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 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.

June Literati Box

Adrian’s eleventh Literati box arrived a couple weeks ago (see boxes onetwo, threefourfivesixseveneight, nine, and ten). This month’s books weren’t as great as the last few months’.

The artwork was pretty neat in this box as were the stickers/bookplates. There’s even a cute little game included.

The books in the box were The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson, Gideon Green in Black and White by Katie Henry,

Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado,

The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco, and My Dearest Darkest by Kayla Cottingham.

We kept the first three and sent The Girl From the Well and My Dearest Darkest back. Those are just too horror and we are not really horror people here. Also, the cover of The Girl From the Well really freaks me out (I have a low tolerance for creepiness).

June Reads

In June I only read seven books the whole month for a total of 2,488 pages. My reading time is definitely reduced with all eight kids at home instead of just three. I started off with Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars. It wasn’t nearly as good as I was expecting it to be and every other chapter was written in all lowercase with no quotation marks. I absolutely hate that writing style. My second book was How to Pack for the End of the World by Michelle Falkoff. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. The ending didn’t quite make total sense compared to the rest of the book, but it was quite enjoyable anyway.

After that I read Game Changer by Neal Shusterman to the boys for their bedtime story. I gave it 2 out of 5 stars. It just wasn’t really that good and was pretty much just a book for the author to beat people over the head with his social and political opinions (and I don’t disagree with them, but the heavy-handed way he wrote them just just irritating). Next I read I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. It was a bit creepy and a bit crazy making. It started slow, but once it got going it was pretty amazing.

The next book I read was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. This is, of course, a reread. It’s my least favorite Harry Potter book, but I still love it. Then I read Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. It was an alarmingly accurate description of what might happen if we no longer could get water. The last book I read was Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. It’s a lovely addition to the (Disney) Beauty and the Beast story.

My favorite book of the month: Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

My least favorite book of the month: Game Changer by Neal Shusterman

(Interesting: My favorite and least favorite books were both written by the same author.)

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

65/100 book read for my goal of the year… 35 to go!

I have another crazy huge TBR list for July and once again it mostly contains books I’ve had on previous TBRs that I didn’t get to.

Once Upon a Book Club, Part 2

I recently read If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy, the book Jamie got me in a Once Upon a Book Club box for my birthday.

First there was a blank Moleskine notebook with a wrap on it that said it was Henry’s Journal, something that had just been mentioned in the book before it told me to open my gift.

Next was a little walkie talkie cutout stuck between the pages with a QR code on the back for a walkie talkie app for your phone.

Next was a scarf or maybe a towel. I’m not actually sure which it is. At the point I was directed to open it, a towel was mentioned so I thought that’s what it would be, but it really feels more like a scarf.

The final gift was a tassel like you’d find on a gentleman’s loafer made into a keychain with a label with the title of the book.

I really enjoyed the book and it was made even more fun by the little gifts I got to open from the box at certain points along the way.

May Reads

I managed to read a dozen books totaling 4,362 pages in May. I started out super strong with A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson. That was an easy five stars. I got it from an Owlcrate box. It wasn’t what I was expecting; it was way better! My second book was Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay. I gave it three stars. I read it to the boys for their bedtime story. It was odd. I’m not sure what genre it was trying to be or if it really did any of them well.

Next I finished Nazi Games by David Clay Large. I gave it three stars. It was very dense. I learned a lot about the 1936 Olympics and Olympics in general. Then I read “Mom! I Farted in Church” by Christie Cuthbert. I gave it three stars as well. I saw the author speak in person and she was way funnier and better than the book. After that I read Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. That was another three star book. I read for my book group. I have determined I’m just not a Backman fan.

I finally interrupted my run on mediocre books when I reread Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling. As always that’s five stars. I love that series so much. It’s one of the few books I’ll reread. After that I was back to mediocre books when I read Above the Bay of Angels by Rhys Bowen. I gave it three stars. It was historical fiction way too heavy on the fiction for my tastes.

My next book was Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor. I gave it four stars. It was another Owlcrate book. I enjoyed it a lot minus the “I need to tell you this incredibly important information but don’t have time right now so I’ll tell you later” trope. Then I read my favorite book of the month, I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys. I gave it five stars of course. I have never read a book by that author that I didn’t love. This story set at the fall of communism in Romania was no exception.

After that I read If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy. I gave it four stars. It was quite enjoyable. I got it in the Once Upon a Book Club box I got for my birthday in April. Then I read Truth is in the Darkness by Heather Sunseri. I gave it five stars. I love her romantic thrillers. I thought I had this one figured out. I was so very wrong. My twelfth and final book of the month was Saints, Volume 3. I gave it five stars. I love learning church history through the eyes of members.

My favorite book of the month: I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

My least favorite book of the month: Above the Bay of Angels by Rhys Bowen

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

58/100 book read for my goal of the year… 42 to go!

And a sneak peak at my crazy huge TBR list for June that mostly contains books I’ve had on previous TBRs that I didn’t get to…