I’ve always been an avid reader, but I developed some pretty bad Netflix habits after we moved to Georgia. With grad school, it was easy to justify not reading for leisure because I already felt very intellectually stimulated. The other day I turned off the TV, unplugged, and spent a few hours reading; it really made me realize how much I have been missing out the last few years. I decided that I want to read more and I want it to be a big part of my blog in the future. This is my first installment of bookshelf updates. Some months I may have a few bookshelf updates and others I may not have any. Either way, I’m excited to share!
This is the rating system I am going to use from Goodreads; you’re welcome to add me by clicking here.
1 star // did not like it
2 star // it was okay
3 star // liked it
4 star // really liked it
5 star // it was amazing
Disclosure: the book covers and hyperlinks to the books are affiliate links- clicking them and then purchasing what I suggest means that I will make money. I received books with a * before their title from the following book review programs for my honest opinion: NetGalley.com.
*A Joy-Filled Life: Lessons from a Tenant Farmer’s Daughter…Who Became a CEO by Mo Anderson// 4 stars
I wanted to read this book because my own maternal grandparents were sharecroppers in Arkansas. I liked the voice the author uses when she writes although I would definitely put this in the conservative Christian category. Her writing is very easy to read, positive, and reflective. Although I initially would have said this was a biography, I loved that within the first few pages that she doesn’t want it to be viewed of the history of the company where she is the CEO or a chronological telling of her life. Rather, she orders the chapters non-chronologically by the lessons she learns from her experiences with insights about her testimony and faith. At the end of each chapter, the author has a list of questions or writing prompts; this wasn’t something I was expecting, but I appreciated it because it connected what I was learning in the book to things I should apply myself. I really enjoyed reading about her love of God, business, and family. I have already recommended this one to family!
*Weather Permitting & Other Stories (Essential Prose)by Pratap Reddy //2 stars
This book is a collection of short stories written about immigrants from India that move to Canada. From the description of the book though, I thought this book was about immigrants who came from all over the world to Canada. I connected with the description of the book since I am an ESL teacher and I grew up next door to migrant workers. I think this type of literature is needed to help people understand the types of sacrifices immigrants make and I did feel like I learned more about Indian culture. I feel the author did a great job humanizing different trials that immigrants may experience when moving to an experience from job hunting to having to be separated from family and children to work. Some short stories were much better than the others, and my personal opinion is that the author didn’t lead with his strongest story. The book is a fast read and may be helpful in helping people empathize with immigrants; I think some of the short stories would be great for a middle or high school classroom environment to open up a discussion about cultural understanding.
Blackmoore (Proper Romances) by Julianne Donaldson // 5 stars
Julianne Donaldson is quickly becoming one of my favorite romance writers. This book was recommended to me by several people and I’m afraid to say I sat on it too long before actually reading it. It made me want to fly to England, money pending, and frolic around the wasteland that is apparently the Moors in England (we’re going to ignore that I just googled it and it looks exactly like Kentucky would without trees so I think it is gorgeous). I loved Blackmoore because you know who the love interest is in the beginning, but then she adds a lot of layers on to it. I feel her characters are realistic and relationships are so loveable! The characters are witty, the flashbacks are well-timed, and the book is so clean you could recommend it to anyone without embarrassment (although, there was a beach scene in this book that made me laugh hysterically).
Paper Towns by John Green// 3 stars
The main heroine Margo was pretty out there, but I liked that the reader was able to get past what people thought she was and actually see what she who she was by the end of the book. I like the pace of John Green’s writing, but I realized I so badly wanted this to be The Fault in our Stars and it wasn’t. It was a quickly paced coming of age novel, in the last few months of senior year, with a bit Ferris Bueller’s Day Off chaos. The book started off pretty well, but by the middle, I was kind of bored and just wanted it to finish so I could see what happened. I really wanted to love this book like really wanted to love it, but I didn’t. I liked it though because the character’s realization that no matter how suburban life is, the experiences we have are real. Additionally, the overarching metaphor of the book is that sometimes we get frustrated when we realize a something is more than the idea we pictured of it.
*A Field Guide to the F Word by Ben Parker // 2 stars
I was interested in this book because of the description: the history behind the “f word.” As someone taking historical linguistics this semester, I was really intrigued and really wanted to learn more about the history of the word. However, as a little bit of a prude, I was a little concerned about the content of the book. Well, the good news is the book doesn’t have have the word. However, it didn’t really have a lot of history behind it either. The first chapter had the most history for the whole book and I was really into it, but the book more so was a satire that discussed the military semantic and pragmatic use of the word in various phrases. Also, I had no idea where the word snafu came from, but now I know. The book is very short, but I know Devin’s step-Dad would definitely love it.