Posted in Books and Shows

June: What I’ve Been Reading

Well, my summer reading is off to a good start! It’s been nice to have some extra time to read. Whether I’m at the pool, killing time between ball games, or reading before bed, I always make sure to have a book on my Kindle as well as a book to read.

I was able to read five books this month!

This month I read…

{As always, book summaries are from Goodreads…}

Good Apple: Tales of a Southern Evangelical in New York

Good Apple

Summary:

Elizabeth Passarella is content with being complicated. She grew up in Memphis in a conservative, Republican family with a Christian mom and a Jewish dad. Then she moved to New York, fell in love with the city—and, eventually, her husband—and changed. Sort of. While her politics have tilted to the left, she still puts her faith first—and argues that the two can go hand in hand, for what it’s worth. 

In this sharp and slyly profound memoir, Elizabeth shares stories about everything from conceiving a baby in an unair-conditioned garage in Florida to finding a rat in her bedroom. She upends stereotypes about Southerners, New Yorkers, and Christians, making a case that we are all flawed humans simply doing our best. Good Apple is a hilarious, welcome celebration of the absurdity, chaos, and strange sacredness of life that brings us all together, whether we have city lights or starry skies in our eyes. More importantly, it’s about the God who pursues each of us, no matter our own inconsistencies or failures, and shows us the way back home. 

Quick Thoughts:

…or not so quick thoughts…I could probably write a whole post on just this book. I loved and appreciated it that much.

It was so funny, and Elizabeth Passarella certainly has a way with words! Passarella is a Southern Living columnist who was raised in the south but is raising her kids in NYC.

The book touched on raising kids, manners, education, religion and more.

Chapter 15 was one that hit home with me. I loved her perspective on minor issues like why she doesn’t pack her kids’ lunches and bigger issues such as how she came about making the decision on where to send her kids to school.

She talks about school lunches being free. She says, “They’re (Dept of Ed) trying to soften the lines between kids who have no other option and kids who show up with salmon sashimi.” She just puts a funny spin on something that’s so true…even school lunches show the who the “haves” and the “have-nots” are. She says, “I like that idea, everyone being in the same boat. There are ample other ways for kids to congregate into haves and have-nots.”

Honestly, for me in regards to lunch packing, I just don’t need one more thing to do. 😆 (I will offer to help my kids pack their lunches right after dinner…but it’s only during that window of time that I will offer to help if they want to take me up on it.) I really appreciated her thoughts and perspective.

She says, “The way I see it, for us, there’s no downside. School lunch is character building.” They have to stand in line in the cafeteria, practice patience and flexibility, and deal with disappointment. None of that can hurt.” *She does also acknowledge that her kids are good eaters and have no allergies, so she doesn’t have to stress about school lunch offerings.

She just provides a real and refreshing perspective with her thoughts.

As far as schools go, she referenced how sometimes parents make a decision based on nostalgia, feeling like they should replicate their childhoods for their kids based on how they grew up (which she had that frame of mind in the beginning as well). She shares her conclusion that God put them where they are supposed to be and they (kids and parents) can “bloom where planted.” It was just such an interesting take on school choice and perspective when making these decisions.

I’ve actually made decisions for my kids because I was nostalgic about things I didn’t experience in my childhood (although it was a good one 😉) We had kids in our neighborhood but nothing like what my kids have now which we thought about when choosing our current home. Also, we moved when I was in the 7th grade which was a difficult transition for me. So, Travis and I were intentional about moving to an area where we put trust in a solid k-12 school experience for our kids and are hopeful that path continues to be a great fit for them.

This book was funny, informational and insightful.

Rating:

The Good Sister:

The Good Sister

Summary:

From the outside, everyone might think Fern and Rose are as close as twin sisters can be: Rose is the responsible one and Fern is the quirky one. But the sisters are devoted to one another and Rose has always been Fern’s protector from the time they were small.

Fern needed protecting because their mother was a true sociopath who hid her true nature from the world, and only Rose could see it. Fern always saw the good in everyone. Years ago, Fern did something very, very bad. And Rose has never told a soul. When Fern decides to help her sister achieve her heart’s desire of having a baby, Rose realizes with growing horror that Fern might make choices that can only have a terrible outcome. What Rose doesn’t realize is that Fern is growing more and more aware of the secrets Rose, herself, is keeping. And that their mother might have the last word after all.

Quick Thoughts:

This book was just ok to me. I know a lot of people have read it and liked it, but it seemed rather predictable. I did breeze right through it, and the plot does provide a few twists and turns.

Rating:

Girls of Summer:

Girls of Summer

Summary:

Lisa Hawley is perfectly satisfied living on her own. Having fully recovered from a brutal divorce nearly two decades earlier, she has successfully raised her kids, Juliet and Theo, seeing them off to college and beyond. As the owner of a popular boutique on Nantucket, she’s built a fulfilling life for herself on the island where she grew up. With her beloved house in desperate need of repair, Lisa calls on Mack Whitney, a friendly–and very handsome–local contractor and fellow single parent, to do the work. The two begin to grow close, and Lisa is stunned to realize that she might be willing to open up again after all . . . despite the fact that Mack is ten years her junior.

Juliet and Theo worry that Mack will only break their mother’s heart–and they can’t bear to see her hurt again. Both stuck in ruts of their own, they each hope that a summer on Nantucket will provide them with the clarity they’ve been searching for. When handsome entrepreneur Ryder Hastings moves to the island to expand his environmental nonprofit, Juliet, an MIT-educated web designer, feels an immediate attraction, one her rocky love life history pushes her to deny at first. Meanwhile, free spirit Theo finds his California bliss comes to a brutal halt when a surfing injury forces him back to the East Coast. Upon his return, he has eyes only for Mack’s daughter, Beth, to whom he is bound by an unspeakable tragedy from high school. Can they overcome their past?

As the season unfolds, a storm threatens to shatter the peace of the golden island, forcing Lisa, Juliet, and Theo to decide whether their summer romances are destined for something more profound. Nancy Thayer dazzles again in this delightful tale of family, a reminder that sometimes, finding our way back home can bring us unexpected gifts.

Quick Thoughts:

This book was on my Summer Reading list. I’ve always enjoyed Thayer books, and this one didn’t disappoint. I enjoyed the character relationships; I thought it was interesting how the characters were “paired up” with parallel story lines. Also, for me, the story wrapped up nicely!

Rating:

The Last Thing He Told Me:

The Last Thing He Told Me

Summary:

Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered; as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss; as a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth, together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated.

Quick Thoughts:

This book seems to be a popular one, and I can understand the hype! This was a pretty good read and unlike any other book I’ve read in regards to how the story unfolds. Like the summary says, “Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity…” and that part kind of nagged a me a bit while reading and didn’t think some of it seemed feasible. Overall, I understand the hype of this book, and the ending had a moment, that as a reader, I enjoyed.

Rating:

Here’s to Us:

Here’s to Us

Summary:

Celebrity chef Deacon Thorpe has always been a force of nature with an insatiable appetite for life. But after that appetite contributes to Deacon’s shocking death in his favorite place on earth, a ramshackle Nantucket summer cottage, his (messy, complicated) family is reeling. Now Deacon’s three wives, his children, and his best friend gather on the island he loved to say farewell. The three very different women have long been bitter rivals, each wanting to claim the primary place in Deacon’s life and his heart. But as they slowly let go of the resentments they’ve held onto for years and remember the good times, secrets are revealed, confidences are shared, and improbable bonds are formed as this unlikely family says goodbye to the man who brought them all together, for better or worse–and the women he loved find new ways to love again.

Quick Thoughts:

Of course, for me, Hilderbrand never disappoints, and I loved this book. I thought the best part was that the story centered around Deacon’s three wives (two ex-wives + current wife) after his passing. Each wife is so different, and holds a special tie to Deacon. Also, because he was a chef, Hilderbrand includes an occasional recipe of Deacon’s mixed in to the story which I thought was a fun touch. I really enjoyed this book, and it is another one I can cross off my Summer Reading list.

Rating:

Summer Reading Update:

Here are the books on my Summer Reading list….

I’m mixing them in with other books that I want to read.

  • Here’s to Us: read!
  • Big Summer: just picked up from the library!
  • The Summer House: just downloaded to my Kindle!
  • Girls of Summer: read!
  • That Summer: on the library wait list
  • Golden Girl: on the library wait list

What have you been reading lately?

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links…}

7 thoughts on “June: What I’ve Been Reading

  1. Oooo! I need to get on the hold list for Good Apple! That looks so good! I just stared reading Golden Girl by Elin and I’m loving it! I’m next on the hold list for The Last Thing He Told Me and I’m looking forward to reading it. It’s not my typical kid of book but it looks good!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read and enjoyed Here’s to Us, Girls of Summer, and The Last Thing He Told Me. I’m currently reading Golden Girl and just finished up The Summer House. I am loving having so much extra free time for reading!

    Liked by 1 person

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