Two twelve hour travel days helped me read most of the books on my list this month! Intellectually, I knew how long it would take to get from North Carolina to Alaska, but actually living it is a whole other story!! I had some great plane time reading, though, and I’m looking forward to a few other trips in July to cross some more titles off my TBR list! What have you been reading this month?
Read this Month
Maria by Maria Augusta von Trapp — Who loves the movie The Sound of Music?? Musicals were the soundtrack of my childhood and I can still sing along to most of the songs from Music Man, Easter Parade, Singin’ in the Rain, My Fair Lady, Hello Dolly — the list goes on and on, but The Sound of Music is one of a kind in my opinion. So when I saw Maria’s autobiography on the shelf at my local library, I added it to my stack. Overall — this was a unique glimpse into Maria’s life, although I didn’t know that her previous work — The Story of the Trapp Family Singers is more about the early to mid years of her life and this one was about the later ones. However, I still found it fascinating to read more about Maria, her family, and the differences between reality and the movies. (3/5)
Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman – I bought this book a while ago and started reading it when quite a few library holds became available so I switched to them and set this one down. Picked it up again this month, and I am so glad I did. I’ve enjoyed Emily’s blog for a while, but this is the first of her four books that I’ve read. Highly recommend this challenge to embrace small moment living. (5/5)
The One in a Million Boy by Monica Wood – Book one of my summer reading club books, I wrote a detailed review when this book was featured as the extraordinary everyday read of the week. In short, this was a sweet, unique read with an unlikely cast of characters that you will end up loving in all their quirkiness. (3.5/5)
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney – If this wasn’t book 2 in my summer reading club, I would have stopped reading it. The basic synopsis is about four adult children whose father left them what he thought would be a modest trust for their later years which instead now amounts to millions…well it did…until chapter one when one of the siblings is caught in an unseemly situation with a myriad of social implications. The mother and holder of the trust uses most of the money to keep the disgrace out of the papers. However, each sibling was depending on “The Nest” too much and this sudden turn of events wreaks havoc in their lives. I found this novel to be inappropriate throughout with many adult themes, vulgar and graphic language, a dismal view of family dysfunction, and barely one likable character in the over 300 pages. (2/5)
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom – I heard this would be a tough read, but well worth it, and I would agree. Taking place in the late 1700s, early 1800s, this book follows two strong women living on a southern plantation on either side of the racial divide. Extenuating circumstances thrust them together time enough to forge deep bonds, and then life and social expectations attempt to pull them apart. Let me warn you — heavy, heavy themes with not much light shining through (as that horrible time was in America); however, the character development is excellent and the themes of loyalty, family, and sacrifice have never meant so much. (3.5/5)
Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek, MD and T.J. Mitchell – My favorite classes in nursing school were microbiology and pathophysiology so I’m a little bit of nerd when it comes to medical topics. Therefore, I quite enjoyed this book by Dr. Melinek that was basically a memoir of her first two years as a medical examiner in New York City. Real life stories are not for the faint at heart (or queasy in stomach) but Melinek is only graphic in a story telling sense, not for shock value. She was in NYC for 9/11 and was one of the medical examiners that covered that event which was a chapter I did not expect. (4/5)
Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman – I bought this one after loving Simply Tuesday, and so far I feel like I’m reading about thoughts that occur inside my own head!! I’ve highlighted so much in this book, so glad I bought it so I can refer back to it.
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande – Finally received this book again after waiting on the hold list since the last time I checked this out, my loan ran out before I could finish. Looking forward to continuing to read this intriguing book.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – I’m pretty sure at one point I was forty-first on the hold list for this book; however, I’ve finally obtained it and from all that I’ve heard, it’s going to be an amazing read.
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson – I may give this one another chance, but right now, I’m going to focus on the new holds I just received from the library. I’ve heard Atkinson recommended on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s podcast, so I grabbed this one on the last library trip. So far — it’s odd? I realize (sort of) what the author is trying to do, but it’s just not holding my interest.
Bought/Received this Month
Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman — see above, a great buy!
I Don’t Wait Anymore by Grace Thornton — I won this book in a contest on Becca’s blog — you can check out her post for a great summary, so I’ll leave you with the subtitle, “Letting Go of Expectations and Grasping God’s Great Adventure for You.” Can’t wait to dive into this one!
Breaking Up with Perfect by Amy Carroll – a birthday gift from a close friend, the subtitle on this one is “Kiss Perfection Good-Bye and Embrace the Joy God Has in Store for You” — I’ve made no secret on how I struggle with perfectionism – in fact I’ve written about it here and here. Excited to read another perspective!
I have a few more trips this month, so I’m looking forward to more reading time. Besides my library holds, I have three more books left in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s summer reading club, so those are definitely on the list!
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