August Reading

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir


Wow. This was a hard book to read as the subject matter it deals with is so challenging to confront and process.

Advocacy for women’s safety and for honoring their stories and experience is an area that has seen so much positive work in recent years, but where there is so much still to be done.

I really enjoyed the three voices who narrate this story and the unique perspective they each bring. I found the premise intriguing and was invested in the story from page one. The idea that so much of your story is out in public, but the truth of your life and your pain is hidden.

I found parts of this book challenging to read, but I am so glad I pushed through and felt the conclusion was a hopeful place to leave this story.

The Southern Living Party Cookbook: A Modern Guide to Gathering by Elizabeth Heiskell


This book is beautiful! I love each of the pictures and found the stories surrounding each party so personal and relatable. The recipes are approachable and engaging, making you want to jump in the kitchen and start cooking! This book guides you to host a variety of get togethers and parties and would make an excellent gift for your favorite hostess or hostess!

Soul: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes by Todd Richards


These recipes we’re delicious and an elevated version of some classic favorites like sweet potato waffles – yummy! The turnip hash was delicious and I can’t wait to try the corn meal crust d snapper with some of the fish we caught in the gulf this summer. I know the apple butter will be a beloved favorite this fall.

If you love rich, flavorful recipes that play to the heart of American cuisine and foods that truly speak to your soul, check this beautiful cookbook out!

Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines


This cookbook is beautiful!

I love the stories that are shared about different recipes, the photography is exactly what you expect with the Magnolia brand, and the recipes all sound so simple and delicious!

I can’t wait to try so many of these recipes! I’m especially looking forward to making many of the soups and trying her roast chicken! Her mom’s bulgogi and her grandfather’s Syrian donuts also sound delicious.

I’m a big fan of reading cookbooks for inspiration in my own cooking, family stories and food memories, and beautiful photography. This book has all of that and I’m itching to get in the kitchen and play!

Easy Thai Cookbook by Sallie Morris


I really like the introduction to this cookbook about Thai cuisine and it’s flavors and ingredients. Thai is a favorite of my husband and I and we are always looking for new recipes to try in our kitchen with all our fresh produce.

These recipes seem easy to follow if you have access to the ingredients required. Living in a rural town, many of the ingredients required bare not ones we have the ability to purchase.

While this book serves as a great inspiration for recipes to try, I was hoping for more ease of access for the rural American cook who enjoys Thai flavors and dishes.

The Love & Lemons Cookbook: An Apple-to-Zucchini Celebration of Impromptou Cooking by Jeanine Donofrio


This is another beautiful cookbook!

The photography is so bright and colorful, but simple and clean too.

I love how each recipe has adaptations to make it vegan or gluten-free, and showcases so many delicious and delightful ways to use different vegetables throughout their seasons!

We try to eat a lot of veggies in our house, but can become complacent in how we prepare them. This has never so motivated to try new things, especially with our CSA shares vegetables we get.

I’m excited to try the kohlrabi spring rolls and some of her soup recipes. I also love all the ways to prepare squashes, since they’re a favorite of mine!

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile


I really enjoyed the tone and writing style of this one, and feel it truly guided me to confirming my Enneagram number; 9w1.

I thought the descriptions of each type, the quotes, the stories, and the self-reflection were all valuable to exploring Enneagrams further.

What’s My Type? By Kathleen V. Hurley and Theodore E. Dobson


Discovering Your Personality Type: The New Enneagram Questionnaire by Don Richard Riso


The copy I borrowed from my library was so marked up and drawn in that there was no value to me, as it could not be used as intended.

The information about the Enneagram that it did contain outside of the questionnaire was not anything I hadn’t read in an easier to understand way elsewhere.

The First Ladies of the United States of America by C-SPAN

This book serves as a good general primer of the women who supported the man in the highest political office in the country. Some were the wives of the president, other the daughters, and still others just dear friends who took on the social hosting role of welcoming the world to the center of American government.

This would be a useful jumping off point to learn more about the basics of each woman, but there isn’t any real depth or new knowledge.

I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of Reading Life by Anne Bogel


I adored this book of essays on the reading life, by a woman I deeply admire and whose work I confidently support. I’ve been a fan of What Should I Read Next? since it launched, and a reader of Modern Mrs. Darcy for even longer. Anne’s voice and style feel like a dear friend, and this book highlights the best of what she offers the world. I have already requested our library order copies of this book and passed it along to my fellow librarians to enjoy!

Each essay resonated with me in some way, and I underlined at least one quote per chapter. My favorite essay was I’m Begging You to Break My Heart about the emotional power of a read that connects with you on a soul level. Finished books that ellicit big emotions is a favorite reading style of mine. I loved hearing about her relationship with her local library, and the sweet house she owned right next door. I connected strongly when she mentioned memories and places tied to books, because books are one of the ways I can easily organize my life and the moves I made with the fictional friends who kept me company each time I was “the new kid.”

I genuinely am delighted by this sweet short book and will encourage every friend, family member and acquaintance to read this book and find the essay they most connect with.

I am a member of the launch team for this book, and did receive a free copy of the book in exchange for my review and promotion.

American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America by Michelle Obama


What a beautiful book! I love the layout and photography, and the depth of content.

This book covers seasonal growth in the White House Garden, seasonal recipes, the history of gardening at the White House, information about nutritional trends and the importance of physical movement to continue to lead healthy lives. It has a comprehensive view of nutrition and food growth and development.

I’ve loved working with our local farm for our personal CSA shares this summer, and in the exchange they have with our various food service organizations in town, especially the soup kitchen where I work. Teaching students and guests about healthy food preparation and the growth process has been such a fun part of my summer. We have a fun program that students at our University can apply for called Farm to Table. They work at our local farm in the morning, then serve at the soup kitchen in the afternoons. It allows them to see the full cycle of planting to harvesting to preparation to consumption. This book had a similar feel to what we try to achieve through that program.

If you are at all interested in nutrition, gardening, history or education, I recommend checking this beautiful book out!

What did you read this month?

2 thoughts on “August Reading

    1. They we’re interesting! I’m managing many different students and think personality can be really useful in communicating and understanding them.


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