Posted in Books and Shows

April 2022: What I’ve Been Reading

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Well, I was going to share this post last week, but when Hadley got sick, I had to skip a day of posting! #momlife

Anyway, today I’m sharing the three books I read in April. Honestly, I read two them at the beginning of the month during Spring Break. I’ve been a slow reader so far in 2022.

This month I read…

{As always, book summaries are from Goodreads…}

Such a Quiet Place:

Summary:

We had no warning that she’d come back.

Hollow’s Edge used to be a quiet place. A private and idyllic neighborhood where neighbors dropped in on neighbors, celebrated graduation and holiday parties together, and looked out for one another. But then came the murder of Brandon and Fiona Truett. A year and a half later, Hollow’s Edge is simmering. The residents are trapped, unable to sell their homes, confronted daily by the empty Truett house, and suffocated by their trial testimonies that implicated one of their own. Ruby Fletcher. And now, Ruby’s back.

With her conviction overturned, Ruby waltzes right back to Hollow’s Edge, and into the home she once shared with Harper Nash. Harper, five years older, has always treated Ruby like a wayward younger sister. But now she’s terrified. What possible good could come of Ruby returning to the scene of the crime? And how can she possibly turn her away, when she knows Ruby has nowhere to go?

Within days, suspicion spreads like a virus across Hollow’s Edge. It’s increasingly clear that not everyone told the truth about the night of the Truett’s murders. And when Harper begins receiving threatening notes, she realizes she has to uncover the truth before someone else becomes the killer’s next victim.

Quick Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. Doesn’t “Hollow’s Edge” sound like a place where there would be trouble?! The plot line with Ruby showing up unannounced immediately caught my attention. There were various layers to the story with many of the characters keeping secrets that are eventually revealed as the plot and conclusion come together. This was a good one.

Rating:

Pack Up the Moon:

Summary:

Joshua and Lauren are the perfect couple. Newly married, they’re wildly in love, each on a successful and rewarding career path. Then Lauren is diagnosed with a terminal illness.

As Lauren’s disease progresses, Joshua struggles to make the most of the time he has left with his wife and to come to terms with his future–a future without the only woman he’s ever loved. He’s so consumed with finding a way to avoid the inevitable ending that he never imagines his life after Lauren.

But Lauren has a plan to keep her husband moving forward. A plan hidden in the letters she leaves him. In those letters, one for every month in the year after her death, Lauren leads Joshua on a journey through pain, anger, and denial. It’s a journey that will take Joshua from his attempt at a dinner party for family and friends to getting rid of their bed…from a visit with a psychic medium to a kiss with a woman who isn’t Lauren. As his grief makes room for laughter and new relationships, Joshua learns Lauren’s most valuable lesson: The path to happiness doesn’t follow a straight line.

Quick Thoughts:

Based on the summary I knew this would probably be a tear jerker. As I started to read it, I kept thinking it sounded so familiar. So much so that I went back and looked at my reading lists from 2018 on, but didn’t see the title. Then, I checked my Good Reads list — I even have a list for “started but didn’t finish” and it wasn’t on there. As I continued reading, I knew that I had started this book…I must have previously quit on it knowing that the story line seemed sad?

Anyway, I started this book on the drive to Asheville and just kept reading. At around page 100, I stopped feeling like I’d read the book before, so that must have been when I quit on it.

I loved how the book was organized with letters from Lauren. There were monthly letters to Joshua for the first year after Lauren’s passing. Also, occasionally, there were letters to Lauren’s father who had passed away when she was twenty years old. The letters to Joshua were heartfelt, bittersweet, humorous, encouraging and more. The chapters that weren’t letters shared about their lives leading up to her death: dating, proposal, marriage, honeymoon, life as newlyweds, her diagnosis and illness progression, and her death.

I cried ugly tears at the end. Good thing I was alone when finishing this book.

Rating:

This book was probably 4.5⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me just because it was such a tear jerker, but it was really good.

The Rent Collector:

Summary:

Survival for Ki Lim and Sang Ly is a daily battle at Stung Meanchey, the largest municipal waste dump in all of Cambodia. They make their living scavenging recyclables from the trash. Life would be hard enough without the worry for their chronically ill child, Nisay, and the added expense of medicines that are not working. Just when things seem worst, Sang Ly learns a secret about the bad-tempered rent collector who comes demanding money–a secret that sets in motion a tide that will change the life of everyone it sweeps past.

Quick Thoughts:

The Rent Collector is a story of hope, of one woman’s journey to save her son and another woman’s chance at redemption.” This was such a touching book, and I couldn’t put it down. A friend shared in on Facebook, and I immediately added it to my reading list, and I was actually on the library waitlist for a bit.

I think anyone would enjoy this book, but I especially did so as an educator (and lover of reading). I believe it was inspired by real life as far as the people living near a garbage dump in Cambodia.

I can’t imagine living conditions for Sang Ly, Ki, and Nisay in Cambodia. I loved the grumpy temperament of the rent collector, Sopeap. She holds such a powerful gift of being educated and ends up changing Sang Ly’s life. Sopeap’s past could have been its own book and is such a key piece in the plot. This story is beautifully written and as the story continued to unfold and the pieces fell into place, I was in awe. This may be one of my top reads of 2022.

Fave Quotes:

  • “Life will not always be so hard or cruel. Our difficulties are but a moment.”
  • “Peace is a product of both patience and persistence.”
  • “Education is almost always good, especially when it brings us to an understanding of our place in the world.”
  • “In literature, everything means something.”
  • “Stories teach us to not give up hope because there are times in our own journey when we mustn’t give up hope. They teach endurance because in our lives we are meant to endure. They carry messages that are older than the words themselves, messages that reach beyond the page.”
  • It doesn’t matter where you live, Sang Ly, it is how you live.”

Rating:

What have you been reading lately? I’m almost finished a book that a friend suggested, and then I hope to pick up my reading pace just in time for summer!

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Books and Shows

March 2022: What I’ve Been Reading

Hello! As March wraps up, I want to share the books I read this month.

It was another slow reading month for me, but I enjoyed the two books I read this month.

This month I read…

{As always, book summaries are from Goodreads…}

Lucky:

Summary:

A thrilling roller-coaster ride about a heist gone terribly wrong, with a plucky protagonist who will win readers’ hearts.

What if you had the winning ticket that would change your life forever, but you couldn’t cash it in?

Lucky Armstrong is a tough, talented grifter who has just pulled off a million-dollar heist with her boyfriend, Cary. She’s ready to start a brand-new life, with a new identity–when things go sideways. Lucky finds herself alone for the first time, navigating the world without the help of either her father or her boyfriend, the two figures from whom she’s learned the art of the scam.

When she discovers that a lottery ticket she bought on a whim is worth millions, her elation is tempered by one big problem: cashing in the winning ticket means she’ll be arrested for her crimes. She’ll go to prison, with no chance to redeem her fortune.

As Lucky tries to avoid capture and make a future for herself, she must confront her past by reconciling with her father; finding her mother, who abandoned her when she was just a baby; and coming to terms with the man she thought she loved–whose dark past is catching up with her, too.

This is a novel about truth, personal redemption, and the complexity of being good. It introduces a singularly gifted, multilayered character who must learn what it means to be independent and honest … before her luck runs out. 

Quick Thoughts:

My friend let me borrow this one, and it was a very quick read. I liked how it was organized because each chapter has both current day and then flashback as well. The premise with the lottery ticket and Lucky not being able to share her identity definitely hooked me from the beginning. There were times that I felt sorry for Lucky and kept pulling for her. I was satisfied with the ending for sure!

Rating:

Rock Paper Scissors:

Summary:

Think you know the person you married? Think again…

Things have been wrong with Mr and Mrs Wright for a long time. When Adam and Amelia win a weekend away to Scotland, it might be just what their marriage needs. Self-confessed workaholic and screenwriter Adam Wright has lived with face blindness his whole life. He can’t recognize friends or family, or even his own wife.

Every anniversary the couple exchange traditional gifts – paper, cotton, pottery, tin – and each year Adam’s wife writes him a letter that she never lets him read. Until now. They both know this weekend will make or break their marriage, but they didn’t randomly win this trip. One of them is lying, and someone doesn’t want them to live happily ever after.

Ten years of marriage. Ten years of secrets. And an anniversary they will never forget.

Quick Thoughts:

I’ve seen a few share this book, and I was on the library wait list for a while. Finally, it was available to read on my Kindle. To me, it took a few chapters to get into this book, but definitely by the midway point I couldn’t put it down. There was definitely a creepy and sinister feeling portrayed from the start. A blizzard, a chapel in the middle of nowhere, and a main character with face blindness…I mean, you know there are going to be some twists and turns. There are anniversary letters sprinkled throughout the story, and some of them seemed a little odd to me. About 3/4 of the way through the book, my mind was blown. I wanted to go back and re-read certain parts. This was definitely a great, suspenseful book!

Rating:

I would say a 4, but then a 5 about the mid-way point to the end. So, let’s settle on 4.5 ⭐️ 😉

I’m not sure what my deal is, but I just haven’t prioritized reading as much lately…I’m hoping to pick up the pace in the spring and summer.

The good news is I’ve been able to read more this week which has been nice.

What book are you reading right now? Soon it will be time for me to choose what books I want to read this summer. Can’t wait!

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Books and Shows, Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom: Reading Habits

Hello and Happy Monday! How was your weekend? We had a super low key Friday night and woke up to 4 inches of snow on Saturday. Thankfully, our Saturday activities were pretty light which gave me time to run some errands and finish my book. I hate springing forward although I know the benefit is that it will be lighter outside longer. I think I just feel like I have so few hours to accomplish things and now I lost one! Oh well…

Today, I’m hosting this month’s Not Just a Mom post with my fellow blogging friends:

So far this year, we’ve discussed:

This month, we are sharing about reading habits.

So far this year, I’ve read:

Some of my reading habits are:

1.

I keep a list of books I want to read. I used to use the Notes app on my phone, but I’ve been using the Goodreads app for over a year, and I really enjoy it! I have different bookshelves (chick lit, mystery, bio/auto bio, etc.) to keep my book list organized.

2.

I always have a stack of books to read and at least one book on my Kindle. What if I start reading a book and don’t like it? I want to have a back up book just in case. Also, I keep my Kindle in my purse, so I like to have a book on the Kindle as an option to read while waiting on kids’ practices to finish or any other spare time I may have.

3.

I try to have a cozy atmosphere when read if possible. I will light a candle, grab a blanket, and sip my coffee or glass of wine while reading.

4.

I try to read for a bit every single day. It’s honesty pretty rare for me to have a solid chunk of time to read; that seems to only happen in the summer while at the pool…

…or on vacation.

I at least try to read a bit before bed; sometimes I drift to sleep in only a few minutes, but at least I tried!

On Saturday, I carved out 30 minutes because I knew I wanted to finish my book. I love when I’m able to do that.

5.

I keep track of what I read and set a goal for the year. I always had an idea of how many books I wanted to read in a year, but 2021 was the first year I set a Goodreads goal of 40 books.

I never want reading to feel like a chore, but it’s nice to have a goal in mind. That being said, I’m “behind” for 2022, and I’ve never been behind in reading. Hopefully, I can make up for it over Spring Break, and I know I always read more in the summer.

Reading Habits:

I grew up with two parents who read a lot. My dad always had a stack of books on the side table by his recliner. My mom, a former English teacher, always took us to the library, and of course she loves reading too. {After she retired from teaching, she worked at the public library for ten years!)

When my kids were little, I loved taking them to the library. We’d go at least once a week for story time, and every summer we did the Summer Reading Program at the library. They were always so excited to get the book they earned at the end of the summer.

Once the kids started elementary school, they loved bringing home books from the school library as well.

Hayden has always been my avid reader, and Hadley has to be reminded to read. They’ve enjoyed so many wonderful series like the “Who was” books, Diary of Wimpy Kids, Magic Tree House, Babysitter’s Club, and so many more. Hadley loved graphic novels. (I think they were perfect for her attention span.)

Until middle school, Hayden would read every night. He still loves to read, but now he has homework to juggle or activities that go later into the evening, so he doesn’t read every night.

Last summer, they both read books from the 6th grade reading list because they knew they’d need to start the year earning AR (Accelerated Reader) points. They have to have 20 AR points each quarter. (After reading a book, they take a test to earn the points.)

I hope my reading habits are rubbing off on my kids and that they look back with fond memories of all the great books they read in their childhood.

For the love of reading…

What are some of your reading habits? Do your kids like to read?

We hope you’ll join us next month when we talk about “what’s for lunch.”

Well, this week, the weather is going to feel more like spring, and we only have a four day school week! Yippee!

Thanks so much for reading,

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
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Posted in Books and Shows

February 2022: What I’ve Been Reading

Happy Friday Eve! My book posts are always some of my favorite to share, and this is currently me:

I wish I had more time to read. My “to be read” list is ever growing, and I’m over here just trying to keep up.

I only read two books this month, and I blame that on all my Olympic watching! That being said, both books were pretty lengthy, but they both were also so good.

This month I read…

{As always, book summaries are from Goodreads…}

Our Woman in Moscow:

Our Woman in Moscow

Summary:

In the autumn of 1948, Iris Digby vanishes from her London home with her American diplomat husband and their two children. The world is shocked by the family’s sensational disappearance. Were they eliminated by the Soviet intelligence service? Or have the Digbys defected to Moscow with a trove of the West’s most vital secrets?

Four years later, Ruth Macallister receives a postcard from the twin sister she hasn’t seen since their catastrophic parting in Rome in the summer of 1940, as war engulfed the continent and Iris fell desperately in love with an enigmatic United States Embassy official named Sasha Digby. Within days, Ruth is on her way to Moscow, posing as the wife of counterintelligence agent Sumner Fox in a precarious plot to extract the Digbys from behind the Iron Curtain.

But the complex truth behind Iris’s marriage defies Ruth’s understanding, and as the sisters race toward safety, a dogged Soviet KGB officer forces them to make a heartbreaking choice between two irreconcilable loyalties.

Quick Thoughts:

I’m not sure if I’ve read any other books by Beatriz Williams, but this one was amazing. The sisters are twins, and they are very different, both in appearance and in actions. I enjoyed that the chapters were told from each sister’s point of view. The historical references, actions, and love interests made this book an overall good read. I was on the edge of my seat with how I was hoping it would end, and it didn’t disappoint!

Rating:

Becoming Mrs. Lewis:

Becoming Mrs. Lewis

Summary:

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.

Quick Thoughts:

My Gma suggested this book to me over a year ago, and she said how wonderful it was. She wasn’t wrong! I wish I hadn’t waited so long to read it. (Long story…but I’ve had it checked out from the library for quite some time.) I honestly didn’t know much about C.S. Lewis besides some of his more notable works like The Chronicles of Narnia. I most certainly didn’t know anything about Joy Davidman.

I love how each chapter starts with a quote from Joy’s sonnets. I truly couldn’t put this book down. C. S. and Joy correspond through letters for years before meeting. (How romantic is that?) While together, she inspired some of his best works. They connected as writers, then they became friends, and finally their relationship turned to a deep love. Since Joy was divorced, they spent years as only friends because of how their relationship would be viewed in the church. Joy was such a strong woman who left her alcoholic husband, started a new life for herself and her boys in a new country, while also trying to prove herself as a writer.

Did I shed a tear or two at the end? I sure did. I knew their fate, and I still didn’t want to turn the page to see the finality of their lives and their love story.

Favorite Quotes:

You know I love a good quote, and here a some of my faves from this book:

  • “See?” I lifted my glass. “We’re connected everywhere. Even before we met, we were all of us tied together with these funny little threads. I love those small hints that God brings people together and says, “Here you go. This one’s for you.”
  • “Happiness was the greatest gift of expectancy.”
  • “As it’s always been—we use stories to make sense of the world.”

Rating:

I’ve shared before that I don’t think I’m much of a Historical Fiction reader…but maybe I am? Both of these books could land in my Top 5 of the year, but I’m almost 100% certain Becoming Mrs. Lewis will make the cut!

Even though I only read two books this month, they were definitely proof of “quality over quantity!”

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Books and Shows

January 2022: What I’ve Been Reading

Hello and Happy Monday!

Before I get started with today’s post, I have to share that Ronda is the winner of the Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag. I will be in touch soon!

I can’t believe it’s the last day of January. I saw this meme, and it felt so true!

Honestly, January gets a bad rap, but it’s one of my favorite months. January is for a fresh start, it’s a calmer month coming off the holidays, it’s my birthday month, and we usually get a snow day or two which is my fave.

Before we turn the calendar to February, I have to share the books I read this month. I’m hanging on to my monthly average of reading three books.

This month I read…

{As always, book summaries are from Goodreads…}

Going There:

Summary:

For more than forty years, Katie Couric has been an iconic presence in the media world. In her brutally honest, hilarious, heartbreaking memoir, she reveals what was going on behind the scenes of her sometimes tumultuous personal and professional life – a story she’s never shared, until now. Of the medium she loves, the one that made her a household name, she says, “Television can put you in a box; the flat-screen can flatten. On TV, you are larger than life but smaller, too. It is not the whole story, and it is not the whole me. This book is.

Beginning in early childhood, Couric was inspired by her journalist father to pursue the career he loved but couldn’t afford to stay in. Balancing her vivacious, outgoing personality with her desire to be taken seriously, she overcame every obstacle in her way: insecurity, an eating disorder, being typecast, sexism . . . challenges, and how she dealt with them, setting the tone for the rest of her career. Couric talks candidly about adjusting to sudden fame after her astonishing rise to co-anchor of the TODAY show, and guides us through the most momentous events and news stories of the era, to which she had a front-row seat:  Rodney King, Anita Hill, Columbine, the death of Princess Diana, 9/11, the Iraq War . . . In every instance, she relentlessly pursued the facts, ruffling more than a few feathers along the way.  She also recalls in vivid and sometimes lurid detail the intense pressure on female anchors to snag the latest “get”—often sensational tabloid stories like Jon Benet Ramsey, Tonya Harding, and OJ Simpson.

Couric’s position as one of the leading lights of her profession was  shadowed by the shock and trauma of losing her husband to stage 4 colon cancer when he was just 42, leaving her a widow and single mom to two daughters, 6 and 2. The death of her sister Emily, just three years later, brought yet more trauma—and an unwavering commitment to cancer awareness and research, one of her proudest accomplishments.

 Couric is unsparing in the details of her historic move to the anchor chair at the CBS Evening News—a world rife with sexism and misogyny.  Her “welcome” was even more hostile at 60 Minutes, an unrepentant boys club that engaged in outright hazing of even the most established women.  In the wake of the MeToo movement, Couric shares her clear-eyed reckoning with gender inequality and predatory behavior in the workplace, and downfall of Matt Lauer—a colleague she had trusted and respected for more than a decade.

Couric also talks about the challenge of finding love again, with all the hilarity, false-starts, and drama that search entailed, before finding her midlife Mr. Right.  Something she has never discussed publicly—why her second marriage almost didn’t happen

If you thought you knew Katie Couric, think again. Going There is the fast-paced, emotional, riveting story of a thoroughly modern woman, whose journey took her from humble origins to superstardom. In these pages, you will find a friend, a confidante, a role model, a survivor whose lessons about life will enrich your own.

Quick Thoughts:

Shew! That was quite the summary! My friend let me borrow Katie’s book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love a good autobiography, and Katie definitely went there. This book is filled with tons of short chapters. I enjoyed reading about how she grew up, and my heart broke as she shared about losing her husband and having to be a single working mom to two young girls. I thought her professional journey was really interesting, and she did a great job owning up to mistakes and discussing being in the news business as a female. I always had Katie, Matt, Al, and Ann on in the background during my college and early teaching years. I always assumed they were one big happy family. Through the years, when she moved on, Ann awkwardly left, and then, of course, the Matt Lauer scandal came to light, I knew going into the book that the Today show wasn’t all sunshine and roses. She definitely talked about the Matt Lauer situation, and I will say those chapters made me cringe. Anyway, she found love again, enjoys time with her two grown daughters, and is definitely living a great second chapter of life. This book didn’t disappoint.

Rating:

The Royals Next Door:

Summary:

Piper Evans: elementary school teacher by day–avid romance reader and anonymous podcaster by night. She lives a quiet, reclusive life, taking care of her mother, who struggles with mental illness, avoiding her regrettable ex, who bartends in town, and trying to make inroads in the tight-knit island community that still sees her, five years in, as an outsider.

And she’s happy with how things are–really–until British royals rent the property next to hers and their brooding bodyguard decides she’s a security threat. Piper quickly realizes that one person’s fairy tale is an ordinary woman’s nightmare as a media frenzy takes over the island and each run-in with Harrison Cole is hotter and more confusing than the last. But beneath Harrison’s no-nonsense exterior lies a soft heart, one that could tempt a woman who’s sworn off attachments into believing in white knights.

But when Piper finds herself smack in the middle of a royal scandal that rocks the island she’ll need more than Harrison’s strong arms to shield her–she’ll have to do a little rescuing herself. With careers, hearts, and friendships on the line, Piper and Harrison will have to decide what they’re willing to give up for a chance at their own happily ever after.

Quick Thoughts:

This book. Sigh. When I started this book, I was really enjoying it. It had a very “Meghan and Harry move to the United States” vibe. It was even a bit predictable from the beginning, but I’m ok with books like that. Then, in the middle of the book, it went left real quick and become R rated. I think at that point, I realized I didn’t even like how it was written. I became picky about word choice and simplistic sentences and was kind of over it. It may be the first book I’ve read that I wanted to take my English teacher red pen and mark it up! Anyway, if you’ve read it, I’d love to know what you think, but this book was a bust for me.

Rating:

I give it three stars for first half and two stars for second half of the book. My first ever two star book rating!

We Are the Brennans:

Summary:

When twenty-nine-year-old Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, bruised and battered after a drunk driving accident she caused, she swallows her pride and goes home to her family in New York. But it’s not easy. She deserted them all—and her high school sweetheart—five years before with little explanation, and they’ve got questions.

Sunday is determined to rebuild her life back on the east coast, even if it does mean tiptoeing around resentful brothers and an ex-fiancé. The longer she stays, however, the more she realizes they need her just as much as she needs them. When a dangerous man from her past brings her family’s pub business to the brink of financial ruin, the only way to protect them is to upend all their secrets—secrets that have damaged the family for generations and will threaten everything they know about their lives. In the aftermath, the Brennan family is forced to confront painful mistakes—and ultimately find a way forward, together.

Quick Thoughts:

I can’t remember who shared about this book, but I added it to my Good Reads list a couple of months ago. I really enjoyed this book. The big Irish family aspect provided dynamic characters and interesting family relationships. As the secrets of the family members unfold, I was invested in seeing just how the book would end. I liked how each chapter picked up with the last line of the previous chapter making the ideas flow. This was a good one!

Rating:

I always feel like after the holidays and reading light-hearted books, I want to read more serious books. Two of the three books I read this month were just that. I’ve started Our Woman in Moscow, and it took me a bit to get into it, but I think I’m going to like it.

*sigh* these posts from the KC library were fun while they lasted. We have some sad Chiefs fans in the house today. The better team won, and I guess there’s always next year.

I hope you have a great start to your week. See you back here tomorrow for my *short* Prime Purchases post.

Posted in Books and Shows

December Books +TOP 5 Books of 2021

Hello! Today is one of my favorite posts of the year. I’m sharing my Christmas reads in December as well as the Top 5 books that I read in 2021.

roseclearfield.com

To me, there’s nothing better than a good book. With the hustle and bustle of each day, I try to find some quiet time to read. It’s a gift to find that time and so special to find a book that I enjoy.

December Books:

As with the past couple of years, I read Christmas books in December. I really enjoy doing this, and I think reading these types of books helps me appreciate the holiday season.

This month I read:

{As always, book summaries are from Goodreads…}

Per usual, I’m sharing the summary, but as far as the “quick comments” are concerned, really, I enjoyed all the books I read this month. They are all 4 or 5 stars! I do think my order of preference would have to be: The Holiday Swap followed by The Twelve Dates of Christmas and then A Nantucket Christmas.

A Nantucket Christmas:

Summary:

Holidays on this Massachusetts island are nothing short of magical, from the jolly decorations on the Brant Point lighthouse to the much anticipated Christmas Stroll, in which merrymakers promenade through quaint streets adorned with Yuletide cheer. The season’s wonderful traditions are much loved by Nicole Somerset, new to Nantucket and recently married to a handsome former attorney. Their home is already full of enticing scents of pine, baking spices, and homemade pie.
 

But the warm, festive mood is soon tempered by Nicole’s chilly stepdaughter, Kennedy, who arrives without a hint of holiday spirit. Determined to keep her stepmother at arms’ length—or, better yet, out of the picture altogether—Kennedy schemes to sabotage Nicole’s holiday preparations. Nicole, however, is not about to let anyone or anything tarnish her first Christmas with her new husband.
 
Nancy Thayer’s wonderful tale reminds us that this is the season of miracles. Before the gifts are unwrapped, surprise visitors appear, and holiday joy comes to all, both naughty and nice.

Rating:

The Holiday Swap:

Summary:

When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell–both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie’s identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family’s bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won’t get the memo that they’re over.

With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven’t done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician’s assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins’ identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?

Rating:

The 12 Dates of Christmas :

Summary:

When it comes to relationships, thirty-four-year-old Kate Turner is ready to say “Bah, humbug.” The sleepy town of Blexford, England, isn’t exactly brimming with prospects, and anyway, Kate’s found fulfillment in her career as a designer, and in her delicious side job baking for her old friend Matt’s neighborhood café. But then her best friend signs her up for a dating agency that promises to help singles find love before the holidays. Twenty-three days until Christmas. Twelve dates with twelve different men. The odds must finally be in her favor . . . right?

Yet with each new date more disastrous than the one before–and the whole town keeping tabs on her misadventures–Kate must remind herself that sometimes love, like mistletoe, shows up where it’s least expected. And maybe, just maybe, it’s been right under her nose all along. . . .

Rating:

Recap of Books 2021:

This year, felt like a weird reading year. I did read so many good books…It’s more that I think I spent so much of this year feeling tired. There were nights that I couldn’t even keep my eyes open or the school day was so crazy that I just wanted to watch mindless TV instead of sitting down with a book.

That being said, reading is still one of my favorite past times, and I still enjoy having an ongoing “to be read” list!

My 2021 Reads:

January:

  • American Dirt
  • Make Life Beautiful
  • What Happens in Paradise
  • Piece of My Heart

February:

  • The Lies that Bind
  • A Hope More Powerful than the Sea
  • Troubles in Paradise

March:

  • We Were the Lucky Ones
  • Layla
  • The Giver of Stars

April:

  • The Push
  • Firefly Lane
  • Little Disasters

May:

  • The Wife Upstairs
  • The Hurricane Sisters
  • Where the Red Fern Grows

June:

  • Good Apple
  • The Good Sister
  • Girls of Summer
  • The Last Thing He Told Me
  • Here’s to Us

July:

  • Open Book
  • We Were Liars
  • The Cave Dwellers
  • The Summer House
  • Malibu Rising

August:

  • Local Woman Missing
  • Golden Girl
  • The Four Winds

September:

  • Yoga Pant Nation

October:

  • The Wrong Family
  • One Day You’ll Thank Me
  • Of Mice and Men

November:

  • Not a Happy Family
  • Christmas in Peachtree Bluff
  • The Girls in the Stilt House

December:

  • A Nantucket Christmas
  • The Holiday Swap
  • The Twelve Dates of Christmas

Top 5 books of 2021:

I really had a hard time choosing some of my Top 5 books because quite a few stood out to me on my initial list.

Before I share my Top 5 reads of 2021, these deserve honorable mention recognition:

Here are my 5 favorite reads of 2021 in the order I read them…

American Dirt:

I started off 2021 with this (after light hearted Christmas books, I typically want to read something more serious in nature). I could not put this book down. I was on the edge of seat the entire time. This book had violence, tension, difficult decisions, and so much more. I guess I was reading this entire book thinking about myself as a mom. I can’t imagine what Lydia experienced on a daily basis while trying, above all, to keep her son safe and start a new life for them.

We Were the Lucky Ones:

This was another powerful read. I don’t typically read historical fiction, but this book hooked me from the first page. Set in Poland in 1939, I was immediately invested in what would happen to each member of the Kura family. This was a book of strength, of hope, of loss, and of survival.

The Giver of Stars:

My mom recommended this book to me, and I can’t believe I waited so long to read it. This was another historical fiction novel, set in Kentucky during the Great Depression, I loved getting to know this fierce group of women. Margery leads the pack horse librarians, and this book isn’t without sadness and strength, heartbreak and triumph.

Malibu Rising:

Those who read Malibu Rising seemed to either love it or hate it. I was clearly “Team Love It.” I read this book in July, and it was the perfect summer read. What’s not to love about California in the ’80s? The Riva siblings were all so different, and I love how the plot moved between the past and the present. This was a quick read for me, and one that I would definitely recommend.

The Girls in the Stilt House:

Well, The Girls in the Stilt House sure was a pleasant surprise. I hadn’t even heard of this book until Shay and Erika shared it on their podcast. It was available at my library, and I was excited to dive in. This story is set in Mississippi in the 1920s. I loved reading from the point of view of both Matilda and Ada. As I said in my November review, “This book had the loneliness of Crawdads, the heartache of Four Winds, the solidarity of The Giver of Stars, and the empowerment of all.” And I meant it 😉

This year…

This was the first year that I used the Good reads app to track what I read. I set a goal to read 40 books, and, well…that’s exactly how many I read!

I think I will set a similar goal for 2022. I never want reading to feel like a chore or something I have to do. Reading about three books a month is a good pace for me, knowing that I will probably read more in the summer months.

roseclearfield.com

Previous Top 5 Books:

In case you’re interested, here are my Top 5 books posts from the last two years.

I have one more post for 2021. I’m taking a look back on 2 0 2 1, and I will share that on Friday. Only a few more days until 2 0 2 2! That’s so hard to believe.

We’ve been having a great break. I’ve enjoyed sleeping in a bit, catching up on shows and movies, reading, and just having a more easy going schedule!

See you back here on Friday!

Posted in Books and Shows, Holidays, Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom: Holiday Movies

Hello! Happy Monday! How was your weekend? We had such a good one, but it was extra busy. Hadley had her dance showcase, Hayden had a cross country meet and basketball, we baked Christmas cookies and more!

I plan on sharing some of those details later this week, but first I want to say thanks to those who reached out checking on us after the storms, destruction and devastation in Kentucky and surrounding areas.

We had some major storms blow through, but the real destruction was to the west. I can’t imagine how those communities are feeling with so many lives lost. Those communities will certainly be in our hearts and in our prayers during this time.

Today, is our last Not Just a Mom post of 2021!

I’m linking up with these ladies to share our favorite holiday movies!

Before I get to that, here’s a look back on our topics for 2021:

  • Getting cozy/small comforts in January
  • Healthy habits and staying motivated in February
  • Favorite phone apps in March
  • Favorite family memories in April
  • Concerts in May
  • Quick family dinners in June
  • Home tour in July
  • Daily must haves in August
  • Morning routine in September
  • How we handle busy nights in October
  • Favorite small shops in November

Over the weekend, I actually saw these graphics by @ashton.creates about Christmas movies for each Enneagram type. I’ve shared her graphics before, and I love what movies she had for my 5w6.

Funny enough, we watched A Christmas Carol on Friday night. The kids are reading it in school, and I shared with them how my mom taught it to her 7th graders this time of the year for 31 years! I do enjoy this classic.

Sometimes I swear I might be more of a 6! Home Alone is one of my all time faves, and one I had listed for this post already!

Favorite Holiday Movies:

A Christmas Story:

We watch this movie every year on Christmas Day, and we are usually at my dad’s house when we watch it. It’s such a classic, and my kids love it too.

Home Alone:

Home Alone is probably my favorite holiday movie. We usually watch it a couple times during the holiday season. My kids often watch it in the car on long drives throughout the year too. They get a kick out of Kevin’s antics as much as I do.

The Holiday:

This movie is just so cute. I love the premise, and I’m always intrigued by the English village at Christmastime. The cast is amazing too!

While You Were Sleeping:

This is one of my favorite movies of all time. I always think of this as a Christmas movie because it takes place in Chicago in the days before and after Christmas. Sandra Bullock has always been one of my favorite actresses, and Bill Pullman is the best! Again, the cast is amazing, and I just love Jack and Peter’s family.

A Charlie Brown Christmas:

When the kids were little, we’d always watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. I’d always record it on the DVR, and we’d watch it when we had time. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ve watched it in a few years, but it’s such a good one!

We won the movie gift basket at Trav’s work party. It came with a few movies that I’m hoping we can watch over break.

I also want to watch the new Home Alone over break too. I know it’s just a part of the kids being older and busier, but I do miss having time to watch movies and carry out other traditions without having to plan “family fun.”

What are some of your favorite holiday movies? I can’t wait to see what ones others share!

Also, we have a new graphic and have planned our topics for 2022. We’re still hosting the link up on the second Monday of every month. We’d love to have you join us by linking up and/or reading our posts. Our first post for the new year will be on January 10th, and the topic is favorite bloggers.

I hope to post pretty regularly this week and then here and there leading up to 2022. I’m just kind of taking it day by day. Minute to minute sometimes! 😉

I hope you have a great week.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Posted in Books and Shows

November: What I’ve Been Reading

Hello! Happy December 1st! I can’t believe it’s already December. Sometimes I feel like 2021 has moved at a snail’s pace, and other times I feel like it’s flown by.

Today, I’m sharing the books I read this month.

This month I read:

{As always, book summaries are from Goodreads…}

Not a Happy Family:

Summary:

In this family, everyone is keeping secrets–especially the dead. Brecken Hill in upstate New York is an expensive place to live. You have to be rich to have a house there. And they don’t come much richer than Fred and Sheila Merton. But even all their money can’t protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mertons are brutally murdered the night after an Easter Dinner with their three adult kids. Who, of course, are devastated.

Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their capricious father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of them is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did one of them snap after that dreadful evening? Or was it someone else that night who crept in with the worst of intentions? It must be. After all, if one of your siblings was a psychopath, you’d know.

Quick Thoughts:

This book had pretty short chapters, and there was an interesting dynamic between the siblings. All three of kids had motive for killing their parents because they’d all inherit the money, so, as a reader, I didn’t feel like they were very likeable. The ending fell a little flat for me because I expected there would be more of a twist.

Rating:

4 stars but maybe more like 3.5 because of the ending.

Christmas in Peachtree Bluff:

Summary:

When the Murphy women are in trouble, they always know they can turn to their mother, Ansley. So when eldest daughter Caroline and her husband, James, announce they are divorcing—and fifteen-year-old daughter Vivi acts out in response—Caroline, at her wits end, can’t think of anything to do besides leave her with Ansley in Peachtree Bluff for the holidays. After all, how much trouble can one teenager get into on a tiny island?

Quite a lot, as it turns out.

As the “storm of the century” heads toward Peachtree Bluff, Ansley and her husband, Jack, with Vivi in tow, are grateful they’re planning to leave for the trip of a lifetime. But Vivi’s recklessness forces the trio to shelter in place during the worst hurricane Peachtree has ever seen. With no power, no provisions, and the water rising, the circumstances become dire very quickly…and the Murphy sisters, who evacuated to New York, soon realize it’s up to them to conduct a rescue mission. With the bridges closed and no way to access Peachtree Bluff by land or air, they set sail on Caroline’s boat, The Starlite Sisters, determined to rebuild their beloved town—as well as their family.

In “pitch-perfect tones” (Publishers Weekly) and written with her signature Southern charm, New York Times bestselling author Kristy Woodson Harvey explores the magic of Christmas, the power of forgiveness, and the importance of family in a tale that reminds us that, no matter the circumstances, home is always where we belong—especially during the holidays.

Quick Thoughts:

I loved this book so much. (I actually won the book from a Goodreads giveaway!) It was the perfect way to start the holiday season. I’ve read the entire Peachtree series, and this book felt like such a bonus! The family relationship is so special. The sisters, along their mother Ansley, all remain close through the challenges in life whether it’s death, divorce, or a hurricane. The town seems so charming and is the perfect backdrop to tell this Christmas story. This is definitely a must read this holiday season.

Rating:

The Girls in the Stilt House:

Summary:

Ada promised herself she would never go back to the Trace, to her hard life on the swamp and her harsh father. But now, after running away to Baton Rouge and briefly knowing a different kind of life, she finds herself with nowhere to go but back home. And she knows there will be a price to pay with her father.

Matilda, daughter of a sharecropper, is from the other side of the Trace. Doing what she can to protect her family from the whims and demands of some particularly callous locals is an ongoing struggle. She forms a plan to go north, to pack up the secrets she’s holding about her life in the South and hang them on the line for all to see in Ohio.

As the two girls are drawn deeper into a dangerous world of bootleggers and moral corruption, they must come to terms with the complexities of their tenuous bond and a hidden past that links them in ways that could cost them their lives

Quick Thoughts:

Like Not a Happy Family, I got this book suggestion from Shay and Erika. I haven’t listened to their podcast with their thoughts on it because I only just finished it Monday, but I loved this book. I’d never heard of it before which was a bonus because I didn’t know anything going into reading it.

This story, set in Mississippi in the 1920s, grabbed my attention from the first page. The chapters focused on Matilda and Ada who were both strong and resilient women. Their relationship was distant at first, but then they grew to really rely on each other even as they kept their guards up. This book had the loneliness of Crawdads, the heartache of Four Winds, the solidarity of The Giver of Stars, and the empowerment of all.

These ladies will have you pulling for them from the first page. As Ada said, “You find a way, is what you do.”

This book is definitely a top read for me in 2021.

Rating:

I set a goal to read 40 books this year. I thought I may read more after reading quite a few this summer, but then I had a couple of slow months. At this point, I’ve read 37 books in 2021. So, I hope to meet my goal by wrapping up the year with Christmas reads.

Christmas Reads:

Like last December, I’m going to only read Christmas books this month.

Here are my Christmas book suggestions from previous years:

December is always a great time to read more light-hearted books, and I’m looking forward to doing so by the twinkle of my Christmas tree.

Tomorrow, I’m recapping the month of November with my Sentence a Day post.

Take care and happy reading!

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Books and Shows

October: What I’ve Been Reading

Hello! Happy November 1st! How was your weekend? We had a good one, and the kids had a great Halloween.

Today, I’m sharing the books I read in October. I read two, and then as I sat down to write this post, I realized I could add in a book that I read with the English 1 students that I’ve regularly helped this month.

This month I read:

{As always, book summaries are from Goodreads…}

The Wrong Family:

The Wrong Family

Summary:

Juno was wrong about Winnie Crouch.

Before moving in with the Crouch family, Juno thought Winnie and her husband, Nigel, had the perfect marriage, the perfect son—the perfect life. Only now that she’s living in their beautiful house, she sees the cracks in the crumbling facade are too deep to ignore.

Still, she isn’t one to judge. After her grim diagnosis, the retired therapist simply wants a place to live out the rest of her days in peace. But that peace is shattered the day Juno overhears a chilling conversation between Winnie and Nigel…

She shouldn’t get involved.


She really shouldn’t.

But this could be her chance to make a few things right.

Because if you thought Juno didn’t have a secret of her own, then you were wrong about her, too.

Quick Thoughts:

I loved this book. It had just enough suspense. I held my breath for Juno on many occasions. The last quarter of the book, when the action really picked up, I was kind of like “huh?…” I wasn’t expecting that character involvement. The ending was creepy but tied the plot all up nicely. I’ve read The Wives by Fisher, and I loved this one so much more.

Rating:

One Day You’ll Thank Me:

One Day You’ll Thank Me

Summary:

The fan favorite star of the Bravo hit series Southern Charm offers a witty and candid collection of essays on dating, pregnancy, and parenthood.

Growing up in South Carolina with a family that goes back ten generations, Cameran Eubanks knew from a young age that Southern women are expected to want the white picket fence life. But Cameran has never been your typical Southern belle, and she was always determined to flout expectations.

She set out to paint the town red, enjoy her single life, focus on her successful real estate career, maybe join the cast of a hugely popular reality show…and then she met her future husband, Jason. After falling in love and getting married, Cameran faced the same dilemma so many women encounter: whether or not to have kids. Ultimately, her own journey to motherhood was anything but simple.

Now, she takes you deeper into her life—from her first foray into reality TV on The Real World to dating in her twenties to the honest truth about her pregnancy and motherhood—to get to know the person behind the camera. Known as the voice of reason on Southern Charm, she’ll share the same honest advice she gives to her castmates and guide y’all through dating, pregnancy, and motherhood. Charming, hilarious, and a hell of a lot fun, One Day You’ll Thank Me is for anyone who has ever wondered if they should or can.

Quick Thoughts:

This book reminded me a bit of the Jenny McCarthy book, Belly Laughs, I read while pregnant with the kids. This wasn’t all about pregnancy, but it definitely was mostly about motherhood. Cameran is one of my favorite Southern Charm cast members (I love that show), and missed her during last season. She definitely tells it like it is on both the show and in this book. I appreciate her sense of humor, sarcasm, and truth.

I enjoyed reading about her days on The Real World. While I realize this isn’t a Southern Charm tell all, I do wish there was more Southern Charm insight.

This was a quick read for me, and one I’d been wanting to read for a while.

Rating:

Honestly, it should be more like a 3.5 star review, but I like her… 😉

Of Mice and Men:

Of Mice and Men

Summary:

An intimate portrait of two men who cherish the slim bond between them and the dream they share in a world marred by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness. Clinging to each other in their loneliness and alienation, George and his simple-minded friend Lennie dream, as drifters will, of a place to call their own—a couple of acres and a few pigs, chickens, and rabbits back in Hill Country where land is cheap. But after they come to work on a ranch in the fertile Salinas Valley of California, their hopes, like “the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men,” begin to go awry.

Of Mice and Men also represents an experiment in form, as Steinbeck described his work, “a kind of playable novel, written in novel form but so scened and set that it can be played as it stands.” A rarity in American letters, it achieved remarkable success as a novel, a Broadway play, and three acclaimed films. Steinbeck’s tale of commitment, loneliness, hope, and loss remains one of America’s most widely read and beloved novels.

Quick Thoughts:

I hadn’t read this novella since college, and I’ve never taught it. I enjoyed reading it with a small group of students because we were able to discuss so much…themes of lonliness, power vs powerless, friendship, character development, the American Dream, the setting and Great Depression time period.

A few favorite quotes:

  • “I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s why.” ~Lennie
  • “As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment.” ~Of Mice and Men
  • “As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment.” ~Of Mice and Men

Rating:

As an English teacher, it feels awkward giving such a classic a less than five star rating, but it was a pretty heavy read with a very heavy ending.

In November, I’m going to read at least one Christmas book, and decided to start with this one:

I won it from a Goodreads giveaway! I’ve enjoyed other books by Kristy Woodson Harvey, so I’m excited to start the holiday season off with this one.

What have you read this month? Next month, I will share the Christmas books I’ve read in the past during the holiday season! I know we are going to blink, and it will be 2022!

I hope you have a great week.

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Books and Shows, Kids

September: What I’ve Been Reading

Hello! As this month wraps up, I’m sharing what I read this month.

Well this is probably my saddest post to date. I read one book. One. I thought about saving this book for my October book post, but I like to share as I go. To be honest, I just haven’t had much of a desire to read lately. There’s been too much going on, and I’ve been too tired at night to even think about reading. I find myself choosing an episode of The Golden Girls before bed rather than reading a few pages of a book.

So, without further adieu, here’s the one book that I read:

Yoga Pant Nation:

{As always, book summaries are from Goodreads…}

Summary:

Jen Dixon of Overland Park, Kansas—fearless mother of a fifth-grade boy and two thirty-something daughters—is used to juggling a lot, from her mission to become a spin instructor, to stepping in as the most acerbic class mom ever (again), to taking care of her two-year-old granddaughter. But when the PTA president throws her a mandate to raise $10,000 for the fifth-grade class, even unflappable Jen is going to need more than her regular spin class to get her through this final year at William Taft Elementary School.

In the midst of new complications—organizing the class overnight to Topeka, an unexpected spin class fan in the form of her husband’s crazy ex-wife, and trying to navigate her parents’ sudden descent into apparent delusions—Jen hardly has the patience to listen to yet another half-baked idea (come on, ladies, another wrapping paper sale?) from WeFUKCT (We Fundraise Until Kingdom Come Team), her fundraising committee. But if anyone can get elementary parents to pull off the impossible, it’s Jen Dixon.

With her always irreverent and laugh-out-loud humor—boldly holding forth on those things you’re thinking, but would never dare say out loud—Laurie Gelman shines a light on the indignities and hilarities of modern parenting.

Quick Thoughts:

This is the third book in the Class Mom series. (Book 1: Class Mom, Book 2: You’ve Been Volunteered), and I enjoyed it. The main character is Jen, a sarcastic mom from a suburb of Kansas City. I mean, she could be me. I am her.

Kind of like with most books in a series, the first book is the best and then it kind of tapers off from there. I enjoyed Class Mom so much! I loved it, and have recommended it to friends many times. I’d still recommend You’ve Been Volunteered and Yoga Pant Nation, but book one is definitely my favorite.

In this third book, it’s nice to get an update on all of the characters. Jen, her children, her husband, and even some of her friends. With her son being in the 5th grade, she’s wrapping up her time at the elementary school with the same funny and sarcastic class mom emails that she delivered in the other books. I like that there’s that common thread of the emails in all of the books, and it really shows her personality. By the end of the book, there seemed to be a sense of finality for the characters and the plot.

I wonder if there will be a spin off for her time as a parent of Max when he goes to middle school? 😉

Rating:

I’ve downloaded The Wrong Family to my Kindle, so I’m hoping to get into it soon.

Since I did very little reading this month, I thought I’d take the time to share some books that my kids have read lately. I’ve never done that before, and maybe I have a reader or two with a tween who needs some books ideas!

This summer, the kids chose two books from their school’s reading list. I’ve shared before that Hayden is my big reader, so this wasn’t much of a task for him. Hadley has always preferred shorter reads, graphic novels, and daily devotionals. Hayden loves to read before bed, and I think Hadley prefers something shorter to read because her attention span tends to be, well, short!

Also, new to them, is Accelerated Reader. They now have to read books and earn AR points by the end of each quarter in their Language Arts class. While the summer reading was a choice this year, I didn’t give them a choice. (Funny story: I didn’t tell Hadley it was optional and when they resent the list before school started, she said, “Moooom! It says the reading was optional!” 😂Well, she ended up thanking me because she was able to take two AR tests the first couple weeks of school and have all her points for the first quarter!

Also, the kids have a reading class this semester (math enrichment next semester), and they read The Hunger Games. Hayden loved the book so much, he asked me to check out book two, Catching Fire, for him from the public library.

Here’s what they’ve read lately:

Hayden

  • Summer Book 1: Fantasy League by Mike Lupica
  • Summer Book 2: Strong Inside about Perry Wallace.
  • The Hunger Games
  • Catching Fire
  • AR book: Lone Stars by Mike Lupica

Hadley:

  • Summer book 1: The Mother Daughter Book Club: Camp (She’s read other books in this series in 4th and 5th grades)
  • Summer book 2: Grace, Gold, and Glory by Gabby Douglas
  • The Hunger Games
  • AR book: Lila and Hadley by Kody Keplinger

What book suggestions do you have? …for me and for my middle schoolers? I clearly need some great reads to get me motivated again!

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.