In July I’m heading to the beach for a week and hoping to average a book or two a day while soaking in the sun, sand and sea with all of my in-laws.
My Year In Oxford by …
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I found the characters relatable, endearing, and believable. I have always been fascinated by Oxford, so the setting was wonderful. I enjoyed the literary discussions, the friendships, the family dynamics, and the politics.
Dealing with what it means to live life on your own terms, to follow your dreams, to love, to die… they’re heavy topics that we’re dealt with beautifully. This book was a gem, and one I know I’ll be consistently recommending to others.
The Marriage Date by Jasmine Guillory
This story was warm, captivating, and just plain FUN! I loved watching Alexa and Drew fall in love, learn to communicate, and the weekends spent traveling back and forth to each other reminded me of my own dating relationship with my now husband, until I moved to be in the same town as him. These characters were lovable and the story was such an enjoyable read that I would heartily recommend this book to all my friends! I think this would make such a fun movie, and a fantastic summer afternoon read!
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
I loved this book and will definitely add to any future children’s library we have. The illustrations are beautiful and I loved learning a little bit about women I either already respect and admire, or hearing about women for the first time who were pioneers in their own right.
I enjoyed that they made these leaders approachable to children in a way to get them interested in who they were as women and how they acheived their success in a way that is aspirational and inspiring.
I hope this book cultivates a new generation of bold little leaders and continues to impact others in a BIG way.
George by Alex Gino
I loved this sweet story of self-acceptance, friendship, and family. It can be hard to let your deepest self through, especially in adolescence, and this story about a girl who was born in a boy’s body is a beautiful way to help people understand how it feels to be transgender in a simple and relatable way.
I loved the friendship between George and Kelly, and the relationship George has with her brother. I liked the use of Charlotte’s Web to help George process and verbalize how she was feeling.
I just genuinely enjoyed this middle grade book and think it is a necessary read and introduction to a world that makes many people uncomfortable. I’m glad I was able to read it during pride month and I’m glad to have had access to it at my local library. Reading about characters and third stories, which are different than our own, is one of the best parts of reading to me. I encourage you to read this book and to learn more about how to be an ally to people like George.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
This book was such fun quick read, and very steamy. Unexpectedly so, so fair warning.
I loved the quirky and lovable characters. I loved the Pretty Woman-esque story line. I loved that the book was more character driven than plot driven. I enjoyed the way Stella’s Asperger’s didn’t define her or the story, but was just one layer of who she was. It approached her interaction with the world in a real, human way that I feel authors sometimes miss when creating a character who deviates from the perceived norm. I found Michael so sweet and adored his family. I just really enjoyed this story and am already looking forward to the author’s next book!
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
I’ve been hearing people rave about Celeste Ng for years, so I had to grab her debut novel when I was shelling it at the library. I’m not sure how I feel about it to be completely honest. I really enjoyed her writing style and character development, and loved reading about an interracial family and the different ways each member processes their family and the outside world. However, some of the secrets each family member was hiding seemed too big to have never been discussed or revealed.
I will definitely be reading other books by this author, but am still processing my thoughts on her debut novel.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
I really enjoyed the audio book version of this one! It’s narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson himself, which makes me feel like I’m at a planetarium in the best way. I love listening to him teach me about space and physics and love how universal and approachable his style of teaching is. He is humorous and so entertaining in his explanation of the theories of the universe.
I truly enjoyed this and think you should listen to it too!
The Daughters by Joanna Philbin
This was a cutesy YA read that was light and fun while addressing relationships through the lense of family, friends and crushes. The characters all go to a private school and are from well to do families, but the situations and responses didn’t feel authentic to a 14 year old. Maybe closer to how a 16 year old would respond? Though, certain responses from Lizzie were definitely age appropriate in her defiance of her mom. Overall this was just okay and utterly forgettable, which is unfortunate because the potential to be more was there.
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
This book just didn’t click for me right now.
The Power by Naomi Alderman
This book was horrifying, haunting, and yet utterly captivating; I couldn’t put it down because I needed to see what happened next. I really enjoy dystopian literature and this fits soundly in that genre in my opinion, and would make sense read alongside such English class standards as 1984, A Brave New World and The Handmaid’s Tale.
This book is a look at what could happen when the oppressed become the oppressor. A discussion of what justice means and what it should look like. A conversation about gender, feminism, what happens when ideas get taken to an extreme and how absolute power corrupts absolutely. It’s a look at the power of religion to be used as a tool of manipulation and twisted to suit the times.
It is complex, and in trying to convey so many large and lofty ideas, some plot holes exist, but the characters are flawed and compelling, and the overarching story so intense to keep you reading despite the holes.
I know I’ll be processing this one for awhile.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
What did you read this month? Anything I must add to my list?