Five Days in November by Clint Hill A+
Clint Hill was Jackie Kennedy's secret service agent.  He told the story of JFK's assassination from his point of view.  It was FANTASTIC.  If you are interested in the Mad Men-era of history, or a Kennedy fan, this is a must-read This was a spectacular memoir and now I want to read his other book, Mrs. Kennedy and Me.  Probably the best non-fiction book I've read this year (Have I said that yet about a different book?  I can't remember…)

Yeah, Maybe by Joey Hodges A-
One of my best blog friends wrote a book!  Yeah, Maybe was just released two weeks ago and since I knew how long Joey had been working on it, I was pretty excited to read it.  It's about girls entering their freshman year of high school and the highs and pitfalls of having a best friend and losing a best friend.  It definitely made me cringe at the memory of my high school days. I was impressed with the level of character development and it was really easy to empathize with Annie, the main character.  The only downside was that Annie was a 14 year old girl, so while it's easy to look back (and, again, cringe), this is definitely a book for teens.  I'd call it "Judy Blume-esque", if you're looking or my professional opinion.  It was one of those easy reads that you just stay up super late to finish because you just-want-to-know-how-it-all-turns-out-already.  I read 3 chapters one night and the rest of it in a few hours a couple of nights later.  What was fun was that I could see elements of Joey in the book:  She loves coffee, the characters drink coffee.  She loves The Avett Brothers, so does the main character.  If you're looking for an easy end of summer read, it's $7.99 on Kindle.

French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano B+
I've been wanting to read this book for years.  It wasn't so much a diet book as it was an informative book about the French lifestyle.  I feel like I learned a lot from it.  Again, not necessarily diet tips, but it described, quite in-depthly, how the French people live, what they eat (it will make you hungry!), and how they raise their children to be lovers of food.  It's worth a read (or a listen) if you haven't already.

Since we're over halfway through the year, let's review.  I initially set a goal of 3 books a month.  I re-read some old favorites (or listened to them for fun), so I've only included new-to-me books on this list. 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
Altogether Dead by Charlaine Harris
From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris
Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris
Birthmarked by Carmagh O'Brien
Si-cology 101 by Si Robinson
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris
Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris
Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist
Prized by Carmagh O'Brien
Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
Killing Kennedy by Bill O'Reilly
Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris
Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris
Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay
The Legend of Diamond Lil by Doreen Cronin
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Z:  A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff…and it's all Small Stuff by Richard Carlson
Teacher Man by Frank McCourt
The Hatfields and McCoys by Otis K. Rice
Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano
Five Days in November by Clint Hill
Yeah, Maybe by Joey Hodges

33 new books by the end of July?  I'll take it.  I think I'll try to hit 50 by the end of 2014.  I can do 17 books in 5 months…right?


  1. You will definitely hit your goal!! That Five Days in November book sounds like something my husband would enjoy so much! I'm also a sucker for the "remember me" book. I listened to it on audiobook several years ago while getting our first apartment "move out ready." Thank you SO much for reading and reviewing my book. It is DEFINITELY a teen book, so I appreciate you taking the time to read it! <3 <3

  2. I recommend books in my monthly recommendations post, but I sort of feel like I should do a run down every month like this. I hate reading where people just copy & paste the book synopsis - no, I can read that on my own. I want to know if YOU liked it and maybe why.

    I bought Joey's book but it's e-reader and I hate e-reading so I'll read that one after I finish my library books.

    I don't read nonfiction but that Kennedy book interests me.

  3. Also! I'm on my 35th book of the year. My initial goal on Goodreads was 40. I think I'll hit 50. I am going to amend my goal!

  4. Keep on reading, good job! I'm behind on my goal but I'm slowly but surely getting to it :)

  5. You can definitely read that many! I read a ton, but I have no idea how many books I've actually read this year. I check Amazon once a week or so for what the top free downloads are. I usually find a few on there to read. I don't read anything classy, that's for sure. I tend to start one and finish it the same day though. It's hard for me to put one down and not finish it the same day. I think I have a problem.

  6. You'll definitely reach that goal! I took your suggestion of trying a Sophie Kinsella book from last month and read Remember Me and loved it! I checked out the rest of her books at the library and love them because they're easy, fast, entertaining reads. Thanks for the suggestion!

  7. You are on a roll! I'm disappointed in myself with the lack of reading this summer. But I'm going to blame it on reading The Chronicles of Narnia. I'm halfway through the 6th book and only have one more to, but I'm not enjoying them as much as I think I "should." If I ever finish them p, I'll be blogging about it!


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