08 September 2020

Show Us Your Books - August 2020


When it rains it pours! Yes, we are having precipitation here, but I'm referring more to LIFE! 

I meant to set up most of this post over the weekend, knowing that Tuesday would sneak up on my after the holiday weekend. Yeah - the whole weekend snuck away from me! Hahaha.... So here I am, trying to supervise the first day of 'remote instruction' for my 3rd grader and 8th grader, and put together this post of the books I read in August. What an adventure! Luckily my 8th grader is very smart and very independent. I assume she's still in her room-turned-office doing her thing. The whole elementary school, on the other hand, is struggling. Lots of families are having issues with the technology that was issued (i.e. laptops aren't accessing the sites we need). It does indeed take a village this year, and our village is apparently really fast typists on Facebook. Once one person (granted, usually the same person) finds their way through, the rest of us are quick to try and duplicate their results. So far, so good? Only got to tears (my student, not me...yet) once so far, thinking he was missing a class. Finally made it, and he's headed into his next class now. Wish us luck!

I'm linking up with Life According to Steph and Jana Says for the Show Us Your Books link up again this month. My book titles link to Goodreads, and all of my full reviews are posted on either my blog (SweetlyBSquared.com) or Books I Think You Should Read. Thanks to the publishers and/or Netgalley for any books I received for free - this never influences my reviews.

Finished Reading:

My One True North by Milly Johnson - Laurie and Peter end up in a loosely structured grief group together. They immediately 'click' and feel comfortable with each other, until they start learning more about each others' background. The story is really about their lives mostly after their losses (with a little more info as they learn some intresting details about the loved ones they lost). It was beautifully told and touching, and I gave it 5/5 stars in my full review on Books I Think You Should Read. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A House is a Body by Shruti Swamy - This collection of short stories was great! The author's colorful descriptions brought her Indian heritage and her time in India to life. I gave it 4/5 stars in my full review here. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Journalist: Life and Loss in America's Secret War by Lucy Rose Fischer, Jerry A. Rose - I really enjoyed this non-fiction account of Jerry Rose's six years in and around Viet Nam as a teacher and then reporter. His sister did a wonderful job writing the book after researching through his correspondence and interviewing those who knew him during this time. The book reads as an exciting story and an important retelling of a period of history I haven't read much about before. This was definitely a book deserving of my 4/5 star review here. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Crave (Crave #1) by Tracy Wolff - Vampires, and dragons, and witches - oh, my! While this one was originally discusses as being sort of a similar knock-off to a very popular vampire series, I enjoyed it. I was especially amused when one of the main characters presented another main character with a copy of the book it may bear some similarity to. Anyway, this story is about a girl whose parents die and she goes to an Alaskan boarding school run by her uncle to live there and room with her cousin. She starts figuring out quickly that there may be something a little different about the teen residents. This was a fun YA read and I gave it 3.5/5 stars in my full review. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Station Eleven by Emily S. John Mandel - I finally borrowed this one from my local library, as I'd heard it mentioned and figured I needed to read it - I love speculative fiction. This book checks in on a few groups of people and how they're existing after a plague wipes out most of the population of the U.S. Most of the story takes place 20 years after the plague, and most of it is in/around what is currently Michigan. Check out my full 4/5 star review on my blog here. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Jackal (Black Daggar Brotherhood: Prison Camp #1; Black Daggar Legacy #5) by J.R. Ward - Nyx breaks into the famous glymera's prison (after accidentally getting a clue to its secret location) with the intention of finally breaking her sister out, after 50 years. She stumbles into The Jackal almost immediately on her arrival. He's been imprisoned for more than a century. Oh, yeah - they're all vampires, which gives them really long life spans, and some teleporting abilities, but no other powers that are displayed in this book. I was worried about this one both because it's number 5 in one series (but the first in another) and because it opened with a pretty sizable glossary. Luckily all the characters were well-introduced, and the words in the glossary weren't really used. I enjoyed this book and gave it 4/5 stars in my full review. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters - Violet and James are a love match early in the first season in which she is presented. But a drama we don't initially know about leaves them not speaking to each other for years, starting shortly after they're married. When he has an accident, she is angy to have gotten halfway to his side before finding out he's fine. She decides to fake her own health crises to inspire his devotion again. I gave it 3/5 stars when I reviewed it for Books I Think You Should Read. ⭐⭐⭐

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick - When Anna moves to Herron Mills to be a nanny for the summer, she soon hears about her resemblance to a missing girl, Zoe Spanos. She also gets waves of familiarity from the shops and quaint town of Herron Mills. None of this makes sense, as her mother and best friend both deny ever having been there, which means she couldn't have gone there herself either. I personally enjoy mysteries with unreliable narrators, and Anna was definitely unreliable. She was trying to put her drinking and drug-using past behind her, and become an excellent nanny. But doubting her own recollections from her life made that pretty difficult. I gave this book 4/5 stars. It was a great YA mystery, as I stated in my full review. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis - Emmie Blue was such an endearing character. She thinks the only solid connection she has in her life is her best friend from when she was 16-yeasr-old. Lucas found her balloon that was released with a note during a horribly tumultous time in her life, when nearly everyone else turned their backs on her. Now 14-years-later, Emmie and Lucas are turning 30, and he's said he has an important question to ask her. Is this it? Are they getting married and she's moving forward with her life plan? Unfortunately, no. But she may have been ignoring all the other people she's important to for too long. I gave this one 4.5/5 stars in my full review here. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

When I Was You by Amber Garza - Since I've already mentioned this month how much I like an unreliable narrator, it will come as no surprise that I really liked this book. Without giving you the spoiler, I especially loved the very end of it. This is the story of two Kelly Medinas. The older Kelly is practically living alone while her husband spends weeks away from home at his college job and her son has left for college. The younger Kelly just moved to town (though she doesn't really say why) with her new baby and no support. The older Kelly is thrilled to have a new purpose - helping her new friend get comfortable in her new community and teaching her to be a better mom. But older Kelly's husband and best friend are warning her to keep her grip on reality, and making the warning sound based on past events. I loved this book (did I mention especially the ending?!?) and gave it 5/5 stars on my blog. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie - After losing her father, Afi and her mother don't have an easy life. When the benevolent Aunty of their community suggests an arranged marriage between her son and Afi, it sounds almost too good to be true. Unfortunately, Afi's new groom, Eli, is in love with another woman. The marriage to Afi was arranged in order to 'lure' him away from the relationship he's already in. And while it is still seen in their culture in Ghana, Afi does not want to be a multiple wife. This story of her adjusting to life in the city on her own, and learning who she is and what she wants, is touching and enjoyable to read. I gave this one 3.5/5 stars in my review. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Currently Reading:

I just got Happy Ever After Playlist from the library late last night and couldn't wait to dive in! I also just finished The White Coat Diaries and need to get my review written today. Last but not least, I'm slowly starting Tommy Wallach's Strange Fire since it's a print copy I need to read and review. 

Reading Next:

Feeling a bit overwhelmed to keep planning, but let's pencil in The Forgotten Kingdom by Signe Pike (apparently the second book in a trilogy? Fingers crossed I can get into it without knowing anything about the first book), Interference by Brad Parks, and A Forgotten Murder by Jude Deveraux for the next couple weeks, shall we?

I love your comments! Thanks so much for both taking a look at what I'm reading, and sharing what you'd recommend as well :)


NY Foodie Family said...

I Killed Zoe Spanos and When I Was You both sound like books I'd enjoy! Good luck with the remote learning! Hope it gets better as everyone gets adjusted.

Jana @ Jana Says said...

What a great reading month for you!

Julie said...

Emmie blue was good!

Tanya said...

Thanks for the recommendations. I'm putting Emmie Blue on my TBR list.

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I added My One True North and When I was You to my reading list!

Dara @ Not In Jersey said...

I'm happy you liked Dear Emmie Blue too. I have Station Eleven and have heard mixed reviews but I want to read it eventually!

Living Life With Joy said...

It looks like you had a really great reading month. I hope September is great for you too.

Elena Alice said...

I really enjoyed Station Eleven, though I don't read sci-fi (or speculative fiction, which I hadn't even heard of until you mentioned it!) or dystopian novels. it was unlike anyone I have ever read and was fascinating!

Here are my recent reads, if interested!