Another month is done already! And yay…we are in the -ber months! My favorite time of the year! My Goodreads challenge was set at 62 books at the beginning of the year and I am already at 57. I have two books that I should be finishing in the next few days as well. Now, I don’t know what the rest of the year holds, but I am contemplating upping my goal or not…hmm… How is your goal looking? Anyway, here is what I read in August. Let me know if you have read any of these or if you have any favorite titles right now!
Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray – Awarded the John Newbery Medal as “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” in the year of its publication.
“A road’s a kind of holy thing,” said Roger the Minstrel to his son, Adam. “That’s why it’s a good work to keep a road in repair, like giving alms to the poor or tending the sick. It’s open to the sun and wind and rain. It brings all kinds of people and all parts of England together. And it’s home to a minstrel, even though he may happen to be sleeping in a castle.”
And Adam, though only eleven, was to remember his father’s words when his beloved dog, Nick, was stolen and Roger had disappeared and he found himself traveling alone along these same great roads, searching the fairs and market towns for his father and his dog.
Here is a story of thirteenth-century England, so absorbing and lively that for all its authenticity it scarcely seems “historical.” Although crammed with odd facts and lore about the time when “longen folke to goon on pilgrimages,” its scraps of song and hymn and jongleur’s tale of the period seem as newminted and fresh as the day they were devised, and Adam is a real boy inside his gay striped surcoat.
What I thought: I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The main character was written well and I enjoyed the story line although it was a bit predictable, but a lot of books are. We had started this one for school a long time ago, but with our funky school year, we just now finished it.
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney – A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.
Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.
Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the future they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.
This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.
What I thought: This was quite popular on my facebook feed and so I thought I would read it…but I just thought it was…eh. It was a little entertaining so it wasn’t a total waste, but the story just kind of went nowhere… :shrug:
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne – Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
What I thought: It was hard to get used to reading the play form. There aren’t as many descriptions and heavy on conversations. I enjoyed reading the story, of course, but it seemed like it was too short and I just wanted more.. That’s just my personal feeling though, it might be fine for other people!
Siracusa by Delia Ephron – Marriage and deceit from author Delia Ephron that follows two couples on vacation in Siracusa, a town on the coast of Sicily, where the secrets they have hidden from each other are exposed and relationships are unraveled.
New Yorkers Michael, a famous writer, and Lizzie, a journalist, travel to Italy with their friends from Maine—Finn, his wife Taylor, and their daughter Snow. “From the beginning,” says Taylor, “it was a conspiracy for Lizzie and Finn to be together.” Told Rashomon-style in alternating points of view, the characters expose and stumble upon lies and infidelities past and present. Snow, ten years old and precociously drawn into a far more adult drama, becomes the catalyst for catastrophe as the novel explores collusion and betrayal in marriage.
Ephron delivers a meditation on marriage, friendship, and the meaning of travel. Set on the sun-drenched coast of the Ionian Sea, Siracusa unfolds with the pacing of a psychological thriller and delivers an unexpected final act that none can see coming.
What I thought: Well, I wasn’t sure what to think about this book, but it was another..eh book. It was a little entertaining..but it wasn’t anything that I was too excited about..
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood – As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible “adult” around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.
What I thought: This was such a crazy story, but it was interesting to read as well. Definitely not like anything I usually read. I was hooked though as the book started when the main character was young, and kept going. It was also told from various viewpoints so you could get another side to the story. I typically don’t like that very much but the author did it very well.. I enjoyed reading this book!
The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle – Welcome to the story of a “real” marriage. Marriage is simultaneously the biggest blessing and the greatest challenge two people can ever take on. It is the joy of knowing there is someone to share in your joys and sorrows, and the challenge of living with someone who thinks it’s a good idea to hang a giant antelope head on your living room wall.
In The Antelope in the Living Room, New York Times best-selling author and blogger Melanie Shankle does for marriage what Sparkly Green Earrings did for motherhood–makes us laugh out loud and smile through tears as she shares the holy and the hilarity of that magical and mysterious union called marriage.
What I thought: Well, the author seems to have similar experiences, which I noticed in another book that I read from her, so it is entertaining just because of that. Still, it was kind of like reading a bunch of blog posts just in blog form, but I did find it entertaining…
A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody – When I made the wish, I just wanted a do-over. Another chance to make things right. I never, in a million years, thought it might actually come true…
Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason!
As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent set on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?
From the author 52 Reasons to Hate My Father and The Unremembered trilogy comes a hilarious and heartwarming story about second (and third and fourth and fifth) chances. Because sometimes it takes a whole week of Mondays to figure out what you really want.
What I thought: I thought this was a cute story. I enjoyed the way it was told. It was a super fast read, one reason being that I wanted to see how it ended because it was like Groundhog Day. It was a tad predictable but I had to laugh at some of the days that she had during her week. 🙂
Well, that’s all that I read this week! Like I said, if you have read any of these, or have any new titles for me, just let me know!! 🙂