New Books

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

I absolutely am flabbergasted that September has arrived. August was an absolute whirlwind. I have so many good things from August to share with you as well as some great books. Be sure to check them all out!

Family and Life Update

I started the month by spending a few days with my first cousins near Winterset. We stopped by this beautiful sunflower field at the Badger Creek Recreation Area. Even though we don’t see each other all that often, we always pick up where we left off and have the best times together.

Our son GOT MARRIED!!! What a blissfully wonderful weekend to see these two so happy about starting their lives together. It was an absolutely perfect weekend and we are so blessed to add Bekah to our family!

Photo Credit by Zach Lefebure, HERE.

My parents were able to come to the wedding which was such a blessing. It was a 3-hour drive each way and I wasn’t sure my dad would have the energy to make the trip, but HE DID! It was so special to have them there and I’m so thankful my sister made sure they could be there for the day!

In August, my parents also celebrated 66 years of marriage and my dad turned 90! We had a wonderful family celebration at the farm!

Our baby girl started her senior year. With the first week gone, I am already trying to wrap my brain around how fast this is going to go. It’s weird to think that this time next year, it will be just Pat and I and we won’t have any school things to go to.

Now that school has started, so has subbing. We have fewer substitute teachers in our district than we did last year, so I am preparing for lots of sub-calls. I’ve actually already started subbing this week and it is only the second week of school.

Now on to the books! 

In August, I read 8 books, 3 of them being for review. Four books were on audio, one on Kindle, and the other three were personal physical copies. I am not sure how I read all that during August as busy as it was. 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.

I also read 6 children’s books last month and shared about them HERE. If you missed my Summer-Read-to-Learn series full of fun and exciting children’s books to keep kids interested in reading and learning, check it out 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: Jillian Medoff

Published: August 2, 2022

Publisher: Harper


Format: Hardcover

I chose this as my Book of the Month choice based on the synopsis. It’s a family drama which I love and just over 300 pages which makes it a quick weekend read.

You can have everything, and still not have enough.

Cassie Quinn may only be twenty-three, but she knows a few things. One: money can’t buy happiness, but it’s certainly better to have it. Two: family matters most. Three: her younger brother Billy is not a rapist.

When Billy, a junior at Princeton, is arrested for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Cassie races home to Manhattan to join forces with her big brother Nate and their parents, Lawrence and Eleanor. The Quinns scramble to hire the best legal minds money can buy, but Billy fits the all-too-familiar sex-offender profile–white, athletic, and privileged–that makes headlines and sways juries.

Meanwhile, Cassie struggles to understand why Billy’s ex Diana would go this far, even if the breakup was painful. And she knows how the end of first love can destroy someone: Her own years-long affair with a powerful, charismatic man left her shattered, and she’s only recently regained her footing.

As reporters converge outside their Upper East Side landmark building, the Quinns gird themselves for a media-saturated trial, and Cassie vows she’ll do whatever it takes to save Billy. But what if that means exposing her own darkest secrets to the world?


By: Bonnie Garmus

Published: April 5, 2022

Publisher: Doubleday


Format: Hardcover

I chose this as an Add-On with my Book of the Month. It has been getting so much buzz and some rave reviews from people I trust.

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel–prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with—of all things—her mind. True chemistry results.

But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.


By: Julie Otsuka

Published: August 23, 2011

Publisher: Knopf


Format: Paperback

This is my Literati Book Club choice for September. See all about Literati, HERE.

In eight incantatory sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces the picture brides’ extraordinary lives, from their arduous journey by boat, where they exchange photographs of their husbands, imagining uncertain futures in an unknown land; to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; to their backbreaking work picking fruit in the fields and scrubbing the floors of white women; to their struggles to master a new language and a new culture; to their experiences in childbirth, and then as mothers, raising children who will ultimately reject their heritage and their history; to the deracinating arrival of war.


Every Woman’s Guide to Becoming Unapologetically Powerful, Prosperous, & Peaceful

By: Acharya Shunya

Published: September 6, 2022

Publisher: Sounds True


Format: Paperback

This arrived unsolicited for review. It’s listed as a feminist manifesto with Verdic teachings through India’s primary goddess archetypes. This is all new information to me as I’m unfamiliar with these types of teachings, but the author is an award-winning spiritual teacher.

Within you is a wellspring of strength and resilience, the ability to create and enjoy abundance, and an expansive sense of inner freedom and divinity. Yet after centuries of living in patriarchal societies, many women don’t realize how powerful they are—or how much they’ve been enculturated to keep their true nature hidden.

In Roar Like a Goddess, trailblazing Vedic spiritual teacher Acharya Shunya empowers women everywhere to step into their divine immensity and lead powerful, abundant, and wise lives through her revolutionary revisioning of ancient India’s primary goddess archetypes:

• Part 1 features the Goddess Durga—A role model who vanquishes internalized oppression, Durga teaches you how to take back your full feminine power.
• Part 2 introduces the Goddess Lakshmi—Known for her beauty and generous spirit, Lakshmi guides you to cultivate unshakable inner contentment and soul-aligned abundance.
• Part 3 celebrates the Goddess Saraswati—The ultimate teacher of our deepest journey to Self, Saraswati illuminates the gifts of wisdom, peace, and inner freedom.

Throughout Roar Like a Goddess, Shunya honors her progressive Vedic roots while breaking the shackles of tradition to bring modern-day women an inclusive, feminist spirituality. Sharing classic myths, original insights, and empowering practices, Shunya offers a profound process for awakening the many faces of goddess within. “It is time for all women to come out of the closet and roar with all their spiritual power,” she writes, “because that is our true sound.”


Finding Freedom and Fulfillment in a Purpose Larger Than Yourself

By: Lynne Twist

Published: October 18, 2022

Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers


Format: Paperback

This also came in the mail unsolicited for review. It offers solid advice for living a committed life and ways to make a difference in the lives of others.

What would your life be like if you committed to something larger than yourself? Find out in the newest book from global transformation thought leader Lynne Twist.

How does one person make a difference in the world? People constantly seek to discover meaning in their lives, but as humans take on the challenges facing us in this decade and beyond, we’re searching for it now more than ever.

Living a Committed Life demonstrates the power of dedication that goes beyond the self and teaches how to live a committed life that enables you to draw on resources and capacities from your most authentic self. In five parts, Lynne Twist shows how to make and keep commitments, engage in individual and collective action, and discover ways to connect and collaborate to make a difference.

By sharing stories and perspectives from her life, Twist reveals her unique experience as a thought leader and activist in multiple causes, from ending world hunger and protecting the Amazon rainforest to empowering women’s leadership. The book presents the guiding principles that have enabled her own success and that turn inspiration into action for everyone.


Over 30 Eco-Oriented Recipes to Help You Discover Healthy Family Cooking

By: Audrey Schaerrer

Published: September 22, 2022

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing


Format: Paperback

Making time to prepare a full meal and a healthy lunchbox might seem impossible between work, traffic, school, and after-school activities.

It’s important to make time for family cooking because there are plenty of benefits for the family. Family is a team and reinforcing that bond will only make your family a stronger unit.

This book consists of healthy recipes that are not only delicious but fun to prepare. It is written with the intention to encourage families to gather in the kitchen, cooking and connecting over food.

Photo from Little Inklings Website, HERE.


By: Little Inklings Design

This reading journal caught my eye on Instagram and I’ve been waiting for a new release. They are sold out again now but stay tuned for her next release of these fun reading journals. You can sign up to be notified by email.

Children’s Fiction and Non-Fiction


By: Alexandra Garibal

Illustrated by: Claudia Bielinsky

Published: September 27, 2022

Publisher: Twirl


Format: Hardcover Board Book

A cute board book perfect for showing your little one how much you love them. Will be perfect for their Christmas stocking!

It’s a love fest! Nose-to-nose kisses, tickle kisses, and many more fill the pages of this adorable and light-hearted look at different types of kisses. From a peck on the nose from a crocodile and tickly kisses from an octopus, to a pinch kiss from a crab, and hundreds of sweet little kisses from baby chicks, So Many Kisses explores all the fun and funny ways that kisses can be shared.


By: Feather Flores

Illustrated by: Carrie Liao

Published: October 11, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

A fun take on the classic Christmas song but with cats! Add this to your Christmas book stash.

Celebrate the holidays with twelve adorable cats—and one kitten—with this festive feline take on the classic carol The Twelve Days of Christmas!

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave me cats:
FOUR on the gifts,
THREE dressed up,
TWO batting bows,
and a kitten under the tree.

From chasing ribbons and shredding paper to cuddling by the fire and climbing the Christmas tree (uh-oh), the sweet and mischievous kitties teach readers of all ages to enjoy the holiday season in true feline fashion. With festive illustrations and irresistible text that invites readers to read—or sing!—aloud, this charming Christmas picture book is guaranteed to delight all.


By: Kate Messner

Illustrated by: Christopher Silas Neal

Published: September 13, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

I previously raved about Messner’s OVER AND UNDER THE CANYON. This is the newest in the series.

Award-winning duo Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal return in this latest addition to the Over and Under picture book series, this time exploring the rich, interconnected ecosystem of the ocean!

Over the waves, the sea lions bark and seagulls wheel and call. The bay is smooth and bright in the sun. But under the waves, there’s a whole hidden forest, full of whales and wolf eels, sardines and sea bass, leopard sharks and luminous jellies, as well as the waving kelp that shelters them all. Discover the magical depths of the kelp forest, and all the fascinating creatures living just a paddle’s length away—over and under the waves.


By: Brooke Boynton-Hughes

Published: December 20, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This is exactly the kind of book I love that offers kids a visual example of how their kindness can affect others.

There’s an invisible string binding us all together! Beautifully illustrated, this heartwarming picture book reminds readers that we’re all connected.

Through backyards and neighborhoods, over mountains, and across oceans, this colorful heart string ties us all together. Invisible yet undeniable, it joins our hearts so that we are never truly alone.

Follow the thread of this reassuring story to see how, even in a world as vast as ours, there is always a bond that connects us to the ones we love—and to the world we share.


By: Joyce Hesselberth

Published: September 6, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

A dreamy story of how a young girl’s generosity reach farther than she imagined.

A girl reaches for the stars, only to gobble them up in this enchanting picture book about selflessness, generosity, and friendship.

Have you ever tasted the stars? On a cold, clear night, Molly gazes up at the bright stars above, which look good enough to eat. If she could reach far enough surely it wouldn’t hurt to try just one. Would it?

Luminous and dreamlike as a falling star, this gorgeously illustrated picture book is a modern fable that shares timeless truths—how the consequences of our actions affect those around us and how generosity and friendship glow brightest of all.


By: Sandra Nickel

Illustrated by: Il Sung Na

Published: September 6, 2022

Publisher: Carolrhoda Books – Lerner Publishing


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This lesson of an unexpected friendship is so endearing. I previously shared another book by Sandra Nickel, HERE.

At the carnival, Bear wants a teddy bear. And not just any teddy bear―she wants the biggest one of all.

But instead she gets a fish. A very small fish. Bear is so very big and Fish is so very small that Bear worries they have nothing in common. Can they possibly be friends?


By: Ken Claiborne Boyle

Illustrated by: Deborah Melmon

Published: August 15, 2022

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

A fun, sciency make-believe story.

Jordie is awed by asteroids, perplexed by planets, and mesmerized by moons. She can’t believe her luck when she finds a black hole taking up residence in her desk at school. Of course she’s keeping it. But when the black hole starts snarfing everything in sight–including Neptune the dog–she realizes that black holes need wide open spaces, galaxies to graze, and stars to slurp. So she sets things right. Just not before she embarking on a wild, time- and space-bending mission to save her pup.


By: Arnaud Roi

Illustrated by: Charlotte Molas

Published: October 11, 2022

Publisher: Twirl


Format: Pop-Up Book

The perfect book for dinosaur fans! Add this one to your Christmas list!

Engaging and fact-filled, Pop-Up Topics: Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Creatures provides an exciting 3-D eye-view of the prehistoric world of animals. Tyrannosaurus, Argentinosaurus, Triceratops, and Quetzalcoatlus are some of the animals that leap off the pages of this pop-up book.
10 big pop-ups!


By: Maud Poulain

Illustrated by: Peggy Nille

Published: September 27, 2022

Publisher: Twirl


Format: Pop-Up Book

Kids love pop-up books and this one also teaches where they live. Check out her other books that I’ve shared, HERE.

Lions, dolphins, owls and many other wonderful animals fill the eye-opening pages of this Pop-Up GuideTM. Featuring creatures from the savanna, ocean, mountains, and many other habitats, the multilayered 3-D scenes provide a unique look at the animals of the world.
10 big multilayered pop-ups!


Mr. Bear 6

By: Virginie Aracil

Published: September 13, 2022

Publisher: Twirl


Format: Oversized Board Book

This is the 6th in the Mr. Bear series. This oversized board book series is a hit with toddlers and preschoolers. Lots of bright colors and easy-to-read vocabulary for early reading.

Taste the foods of the world with Mr. Bear! Mr. Bear takes children on a memorable taste adventure, from salty and sweet to spicy and umami, and everything in between. A visually appealing guide to the sense of taste, this book will introduce children to different foods, expand their vocabulary, and encourage them to try new foods and flavors!


By: Frank Murphy and Charnaie Gordon

Illustrated by: Kayla Harren

Published: August 15, 2022

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

A gorgeous picture book reminding kids of the importance of caring for our planet.

Our planet Earth is as individual and special as each one of us. It’s ability to sustain and nurture life is unique in our solar system–and beyond. In this book, celebrate all the wonderful, miraculous, astounding qualities of our Earth while learning how to protect her for future generations. Afterall, “If not us, then who?” From award-winning author Frank Murphy and Here Wee Read blogger, Charnaie Gordon.


By: Matt Forrest Esenwine

Illustrated by: André Ceolin

Published: October 18, 2022

Publisher: Beaming Books


Format: Paperback Picture Book

A great book that reminds all of us to be kind to others.

Being a human is a lot of work! Thankfully, humans experience many of the same feelings, situations, and challenges, so we don’t have to figure it all out on our own–we can help each other navigate the ups and downs. Full of humor and heart, this engaging guide inspires kids to be humans who are kind, empathetic, and thoughtful. No matter what our day brings, we can choose to practice self-control, compassion, and forgiveness. Don’t worry, young human, it’s okay to make some mistakes along the way–just remember that it’s love that keeps us all afloat at the end of the day.


The True Story of Annette Kellerman, World-Class Swimmer, Fashion Pioneer, and Real-Life Mermaid

By: Katie Mazeika

Published: September 13, 2022

Publisher: Beach Lane Books


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

I’m anxious to learn Annette’s story!

Discover the incredible true story of “The Original Mermaid,” Annette Kellerman, a girl who wanted to dance, swim, and feel free—and who grew into a woman who fought for the right to do just that!

Annette loved to dance and twirl and pirouette. But when she got sick and had to start wearing braces on her legs, Annette stopped dancing. Until, one day, her dad took her swimming. Annette could finally dance again—in the water! She water danced her way to England, where she performed water ballets, attempted daring dives, and competed in swim races. When she competed against men (and won!), she realized it wasn’t fair that women had to swim in full skirts, so she made her own swimsuit, and fought for the right to wear it.

Experience the journey of an independent and determined young woman, who swam, danced, dove, and designed so she could live her life feeling free.


By: Sophie Kennen

Illustrated by: Airin O’Callaghan

Published: August 15, 2022

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

A great book for reminding kids we are all special and unique no matter what we look like. Lots of great ideas for having body conversations with your kids are also included.

Our bodies! Our amazing, astounding, and all-around awesome bodies! Bodies come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and can do extraordinary things. Our bodies are uniquely our own yet they connect us to the world around us in so many ways. Through playful rhymes and colorful engaging artwork, all the things that make our bodies special–from the texture of our hair to the color of our eyes–are celebrated. This sweet and inclusive book encourages young readers to acknowledge and accept differences, and offers the perfect opportunity to open up conversations about body acceptance. Every body is different and all bodies are good. Back matter includes tips and conversation starters for parents and educators to use with children.

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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