Friday, August 7, 2015

Summer Reading Recap; June, July and a little taste of August

It's been a fantastic reading summer for me.  I need to bump it up just on the side of school reading but otherwise I'm happy with how much I've been able to accomplish amidst parties, vacations, and family drama.


Swamplandia by Karen Russell:  Didn't love it as much as I thought I should, it felt disjointed and for such an odd story I really needed to love the characters. I didn't.

The Detective's Assistant by Kate Hannigan: Interesting read for middle schoolers, holes in the plot though but kids probably won't notice.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult:  One of my top reads this summer; an out-of-the-box story for Picoult.  She's an excellent writer but her books fall into a pattern, this one didn't.  I loved the characters, loved the plot, and the mash-up, alternating point-of-view chapters. Thank you.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart:  I listened to this one on audible with Groovy Girl and we both loved what it had to say about young women and relationships. Fiesty. Thank you to Angelle for highlighting this author for me after we read Dramarama for our book retreat.


Nightbird by Alice Hoffman:  I love Alice Hoffman's writing.  This one was no exception.  A young boy is cursed with a set of wings and his mother hides him away from everyone including his father who doesn't understand the family magic or curse.  So many intricate levels of this story.  

How to speak dolphin by Ginny Rorby:  Good story about a girl who fights for her autistic half brother after her mother dies.  Elementary girls will love it. And it does bring something to think about to the table: what animals experience in captivity even in what we think might be safe environments.  Food for thought.

{coming soon}

Switch by Ingrid Law:  This is the best one yet which is saying a lot after the overwhelming popularity of Savvy.  Thank you for my copy Ingrid!

A game of thrones by George R.R. Martin:  Yes, he is wordy but the story is a great fantasy.  I don't know for sure if I'll read anymore than this first one because my favorite characters will surely die in the next one or the next one but I liked this one and it kept me turning pages in DC. I can say I've read it.

We were Liars by E. Lockhart:  Listened to this one also on audible; my easy fix for getting Groovy Girl interested.  We had her cousin with us for this one as well as we drove back from the East Coast following the story. This writer has a lot of unique ideas.  The ending took us by surprise.

Bringing up bebe by Pamela Druckerman:  I don't have small babies anymore but I loved Janssen's review of this book.  I've been listening to it on and off for a few monthes.  I took away good hints and I think many of my friends and family that have small children would benefit from reading this title.  Many people fight against the notion that anyone can do something better than Americans but we are at once uptight and too loose with our children.  I loved the French method of eating one snack after school but that snacking was not done 3-4 times a day as it is here. Goldfish at every opportunity! French children sit and eat dinner with their parents, whatever is served.  Also the hour before bedtime trick is one I'm keeping.  Quiet time in their room, no electronics, just alone time. I've already started this with Groovy Girl so we'll be ready for the start of school.  Everyone needs quiet time.

The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer:  I don't know why I resisted reading this one for so long.  I had an ARC of it long ago and let it sit with out cracking the cover! Thankfully it made it on our state award list so I picked it up and was sucked into this creative and fun fantasy world.

The fourteenth Goldfish by Jenni Holm:  I love this author and this book was okay but a bit contrived.  The science idea is great though and will appeal to many young girls and boys.

The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin:  A mystery set in the 1830s in Istanbul featuring Yashim, a eunuch.  I liked the writing but I'm not sure I understood all of it.  I read it for book club.


The Girl on the train by Paula Hawkins:  I liked this one. It was mysterious and I didn't have a lot of empathy for the characters yet I wanted to know what the heck happened!  Kept me reading until I turned the last page.

The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee:  I won this a few years ago and it's been on my coffee table waiting for me to pick it up.  I did and it was entertaining which made it a perfect summer read.  Portia has the gift of knowing and it comes through visions of food. The gift has been passed down from her grandmother, who owned the original Glass Kitchen in TX, and her granddaughters attempt to recreate that magic in NYC.  It's a little kitchy, the romance is a little too perfect, but it was a fun read.  I'm glad Portia was able to save them all.

And now I'm reading All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr for our August book club selection-I like it so far.

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