Saturday, September 26, 2020

September Reads

 It's been a hot minute since I've blogged! Sheesh! I'll do a Life Lately post soon but nothing major going on here: teaching 1st grade in a pandemic, keeping up with Hank, managing the working mom juggle, and praying for the soul of this country. FOR REAL. Anywho, despite the busyness of life (good busyness, but just like too many days in real pants and mascara, ya know?), one hobby I still maintain is reading. I read 4 books this month. Per usual, I'm including my full list of 2020 reads at the end of this post. Only 3 more reading months in 2020! Get yourself a mug of something steamy, a big throw blanket, and settle in with my September reads! First up.....

1. Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes--This was the inaugural book for my school's teacher book club! I read that it was a good book club pick with plenty to discuss. I liked this book, I really did. In fact, if you're looking for a lighter read and heart that's not too serious but also super sweet, pick this one up. This follows the story of a young widow rebuilding her life in Maine alongside her sweet and kooky friends. A new man moves into town (a famous baseball player who has lost his magic touch) and well, you can guess the rest. There are deeper things than the premise might lead you to believe (marriage, grief, therapy, friendship, abuse, family etc). Overall, this was a fun read. It was good but not great if that makes sense. It's better than a Hallmark movie but not as good as a theater movie. I know this will make sense to some of you.

2. 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand---I LOVED this book! This is the first book I've read in a long time where I just couldn't put it down. In fact, I'd stick it in my purse so if I was waiting at a drive thru or something I could pick it up and read more! First off, this one is NEW---you can tell because each chapter begins with the year and a list of what was happening in that year. It started with 2020 and the year in review was all about Coronavirus, so ummm, yeah pretty darn timely! This was a romance that follows the lead characters Mallory and Jake, through, you guessed it, 28 summers on Nantucket (The premise sort of reminded me of one of my faves a few years ago, A Hundred Summers). They lead fairly separate lives but meet up each Labor Day weekend and renew their affair. I loved how each chapter is a different year and after a quick recap of the year's major events, it goes into Jake and Mallory's separate lives that year and then concludes with their weekend for the year. This is just a romantic, sweet read and I would highly recommend it! (Sidenote:  historical fiction about events I've lived through might be a new fave. Emily Giffin's latest about 9/11 was brilliant too). 

3. The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi---This is such a fun and helpful book. I heard about this book from my favorite podcast, The Popcast. This book is a short simple read all about how to find balance in our busy lives. Kendra writes about how many of us live in 2 extremes: lazy (relatable!) and rigid, hardcore genius (I'm sure we can all relate to that Monday morning umph that fizzles by Thursday or so). Kendra proposes a happy medium that is balanced (can I get an amen?!). Her book features a handful of principles that are really wise and make sense. For example, I love her "decide once" mentality---she gets the same kid birthday party gift, wedding gift etc. to reduce decision fatigue. She also recommends simplifying your home decor and meal planning routines. Save that precious busy brain space for things that really matter! This book felt like a coffee date with a wise friend who is full of handy tips and advice. I'm glad I bought this one (instead of checking it out from the library) because I think I could benefit from a refresher now and again. 

4. Beach Read by Emily Henry----I had such high hopes for this book. I heard it was, quite literally, a great beach read. Granted, I didn't read it on the beach, more like in 20 minute exhausted chunks before bed, but guys? This did not deliver. The premise of this book is cute---a female romance writer who bets her neighbor, a renowned fiction best selling author, that he can't write a book in her genre and she will attempt to write one in his genre. They fall in love, yadda yadda. This book had so much potential but it was just really blah to me. I've read much better "beach reads" and I'm surprised this one got so much hype. Cute title? Cute cover? Maybe that's why. It's definitely rated R for bedroom scenes. 

That's a wrap! Which books are must reads for your fall? 

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
13. The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters
14. *Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
15. *True Crime Addict by James Renner
16. The Ingredients of Us by Jennifer Gold
17. You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
18. Rushing Woman's Syndrome by Libby Weaver 
19. Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
20. The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
21. *On the Bright Side by Melanie Shankle
22. *One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
23. The First Time by Colton Underwood
24. Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston 
25. *Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
26. *The Paris Hours by Alex George
27. The St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets by Annie England Noblin
28. *The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup
29. Girl Logic by Iliza Schlsinger
30. *Harry Potter and the Half Bloos Prince by JK Rowling
31. *Look Alive Out There by Sloane Crossley
32. *Happy and You Know It by Laura Hankin
33. The Honey Don't List by Christina Lauren
34. Ghoster by Jason Arnopp
35. All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
36. *One to Watch by Kate Stoyman-London
37. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows by JK Rowling
38. One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus
39. *Stand All The Way Up by Sophie Hudson
40. *The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin
41. Here for It by R. Eric Thomas
42. *A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler
43. The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton
44. Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman 
45. *The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine
46. *An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
47. Open Book by Jessica Simpson
48. That's My Son by Rick Johnson
49. Hungry Heart by Jennidfer Weiner
50. *The Night Swim by Megan Goldin 
51. Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
52. *27 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand
53. *The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi
54. Beach Read by Emily Henry 

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