August Owlcrate

We got our August Owlcrate box a few weeks ago. It’s always fun to open those boxes and discover what they put in that month.

There was a tapestry (Ani took it home), an origami kit (Ani took that home, too), banana bread flavored tea (Ani took it home as well), and another Lord of the Rings bowl (it’s up on my shelf now).

I thought the luggage pin with the purples was my favorite, but this month’s light blue and beige is so incredibly pretty. There was also a zipper pull so of course the zipper pull and luggage pin have been added to my backpack.

The book this month is The Drowned Woods by Emily Lloyd-Jones. It sounds pretty good and the reversible dust jacket is so nice to look at. I’m looking forward to reading this one.

August Literati Box

This was the worst box yet! Tweaking Adrian’s interests didn’t help at all. His selected interests are engineers, adventure, science, funny, history, mystery, humor, mazes, and biography. We even took out fantasy and scifi to see if that helped. But nope. Every book this month was dark, gory stuff. Not at all what he is interested in and not at all like the month’s theme, Our Brilliant Earth. Another month or two like this and we’ll have to say goodbye to our Literati boxes. At least the first several months were good! (boxes onetwo, threefourfivesixseveneightnineten, eleven, and twelve).

Opening the box started out good. The colors were nice. The picture was attractive. There were fun activities included in the folder. But then we started going through the books.

We sent back four of the five books. Gallant by VE Schwab, Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda, These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong, and Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall. Squad is a graphic novel and usually graphic novels are instant yeses for Adrian, but this was one he wasn’t interested in at all.

The one book we kept was Blood, Bullets, and Bones by Bridget Heos. It’s non-fictions about forensic science and sounds like it’ll be pretty good.

August Reads

I only read four books this months which is way low for me. The beginning of the school year for seven kids plus having only one at home has taken a lot of my time (I swear it almost takes more time to just have one rather than three). Plus the first book I read (to myself) this month I really didn’t enjoy so I found reasons not to read it way too often rather than just getting it done. Those four books equal 1,026 pages read.

I started off the month finishing reading The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix to the big boys for their bedtime story. I gave it two stars. It just was not really good and super wordy and kind of boring. Then it took me forever to read the relatively short Murder by the Slice by Mary Maxwell. I gave it 1 star. It was just really bad.

Things started looking up when I read Holly Banks Full of Angst by Julie Valerie. I gave it 4 stars. It was funny and relatable and over the top. I laughed out loud a lot reading that one. I finished the month on a high note with A Limited Run by Karen McQuestion. I gave it 5 stars. When I saw the author was offering her new book as an ARC to early readers/reviewers, I jumped at the chance. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by her so I knew I’d like this one as well. I definitely was not wrong about that!

My favorite book of the month: A Limited Run by Karen McQuestion

My least favorite book of the month: Murder by the Slice by Mary Maxwell

Number of 5 Star Books: 1
Number of 4 Star Books: 1
Number of 3 Star Books: 0
Number of 2 Star Books: 1
Number of 1 Star Books: 1

78/100 books read for my goal of the year… 22 to go!

My September TBR includes all the books from August rolled over onto it plus The Final Gambit and All of Us Villains for a total of 15 books. Hopefully September will be a much better reading month!

July Literati Box

Adrian has now gotten an entire year of Literati boxes (see boxes onetwo, threefourfivesixseveneightnine, ten, and eleven). Once again the books weren’t as great as they have been in the past. It’s interesting. They started doing more targeted boxes and since then we’ve had more misses than ever. I readjusted Adrian’s interests so hopefully August’s box will be better.

The theme this month was One A-Maze-ing Summer. The colors were nice and bright. There was a sort of game/puzzle included. It’s very confusing that they only provide three bookplates but five books in each box now. They used to give six.

This box included All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and A Show for Two by Tashie Bhuiyan. Adrian wasn’t interested in A Show for Two at all so that one went back.

Also in the box was The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. Adrian was on the fence about this one. He went back and forth and ultimately decided to keep it.

The final two books in the box were The Darkest Park of the Forest by Holly Black and Blood Metal Bone by Lindsay Cummings. He decided to keep both of those.

Joel Buys Books

It is really way too easy to buy books on a Kindle or through the Kindle app on a Fire. Joel has become quite good at it. Every so often I check and see if he’s bought any books and return them if he has. It seems it should not be quite so easy, but it’s pretty funny that my three-year-old is so good at doing it.

July Reads

I read nine books in July for a total of 3224 pages. I started the month off with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling. I’ve read that book so many times and it’s always 5 stars. Then I finished reading Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons to the big boys for their bedtime story. I gave it 5 stars as well. I’ve got the sequel on pre-order for when it comes out in paperback (I hate it when books in the same series don’t match!)

Next I read Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier. That was an easy 5 stars. It was my Book of the Month pick in June. I definitely picked well! After that I read Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas. It’s the second book in the Throne of Glass series. I gave it 2 stars. I am, however, going to read the third book because I’ve heard it is way better and the end of this one made me just interested enough to continue on with the series. Then I read From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion. That was another 5 star book. I have never disliked a book by that author. This one was sci-fi, something I don’t usually love, but it was light enough I enjoyed it.

After that I read Lottie’s Courage: A Contraband Slave’s Story by Phyllis Hall Haislip. I gave it 5 stars. It’s a historical fiction middle grade book about slaves who made it to Fortress Monroe during the Civil War and so were considered contraband of war and therefore free. My next book was Regretting You by Colleen Hoover. My first foray into a CoHo book did not go super well so I was thrilled when this one ended up being solidly a 5 star book. She puts hearts in a blender second only to John Green.

Then I read The Do-Over by Bethany Turner. I gave it 4 stars. I have to admit I quite enjoy completely predictable romcoms. Same reason I enjoy those Hallmark Christmas movies so much. My final book last month was The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting by Evanna Lynch. That was another 5 star book. Evanna played Luna in four of the Harry Potter movies, but the books mostly wasn’t about that. It was mostly about her battle with anorexia and what recovery means.

July was an very enjoyable reading month thanks to the number of five star books I read.

My favorite book of the month: Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier

My least favorite book of the month: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Number of 5 Star Books: 7
Number of 4 Star Books: 1
Number of 3 Star Books: 0
Number of 2 Star Books: 1
Number of 1 Star Books: 0

74/100 books read for my goal of the year… 26 to go!

Once again I rolled over a bunch of books I didn’t get to in July to my August TBR. And of course I added a few more so this month’s TBR list is 16 books.

July Owlcrate

Getting an Owlcrate box is always so exciting. July’s box happened to be extra awesome. Like they put the coolest things possible in that box.

We got a bitter orange body mist. I kept that. It is fabulous just spraying it around the room. Smells so good. We also got a compact mirror that Ani took home with her. Then there was this silicone water bottle. It doesn’t make a sound if it gets tossed on the floor (I kept that, too).

Of course I kept the luggage tag pin and put it right on my mini backpack. The goblet charms were so pretty. Ani took that home. The reversible bowl cozy was beautiful and Ani took that home with her as well.

The book for the month was Violet Made of Thorn by Gina Chen. It sounds pretty good. The cover is one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen (of course I think so with all that purple!).

The pretty cover extends to the inside. The printing on the book itself is gorgeous and the inside of the book jacket is so beautiful, too.