New Books

This is my monthly roundup of books that came my way in the last month. I also share an update with you on other things going on in my and my family’s life.

I’ve been pretty quiet lately, quieter than I want to be. But, planning a bridal shower and a wedding, as well as taking college visits with our daughter and getting senior pictures taken has made for very little free time. I can’t seem to fit it all in and something had to take a backseat…blogging and reviewing. I’m still reading…sporadically. Thank goodness for audiobooks from Libby so I can ensure I am reading something every day even if I don’t have time to read from my kindle or a physical book. Check out all of our fun from the last month!

Family and Life Update

Reagan visited the University of Northern Iowa and my alma mater, Mount Mercy University. Just this week she sent her application off to UNI after getting her ACT scores back. As of now, that is her first choice, so we may have two Panthers in the house as Bennett will graduate in December 2023.

Pat and I saw Night Ranger again in concert with his sister and her husband. The last time we saw them in concert was November 2019 and they were just as awesome! I’m still a big fan of Brad Gillis! What a fun night full of great music!

I’m still wrapping my brain around our baby being a senior. This was one of her photo sessions…my photo of her posing for the photographer, not their photo. We had so much fun and have a couple more sessions to go.

I had my great-nieces for a weekend for Aunt Stacie Camp and we had a blast doing crafts, going to the park, eating all the bad snacks, and just playing.

I love that Patrick is in a Barbershop Chorus in the town he lives in. I’m so glad we can go watch him perform. This night we also did some wedding planning while we were there. Patrick is 4th from the left.

Pat and I also saw Big and Rich in concert this month! We love music! It was extra special when my niece’s husband and father to the girls I shared above was honored on stage for his service to our country. We had no idea it was happening and was a pretty cool experience for his family and us. He is on the stool in the grey shirt.

Bennett turned 21 this month and I was so glad we could all be together to celebrate last weekend!

We also hosted a bridal shower for our soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Bekah. In just a couple of weeks, she will officially be part of our family and we can’t wait!

Because of the upcoming wedding and a short trip I am taking before that, the blog will be a bit quiet until Mid-August. I know that I just won’t be able to fit all the things in and I want to enjoy every moment of the wedding planning and preparation without worrying about a book review to write. As you can see, July was a full month and August looks to be even fuller with school starting in less than a month!!! Oh my, where did my summer go? Thanks for sticking around and I can’t wait to share all the wedding details with you next month!

Now on to the books! 

In July, I read 6 books, 2 of them being for review. Two books were on audio, three on Kindle, and the other was a physical copy. I am counting this as a win for the busy month I had. If anything, I hope this shows that you can always make time for reading, no matter how busy you think you are. I hope you find something that interests you in the books I’m sharing below. This month is heavy on children’s books mostly because I haven’t been accepting many adult fiction books. I’ve gotten so far behind in my reviewing schedule this summer.

Summer Read-to-Learn

I also read 5 children’s books last month and shared about them HERE. I’m still running my Summer Read-to-Learn series as well. It’s so important to keep your kids reading all summer long and the best way to keep them excited about reading is to find books that fit their interests. I’ll be sharing books all summer that I think will be great to keep kids interested in reading and learning, HERE.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram, HERE to see snippets of what I’m reading or what’s going on in my daily life.

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.

Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction


By: Armando Lucas Correa

Published: January 10, 2023

Publisher: Atria Books

Historical Fiction

Format: eBook

I love generational novels and I couldn’t resist this one. He is a new-to-me author that I am anxious to check out.

Four generations of women experience love, loss, war, and hope from the rise of Nazism to the Cuban Revolution and finally, the fall of the Berlin Wall in this sweeping novel from the bestselling author of the “timely must-read” (People) The German Girl.

Berlin, 1931: Ally Keller, a talented young poet, is alone and scared when she gives birth to a mixed-race daughter she names Lilith. As the Nazis rise to power, Ally knows she must keep her baby in the shadows to protect her against Hitler’s deadly ideology of Aryan purity. But as she grows, it becomes more and more difficult to keep Lilith hidden so Ally sets in motion a dangerous and desperate plan to send her daughter across the ocean to safety.

Havana, 1958: Now an adult, Lilith has few memories of her mother or her childhood in Germany. Besides, she’s too excited for her future with her beloved Martin, a Cuban pilot with strong ties to the Batista government. But as the flames of revolution ignite, Lilith and her newborn daughter, Nadine, find themselves at a terrifying crossroads.

Berlin, 1988: As a scientist in Berlin, Nadine is dedicated to ensuring the dignity of the remains of all those who were murdered by the Nazis. Yet she has spent her entire lifetime avoiding the truth about her own family’s history. It takes her daughter, Luna, to encourage Nadine to uncover the truth about the choices her mother and grandmother made to ensure the survival of their children. And it will fall to Luna to come to terms with a shocking betrayal that changes everything she thought she knew about her family’s past.

Separated by time but united by sacrifice, four women embark on journeys of self-discovery and find themselves to be living testaments to the power of motherly love.


By: Kristina McMorris

Published: September 6, 2022

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Historical Fiction

Format: eBook

I just read SOLD ON A MONDAY in May and really loved it. I’m anxious to dive into her newest novel.

As a little girl raised amid the hardships of Michigan’s Copper Country, Fenna Vos learned to focus on her own survival. That ability sustains her even now as the Second World War rages in faraway countries. Though she performs onstage as the assistant to an unruly escape artist, behind the curtain she’s the mastermind of their act. Ultimately, controlling her surroundings and eluding traps of every kind helps her keep a lingering trauma at bay.

Yet for all her planning, Fenna doesn’t foresee being called upon by British military intelligence. Tasked with designing escape aids to thwart the Germans, MI9 seeks those with specialized skills for a war nearing its breaking point. Fenna reluctantly joins the unconventional team as an inventor. But when a test of her loyalty draws her deep into the fray, she discovers no mission is more treacherous than escaping one’s past.


A Memoir

By: Renee Linnell

Published: August 16, 2022

Publisher: Pink Skeleton Press


Format: Paperback

I am embarrassed to admit that I haven’t read her previous memoir THE BURN ZONE yet. It’s still on my shelf and waiting patiently.

Magic, miracles, travel, and romance–this is where Renee leads you in her long-awaited sequel to The Burn Zone. From love affairs with men half her age to being rescued by angels to getting stranded at 22,000 feet in the Himalayas and being electrocuted in the Maldives, Renee takes you on a wild page-turning adventure, sharing with you soul-soothing wisdom she gained along the way. Where The Burn Zone was an exploration of what happens when we don’t listen to our Inner Guidance, Still on Fire is an exposition of what happens when we do. As Renee courageously takes leap after leap into the unknown, picks up the pieces after being shattered, and recounts hilarious attempts to regain her mojo, you will see yourself in her stories. You will remember it is not only okay but necessary to try and fail. And your heart will be lifted as you become reminded of a deep truth you have always known but may have forgotten along the way–life is magic and anything is possible.


By: Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar

Published: November 1, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Books


Format: Mini Hardcover Gift Book

This is a fun gift book that could be given to your sweetheart or your child. It’s also the perfect size for a stocking stuffer or will be a great match with a bouquet of flowers to cheer up your best friend. Combine it with their previous book, MY CHRISTMAS WISH FOR YOU for a Christmas gift for that special person.

A book full of charming—unexpected!—ways to say “I love you” from bestselling duo Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar.

I love you like pizza loves cheese,
like a sailor loves a breeze,
and like a lemon loves a squeeze.

How do I love you? The comparisons are endless! From the bestselling creators of Me Without You comes an irresistible, heartfelt, and humorous ode to love, just right for gift-giving on Valentine’s Day and every day! Kids and adults alike will delight in all the clever ways to express affection and say “I love you.”

Children’s Fiction and Non-Fiction


A Finger Puppet Book

By: Emily Dove

Published: September 6, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Interactive Boardbook

You already know I love these finger puppet books!

Little Ghostie is a sweet, rhyming Halloween board book with a finger puppet built right in.

The youngest readers will love learning about Halloween with Little Ghostie! Count along in this Halloween finger puppet book with a cute little ghost who shares a night of spooky fun with witches, black cats, and pumpkins. Featuring an adorable plush finger puppet that peeks into each lovingly illustrated page, this entry in the bestselling finger puppet series offers parents and children a fun, interactive way to celebrate Halloween.


A Finger Puppet Book

By: Yu-Hsuan Huang

Published: September 6, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Interactive Board Book

Check out some of the other finger puppet books Huang has written, HERE.

Bursting with color and charm, this finger puppet book lets inquisitive babies and toddlers touch, feel, and explore their growing world.

Newborns will love snuggling up with Baby Hippo! Baby Hippo paddles, plays, and drifts off to sleep when it’s time for bed. Featuring a plush finger puppet that peeks into each lovingly illustrated page, this entry in the bestselling Finger Puppet series offers parents and children a fun, interactive way to play and read as they build a lifelong love of books together.


A Finger Puppet Book

By: Yu-Hsuan Huang

Published: September 6, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Interactive Board Book

Bursting with color and charm, this finger puppet book lets inquisitive babies and toddlers touch, feel, and explore their growing world.

Newborns will love snuggling up with Baby Lion! Baby Lion pounces, explores, and takes a cool nap in the shade. Featuring a plush finger puppet that peeks into each lovingly illustrated page, this entry in the bestselling Finger Puppet series offers parents and children a fun, interactive way to play and read as they build a lifelong love of books together.


By: Rilla Alexander

Published: September 6, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Flash Cards

These flashcards are super cool! I can already say I highly recommend them!

From the bestselling TouchThinkLearn series comes TouchWords: Color Cards—tactile flash cards that make learning colors fun and engaging!

A unique and essential deck of ten cards to teach a dazzling range of colors, explore words and language, and inspire imagination! These ultra-sturdy die-cut cards allow children to experience both colors and words visually and tactilely. A primary image on each card, accompanied by a cluster of related words provides the ideal building blocks for open-ended conversation starters, encouraging children to identify the many colors in the world around them. In addition, each card displays multiple shades of each color allowing these cards to teach an understanding of the richness of the color wheel.


Bookscape Board Books

By: Ingela P. Arrhenius

Published: October 4, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Boardbook

Of course, I highly recommend a book that encourages books and reading to the youngest readers!

Discover a world of books and stories and learn first words with this adorable Bookscape Board Book!

Explore a cozy bookstore, visit a library, and learn all about books in this sweet board book by celebrated illustrator Ingela P Arrhenius. Each uniquely shaped page overlaps with the next to create a complete landscape when closed—and an immersive world to explore with each turn of the page when open.
Simple text and jubilant illustrations introduce babies and toddlers to a word of books and usher in an early appreciation for reading! Delightfully petite, Bookscape Board Books’ chunkiness and unique layers give them a tactile, toylike quality that begs to be picked up—making each book in the series a memorable and irresistible gift.


By: Lea Redmond

Illustrated by: Flora Waycott

Published: July 26, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Boardbook

A new addition to the Made with Love series looks just as delicious as Donuts!

Create the perfect pizza with each turn of the page in this adorable board book that shows any pie is made better with love—and someone to share it with.

Let’s make a pizza! Can you guess each ingredient as it’s added? Soon the pizza will be ready to eat—overflowing with tasty toppings and piping hot, fresh out of the oven!

Artfully drizzled with Lea Redmond’s fun-loving guessing game and topped with mouthwatering illustrations from Flora Waycott, this pizza-shaped board book is stacked with treats for hungry young readers. With every turn of these satisfyingly thick pages, a new, delicious topping is revealed, leaving readers with a picturesque plate of pizza at the end. Celebrate a classic family tradition with this appetizing board book.


By: Jay Fleck

Published: October 4, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Boardbook

Babies love the crinkle sound. Add this with Fleck’s Crinkle Car for a baby’s stocking!

Crinkle the pages and sing along with this festive bedtime board book set to the tune of Jingle Bells!
It’s Christmas Eve, and all the decorations are settling down for bedtime, except for a pair of noisy bells! Will these two tinkling ornaments be too tired to welcome Christmas Day? With sturdy board pages and a crinkly paper treatment that creates touch-and-feel sound effects, this playful twist on a classic Christmas carol will have even the most excited little ones ready to settle down and get some rest before Christmas morning dawns.


By: Nina Laden

Published: August 16, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Boardbook

Colors, animal sounds, and a board book that opens up fully to reveal the whole train as it moves down the tracks.

All the fun of colors and trains in a one-of-a-kind board book from bestselling author-illustrator Nina Laden.

Look what is coming down the track. It’s the Trainbow! Readers fold out this accordion shaped book to reveal the most colorful train you’ve ever seen, making Trainbow perfect for story time and playtime. All aboard!


By: Xavier Deneux

Published: September 13, 2022

Publisher: Twirl


Format: Oversized Board Book

A very cool interactive, board book with lots of sensory options.

How big is big? In this large board book from award-winning creator Xavier Deneux, children learn how different animals compare in size: from the tall turkey to the enormous blue whale. The turkey is a big bird, but a bear is bigger. A walrus is big, but a hippo is even bigger! The bold attention-grabbing visuals provide a close-up of the animals’ large sizes and the added facts about what they eat–plus flaps, die-cuts and more–make this book a delightful introduction to the world of animals.


By: Sandra Laboucarie

Illustrated by: Charline Picard

Published: August 2, 2022

Publisher: Twirl


Format: Pop-Up Book

Kids love pop-up books and this one has mountains, waterfalls, and jungles that pop up on the pages.

An immense canyon, the world’s highest peak, and colorful lights that fill the night sky! Travel around the world with these multilayered 3-D scenes that leap off the eye-opening pages of this Pop-Up Guide™. Children can find out more about them and other marvels in this unique look at the world’s natural wonders!


By: Sandra Laboucarie

Illustrated by: Vinciane Schleef

Published: October 18, 2022

Publisher: Twirl


Format: Interactive Book

Learn about Earth’s most extraordinary animals with cool interactive features to make learning fun.

Interactive and engaging, Ultimate Spotlight: Extraordinary Animals gives children a look at the incredible skills of animals. Discover their abilities: Pull a tab to observe how an octopus hides in a large shell, turn a wheel to marvel at the ballet-like gathering of starlings, and lift a flap to reveal the chimpanzee’s secret trick to catching ants.


The Animals’ Survival Field Guide

By: Alexander Vidal

Published: July 12, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This is a hefty book that covers every animal and habitat in the US. A great asset for homeschool or classroom libraries.

The definitive guide to the wildlife of the United States.

Do you know which animal evades rattlesnakes by dancing?

Or that some squirrels can glide on the air for hundreds of feet?

Or that alligators can create their own year-round pools?

Put on your best pair of hiking boots, grab a sturdy walking stick, and explore the wild places of the United States with this stunning guidebook! Soak up new and shocking facts about this unexpected world of ours; pore over captivating, detail-rich illustrations; and discover surprising new creatures (some may be closer than you think!) every time you open the book. From glistening, snow-packed mountain ranges to searing deserts, this immersive and accessible guide is a one-stop shop for outdoor adventurers, animal enthusiasts, inquisitive minds—and anyone who listens to the call of the wild.


Maps, Games, Recipes, and More for Hours of Foodie Fun

By: Nancy Castaldo and Christy Mihaly

Published: June 14, 2022

Publisher: National Geographic Kids


Format: Paperback

All things food from all over the world with the experts from National Geographic. I can’t wait to check this one out.

Exploring the world has never been more yummy and fun! Discover how unique foods are grown, eaten, and celebrated by people all over the planet, get recipes for delicious dishes, and so much more!
Pull up a chair and dig into this bold and vibrant world atlas full of fun food facts, fascinating information about crops and farming, easy-to-read maps, recipes, and games from around the world. On the menu: vegetables, grains, meats, dairy products, and foods harvested from the water. Highlights include appetizing attractions, cool places to eat, and food festivals, and sustainable eating is promoted throughout. It’s a treat for kids who are interested in food and a valuable reference about geography, agriculture, and culture across the continents. Absolutely stuffed with mouthwatering tidbits for every reader! Kids are sure to come back to the table hungry for more!

Which one (or two or three) of these books will you be adding to your list?

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

So many books, so little time!

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