Total books read during month: 23
Total books read during 2017: 81 (119 books until goal)
Least favorite book read this month: I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe
Books I did not finish this month: None, actually! I finished all the books I started this month.
(fyi, any links to Amazon are affiliate links and I will make a small percentage if you click through and purchase)
The Idle Parent by Tom Hodgkinson
This was a humorous take on hands off parenting. Fun to read, but I’d definitely recommend Simplicity Parenting or The Danish Way of Parenting if you really want a good, practical book on this subject.
The Last Silk Dress by Ann Rinaldi
This is an old favorite-I must have read it 15-20 times as a teenager. I found it used earlier this year and snapped it up because it’s such a great memory. This is like a nice young adult version of Gone With the Wind, and tells the story of a teenage girl coming of age during the Civil War.
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
I loved this book. It’s not marketed as a YA, but it could be one. The main character is eleven years old, and the story focuses on her maturing and turning into a teen during a time of great uproar in the world because the entire world has slowed in its rotation. The days slowly become longer and longer, and everyone attempts to go on with the different struggles of regular life while dealing with the new routines. The pacing and feeling of this book reminded me of Station Eleven, which is one of my all time favorite books.
(Side note, anytime I see a book where the entire title is in lowercase, I think to myself-here is someone else who struggles to remember how to properly capitalize titles.)
Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan
(This was given to me by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion-all thoughts are my own. It will be released on May 23rd.)
This was an unusual book, and again, it reminded me a bit of Station Eleven. The story takes place in the future, and to achieve Utopia and a blending of all races, no one has a specific home anymore-they rotate every few years, and no one is allowed to pair up and have children until they are in their mid thirties. Quite in defiance of this, Carys and Max strike up a relationship. The story jumps back and forth between their meeting and the progression of their relationship, and the present time, when they are floating in space with only 90 minutes of air left. It’s a surprising book through and through.
The Lake House by Kate Morton
I love Kate Morton-The House at Riverton is one of my favorites-and this was not a disappointment. I love how she weaves all the little pieces together and makes them into a believable story, and her style of telling part of the story now and part in the past makes it even more interesting.
Spaceman by Mike Massimino
(This was given to me by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion-all thoughts are my own.)
Well, I love astronaut stories, so it’s no surprise that I loved this book. I find it absolutely fascinating how someone progresses to become an astronaut, and the hard work that Massimino put into achieving his dream was really inspiring. That being said, the two main things I took away from this book are this: the author once physically, with his own hands, just plain old ripped a piece off the Hubble telescope when the screws stripped and he couldn’t get it off the way that had been planned and practiced repeatedly; and his next door neighbor, also an astronaut, was Tom Cruise’s flight stunt double in Top Gun.
The Lost City of Z by David Grann
This is coming out-or is already out-as a movie, and I cannot see the movie without reading the book so I bumped this to the top of my TBR pile. While there are some dry parts, this is a nonfiction book that reads like a novel. You get the parallel stories of the author, traveling to the Amazon, and the tale of Percy Fawcett, who disappeared in the same area almost a century ago.
The Perfect Day Formula by Craig Ballantyne
I won this in a giveaway forever ago, and I just now got around to reading it. It is SO GOOD. You may remember that I’m a big fan of The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, and this book is a perfect compliment to that one. It lays out in detail some tips for not only starting your day right but keeping it productive and enjoyable so you can achieve what you need and want to get done.
Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky
This is such a fun and unusual book. Each spread has a beautiful illustration of a female scientist on the left and a short summary of their life and accomplishments on the right. The colors and doodles are gorgeous and you learn so much. This would be a great read along book to teach your kids about women in science.
Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider
Tsh’s new book was coming out later in the month, and I wanted to reread this one before I started it. This has a lovely mix of tips for living intentionally and personal anecdotes, and Tsh’s writing style is so honest and down to earth.
Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott
Jennifer’s blog and YouTube channel are so inspiring, and I don’t know why it’s taken this long for me to read her book! She has several more and I’m going to have to check those out soon. She’s so classy and her tips are timeless. I love her modern and yet modest approach to clothing and comportment.
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
A childhood classic that I haven’t read in years-if you have only seen the movie, the book is excellent. It’s a short read and totally worth it.
The Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown
I thought I knew the story of the Donner party, but there was so much more that happened that I never knew about. For me the most depressing part was not the actual cannibalism that happened, but the callousness of some of the rescuers. One of the most shocking accounts was of two men who hiked in to help but ended up leaving without assisting anyone out, not even the two adults and five children they found in a hole in the snow halfway between the camp and the nearest settlement.
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
This was a very quick read, but very fun. It’s a cute story and I think the little illustrations inside give it a little something extra. I do think that story could have been a little more developed-the premise was really interesting and I wish it was fleshed out a bit more, but I often feel that way about YA novels. The movie is coming out any day now and I’m looking forward to it, I’m interested to see what they keep from the novel and what they add.
At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider
Fantastic! So inspiring and full of fun stories as well. This is strictly a memoir, and not a mix of advice and personal stories like Notes from a Blue Bike. I had the pleasure of being involved in a live discussion with Tsh on release day, and it was so interesting to hear her talk about the stories surrounding the book. I’ve read her blog for years and I remember the time period when she was traveling, so it was even more interesting because I felt like I was reading about a friend. The fact that she has three kids, like I do, and was still able to travel gave me a bit of courage to think about attempting something similar on a smaller scale.
Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson
Gregson is my favorite contemporary poet. His Instagram and website are full of inspirational poems and beautiful photographs (he’s a professional photographer as well) and his books are amazing.
I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe
Unfortunately, I really didn’t care for this book. I found the characters to be really unlikeable and I couldn’t get into the story, which was shame because I thought the premise (a woman dresses as a man to join her husband in fighting in the Civil War) sounded really interesting.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
This is one of my all time favorite books, and I was rereading it as part of the traveling book club I participated in during the last year. I had read it last during the spring of 2016, so it was really interesting to reread it almost a year later and see how my thoughts compared. I got so much more out of it this time-I love the pace and feeling of the book, and I picked up so many more little nuances this time around.
Wildly into the Dark by Tyler Knott Gregson
I didn’t like this collection of poems as much as Chasers of the Light, but it was still excellent and full of lovely poems. This book felt much more personal, like an extended love letter.
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
Interesting tales. Some were definitely better than others-the title story was extremely captivating-but they all had some merit. There was some derogatory language in the last section that I could have done without, but that can be attributed to the fact that this was first published in 1970 and views were much different then.
The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this one. I loved how competent Juliana/Alex/Ollie was, and that for once the female of the story was not the bumbling idiot. It was over 500 pages and I wished it was longer-I kept thinking about it afterwards. I wonder if she might consider a sequel?
The Great American Elephant Chase by Gillian Cross
Another old favorite from my childhood, I found this at a used book sale and couldn’t leave without it. Obviously a children’s book, but still very fun to read and I look forward to introducing my kids to it.
The Course of Love by Alain de Botton
Well, I loved a lot about this book. It presented a very real and practical view of marriage and love, with a lot of solid advice paralleling a story of a couple meeting, falling in love, and marrying-and then continuing after, when most stories stop. I wouldn’t have minded if it had followed their relationship all the way until the end, but it left off after they had been together about 15 years. I didn’t care for how graphic some of the sexual language was at times, but I suppose the author felt it was fitting for the situation. A very interesting book and one that is not really like anything I’ve read before.