10 August 2021

Show Us Your Books - July 2021

After a week off for vacation, I'm struggling to actually return at full speed, if ya know what I'm saying.

It's the second Tuesday of the month already - time for Show Us Your Books  with Jana Says and Life According to Steph. Vacation did help me get a couple more books added to the count for this month! I finished two audio books on the road trip portion of our vacation (10 hours each way, yay!).

I'm posting about 10 books for July 2021. I finished 13 in July 2020. Not bad, when you average in the 40+ hours/week I work (yeah, yeah, when not on vacation. LOL).

As always, title links go to Goodreads, and the review links to go the review either on my blog or Books I Think You Should Read. As always, thank you to Netgalley and publishers who let me read their books for free - receiving books for free never influences my review.

Finished Reading:

The Lockhart Women by Mary Camarillo - Brenda, along with her almost-adult daughters Peggy and Allison, are having a heck of a year or so. Brenda chooses the OJ Simpson trial as her distraction as her husband leaves her, and she and her daughters start trying to make their own way in the world. Admittedly, some of their choices stressed me out, but the epilogue made up for it all. I gave this modern family story 4 out of 5 stars in my full review. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Dead Certain (Broden Legal #1) by Adam Mitzner - So I just realized this was the first in a series. Sounds like the next two books in the series only loosely connect, based on the whole Broden family. In the first book, Ella and her sister Charlotte are very different. They think they tell each other everything, but are forced to admit they both have secrets. But the secrets of one sister may get them both killed. Books about writers are always amusing to me, and this was an interesting story of one of their lives possibly imitating their art. In my full review, I gave it 3 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐

It Came From the Sky by Chelsea Sedoti - Funny side story, I read this shortly after watching The Iron Giant for the first time, so I pictured a lot of the book in a small-ish town like the movie. I enjoyed the book, a story of two brothers who decide convincing the town of an alien encounter is what they need to make their mark on the world. I gave 3 out of 5 start in my review. ⭐⭐⭐

Murder Among the Stars (Lulu Kelly Mystery #2) by Adam Shankman and Laura L. Sullivan -  I'm excited for my daughter to read this quirky young adult mystery. Set in the 1930s or 1940s, Lulu Kelly and her boyfriend Freddie are invited to an exciting casting party weekend getaway at the Hearst Castle. The descriptions of old Hollywood are so engaging! Their enjoyment is soon pushed aside when they're left with a murder or two to solve. My full review gives this charming story gives it 4 out of 5 stories. While it's the second in a series, I felt I understood the characters and everything else fine reading this as a stand-alone. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Spin: A Novel Based on a (Mostly) True Story by Peter Zheutlin - Annie Londonderry knows an adventure when she sees one. When the only opportunity cost for seeing the world on the back of a bike (which, oh yeah, she doesn't know how to ride yet) is denying her Jewish heritage and leaving her children and husband behind, she doesn't hesitate. It's certainly not a popular decision when she sets out in the 1890s, and she knows she's got to make the most of her adventure (and some imagination) to benefit the most from it all. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars in my full review. ⭐⭐⭐

The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan - This was absolutely my favorite book from this month, and I can't wait to pick up more similar stories by this author. Harriet has been quietly keeping an eye on things for years. She knows better than to interfere, until she notices Frances using dark magic to try and change Annis' future. It's only fair for Harriet and Annis, as the good witches, to fight the control Frances is trying to take. It's a great story that mostly takes place over a year or so, while also spanning back to the ancestor Harriet and Frances have in common - Bridget Bishop, a witch burned at the stake. My full review of course gave this great book 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Apology Project by Jeanette Escudero - Amelia Montgomery suddenly finds herself rich, and unemployed. The career as a litigator to which she's dedicated half her life is over, and she's not sure what her work-a-holic self might enjoy, given the choice. She's discovered that she's lost most of her friends over the years, and has convinced herself she's fine with just the periodic company of her sister. This utopian story of self-realization was endearing and had a rewarding ending. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars in my review. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Unthinkable by Brad Parks - Oh, my! The original premise in this one (if you're familiar with the trolly problem, it's just like this 'unthinkable' choice) was mind-blowing enough, but then the plot twists?!? I did not see the final developments of this one coming. Nate Lovejoy is perfectly happy as a stay-at-home dad raising his two little girls while his wife pursues her very successful legal career. He wouldn't want any of it to change, until he has no choice. This unique story got 4 out of 5 stars from me here. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

My last two books were audiobooks, which is out of the norm for me. Apparently I'm much more of a visual learner, as I sometimes 'forget' I'm listening, somehow. Road trips are what finds me as a captive audience. We listened to Swindle by Gordon Korman on the first leg of our road trip (driving from Michigan to New Jersey). I had this book, the first in a fun series about a 12-year-old boy, on cds from the library. I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars and talked a bit more about it in this post. ⭐⭐⭐
On the way back from New Jersey to Michigan, I chose to listen to a book that wouldn't be for the whole family. Some other book lovers recommended The Dutch House by Ann Patchett and read by Tom Hanks. I downloaded this story of Danny's life (mostly with his sister, Maeve) on Libby and listened to it just a bit faster than normal for most of the drive back. As I mentioned here, I'd give this one 4 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Currently Reading:

I have less than an hour to go in Kathy Stearman's It's Not About the Gun (Lessons from My Global Career as an FBI Agent). Non-fiction can be hit or miss for me, but this one's a hit! The author's style is very conversational and her stories are interesting. She was not only in the minority as a female FBI agent, she also earned positions around the world where her gender was meant to define even more of what she was 'supposed' to be doing.

Reading Next:

I'm hoping to get to The Family Plot by Megan Collins before it publishes next week. I don't really remember the pitch - not sure what I'm in for! The cover looks a little dark and mysterious. That will be a change from some of the fiction I've read lately.

Have you read any stand-out books lately? Do you agree or disagree with my assessments of the books I've finished last month? I find it fascinating that opinions can vary so much :)

1 comment:

Trin Carl said...

Six flags sounds great. I have not been to amusement park in years. the older I get, the more I resist. I hate that. I need to lighten up and stop adding things to my routines.