August Show Us Your Books

I spent hours reading The Stand on the beach last month. Life is good. (Still not finished though…)

I spent hours reading The Stand on the beach last month. Life is good. (Still not finished though…)

Summer reading is the best! I read sixteen books this month, and many of them were read on the beach, listened to in the car with my kids, or in my ears when I was taking a nice long twilight walk after dinner. Below are short descriptions of ten of the best.

Favorite

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton - This was probably my fifth time reading this, but my first time on audio. It was a really good book to listen to. I got so into it one night when I was walking that when a squirrel ran out in front of me I jumped a mile thinking is was a t-rex or something.

Lived Up To The Hype

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff - Even though the love story felt forced to me, I still liked this book a lot. The truth is it would be hard to make me hate a WWII spy novel.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid - I had heard rave reviews of this one, so I was feeling the pressure to like this futuristic book about refugees traveling through mysterious doors. A totally weird story that resonates with stories you read in the news.

The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict -I was fascinated by this novelization of the early life of Hedy Lamarr, the early Hollywood star/torpedo designer/Nazi escapee.

Girl Power

the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace - I always think poetry will be hard to read, and then am surprised when it isn’t. This collection was sitting on my shelf for months, and I found the strong and emotional poems to be just the right thing for carrying in my purse and dipping into when I had a few minutes.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire - Another book I finally got to. I obviously knew the ending, but was very interested to see how Maguire would make it come out.

The Lady and the Panda by Vicki Constantine Croke - The story behind the first giant panda captured for a zoo. Fascinating. I’ll never think the same way when I go.

Audiobooks That Took My Mind Off Walking and Driving

Things A Little Bird Told Me by Biz Stone - I found this audiobook to be interesting and relatable. Even kajillionaire Twitter inventors have bad days at work, and I appreciated Stone’s take on them.

The Runaway Jury by John Grisham - vintage Grisham at his best. I hope to get to more of these over the summer.

Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid - The books from The Austen Project aren’t very good on their own, but I do enjoy reading them to see how contemporary authors will spin some of my favorite classics. I bought this when it first came out, and it sat in my audiobooks.com account for years. I’m glad I finally got to it.

Life According to Steph

Note: links to amazon.com are affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

My Back To School Reading List

I used to love going back to school as a kid. Even now when I only get to put my own kids on the bus I get a big sense of anticipation. I just feel like conquering the world, you know? Even my reading changes. No more breezy summer reads - I'm ready for something deeper. Hence my back to school reading list.

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk

How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

Richard Nixon: The Life by John A. Farrell

So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery

Austen in August

I am excited to take part in this year's Austen in August on the Roof Beam Reader blog. This is my first time taking part in this event, and I'm looking forward to immersing myself in all things Austen.

If you have a blog you have until July 31 to sign up. If you'd rather follow along on Twitter the hashtag is #AusteninAugustRBR.

This is a great way to wrap up summer reading, isn't it?

May 2017 Quick Lit

Making my way through The Winds of War on my hammock last weekend. A long book read outdoors=Heaven.

Making my way through The Winds of War on my hammock last weekend. A long book read outdoors=Heaven.

Each month I link with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit as a way to talk about the books I liked, but didn't review.

This is my busy season - things are crazy at work, and my kids are both playing sports while trying to complete their year end commitments for Scouts and Religious Education. Each year I say I'm not going to let them leave everything until the end, but each year we have the same situation. I am practically living out of my car at this point. Hence I need to fill my library bag with cozy, fluffy reading material.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick - I never watched the web series it was based on, but still enjoyed this cute modern Pride and Prejudice. In this retelling Lizzie and co live in California and work in tech.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter - This book about a Hollywood starlet in a backwater Italian town was funny in a subtle way. I enjoyed it a lot. Perfect summer reading.

Leave the Grave Green by Deborah Crombie - I'm slowly making my way through this series. These are always reliable, good, short books I can read over a weekend.

What have you been reading lately?

Note: links to amazon.com are affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

May 2016 Quick Lit

Each month I link with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit as a way to talk about the books I liked, but didn't review.

I finally got around to reading Northanger Abbey, and liked it a lot. The ending was kind of meh, but the character of Catherine was crazy in an awesome way. I loved all of her wacky scenarios.

I'm still on my travel writing kick, hence, my impulsive use of an audiobook credit on Albert Podell's Around the World In 50 Years. This one grew on me. I didn't agree with all of "Big Al's" opinions, but I was fascinated by the logistics of traveling to every country in the world. I also appreciated that he seemed to spend a fair bit of time in every country. He wasn't just traveling to check things off his list; he really seemed to take time with each country.

Ever wondered what it's like to be Mormon in New York City? The New York Regional Singles Halloween Dance by Elna Baker was an interesting account of what seems to be a pretty big struggle. It was sometimes shallow, but also very sincere, and seemed very honest. I recommend it, but don't expect to find any life altering truths here.

I finally finished The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and now I finally know what everyone was talking about last year. This method is not really for me, but it did make me think about all the stuff we have. Some spring cleaning may be in order.

I listened The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury in my car. It was perfect for that. I found it entertaining enough to listen to, but didn't feel that I had to shut it off the second I picked up my kids. In fact my 8 year old even enjoyed a few of the stories while we waited for his bus. These are all short stories that are about the same things. It's kind of hard to explain, but very enjoyable, light science fiction. The only depressing thing was the astronauts from the future were born in 1986 - a full 9 years after me. I don't know when I got so old.

Note: links to amazon.com are affiliate links. Thanks for your support.