Sunday, September 9, 2018

What I Read: August

At the beginning of August the kids and I went to St. Louis to visit my grandparents. We all shared a bed and it worked out best for me to just go to bed at the same time as the kids. Since I couldn't read a normal book with my phone flashlight on like I do at home with Ty in bed, I downloaded an ebook to read while we were there. I enjoyed it so much I ended up continuing to read it in place of my regular book when I got home. I remembered it's so much easier to read an ebook when I'm brushing my teeth in the morning and doing other random things where I can read little snippets so I got back into ebooks this month.

  • Treating People Well: The Extraordinary Power of Civility at Work and in Life by Lea Berman and Jeremy Bernard- I saw this book in the Book Page magazine I get at the library. I was immediately interested because it was written by two former White House social secretaries. And if you follow my blog, you know I have a fascination with reading about the White House and the Presidents. It all started with the book Upstairs at the White House written by a past chief usher of the White House so I was excited to read this one. I loved the book. It was all great advice and I think it should take over the role of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People as a must read for people entering the work force. Although I may be biased because I thought that book was mostly useless. I loved all the little tidbits they shared about working in the White House and the stories about former presidents, but no surprises there.
  • A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf- I've been wanting to read something by Woolf ever since I read A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf. In the beginning of the book I'd catch my mind wandering a little bit because she discussed so many names of people I didn't know. But she really had my attention when she started referring to Jane Austen. The conclusion was phenomenal and I was very impressed by the book.
  • The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley- My mom told me there was a sequel to The War That Saved My Life. I put it on hold and it took a while to get it. The book was fantastic and left me wishing there was another book about Ada or even an entire series. I was surprised because typically the sequel isn't as good as the first but this one was either as good as the first or maybe even better. 
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward- I grabbed this book off the librarian's pick shelf. I didn't read what it was about but the cover was pretty and I thought it would be interesting. It was a really well written book and I enjoyed it, but it was kind of depressing. I don't know that I would recommend it to someone else to read but I liked reading it. At times it would just leave me feeling depressed but that may have partially been attributed to all the life changes I had going on at the time. 
  • By the Book by Julia Sonneborn- This book was a modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion. As you may have noticed by now if you've read previous book lists, I'm a sucker for anything Austen-related. When I downloaded this book I knew it was a retelling of an Austen novel, but didn't realize the novel was Persuasion until I got a little bit into the story. I assumed it would be Pride and Prejudice since that tends to be the most popular Austen book to retell or make into a movie. Persuasion is the only Austen novel I haven't read yet but I know enough of the plotline that I was able to figure out which novel this book resembled. I felt the Rick and Adam characters were very similar to Darcy and Wickham so now I'm interested to read Persuasion to see if Austen did something similar to Pride and Prejudice with the male characters in the book. I loved this book so much I found myself reading it instead of my regular book at bedtime. It was lovely and such a fun read!
  • Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit- I added this book to my list a long time ago and didn't remember what it was about. For some reason I had it in my head it was a comedic book but it was actually feminist essays. Although I was surprised by the content when I started reading, this was a really good book and a quick read which is perfect for an ebook. There were some ideas in the book I had never thought of before and I appreciated the insights. I was shocked by some of the facts. One that really surprised me was, "Studies of the Surgeon General's office reveal that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44, more common than automobile accidents, muggings, and cancer deaths combined." I had to stop and let that sink in after reading it. Not only was it shocking, it was also appalling! I had heard the term mansplaining used before but had no idea what it meant. Thanks to this book, I now know what it means.
  • Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz- This book was really interesting. I had always thought of the second amendment as a way to guarantee citizens could protect themselves from an overbearing government. I hadn't ever thought of how guns were used to control slaves and then to annihilate Native Americans during westward expansion. This book gave me a whole new perspective on the second amendment and it's place in our country's history. Now I'm curious to read a more in-depth book about James Madison to see if it would shed any light on his views on guns and the average citizen being armed since he was the author of the Bill of Rights, although I know many state constitutions had similar rights drafted into them by other statesmen.
  • Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomerey- After listening to The Outsiders as an audiobook I decided it was a fun way to revisit books I read as a kid that are considered classics and I may not have fully understood or appreciated. I decided Anne of Green Gables would be a good one to follow up with and really enjoyed it. I found that I didn't remember much of the book at all so it was like reading it for the first time! When I finished it, Hoopla suggested I read Anne of Avonlea next and I was shocked. I had no idea Anne of Green Gables wasn't a stand alone book! I look forward to enjoying more books in the series.
    Isn't this cover gorgeous? It makes me want to own the book!
  • Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher- I put a downloadable audiobook on hold and was waiting for it to come in so I wanted a short book while I waited. I had read good reviews of this one and it was only 3ish hours long so I chose it. I was again pleasantly surprised when I thoroughly enjoyed the book! My favorite line was when she said, "Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die." It's an old saying but one I've never heard and it's so true!
  • George H. W. Bush by Timothy Naftali- I was itching to listen to another audiobook about a president but couldn't find any of the ones I wanted in the downloadable audiobook option. I've been trying to go in order so I'll remember the order of the presidents better. When I can't find the next one in order, I try to stick with one from Hoover on because I remember that order already. I found this one as a downloadable audiobook and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I didn't know too much about the senior Bush. 
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley- I started this and listened to most of it during July. I had a hard time getting into the book. I finally got into it and was enjoying it with about an hour and a half to go in the audiobook when it automatically returned. I put it on hold and had to wait quite a while to get it back. I was surprised there were so many people who wanted to listen to it. It was interesting but just not my kind of book.


  1. I read Postcards From the Edge by Carrie Fisher years ago, and didn't really care for it. I wonder how this one compares.

    1. Was Postcards From the Edge fiction? I know she wrote some fiction. This was more of a memoir and I enjoyed it. It was funny. She read the audiobook which added to it, I thought.

  2. I always enjoy your book posts! Have you ever tried reading with a headlamp in bed, instead your phone flashlight? I also use it on car rides at night, haha! So many uses for it outside of pre-dawn running.

    1. Oh funny, I've tried book lights but I can't ever quite position them in a way I like. I just turn on my phone flashlight and slide it partially under my pillow. Ty can sleep through anything so it doesn't bother him, but the kids asked too many questions about what I was doing for it to be worth it with them, haha!