Monday, August 11, 2014

July Reads

The story of my life these days is really not enough time and time disappearing right before my eyes.  I can't believe it is the second week of August and I've yet to put in my July Reads post.  So here it goes- better late than never!

In no particular order...

Gloria Rising by Ann Cameron
This is a book I read with my kids and I really enjoyed as did they.  The book's main character, Gloria, is struggling with a teacher who doesn't really think she is the greatest student and so kind of makes school life a little tough for her.  The teacher thinks Gloria has made up an elaborate story about how she met female astronaut Dr. Street at local grocery store.  What the teacher doesn't realize is that Gloria really did meet a "real life astronaut" and that astronaut empowered her to do all she could to become the girl she desires to become.  Great book about empowering kids and giving them confidence and also a reminder that sometimes the teacher is wrong. 

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

With Maya's passing in May 2014 I decided that it was time for me to see what all the talk was about. I was not disappointed.  I really enjoyed this book.  It was her life up until age 17.  It brought to light so many topics: racism, gender roles, sex, sexual preference, family.  It was a great story and her writing style was enjoyable and beautiful.  I plan to read some more of her works.

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Another on the Newberry Award list I can check off.  This was a great book.  I feel like it flowed perfectly with my other reads of Gloria Rising, and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings for the month of July.  It was a heart wrenching story that brought to light again racism, gender roles, and family.  Don't think my youngest is ready for this book, but I think my fourth grader would like it.  I highly recommend this Newberry Award.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

Another Newberry Award list winner.  I started this book with my kids on vacation at the end of June and finished the first week of July.  It was a good story, but my kid just weren't really drawn to it.  Don't know if it just wasn't exciting enough for them, because at times I did feel it moved a little slow.  However, I was very drawn to the story and the survival of this young girl by herself after losing her father, her brother and her community.  She was extremely brave and knew how to take care of herself.  I was also amazed by her ability to forgive.  You'll know what I'm talking about when you read it.

Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle

I really enjoyed this nonfiction "cocktails cookbook".  If you are a reader I too think you will enjoy looking at the recipes that go along with the books.  Maybe I'll have to pick my next book club pick based on a drink from this book.  If you like drinks it also would suit you well. 

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I read this last year, but listened to it this year on Audiobook because it was our book club book for July.  It always strikes me as how I can read a book one year and then review it/reread it the next year and notice things I hadn't noticed before or even better yet made up the story line in my head from what I gleamed the first read through and then realize the next time around how I really didn't quite get it all right.  Basically- I thought certain things occurred reading this book the first time around and noticed the second reading that they really didn't.  However, I still liked this book a lot the second time around.  When I first started listening to it on disc I thought I wouldn't last long because of the narrator (not Cheryl Strayed), but the voice grew on me and later I didn't even notice it bothering me anymore. 

Here are two additional books that I can't remember if I read them in June or July. I said in earlier post I've been so preoccupied with other things, mainly training, that I've realized I've not been doing a great job of writing posts or even keeping track of what I've read this summer. The first one was an audiobook and I enjoyed it so much (probably not appropriate description- "enjoy" isn't a word you use when describing book on serial/psychopath killer/murderer) and then because of the audiobook I went back and read the first in the series- currently I'm listening to book #8 in the series.

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo (#7 Hary Hole series)
Great book to listen to on long trainer rides in the basement and also on long runs.  Riveting story and it had me totally taken in.  Enjoyed it so much went back and read...

The Bat by Jo Nesbo (#1 Hary Hole series) 
It was an o.k. read.  I enjoyed The Snowman more and am enjoying The Leopard (#8) currently via audiobook.  I will likely go through a couple more of these books/audiobooks as the story lines are entertaining, intriguing, and he writes mystery/murder/ and psychopathy well. 

Reading fills me- it really does- even when stressed or crabby reading gives me peace and happiness.  I'm so grateful to be able to read.  Don't know what I would do without my books. 

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