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2nd Quarter Reads and Reviews

The Man in the High Castle-Philip K. Dick

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My husband and I finished seasons 1&2 of the Amazon original of the same title in late March. So, when I found out there was a book, I was all “HOLD UP???? THERE ARE SPOILERS FOR THIS THING??!” Here’s the deal. No. The book is very different from the show and for me, left more questions unanswered. I won’t lie when I tell you, I’ve questioned my own intelligence when I read all of the stunning reviews of this book. I have very strong opinions about what makes a good story; and it always includes an arc and resolution. If you don’t mind hanging storylines, unanswered questions, very little character development, and a big “WHAT???” at the end (and not like a Gone Girl kind of “what??”), you’ll like this book. IF you do mind those things, just watch the show. (By the way, this is Anna History, I’ve never endorsed the show/movie over the book).

Present Over Perfect-Shauna Niequist 

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I’d been putting this read off, mainly because the title made it seem like something I’d want to write myself and I didn’t want to be a copycat. After a really crazy April (notice, only 2 books this month), I picked it up. First the positive: I love Niequist’s writing. I’m inspired by her words. So much so, I’m checking out the Great Lakes this summer. Now to the reality of this book and me. I didn’t need it. It’s all about learning to say yes and no appropriately. And while, so lovely to read with the pretty words, having four small kids has already forced me into the practice of being present over perfect.  I think 20 something me or early 30’s me would have LOVED this book and highlighted it and given it away (actually I would still buy this for friends). But present me is full of no’s and home and imperfection.  I would suggest this read to anyone who doesn’t have time to read a book. Slow down. And read this book. Tomorrow. You’re welcome.

May Reads

A Loving Life: In a World of Broken Relatioships-Paul Miller 

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I love everything Paul Miller has ever written. This book did not dissapoint. In his other books, Miller uses broad sweeping Biblical principles, scripture, and stories from his life to teach the point of the book. However, in A Loving Life, he uses book of Ruth to examine self sacrificing love. I bought the paper version of this book and marked it up. It’s a little more theological than his other books, and I liked that. This one’s a double thumbs up.

The One and Only Ivan-Katherine Applegate

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I got this book for my daughter at Christmas. The reviews on Amazon are so great, that consequently so did her aunt and uncle. This is the story of a gorilla who lives in a mall and his decision to rescue a little elephant named Ruby from her captivity. Based on a real Gorilla named Ivan, who lived in a mall, the girls and I really enjoyed this book.  Spoiler alert: if you like to be a tough guy and not cry in front of your kids, read it alone, but definitely read it.

Big Little Lies-Liane Moriarty

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This is a nice beach read thriller. In the very beginning, we know someone is dead. But we don’t know who or how. I enjoyed the way the author went back in time and built the story and charaters up before revealing the death, the killer, and some other fun twists. While it wasn’t as predicatble as most thrillers, it also wasn’t as compelling as most thrillers. I gave it about 3 stars (leaning toward 4), but my sister LOVED it. So you know, read it, it’s fun.

I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend-Martin Short

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Did you know that Martin Short, Gene Levy, Gilda Radner, Paul Shaeffer and a handful of other hilariosos all got their start in Toronto’s production of Godspell? Not I! If you grew up with a healthy dose of 1980’s SNL, National Lapoons, and the like, this book is a fun read. At points, it drags a tad, but overall I found I Must Say to be just delightful and even heart warming. I enjoyed getting to know this hardworking and weird little comedian and all his famous Canadian buddies. If you have no idea who Martin Short is, then pass and find a younger dude’s bio to read. No judgment, it’s not your fault you don’t rememeber the 80s (albeit unfortunate).

June Reads

Befriend

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My aunt, Mary, suggested this book to me when I needed a new early morning non-fiction read. Scott Sauls, a Presbyterian pastor based in New York, takes a subject that seems simple enough “Hey guys, befriend eachother,” and knocks it out of the park. Holy cow. An insightful look at how we can be better, kinder, more like Jesus people. Please pick this one up. Highlight it. Read it with friends. Write in it. Pass it along.

The Fringe Hours-Jessica Turner

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Blarg. I bought this book a couple of years ago for a dollar when I had twin babies. I picked it up, finally, thinking it would be help me better organize my life. While the principles are good, they are also no brainers.  I’ve written similar blog posts to this book in less than 600 words. In fact, I could say it here and this easily: Make time for yourself, stressed out young mom. Do whatever it takes, just for the love, make some time for yourself. The end. This book was not for me. Not only am confused by why it’s 200 pages long, but the author seems like a Wondermom who never says “no” herself. Reading it made me MORE tired, not less. And honestly, I skimmed the last 100 pages. However, a TON of reviewers seem to  love it. So, like good ole LeVar Burton would say, “you don’t have to take my word for it,” and leave it at that. (except I’ll whisper off camera, “Do take my word for it, just pass on this one.”)

In Farleigh Feild-Rhys Bowen

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My lovely friend, neighbor, and jelly making aficionado friend, LeeAnne recommended this book to me while she was reading it on her beach vacation.  Seeing that it was a World War 2 novel AND free on Amazon reading, I dove in immediately. A quick read and interesting, albeit predicatble and a little hoaky, (LeeAnne warned me once she’d finished it) I liked it nonetheless. Don’t expect depth or tears or heavy duty thinking on this on but I did learn a few interesting tidbits about the Nazi’s attempted infiltration into British life. Pick it up if you need a little page turner to beat the summer heat.

That’s a wrap for this quarter. Happy Reading. Please let me know if you choose to read any of these or have already formed opionions. I love a good book conversation! Also! Hit me up with your best recent reads.

 

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