Categories
books & reading quick lit

What I’ve Been Reading Lately | July 2018

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Guys, I have been reading like crazy this month! At least compared to my typical reading habits this year of finishing roughly 1.5 books a month, July has been insane. Book snobs might comment that perhaps this is because I’ve pretty much only read YA / Middle Reader books this month. This is true. But I’ve also loved reading this month and it’s been awhile since I felt like I could say that honestly.

I just listened to an old podcast episode at the Lazy Genius Collective about improving your reading life and I pretty much spent the whole 20 minutes nodding my head and thinking, “Yes! This exactly!” So I’m reveling in this reading for the pure joy of loving to read thing and not feeling any guilt about what I’m reading and what quality of literature it is.

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Here’s what that’s looked like for me in July:

35247769Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Finished July 12th

This one pretty much got by on nostalgia for me. It was oddly anticlimatic for most of the book because Lara Jean spent most of the story nope-ing right on out of any stressful situation. Guess how well that works out for her? Overall the book was perfectly fine but not as good as the first two. I am seriously excited to see the new Netflix adaptation of book one.

3 stars


27876157Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Finished July 12th

We listened to the audio book as a family during our last family road trip and it proved well worth a “re-read” – I think I enjoyed it more the second time around. This was my first time listening to an audio book of this series and I agree with the masses – Jim Dale is phenomenal at narrating the books and it’s well worth a listen.

5 stars


34930815Gone Rogue (Wires and Nerve Vol. 2) by Marissa Meyer

Finished July 16th

This one is less recappy than the first one – it really delves into the story more and covers more ground. It kept me up late towards the end, wondering how everything would play out. I am still not sure if these graphic novels would stand alone without having read the original series but who would NOT read the original series? Seriously, go read Cinder right now!

4 stars


348573The Borrowers by Mary Norton

Finished July 19th

I read this out loud to the kids. The story was interesting but it was kind of a bear to read out loud, if I’m going to be honest. The first half is pretty slow and the whole books seems like it’s written with a bigger vocabulary than the target audience is likely to possess if only because of all of the outdated terms.

3 stars


51raXxdzJPLFrom Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

Finished July 24

A very bingeable YA book. I stayed up late 3 nights in a row with this one (old person late, like 11pm). Well worth the general fatigue that this caused me. Sahlil will be your next book crush. Twinkle is both brilliant and kind of dumb – easy to relate to even in between wondering when teenagers became so driven so young – seriously I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life at their age!

4 stars


What have you been reading?

 

Categories
family fun reviews tv

5 TV Shows To Binge Watch With Your Kids This Summer

Now that the kids are home for summer vacation, I don’t have as much time to binge watch my fave grown up-ish shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Handmaid’s Tale, or Glow. Apparently they have their own agenda for screen time that doesn’t include going away so mommy can watch tv all afternoon. Rude.

Unfortunately for them, I’m also not about to let them waste the day away playing video games and watching their own tv shows that are uninteresting to moi – I’ve enforced a semi-consistent rule of just 2 hours per day for them to stare at the screens of their choice.

Sometimes we compromise and watch a show together that we all like. I thought I’d share with you some of the shows we’re loving, in case you need some inspiration.

These are 5 tv shows that I watch with my 9 year old and 12 year old:

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Just Add Magic (Amazon Prime) | My daughter introduced me to this one after watching it on her Kindle during a road trip. It’s basically Charmed for tween year olds. The show centers around a group of 3 friends who find themselves with a magical cookbook filled with recipes that can help them out in life situations, some more serious than others – but all of the recipes also come with a consequence of some kind. There’s a lot of adventure and a lot of tween girl antics – this one will likely appeal to kids and parents. We just started season 2 but there are 3 seasons out so far.

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Nailed It (Netflix) | This is the perfect remedy for when you’ve watched all of the seasons of The Great British Baking Show that you can get your hands on. The show is not so much about the expert baking and more about the “Well, you tried your best – now let’s giggle over how awful it came out.” Which might sound mean but the show really excels at being lighthearted and joyful about it.

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The Worst Witch (Netflix) | This adorable series is based on a book series from the 1970’s. It feels similar to Harry Potter but features younger students and a little less doom and gloom. There are always big hurdles to overcome and your usual coming of age issues. The writing and cast are really excellent – the whole family enjoys this one and we have often watched it with a pizza for dinner.

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Jeopardy (NBC) | I love watching Jeopardy with the kids because when I get an answer right, they are pretty sure I’m a genius. When my husband is home, it’s a full on competition. My daughter likes to pick a contestant to root for throughout the episode – usually whichever girl has on the best outfit or is maybe from a town we know.

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The Who Was Show (Netflix) | Based on the kids book series, this show is kind of a sketch comedy teaching kids about famous figures from history. Much sillier than the books, but still pretty informative. The narrator is the same guy who voices Sterling Archer on Archer which continues to amuse me to no end. Some people are really hating on this show but we’ve all really enjoyed it.

What are you and your kids watching right now?

Categories
family fun photography wordless wednesday

ww: swim lessons, part deux

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Remember Wordless Wednesday guys? Let’s try to make fetch happen again! Post a comment if you are playing on your blog, too!

Categories
books & reading family fun

Read Aloud Book Rec: Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar

You know when your kid brings a book to you for story time and you have never seen it before in your life and have no earthly idea where it came from and they’re like, “Duh mom, we’ve had this forever.” Maybe this is a sign that I have #bookworm problems or that my brain is slowly melting out of my ear lobes. Who knows?

61nVbenzQtL._SX260_The other day BB brought down Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar and after getting past the “Where did this book even come from??” questions we got to reading and guys it was SOOO cute! It’s an adorable mash up of different fairy tales and kind of all about making up your own mind about people. It’s perfect for reading out loud – not too wordy and not too mind numbingly simple. It’s juuuuust right.

I still don’t know where it came from but I’m glad she brought it downstairs and it was fun reading her cute picture books again – at nine years old, she’s largely in charge of her own reading and story time tends to feature chapter books these days. This was a nice treat for both of us.

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What are you and your kids reading these days?

Categories
books & reading tag

The Mid Year Freak Out Tag! [a book tag]

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I lifted this tag from Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. Like a thief in the night. A cat burglar on the prowl. She never saw it coming. You should have seen the other guy. Okay, I’ll stop now.

We’re now more than halfway through the year and I’m taking a look at my reading habits so far by answering the following questions:

1 – THE BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2018

 

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Finished 4/23This book has gotten a lot of hype and in my opinion it deserves every ounce of it. Raw, emotional, important and surprisingly well balanced. Grab a box of tissues and hold on for the ride. 5 stars


 

2 – YOUR FAVORITE SEQUEL THIS YEAR

27876157Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling – Finished 7/12 – We listened to the audio book as a family during our last family road trip and it proved well worth a “re-read” – I think I enjoyed it more the second time around. Jim Dale really is a fantastic narrator for this series – if you haven’t listened to him narrate the books, treat yourself to a listen soon.


3 – A NEW RELEASE THAT YOU HAVEN’T READ BUT YOU REALLY WANT TO

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My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton – I loved their last book, My Lady Jane and I’m fairly anxious to get my hands on this one. It’s a retelling of Jane Eyre this time – and obviously very loose.


4 – MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

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Whiskey in a Tea Cup by Reese Witherspoon – I’m a sucker for a celebrity memoir and this one looks right up my alley.


5 – YOUR BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

 

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The Wonder by Emma DonoghueFinished 1/22 – My main beef with this story was that it was disturbing in a way that I was not prepared for. But I was also disappointed because it didn’t feel like the story I was promised based on the book’s description – I was expecting some fantasy and magic and escapism and it’s more like traumatic and heart wrenching and not enough pay off at the end to justify itself. My only 2 star review of 2018.


 

6 – BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE YEAR

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A House in the Sky by Amanda LindhoutFinished 6/25 – This sounds terrible but I was surprised to like this one. My book club discussed it in June and I was not convinced it would be “my cup of tea” – but I was pleasantly surprised by it. Don’t get me wrong – this was a difficult, heartbreaking read. Definitely not for the faint of heart. But it was fascinating and disturbing in equal measure. 4 stars


 

 

7 – FAVORITE NEW TO YOU OR DEBUT AUTHOR

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The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik BackmanFinished 1/31 – For a short story, this book packs a big punch. This was my first time reading Fredrik Backman but it left a big impression. I am finally reading one of his novels now, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry and I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far. I’m really digging his writing style. 4 stars


 

8 – YOUR NEW FICTIONAL CRUSH

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Nathan from The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay – Because, honestly, how could I not have a book crush on the adorable engineer type guy who “noticed her all along”? This is an Austen-inspired novel without being a retelling of any kind.  Yes there is a love story (two actually) and Austen references abound, but not in the way you think it will. Thoroughly enjoyed. 4 stars


9 – NEW FAVORITE CHARACTER

I mean, it pretty much has to be Starr Carter from The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – given that it was my favorite of the year, this is unsurprising. Starr is pretty awesome and very easy to root for.


10 – A BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

I’m feeling silly and redundant but again, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Read it now!


11 – A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

 

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Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne JonesFinished 6/2 – We loved the movie version of this book and I thoroughly enjoyed the book as well. It is different from the movie in several ways but this didn’t bother me too much reading it. I really love this story and couldn’t help but smile while reading it. Sophie continues to delight me.


 

12 – YOUR FAVORITE BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION THAT YOU’VE SEEN THIS YEAR

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We’ve been continuing to love A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix. Yes, I’m aware that this is a tv series and not a movie but it’s too good not to mention. This might be the best thing Neil Patrick Harris has ever done and that is saying something. We’re all extremely anxious for Season 3 to come out.


13 – FAVORITE BLOG POST YOU’VE PUBLISHED THIS YEAR

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I’m pretty proud of how my summer reading challenge for the kids came out this year. It’s inspired by Choose Your Own adventure books and there’s a FREE PRINTABLE if your kids need some motivation to read more books this summer.


14 – THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU HAVE BOUGHT/RECEIVED THIS YEAR

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From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon – This came in a recent Owl Crate and I was more than a little delighted – both with the exclusive cover and the fact that I’ve been wanting to read this author for awhile now.


15 – WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BOOKS THAT YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?

These are just a handful of the books waiting on my kindle that I’ve purchased this year so that seems like as good a place to start as any!


Per usual, I’m not planning to tag anybody specifically. But let me know if you play along on your own blog.