Wednesday, February 26, 2020

February Reads

Who else feels like February flew by?? I can't believe we are 2 months into 2020! My TBR pile is HUGE and I think I need a week on a tropical island with a mai tai and a stack of books...who's with me?
Photo by Penguin Publishing
This month I listened to books 2 and 3 in the Harry Potter series and then read 3 more. Let's take a look!

1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: I enjoyed this book but not as much as the first one where I got to learn all about the world of Hogwarts. I really enjoy the characters and watched the movie of this book just this past week. The narrator, Jim Dale, is outstanding! He makes my car rides super entertaining.

2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Of all of the Harry Potters I've listened to so far, this one is my favorite. I loved the storyline with Sirius Black and am so looking forward to how the series will progress and conclude. I am a bit curious about how long it will take me to listen to the rest of the series since apparently book 4 is on SEVENTEEN discs. Road trip, anyone?!
3. Finding Chika by Mitch Albom: This is the first book I've ever read that made me cry multiple times. This one is a TOUGH read. You find out on the first page the tragic ending and my heart broke over and over as I read. This is the true story of Mitch Albom and his wife who end up adopting a daughter, Chika, from Haiti (where they run an orphanage) and bring her to America to receive medical treatment. This book is about parenting, privilege, the medical system, and more. Maybe it's because I teach students Chika's age, or mostly probably because I have had to bury a child, this book tore me apart. It's beautiful, really, but it was really emotional for me. That said, I have read every Mitch Albom book (The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is one of my all time favorite books)  and have loved them all. It was super refreshing to learn more about him and his passions. Verdict? Beautiful and messy (and honestly, an important read. It raises essential questions about the value of every life)  and if you want your heartstrings pulled, pick it up. But buy the Costco-sized Kleenix pack if you do.

4. The Sundown Motel by Simone St. James: This was my January Book of the Month Club pick.This is a shifting point of view ghost story/thriller. The Sundown Motel is a shady place where many women went missing in the '70's. Carly is a modern day young woman who returns to the motel to investigate once she learns her aunt was one of those missing women. This book was very suspenseful. I especially loved the way it ended and ya'll know I love a good twist. It was good but not AMAZING....I feel like it felt a bit slow at times.

5. Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan: This was one of the longer books I've read recently (about 500 pages) and it was by no means a quick read. However, I really enjoyed this book and love it even more knowing it's based on a true story. This book follows the story of Pino Lella, a young Italian man who joins the Nazis as a spy for the Italian resistance. I had no idea the impact the Nazis had on Italy and this book was super fascinating. Some parts were hard to read due to the violent nature and graphic descriptions. However, this is also a love story so it's not all war and violence. One of my favorite parts of this book was the author's note at the end about where all of the characters ended up. If you're looking for a historical saga that really takes you to a different (and tough) time and place, pick up this incredible true story of courage and bravery.

What are your fave reads this year so far?
Savor Your Sparkle,

Here are my 2020 Books so far with stars by my faves---
1. The Confession Club by Elizabeth Berg
2. The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
3. *Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak
4. Over the Top by Jonathan VanNess
5. *Teach Like Finland by Timothy D. Walker
6. The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield
7. *Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
9. *Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
10. Finding Chika by Mitch Albom
11. The Sundown Motel by Simone St. James
12. *Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

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