I’m trying to read more books that I choose for my own reading enjoyment. Not for review, but because I’ve been wanting to read them or they caught my attention. Most of them have been talked about ad nauseam or have been on my to-read list for a long time so they don’t really need a full review. But, I’d still like to give them some space here on the blog, so instead, I’m offering mini-reviews of the books that won’t get full-page space here.
I’m reading several books at the same time right now and it feels all over the place. Library holds are coming in at the same time I am trying to read books for enjoyment and for review. I am still reading THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY. I’ve been reading a few pages each night of WHY WE CAN’T SLEEP. Funny thing is, I don’t have too much trouble falling asleep at night and I don’t get too many pages read before I fall asleep. I’m also reading the graphic novel NEW KID which has gotten rave reviews. Our school library had it on the shelf so I snagged it for the weekend. I’m also reading THE STATIONARY SHOP which I was supposed to have done by the time I went to Nashville to discuss with my friend, but I didn’t even start it until I was on the plane. So, I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain, but I am loving it. I’m also reading a middle-grade novel, PIPPA PARK RAISES HER GAME that I’ll be sharing here soon.
Now on to the books….
COZY MINIMALIST HOME
More Style, Less Stuff
By: Myquillin Smith
Published: October 23, 2018
I purchased this as part of a Kindle Deal awhile back and decided to read it starting in January. It’s a good time to read it because typically in January we are putting our houses back to normal after decorating and rearranging during the Christmas season. So, even though I didn’t completely empty the rooms of my house, I used her tips to think about what to actually put back in the room.
Her book offers a practical approach to decorating in your home according to what you truly love and what makes you happy. Then choosing to get rid of everything else. Smith takes you step-by-step through the rooms of your home and explains the process of redecorating simply and clearly. I appreciated that she found this approach after thrifting and shopping to find that perfect item for her home until she had so many items she couldn’t fit them into her current home. Smith is relatable and helps the reader realize what makes a house a home.
If you are moving or remodeling, this is the book to read before you move everything back in. If you’d like to redecorate a room, her approach makes sense and offers workable steps on how to decide what goes back in the room and what doesn’t.
A Novel of the Royal Wedding
By: Jennifer Robson
Narrative by: Marisa Calin
Published: December 31, 2018
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: Library audiobook
This finally came up in my library holds and I listened to the audio version. This will absolutely be a favorite book for this year. I even purchased a physical copy to have so I can read it again.
I loved the three characters that were featured, the connection to the present day, the details about England in 1947, and how the wedding dress for the future Queen was designed and made. I had avoided it because I thought there were be too much about the making of the dress, but it was so much more than that. The friendship between Ann and Miriam warmed my heart and broke it. I became emotionally invested in these characters and will miss listening to this story every morning.
By: Tommy Orange
Published: June 5, 2018
This was our book club choice last month. My nephew had also been wanting me to read it so I was glad to be able to chat with him about this book the other night. This story introduces the reader to a collection of American Indians/Native Americans that are all coming together for a Powwow. The book reminds me of how OLIVE KITTERIDGE is written with chapters that don’t connect per se, but all the characters meet up at the end at the Powwow. The Powwow is the character that connects everyone in the story. It’s a heavy read, with difficult and tragic situations to read about. Especially when you learn early on that bad things are planned at the Powwow.
Each chapter introduces the reader to that specific character and then moves on to the next character. They connect, but you don’t necessarily realize their connection until you get farther into the novel. The chapters are short, but the heaviness of their stories makes it a slower read until you get to the last section at the Powwow and then you won’t be able to put it down.
I appreciated the story but would like to know more about why the author wrote THIS story. Not the best book I ever read, but I’m glad I read it.
“She was the only one trying to keep us all together, keep us all from falling through the holes of life opened up out of nowhere like those bullets that ripped through the house that night.”
HOW READING CHANGED MY LIFE
By: Anna Quinlin
Published: August 25, 1998
Publisher: Ballantine Books
This was part of my Page 1 Book Bundle that I ordered for my friend Tammy and I for Christmas and her birthday. Then we would discuss the books in our package throughout the year.
Keep in mind that this book was published in 1998. Quindlen makes good points about the joys of reading and shares stories and research about why we choose what we read, when we read, and how we read. She talks about her frustration with the beginnings of eBooks and reading books on a computer and how that will never be enjoyable. Now we know that eBooks and audiobooks are just as delightful as physical books. We have come a long way since 1998 in our reading options.
Overall, this was an interesting and short (less than 100 pages) read.
The Totally Radical History of ’80s and ’90s Teen Fiction
By: Gabrielle Moss
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Published: October 30, 2018
Publisher: Quirk Books
Format: Library Audiobook
This one took me back to my tween and teen years of reading. I’m so thankful the teen and YA book world has changed dramatically for our youth. I had forgotten that most of what I had to read as a kid were Sweet Vally High or Babysitters Club books with many in the series. I remember checking these out of the library and being strict about reading them in order.
This was an interesting listen at times, and offered a way to reminisce on my teen reading years. But, I didn’t feel like there was any new or surprising information shared.
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