Books that Came My Way in August 2019

This is my monthly roundup of books that were added to my shelves in the last month. I also share an update with you on other things going on in my life.

My parents celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary and my dad turned 87 in August. Many of you have been praying for him these last four months and I so appreciate those prayers. He is weak but tough. He has good days and not so good days, but he is plugging along and I’m so thankful.

Patrick moved into college early since he is in Cross Country. The team left right after move in for a team bonding trip to Kansas. His first meet is this weekend and we are excited for his second season to begin.

Bennett started his first year of college and is having a blast already. He has a great roommate and went to his first college football game with his best high school friends. Our house is so much quieter without him, but it helps knowing he is not too far away.

Reagan started her freshman year of high school. It is a bit weird to be starting the high school stuff all over again, but we are excited to experience it from a girl’s point of view. She is in marching band, on the dance team, and show choir.

Reagan playing the snare drum.

Marching band season has begun. This is Reagan’s first season in the marching band. They had a family preview night prior to school starting and then we just had our first home game half-time show last night. Now they have a few weeks off before they perform again. We are excited to watch her grow as a drummer and percussionist.

August was a busy month and I was trying to soak up all the last minutes of summer with our kids. I also took a quick trip to Rochester, Minnesota to spend some time with my cousin. Rochester is a great community and not just for the well-known Mayo Clinics, but there is a lot of history, shopping, and excellent restaurants. We took the Trolley tour, shopped, and ate some really great food at Daube’s, Hefe Rojo, Nupa, Iche Tokoyo, and Flapdoodles Ice Cream. It was a nice getaway before life gets crazy again.

Now on to the books! I have mostly children’s books to tell you about this month, but they are so great! I am so excited to read them. If you have missed any of my recent book reviews, you can see all of them by clicking, HERE.  Or you can stay up to date with my monthly Quick Lit Roundup.

If you choose to make a purchase through any of the links I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.


LIFELINES

By: Heidi Diehl

Published: June 18, 2019

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Fiction

Format: Hardcover

This was a win from The Book Club Cookbook. LIFELINES was named a Summer Reading Pick by Oprah. It has also gotten praise from authors like George Saunders, Julia Pierpont, and Joshua Henkin. You can find a recipe from the author to pair with the book, HERE.

It’s 1971 when Louise leaves Oregon for Düsseldorf, a city grappling with its nation’s horrific recent history, to study art. Soon she’s embroiled in a scene dramatically different from the one at home, thanks in large part to Dieter, a mercurial musician. Their romance ignites quickly, but life gets in the way: an unplanned pregnancy, hasty marriage, the tense balance of their creative ambitions, and—finally, fatally—a family secret that shatters Dieter, and drives Louise home.
 
But in 2008 she’s headed to Dieter’s mother’s funeral. She never returned to Germany, and has since remarried, had another daughter, and built a life in Oregon. As she flies into the heart of her past, she reckons with the choices she made, and the ones she didn’t, just as her family—current and former—must consider how Louise’s life has shaped their own, for better and for worse.
 
Exquisitely balanced, expansive yet wonderfully intimate, Lifelines explores the indelible ties of family; the shape art, history, and nationality give  to our lives; and the ways in which we are forever evolving, with each step we take, with each turn of the Earth.

NEVER TELL

By: Lisa Gardner

Published: February 19, 2019 (Paperback August 6, 2019)

Publisher: Dutton

Fiction/Thriller

Format: Paperback

This was the Target Club Pick of the Month. I’m actually considering dropping this subscription because the last few books haven’t interested me at all. This one isn’t my type of book either, so I’ll likely pass it on to my niece who does like these types of books.

A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun. 

D.D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman–Evie Carter–from a case many years back. Evie’s father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many. 

Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. She remembers a night when she was still a victim–a hostage–and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of Conrad’s murder. 

But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a devilishly elusive thing. As layer by layer they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have?

THE GIRL IN THE LETTER

By: Emily Gunnis

Published: August 1, 2018

Publisher: Headline

Historical Fiction

Format: eBook

This was part of a Kindle Deal and it is still currently $1.99 as of this writing (these prices can change quickly). With credits, I actually got it for free. The synopsis grabbed my attention and the reviews are amazing. Readers have compared it to the best-selling novel BEFORE WE WERE YOURS which I haven’t read, but many friends and family loved it. I like the timeline…1950’s. My parents were married in 1956 so I like reading that era too.

A heartbreaking letter. A girl locked away. A mystery to be solved.

1956. When Ivy Jenkins falls pregnant she is sent in disgrace to St Margaret’s, a dark, brooding house for unmarried mothers. Her baby is adopted against her will. Ivy will never leave.

Present day. Samantha Harper is a journalist desperate for a break. When she stumbles on a letter from the past, the contents shock and move her. The letter is from a young mother, begging to be rescued from St Margaret’s. Before it is too late.

Sam is pulled into the tragic story and discovers a spate of unexplained deaths surrounding the woman and her child. With St Margaret’s set for demolition, Sam has only hours to piece together a sixty-year-old mystery before the truth, which lies disturbingly close to home, is lost forever …

Read her letter. Remember her story … 

THE LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS

By: Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

Published: October 3, 2017

Publisher: William Morrow

Historical Fiction

Format: eBook

This was also a Kindle Deal and is currently $1.99 at the time of this writing (prices change quickly). The collaboration of these two authors caught my eye and it being a Christmas story. I like to have a couple of books set during Christmas in my queue when the season rolls around, so this one will be perfect. It is also an epistolary novel which I love and has been likened to THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY which is an all-time favorite. I also like that it is set during WWI which will be a nice change from the WWII novels I tend to always read.

August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.

But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…

Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…

BRAIN ON FIRE

My Month of Madness

By: Susannah Cahalan

Narrated by: Heather Henderson

Published: August 6, 2013

Publisher: Turtleback Books

Non-Fiction/Memoir

Format: Audiobook

I signed up for Chirp Audiobooks Newsletter and was able to get a free audiobook. I chose this one after numerous people have raved about it. Chirp Audiobooks has daily deals on audiobooks including many popular novels. I think this will be riveting on audio.

An award-winning memoir and instant New York Times bestseller that goes far beyond its riveting medical mystery, Brain on Fire is the powerful account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity.

When twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how she’d gotten there. Days earlier, she had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: at the beginning of her first serious relationship and a promising career at a major New York newspaper. Now she was labeled violent, psychotic, a flight risk. What happened?

In a swift and breathtaking narrative, Cahalan tells the astonishing true story of her descent into madness, her family’s inspiring faith in her, and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen.


YUM YUMMY YUCK

By: Cree Lane Jones and Amanda Jane Jones

Published: September 17, 2019

Publisher: Prestel Junior

Non-Fiction

Format: Board Book

This husband and wife team have written a book exploring all the good things to eat, the not so good things, and the definite NO things to eat. Simple pictures and few words make this book perfect for toddlers. Their not-to-eat items will make kids laugh.

In their hip and often humorous Instagram accounts, Amanda and Cree Jones invite the world into their life with two young kids. Now, the Joneses are sharing another experience–the struggle to keep their kids from putting everything they see into their mouths. Using simple, bright illustrations, irresistible colors, gentle repetition, and a lighthearted tone, this stylish board book teaches babies and toddlers what they should and shouldn’t put in their mouths. Delectable treats like an ice cream cone, a pear, and a donut are interspersed with not-so-yummy things kids find irresistible–like coins, boogers, and sand. 

JUNIPER KAI: SUPER SPY

By: Laura Gehl

Illustrated by: Alexandria Neonakis

Published: September 3, 2019

Publisher: Two Lions

Fiction

Format: Picture Book

I love Laura Gehl’s books, so I was thrilled to receive this one!

Juniper Kai was born to be a spy. And while spies sometimes work alone, Juniper has always been able to count on her mom and dad to fill in as spy partners. Until now. Suddenly, Juniper’s parents are too busy and too tired to play with her. And when they start whispering behind Juniper’s back and making secret plans, she knows something really big is going on. So Juniper sets out on a new mission: to find out exactly what her parents are up to. And the answer might be absolutely spy-tacular!


A CRAZY-MUCH LOVE

By: Joy Jordan-Lake

Illustrated by: Sonia Sanchez

Published: September 17, 2019

Publisher: Two Lions

Fiction

Format: Picture Book

I’m anxious to share this wonderful book with you. It’s perfect for adoptive families.

“How MUCH is the crazy-much love?” This simple question is answered as two parents recount the journey of adopting their daughter and the many milestone moments that follow. From the child’s first bath and first time riding a tricycle, all the way to her boarding that big yellow bus, the crazy-much love grows SO MUCH that it spills out the windows and busts down the doors. A warm, lyrical celebration of the deep love parents hold for their children, and a comforting message for kids about how there can be only one special YOU.

I’m excited to share a new series of books from National Geographic Kids, DOGGY DEFENDERS. There are four books in the series so far and I think kids will love them. If your kids love the PAW Patrol series, get these books sharing real-life dog heroes. Lisa M. Gerry also wrote 100 THINGS TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP for kids.

DOGGY DEFENDERS: DOLLEY THE FIRE DOG

By: Lisa M. Gerry

Photography by: Lori Epstein

Published: August 13, 2019

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books

Non-Fiction

Format: Hardcover

In this endearing read-aloud picture book, readers meet courageous canine Dolley, and follow her as she spends an exciting day at work with the fire department. Gorgeous photography brings to life Dolley’s role as a fire dog in Loudoun County, Virginia, U.S.A. Simple, lyrical text lets readers journey along as Dolley visits the site of a fire, trains to sniff out flammable items, and teaches kids about fire safety. Young readers will fall for this witty and daring tale of heroism, along with aww-worthy photographs. Good dog, Dolley!

DOGGY DEFENDERS: STELLA THE SEARCH DOG

By: Lisa M. Gerry

Photography by: Lori Epstein

Published: August 13, 2019

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books

Non-Fiction

Format: Hardcover

In this endearing read-aloud picture book, meet courageous canine Stella and follow along as she spends an exciting day at work with the police department. Gorgeous photography brings to life the true stories of brave Stella’s role as a search dog in Virginia. Simple, lyrical text lets readers journey along as Stella trains to track scent trails, rides in a helicopter, and saves a lost hiker. Young readers will fall for this witty and daring tale of heroism, along with aww-some photographs. Good dog, Stella!

DOGGY DEFENDERS: TIGER THE POLICE DOG

By: Lisa M. Gerry

Photography by: Lori Epstein

Published: August 13, 2019

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books

Non-Fiction

Format: Hardcover

In this endearing read-aloud picture book, readers meet courageous canine Tiger and follow him as he spends an exciting day with the police in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Gorgeous photography depicts brave Tiger’s role as a police dog, and simple, lyrical text lets readers journey along as Tiger visits a police academy, trains to sniff out important items, patrols famous landmarks, and keeps us all safe. Young readers will fall in love with the witty tale, daring story of heroism, and aww-worthy photographs. Good dog, Tiger! 

DOGGY DEFENDERS: WILLOW THE THERAPY DOG

By: Lisa M. Gerry

Photography by: Lori Epstein

Published: August 13, 2019

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books

Non-Fiction

Format: Hardcover

In this endearing read-aloud picture book, readers meet helping hound Willow, and follow her as she spends an exciting day at work. Gorgeous photography brings to life the true stories of sweet Willow’s role as a therapy dog in Washington, D.C. Simple, lyrical text lets readers journey along as Willow visits patients at a hospital, helps children read at a library pajama party, and brings smiles to people who need them. Young readers will fall for this witty and daring tale of heroism, along with aww-worthy photographs. Good dog, Willow!

LITTLE KIDS FIRST BING BOOK OF PETS

By: Catherine D. Hughes

Published: July 9, 2019

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books

Non-Fiction

Format: Hardcover

A great book for a family to decide what would be the best pet for them. This covers them all from fish to guinea pigs, to cats and dogs, to horses and even snakes.

From cats to dogs to guinea pigs to birds to fish to snakes and more, this adorable reference book introduces kids to a wide variety of family-friendly pets. Readers learn which kinds of animals make good pets and which ones are better off staying in the wild, along with how each type of pet eats, sleeps, and plays. Packed with more than 200 colorful photos, the book also provides information on animal breeds, characteristics, and behavior and includes tips for training pets. Filled with fun facts and designed for interactive learning, this book will quickly become a favorite at storytime, bedtime, and any time. 

DOG BREED GUIDE

A Complete Reference to Your Best Friend Fur-Ever

By: T.J. Resler and Gary Weitzman, D.V.M.

Published: September 3, 2019

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books

Non-Fiction

Format: Hardcover

This complete guide to all the dog breeds is bigger than I would have expected. I’m anxious to see all the various breeds and learn about those I didn’t know about. I’m familiar with T. J. Resler’s writing and research through THIS BOOK.

From dachshunds to Dalmatians and poodles to pugs, this comprehensive guide gives an overview of more than 400 different dog breeds. Each profile includes the breed’s “dog stats”: country of origin, size, coat color and pattern, grooming difficulty, exercise needs, and “K-9 qualities.” With the help of veterinarian Dr. Gary Weitzman and dog behaviorist Amanda Kowalski, kids will also learn how to choose the right dog for them, how to take care of their new furry friend, and how to understand their behavior. Fantastic feature spreads cover dogs in popular culture, dog ancestry, how to prepare for your perfect pooch, dogs with jobs, and so much more. This comprehensive guide is perfect for dog-loving kids, and an excellent reference for families who are who are bringing home their first four-legged family member. 

CAT BREED GUIDE

A Complete Reference to Your Purr-fect Best Friend

By: Stephanie Warren Drimmer and Gary Weitzman, D.V.M

Published: September 3, 2019

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books

Non-Fiction

Format: Hardcover

Since we are a cat family, I’m curious to see all the various cat breeds and maybe try to identify which breed or breeds our cat belongs to.

From Russian Blues and Munchkins to Maine Coons and Persians, this comprehensive guide gives an overview of 71 different cat breeds. Each profile includes the breed’s “cat stats”: country of origin, size, coat color and pattern, grooming difficulty, and cat-titude. With the help of veterinarian Dr. Gary Weitzman and cat behaviorist Mieshelle Nagelschneider, kids will also learn how to choose the right cat for them, how to take care of their new feline friend, and how to understand its behavior. Fun feature spreads cover cats in popular culture, prehistoric cats, and the house cat’s wild cousins. This comprehensive guide is perfect for the cat-crazy kid, and is an excellent reference for families who are bringing home their first four-legged family member.

CAT SCIENCE UNLEASHED

Fun Activities to Do with Your Feline Friend

By: Jodi Wheeler-Toppen

Photography by: Matthew Rakola

Published: August 27, 2019

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books

Non-Fiction

Format: Paperback

Since we are a cat family, we are anxious to try to of these tricks on our cat, Stormy. I previously reviewed DOG SCIENCE UNLEASHED, HERE.

Unleash the power of science! Have fun with 22 safe and cat-friendly activities that let you work alongside your cat to discover what makes her tick. Learn how catnip affects your kitty and how she can see so well in the dark. Find out what kind of toys your cat loves by making a feather flyer. How does your cat balance so well and always land on all fours? Each activity is paired with step-by-step instructions, clear and interesting scientific explanations, and cool photographs shot specifically for this book. Hands-on activities and fun information for budding scientists prompt further learning and offer a behind-the-scenes look at current feline research. When you are finished with the book you’ll have a vet-worthy profile of the best kitty companion on the planet–yours!

This book is part of the National Geographic Kids Hands-on Science line which makes science fun and accessible. 

STUDENT WORLD ATLAS: Fifth Edition

Your Fact-Filled Reference for School and Home

Published: July 9, 2019

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books

Non-Fiction

Format: Paperback

I loved looking at atlases as a child and still do as an adult. This would be an excellent asset to a classroom or home library.

From the cartographic experts at National Geographic comes the latest edition of its award-winning student atlas, with everything kids want and need to know about our changing world. Dynamic, user-friendly content includes photos, facts, charts, graphics, and full-color political, physical, and thematic maps on important topics. Completely updated maps and statistics ensure that kids have all the latest information as they learn more about current events and become global citizens.

1,000 FACTS ABOUT ANCIENT EGYPT

By: Nancy Honovich

Published: February 12, 2019

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books

Non-Fiction

Format: Hardcover

I know very little I think…nothing close to 1,000 facts anyway, about Ancient Egypt. So, I’m anxious to see what I can learn from this. Nancy Honovich also wrote an ULTIMATE EXPLORER GUIDE for kids.

From the Great Pyramid and the Valley of the Kings to the Nile River and Cleopatra, discover all you have ever wanted to know about this ancient civilization. Unearth ancient hieroglyphs and their meanings; find out what was in King Tut’s tomb; and get insights about the science of mummification. Learn about ancient Egyptian gods and famous pharaohs, and follow Egypt’s battles for power in the world. After this deep dive into Egyptology, you’ll be able to dazzle your friends and family with your newfound knowledge.

NORTH AMERICA

A Fold-Out Graphic History

By: Sarah Albee

Illustrated by: William Exley

Published: October 1, 2019

Publisher: What on Earth Books

Non-Fiction

Format: Hardcover

This is quite a book where you could read all about the history of America in a timeline that can be read like a book or folded out across a table or floor.

A richly illustrated, foldout graphic history of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the islands of the Caribbean.


North American history unfolds in this graphic timeline that places the United States, Canadian and Mexican/Caribbean histories in the context of their continent. From healers in the Aleutian islands in 10,000 BCE to the first to cultivate corn in 3,000 BCE in Mexico to Canadian scientists studying butterfly migration in 1975. From the Aztecs of the city of Tenochtitlan to the Mississippians who built Cahokia to the Inuit of the arctic and the Taino of the Caribbean. Then there are Spanish, French, English, and other Europeans who invaded in the 1500s, the enslaved Africans forcibly brought to our shores, and millions more, from all around the world.


Ours is the story of creation and destruction, migration, exploration, conquest, wars, alliances, trade, governments, railroads, mutinies, panning for gold, invention, and art. It includes terrible injustices and amazing movements toward equality and freedom, and so much more. So unfold the book and immerse yourself in the vast tapestry that is North American history.

EXPLORER ACADEMY CODEBREAKING ACTIVITY ADVENTURE

Crack the Code, Find the Clues, Get the Inside Scoop on the Academy, and More!

By: Dr. Gareth Moore

Published: May 7, 2019

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books – Under the Stars

Non-Fiction

Format: Paperback

This activity book is an addition to the Explorer Academy books, see HERE.

In the first activity book based on the Explorer Academy, kids test their knowledge of ancient codes and ciphers in a series of head-scratching puzzles designed to outwit even the most clever cryptographers. When kids successfully navigate the codes, they are rewarded with a first-class tour of the Academy.

Kids will have a blast, teaming up with the characters from the series and learning firsthand from the world’s most renowned scientists, explorers, conservationists, photographers, and journalists. It’s a far-flung adventure, too, traveling to historic and majestic locations around the globe.


To see all the posts featuring new books on my shelves, click HERE.

So many books, so little time!

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1 Comment

  1. bermudaonion (Kathy) on September 8, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    Congratulations to your parents! 63 years is quite an accomplishment! It sounds like an exciting, and busy, time in your life right now.

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