What I’ve Read Lately: March 21, 2022

Remember a million years ago when I blogged regularly and you guys could expect to see what I was up to on a regular basis? I freely admit, this blog has been seeing less and less action for awhile now, especially since I started teaching my seventh grader full time – but I still love you guys and our little bloggy-verse. I thought I’d kick it old school with Anne’s Quick Lit link up thing – a day late and a dollar short per usual. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been reading over the last month or so.

Thanks to this homeschooling thing, my reading life has been very eclectic. Most of the books I’m reading are out loud for literature class, reading ahead for my 7th grader’s independent reading and Magic Tree House books that we read in the morning to start the day light and breezy while I drink my coffee.

I read Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops on my Kindle mostly in spurts while the kiddo did independent work or took long bathroom breaks. It was a nice diversion but honestly a little off putting as the author doesn’t seem to particularly like any of these people and I spend a fair amount of time in bookshops – at least I did pre-Covid anyway.

Adam of the Road was one of those independent readers that takes place during the middle ages and tells the story of a minstrel’s son who goes on quite the adventure. It was a great fit for our history and literature curriculum – plenty of adventures and it really put you in the middle ages.

The next independent reader she’ll be starting is Catherine, Called Birdy which was honestly awesome. Catherine is the very rebellious and independent spirt daughter of a local knight and now that she’s like fifteen or so her dad is working on getting her married off. She is not pleased.

Since her older brother has encouraged her to start keeping a diary to work on her writing skills and maybe keep out of trouble, this book chronicles her adventures in trying not to tie the knot and a year in her life, also in the middle ages.

We read The Great and Terrible Quest together which centers a lot around looking for the Holy Grail but it’s also mostly a story about life in a local abbey during the reign of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

I read Head Over Heels as my bedtime read – a recent pick from Book of the Month and honestly it deserved more like 3 1/2 stars. I actually really enjoyed deep diving into the world of gymnastics the Olympics, a topic which honestly I have no experience in. But it also got super preachy and tied up way too neatly. The main love interest felt really one dimensional and I think Simon Cowell would agree if I said it all felt a little self indulgent. Or I’m an ass.

The last read aloud we finished, apart from the Magic Tree House books, was The Second Mrs. Gioconda. It’s all about how Leonardo DaVinci ended up painting the Mona Lisa but it’s also about the life of his apprentice, Salai – who is frankly awesome. This book was great. I love E.L. Konigsburg and everything by her that I’ve ever read basically.

And the last book I read for my own damned self was Well Matched, the third in a series by Jen DeLuca that has become one of my favorites. They all center around a little local Renaissance Faire and the people of the town it’s held in. This one was just as awesome as the two before it – it made me swoon and cry and cryswoon and all that. I highly recommend the series.

It sure sounds like the end of my reading month was easily the most enjoyable. I don’t entirely disagree. Right now we are kind of just settling into some new books and I don’t have much to say about any of them yet – so I’ll save those thoughts for another day. Feel free to follow me on Goodreads if you want to keep up with my reading life in between scattered blog posts!

What I’ve Been Reading Lately

We’re already halfway through the month of January and my reading life for 2021 is in full swing, thanks to homeschooling and bedtime reading. I’m joining along with Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy to share what I’ve been reading over the last month.

Books I’ve Finished Recently

Calico Bush was one of our last read alouds and I still have mixed feelings about it. We loved most of the book and got very wrapped up in the lives of the characters. But I’m still shook over one section of the story that I think was too intense and graphic (and tragic) for the target audience of the book.

Only the Name Remains was probably my least favorite homeschool reader and definitely my daughter’s least favorite this year. Compared to all the other books we’ve read, it was dry and dragging, which is tough to acknowledge when trying to read about a difficult part of history. It just didn’t breathe the story to life for us.

Murder, Served Simply was book 3 in the Amish Quilt Shop series. I’m obsessed with the author and series and conveniently I got to read this Christmas tale of murder and meddling parents and love triangles during Christmas vacation.

Banner in the Sky is the book my 6th grader is reading right now. It was slow to start and I was initially worried it would be a slog, but it quickly swept me away to the Swiss Alps and earned a 5 star rating from yours truly.

What I’m Currently Reading

Right now we’re reading Betsy and the Emperor aloud and we’re both hooked on this story of Napoleon’s enprisonment on St Helena. The title character is delightfully sassy.

I have been hearing endlessly good things about the Brave Writer program and the creator’s book, The Brave Learner so I bought her book to check it out and so far so good. I really appreciate her viewpoint on education and I’m looking forward to picking up some tricks and tips.

I’ve been reading 10 Things I Hate About Pinky at night before bed for the past few nights. The author is a favorite of mine and I was hooked from the premise which is reminiscent of 10 Things I Hate About You.

I’m prereading Homeless Bird right now before my 6th grader starts it next month. It’s an intense plot, but so far I’ve found it very readable. I’ve only gotten a few chapters in though. It’s basically about an arranged marriage gone horribly wrong.

We started reading Soft Rain during our morning basket time at the suggestion of a friend and fellow homeschooler, after commiserating over our lack of enjoyment of Only the Names Remain. So far I’d definitely agree that this is a much more enjoyable narrative to read about the topic of the Trail of Tears. This morning my daughter even begged for one more chapter, always a good sign.


What are you reading right now?

What I’ve Been Reading Lately | June 15, 2020

How has summer been treating your reading life? I’ve found that quarantine life equals lazy mornings which results in staying up late reading most nights. So my nightstand reads are getting a fair amount of attention. Those are the lighter, fluffier reads that I trust not to make sleeping difficult.

My book club picks have been hit or miss. Most of them have had heavier subjects that my poor little quarantine brain hasn’t been able to deal with. But our May pick managed to hold my attention and I finished it in the nick of time.

I’ve also been reading some books with the kids. My daughter and I are reading Babysitter’s Club super specials together for a mother daughter book club. And my teenager has put a couple of good books in my hands after devouring them.

Here are the books I’ve finished in the last month or so.

  1. REALLY LIKED Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer | Finished 5/23 | I read this at the recommendation of my 14 year old and my husband who both loved it. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this – a fantastic blend of fantasy, action and sci fi starring an villainous but brilliant twelve year old. This is a fast paced read and a lot of fun. Looking forward to book two!
  2. LOVED Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng | Finished 5/30 | This book was a slow burn for me (pun intended) but the more I read, the more it grabbed me. The second half went by fast. I think the author did a great job peeling away the details at the right time. Very well done.
  3. LOVED Aloha, Babysitters by Ann M. Martin | Finished 6/2 | Read this with my daughter for a little mother daughter book club. I don’t remember reading it before actually so it was fun not knowing what was going to happen. I don’t remember Abby and liked getting to know her character. This super special had a lot of action and adventure and I loved the descriptions of Hawaii. 🥰🥰🥰
  4. REALLY LIKED Uprooted by Naomi Novik | Finished 6/7 | Howls Moving Castle meets Moana meets The Witcher. This reads like a dark, adult fairy tale and sweeps you away.

Right now I’m reading The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman and The Babysitter’s at Shadow Lake by Ann M. Martin.

What have you been reading lately?

Quick Lit | March 2020

It’s midway through March and perhaps the strangest March I’ve ever witnessed. We got word Friday night that the schools will be closed until April 5 in response to this whole Kovid-19 situation. But why talk about that when we could talk about books instead?

I’m linking up with Anne’s Quick Lit series to share the books I’ve read in the past month. That’s actually a pretty short list for me. I’ve finished two books but I really enjoyed them both so that’s a pretty good success rate.

My book club read and discussed Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman last month. This was my second attempt at reading the book, but I ended up really enjoying it this time. A few more chapters in and I finally got immersed enough to enjoy. I listened to the audio book at the recommendation of a friend and that also helped. The narrator’s accent was a delight. I will say that I did not love the big reveal at the end. It felt kind of forced and unsatisfying for me.

I also read I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella. This was my nightstand read in between listening to the book club audio book during the day. The premise of this book is borderline insane but once I got over that it was a lot of fun. The banter and chemistry is great and there’s a whole subplot that borders on action adventure. A crazy, fluffy delight.


Right now I’m reading The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, which will be our next book club discussion at the end of the month. Although it looks like it might have to be a virtual group chat discussion the way things are going! What a crazy time! Reading a book centering around World Wars helps to put things in perspective though. 😉


What are you ready right now?

What I’ve Been Reading Lately | March and April

It’s halfway through April and I thought it might be a good time to link up with Anne @ Modern Mrs. Darcy and share the books I’ve been reading lately. It seems like it takes about two months for me to read enough books to justify a new post and I am making my peace with that.

This year I am trying to attend to the backlog of books I already own, which is hardly a big sacrifice because I got 99 problems and 97 of them are too many books. Such problems, I know.

Right now I’m about halfway through Renegades by Marissa Meyer. I’m not sure what took me so long to start this one, but I’m glad I finally cracked it open (clicked it open? #kindlelife). As much as I liked Heartless, it didn’t really hold a candle to The Lunar Chronicles. This one though, I am hooked. It’s super heroes vs. villians in another futuristic dystopia with all the world building goodness that I love from Meyer.

Here are the other books I’ve finished since I last linked up.

  1. Mother Daughter Book Camp by Heather Vogel Frederick | Finished 2/18 | Hard to believe the book club is heading to college! This was a fun farewell story. I’ll miss this series.
  2. Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography by Daniel Handler | Finished 2/23 | This was cute. More of a scrapbook than a story. Fun for people who finished the book and the Netflix series and you need a Snicket fix. But it definitely does not stand on its own.
  3. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett | Finished 3/1 | You’ve Got Mail meets Sleepless in Seattle for YA. I really enjoyed this. The characters had a lot of depth, the story felt unique but just the right amount of predictable. Couldn’t put it down.
  4. Island of the Aunts by Eva Ibbotson | Finished 3/9 | Fantastical, I loved reading about all the different creatures on the island.
  5. I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn | Finished 3/12 | A long distance BFF friendship story told through texts and emails over the course of one year of college. Not my favorite read, but oddly fascinating in a fly on the wall kind of way.
  6. Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center | Finished 3/19 | I loved this. Bingeable and delicious but also real and with plenty of depth and character growth. I’ll definitely be checking out her other books.

So what are you reading right now?

What I’ve Been Reading Lately | January & February

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My reading habits for 2019 have definitely been of the slow and steady variety but I seem to be falling into a steady rhythm finally and getting back to my bookish self. The two big things which have helped are :

1) Just reading what I love and not worrying about finishing a book that isn’t doing it for me.

2) Not playing with my phone in bed at night. Night time is for reading and not Facebook, email or dumb cell phone games. I even turned on a feature on my phone that sets the display to grayscale at 9:30pm to remind me to put the phone down. This has also resulted in me reading more of my actual physical books which is a bonus because I’ve been trying to read more of the books I already own.

27204972Right now I’m nearly finished reading Mother Daughter Book Camp by Heather Vogel Frederick, the latest and probably last book in the Mother Daughter Book Club series. It’s the summer before the girls go off to college and I cannot even deal with that sentence because seriously weren’t they in middle school like a minute ago?

24882242I’m also reading The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson on my kindle, though admittedly not as diligently. It’s a look at the history of the English language and it’s fascinating and filled with Bryson-humor and wit but it’s still non-fiction which means you probably won’t see a finished date for awhile.


Here are the books I’ve finished so far this year:

  1. 51Kpt34RjTLJeneration X by Jen Lancaster | Finished 1/14 | One of her better collections of essays IMO. Lots of funny stories. Her books always feel like chatting with your BFF. This one is about adulting or sometimes a lack of adulting and lessons learned from trying to adult better.
  2. 51gwhvro6+lDon’t You Forget About Me by Liz Tipping |Finished 1/31| Slightly getting by on the British locale and the love interest. I rooted for the main character but was continuously frustrated with her. John Hughes fans will enjoy the many, many references to his movies.
  3. 51tg+hbjillIsla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins |Finished 2/11|I loved Anna and the French Kiss and the writing style in this one also make the story compulsively readable but the main character’s choices throughout the book drove me batty. I had to kind of check my opinions at the door with this one.
  4. 34895950The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill | Finished 2/16 |A short sweet graphic novel about a young girl who learns to care for tea dragons. A quick one-sitting read. I’ll be passing this one onto my nine year old next.

What have you been reading lately?