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. It can be hard to concentrate so it is nice to have options with the type of book and also the way I am reading. I don’t have an audiobook going right now as I’m catching up on some of my favorite podcasts. I have a couple of ebooks on my Kindle that I am reading and a couple of physical books going right now. My currents reads are HOW THE PENGUINS SAVED VERONICA, a book for review that reminds me a bit of ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE and WHERE’D YOU GO BERNADETTE. LOVE DOES and THE WONDER YEARS are ones I read a chapter or two of before bed. They are from my own shelf and have been ones I’ve been wanting to pick up. HATE LIST is one I’m reading to prepare for possibly teaching this fall from the class reading list.
By: Sophie Kinsella
Narrated by: Gemma Whelan
Published: June 9, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: Audiobook through the library
I read this one as part of the class reading list for school. There is a chance I’ll be teaching some this fall, so I’m working my way through the list of books I haven’t read yet.
Audrey is a teenager that had a horrible bullying incident happen at her school (which the reader never finds out exactly what it was) and she has since been unable to attend school, talk to strangers, go out in public, or remove her dark sunglasses. Her older brother Frank and his friend Linus are preparing for a huge video game tournament and Linus has to come to the house to practice. This, at first. upends Audrey, until she and Linus create a form of communication that helps her break out of her shell.
There is also other family drama going on along with Audrey’s mental health issues which adds to the chaos. It’s fairly realistic while also being funny and romantic. I listened to this one on audio and it was a quick and enjoyable listen. It’s British so the narrator is also British. I also liked that at times, other narrators were brought in to narrate conversations.
This is a great book for introducing the difficulties around mental health, anxiety, and depression among teenagers especially after a traumatic incident. I think other teens will be able to relate to Audrey and her fears and insecurities.
Me Before You Trilogy
By: Jojo Moyes
Narrated by: Anna Acton
Published: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Penguin Books
Format: Audiobook through the Library
Another British audiobook. I really liked ME BEFORE YOU and also enjoyed the movie version. The audiobook was available for an immediate download and I was looking for something light and that would not take a lot of focus. This fit my needs, even though it wasn’t always happy.
Without spoiling too much if you haven’t read the first in the trilogy, Louisa is trying to move on after the loss of someone she loved. But, she isn’t doing very well, until an accident forces her to return home to her parents and she has to repair her body as well as her relationships. A romance develops and another person emerges that flips Louisa’s life upside down and brings back all the pain of her loss.
It held my attention and even though I’m not typically a series reader, there is enough of a cliff hanger at the end to make me want to read/listen to STILL ME.
IF YOU LIVED HERE YOU’D BE HOME BY NOW
Why We Traded the Commuting Life for a Little House on the Prairie
By: Christopher Ingraham
Narrated by: Josh Bloomberg
Published: September 29, 2019
Format: Audiobook through the library
I remembered hearing about this book when it was published so I added it to my library hold list. It was an enjoyable and quick listen. As someone who lives in the Midwest, in a small town a lot of his “light bulb” moments were “Duh” moments for me. The author and his family decide they can no longer live in the rat race of hours-long commutes every day for work only to get home and barely have time to see their twin toddlers let alone any extra money to purchase a bigger home more than 1000 square feet.
After an article that he wrote stating Red Lake Falls, Minnesota as the worst place in America to live, he was persuaded to visit there by the residents. After he left he couldn’t get the community, the people, and their way of life out of his mind. Not everyone can just pack up their family and move, but thankfully, his employer, the Washington Post, allowed him to work remotely and his wife decided to try staying at home with their children.
I laughed along with his struggles of their first Northern Minnesota winter, having their first Hot Dish, and his first Deer Hunting Weekend experience. With family in Northern Minnesota, I could relate to a lot of his stories. If anything, this book will remind you to love where you live or if you don’t, it may be a good time to check out the small towns in the Midwest!
THE HOME EDIT
A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals
By: Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin
Published: March 19, 2019
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Format: eBook through the Library
I think every professional organizer has this book on their shelves. It kept popping up in a lot of searches and so I decided to add it to my library holds list. I read it as an eBook and I would recommend reading it as a physical book. This book has tons of photos and makes the book so much more beautiful. I switched from reading it on my Kindle to my iPad so I could see the photos in color which were amazing since the authors love to organize via rainbow colors.
I was able to read through this pretty quickly and kind of skip the areas I didn’t need to learn about organizing, like children’s toys. The authors are organizers to the stars and they share inside peeks into celebrity’s closets, pantries, and laundry rooms, which was fun.
I took a few tips from the book, but mostly just lived vicariously through the pages of this book. There is also a refrigerator labels print out included with reading the book which is kind of cool. Bottom line, read it for the pictures at the very least!
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