I enjoyed some more wonderful reads this month. Some led to the addition of more books to my book list, but I guess that's not a bad thing!
- The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides- This was one I wanted to read because of Dear Farenheit 451. She mentioned this book over and over as pretty much her favorite book ever. I had it on hold at the library and it took months to receive it. I was shocked when I picked it up and it was a little pocket-sized book. The story was quite strange but Eugenides' writing was so beautiful. By the end I just wanted it to be over already but I did enjoy the book.
- The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love by Jill Conner Browne- It took me a little while to get into this book, but it was pretty funny once I got into it. There were definitely some recipes in it that I was tempted to try!
- Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong-and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story by Angela Saini- This book was fascinating. I loved how Saini read all the research in each topic of interest and really broke it down and put it in one place to make it easy for her readers. Some of the research studies mentioned I have read or learned about in psychology classes which made it even more interesting and relatable.
- Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf- It took me a bit to get used to the writing style of this book. The author didn't use quotation marks so at the beginning of the book I'd have to reread certain parts once I realized they were dialogue and not just the main character talking to himself or thinking things in his head. The book was beautiful and I really enjoyed it. It was also really short and a fast read.
- When They Call You Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele- This was one of our options for book club that wasn't picked but I was interested in reading. I put it on hold at the library and it took a while to get it. It was really well written and very interesting. I liked reading a different perspective and as I read, it really grew my understanding on what was meant by "black lives matter". At first when people were all up in arms saying things like "all lives matter," I could see their point but I felt like what was really meant was "black lives matter too," because our society already shows a value for white lives. As I read the book it really dawned on me that what was meant was "black lives matter." Not in comparison to anyone else, but just that they matter and they should matter period. I hate that the movement has been misunderstood but at the same time, I think their polarizing name is what has given them such a strong voice and why we hear about the Black Lives Matter movement when we don't hear about so many of the other movements based around civil rights. It was definitely worth the read.
I also loved the beautiful cover. I'm definitely one to be swayed by a pretty cover.
- How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt- This was a book club book. It was fascinating and I enjoyed reading it. The timing probably wasn't the best because I was reading it during the teacher strike where Oklahoma was refusing to fund education which was emotional for me. It was hard to read about how our democracy is spiraling out of control at the same time as I was experiencing the ineffectiveness of our Oklahoma government.
- Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz- I decided it was time to read the next book in the Spellman series and I loved it. Once Lutz introduced Henry Stone as a possible love interest, I was hooked. I read a few books between the first and the second book in this series but immediately downloaded the third book in the series when I finished this one. I feel like they just keep getting better. The books are funny and also have short sections so they are perfect for reading little bits here and there as I wash my hands or brush my teeth. I like reading them as ebooks for that reason. The only downside is that she puts a lot of footnotes in the stories, mostly for comedic effect. In the ebook version you have to push on the little number for the footnote and it will skip you to the end of the chapter where you can read the footnote and then you have to click the number of the footnote for it to take you back to the page you were on. The problem is that the numbers are so little, it's really hard to click it just right and typically it skips me to the next page multiple times before I hit it just right and am skipped to the footnote where I need to be.
- Revenge of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz- I got really into this series during the 2nd book and couldn't stop. I immediately downloaded this one after finishing the 2nd and am now starting the 4th book. In this ebook the footnotes were Roman numerals rather than numbers so it was easier to click on them to be taken to the footnote at the end of the chapter which was nice. I love getting into a series when there are already quite a few books so you don't have to wait for the next book in the series to come out. I'm quite excited that I still have plenty left to read! I am loving these!
- How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran- I picked this one because Amy Poehler mentioned it at the beginning of her book as a book she was jealous of. I figured it would be funny but I didn't really know anything about Caitlin. The audiobook was read by the author which is always my preferred method for a comedian's book. I'm not sure that Caitlin is a comedian, but she was quite funny. She had a very strong British accent to where it was difficult to understand what she was saying when I first started listening to it. There were parts of the book where I laughed so hard. She also had a section about feminism where she described it almost exactly how I would, it was pretty awesome!
- Decision Points by George W. Bush- This was read by the author. At first it was a little hard to listen to his voice because I've always found it slightly annoying, but once I got used to it, I didn't mind it too much. I was actually really impressed with the fact that Bush discussed the decisions he made that in retrospect were a mistake and those he was proud of. I was impressed that rather than make excuses for his mistakes, he admitted at the time he believed it was the right thing to do but in retrospect it was a mistake. I think that would be so hard. As a president you have to make so many huge decisions and sometimes won't know until years down the line if it was the right thing to do. The book gave me more respect for him and with our current president who blames any mistake he makes on someone else or simply lies about it, it sure was a breath of fresh air to listen to a past president with some class!
- Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult by Bruce Handy- When I came across this book I just knew it was the perfect book for me to read. I have always loved children's literature. My two favorite classes I took in college (outside of student teaching and practicums where I actually got to work with students) were Children's Literature and Developmental Psychology. I loved how Handy intertwined information about books with interesting facts about the authors. You could tell he really did his research, reading multiple biographies on each author she discussed in his book. I loved learning that Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown was originally illustrated with humans rather than bunnies and that Beatrix Potter was an avid nature observer and scientist, discovering how mushrooms reproduced decades before scientists did. Of course I also loved the section about Dr. Seuss. There were some books mentioned that I had never read so now I'm excited to read them with the kids or listen to them as audiobooks. First up is Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary.
And I loved the cover with Max's hand sneaking up to turn the page!
- Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan- After a couple nonfiction audiobooks I was ready for something just silly and fun. I had this one written down as a suggestion for a funny book so I downloaded it and was not disappointed. It was funny and sweet and discussed some of the struggles I've encountered as a stay at home mom. I really enjoyed it and found myself doing extra chores one day during Elise's naptime so I could finish it. It reminded me a bit of Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series. The main difference with this book was that the main character didn't have a man come swooping in and save her, she found a way to save herself which I loved!