Sunday, June 24, 2018

June Reads!

Hi Friends,
   This month was a big one in the book department. I read 7 books. Summer reading is one of my most favorite things! If you are interested in the books I've read and reviewed, click HERE.
Ok, here are my June reads..... 2 short story collections, 2 autobiographies, 1 education book, 1 chick lit novel, and 1 dramatic novel.

1.You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

I really liked this book of short stories. Curtis Sittenfeld has written some of my fave books (Prep, American Wife, Eligible) so I knew this collection was bound to be good. Some of these stories are rated-R so be warned, but I found myself so engrossed in her tales and I think it's the true mark of a talented writer to be able to tell a short story. Check this one out for thoughtful, engaging takes on modern womanhood.

2. This is Me by Chrissy Metz
If you are a fan of This is Us (and if you're not then you can't be my friend. Jk...kinda), then you know of Chrissy Metz as Kate Pearson. Her story to fame and a starring role on a hit TV show is really interesting. Throughout the book she includes little tidbits of advice that she calls "Bee Mindful" sections. Overall, this is a fast, fun read that I would check out if you like This is Us

3. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Jenny Lawson is the popular blogger behind The Bloggess and I've been told numerous times that I'd enjoy her quirky off beat humor. This book was funny and I especially enjoyed the parts about marriage and motherhood (the parts about her childhood go on for too many pages I think), BUT Jenny Lawson is one kooky lady. I appreciate some odd humor and people who embrace their weirdness but this chick is kinda nuts and the book reads like her ramblings and it sort of feels like you're in the mind of someone with severe ADHD. It was a light breezy summer read but I'm not sure I'd recommend it.

4. The Book of Essie by Meghan Maclean Weir
This book was my June selection for the Book of the Month Club. The basic rundown without giving anything away: Imagine if one of the Duggar children suddenly got pregnant as a teenager. The family decides to stage a fake marriage to make the pregnancy look planned. Things sort of derail from there. This book pretty predictable but I did still enjoy it. An interesting premise and a really fast read. I didn't want to put it down to find out what happens and it turns out the hunch I had at the beginning was correct. Overall, it was pretty good.

5. Calypso by David Sedaris
I've been on the library wait list for this book for months (even though it was just released!). I adore David Sedaris. This book did not disappoint and for David Sedaris fans, please pick this one up. It's exactly what you'd expect from him: quirky, offbeat, thought provoking, spot on commentary on the absurdity of life. It deals with the tragic suicide of his sister in a thoughtful deep way without getting too terribly dark. My favorite story was, without a doubt, the one about how much he loves buying souvenirs on his trips to Asia. In response to his mom's question of why he doesn't prefer a museum over a mall, his response is, "Um, because museums don't sell shit." Makes sense to me, David. Loved this one.

6. We're Doing It Wrong by David Michael Slater
I already gushed about this one on Facebook. I love reading some education books and this one was so. amazing. The format is for every 25 ideas that Slater claims are being implemented incorrectly, he offers research-based solutions that he believes can transform classrooms, schools, and the whole education system. I really resonated with this author and nearly every page I was practically shouting, "Yes! Preach!" Slater doesn't suggest throwing out current teaching and assessment techniques, he merely suggests we tweak the focus from test scores and achievement to teaching great student habits and respecting the art of teaching. Loved It!

7. Fitness Junkie by Lucky Sykes and Jo Piazza
I heard about this book from the Big BooCast Podcast. I haven't read a good, classic chick lit novel in a long time and this one right here fit the bill. The premise is a young wedding dress designer who is told by her boss to lose some lbs. Hilarity ensues as the protagonist tries all sorts of zany exercise and food trends to shed the weight. My biggest issue with this book was that the main character doesn't throw more of a fit that she's basically told she's ugly and she better change or get fired. Ummm, excuse me? I thought more of a resistance on her part would have made the book more believeable. Nevertheless, this is a great beach/pool read and gives all the elements of great chick lit: big city, love story, likable protagonist, misadventures, and a nice, happy ending.

And because we're a HALF WAY into 2018 (What? How?) I am posting all my 2018 reads so far here. While all had their pros and cons, I put stars next to ones I especially enjoyed.

*1. Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
2. When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Whalen
*3. Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan
4. Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker
*5. One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
6. Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan
*7. The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell
8. Parent Hacks by Asha Dornfest
9. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
10. The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
*11. Sisters First by Jenna Bush Hagar and Barbara Pierce Bush
12. Look Again by Lisa Scottoline
13. Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado
14. The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert
15. The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
*16. The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani
*17. Sugar by Kimberly Stuart
18. Achtung Baby by Sara Zaske
*19. The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sara Pekkanen
20. Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman
*21. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
*22. The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
23. Mindless Eating by Brad Wansick
24. Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins
25. Our Father by Pope Francis
26. Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser
*27. How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
28. Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
29. You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfled
30. This is Me by Chrissy Metz
31. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
32. The Book of Essie by Meghan Maclean Weir
*33. Calypso by David Sedaris
*34. We're Doing It Wrong by David Michael Slater
*35. Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
Happy reading!
Savor Your Sparkle,

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