Sunday, July 31, 2016

Books I've read this month-July 2016

So I've been a little bit obsessed with listening to What Should I Read Next podcast with Anne Bogel that I've developed a weird hobby or habit of finding the next book to read. I should just be content with the books I'm reading now but there's just so many good stuff at there that I want to mark them all down before I forget. But it does suck up time so I need to scale it back a bit.

I was talking to Mom about books on Monday and she asked me if there was a way I was keeping track of all the books I read because maybe some day grandkids are going to ask what grandma read and it might be fun to have something written down. This is just a fun way for me to jot down my thoughts of the books I read and maybe down the road, if I've read it again, I'll wonder if my review is the same.

Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life in Discovery by Russell Freedman
Possibly the reason why I loved this so much was timing of when I read it. I've been needing some encouragement to conquer my fears and so I was inspired by this.

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” 

That got me interested in learning more about her life and how she overcame her fears because I heard she was pretty shy as a child (reminded me a little of a Sheri Dew type story). Anyway, I was fascinated by her growing up life...sadly her relationship with her father reminded me of P.L. Travers' relationship from the movie "Saving Mr. Banks". Eleanor did some incredible things from her education in a French immersion school to her volunteering efforts. She fiercely fought for equal rights and had heated discussions with FDR about them. They tended not to agree very much. I loved that this biography told like a story. Her relationship with FDR was not what I expected but I'm glad to know that she just didn't "have it all together" so to speak. Even her children's actions brought her a lot of grief. I think I especially liked that this was intended for children to read (got in the juvenile section and it was a Newberry winner) so it had a lot of pictures which I think added to the story. The more I read, the more I loved her as a person. I'm pretty sure I would have been a Democrat in the 1930's because of her. :) Definitely recommend. 4.5/5

Recently I listened to Dan's Ted Talk about living to 100 so I was familiar before I started the book but it was neat to go into depth more from each pocket of the world. A lot of them had common themes that I'm still trying to apply today.
-Eat mostly plants and just eat till you are no longer hungry (different from being full). 
-Move naturally like walking, gardening, take the stairs, etc. I especially liked to hear that I didn't have to be a marathoner...walking is my preferred method. 
-Friendship/family/social relationships are key.
-They had a sense of purpose when they woke up in the morning. 
-I believe all of them had a religious sense about that. They all believed in God or a higher power. I thought that really fascinating because a lot of them would say "it's okay, it's all in His hands." They just tended not to worry too much. Fascinating read. 4/5

I had this highly recommended by my two sisters and I think the thing that stood out most to them was feeling okay to say 'no' to things. Which I felt like I needed to hear so it was good to jump into this book. He made a lot of great points and I really appreciated all the examples he used in every chapter. Austin read the first couple of pages and felt like he got the jist of it but I wish he read a little more because I think he could benefit some of these ideas in his work space, especially with cutting out the non essential things like over editing his emails to get them perfect for his co workers.

For me, what I needed was to realize do the one essential thing today and not be so concerned with everything else on the to-do list. I'm realizing that right now, I'm analyzing whether what I'm doing now is essential or not. haha oh well, it's a work in progress for sure. Sometimes it's really hard for me to grasp concepts in these type of non fiction books but hopefully I can remember a couple of things that I can change. In the end, I thought it was good but I wasn't dying to read it every time I picked it up. 3.5/5

I had high hopes for this book possibly because the title seemed to give the idea that this was going to be one of those books that I'll think about the themes for a long time. Or that the cover was pretty cool. But it didn't jive with me. Actually I was anxious to be done with it by the time I was getting there. Maybe it was bad timing and maybe I felt like I was constantly reading WWII books that I was done with that era, I don't know! but either way it's not the best WWII book I've read.

The premise seemed interesting because it was loosely based off his grandparents story. I got the impression that there was going to be lots of letters back and forth to keep the interest alive with the two characters who were in love but there's maybe 2 letters. It is a character driven novel and I could see the change that was happening but I just didn't love love the characters. The only weird part of it was that the 2 girl friends reminded me in a way of me and my childhood friend and our (cough cough relationship with a boy). That's where I felt like I understood their perspective. ;) But it dragged for me. 3/5

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Middle school fiction books sometimes are where it's at! They have a way of conveying a message without all the "junk" to go with it. It was easy to fall in love with Perry, a boy who grew up in a correctional facility with his Mom. There were times where I just wanted to give him a big squeeze. It was pleasant (and not so pleasant) when you would see characters changed or you saw what their true intentions were. I liked that there was a little mystery of finding out why his mom came to Blue River prison. And how people there are no less than the people on the "outside." A good reminder for us because we don't know the whole story about people. The only thing that was hard to keep track of was all the residents in Blue River and I didn't feel like I got a good grasp of their personalities. But besides that and the rare cursing, I would recommend to children and adults. 4/5


Let's just say that multiple times I absentmindedly dropped my jaw while reading this book, which is saying something. I was kept to wonder, "what's going to happen???" I love that in a book. Reminded me of a Kate Morton book. And if you like Jane Eyre or that type of gothic feel, you'll like this too. Just great storytelling that has you hooked from the beginning. The only thing that I couldn't wrap my mind was the time never felt clear to me but it almost seemed irrelevant for the story for the most part. I guessed the "story" was early 1900's and then the present time was 1980's? Anyway, worth reading if you like a good story that keeps you guessing. 4/5

I'm giving this a 5 star because I think everyone needs to read it! Not only is it a quick read (you could easily read it in less than 2 hours) but there are so many gems in there that you could learn from. This is also a book that needs to be read again and again. I love when the Little Prince said that adults were strange because of all the things they were concerned about. It's very allegoric and thought provoking. The movie is coming out this year and the trailer gives me chills. I wish I could read the book while having the music from the trailer playing at the same time. :) 5/5

What have you been reading lately?


  1. Wow! You've read a lot! Thanks for the recommendations. I need to add some of these to my list.

  2. Good for you for recording your books and your reviews of the many books you've been reading. You always inspire me to read more. You inspire me in many ways. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I will definitely be adding some of these to my list! So glad you told me about your blog. I love it! I love that you don't shy away from the children's section. 😉 I'm wanting to read a chapter books with Aaron. Have any suggestions? I feel like Harry Potter is too long to where he would get lost, but something captivating.

    1. I hear the Ramona books by Beverly Clearly are a good one (and funny too!) Little House on the Prairie? I'm kind of a nerd but I follow book bloggers :) so I was looking what they have to recommend. They probably know more since they have young kids. Here are a couple of links that might be helpful: (I don't think Aaron is struggling but she has some good book recommendations)

      Hope one of these is helpful!