Life has been busy as we prepare to move but I have still been making time to read. I go through spurts of reading nothing for days and then I stay up late reading for several nights in a row. It seems that the longer my to-do list gets, the more I want to curl up with a good book as an escape from everything. A good coping strategy? Sometimes! 🙂
I’m determined to read 100 books this year again and June found me at the half-way mark, having read 52 books already this year. I joined the Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge (MMD) to help motivate me but didn’t cross many of the books off that list recently.
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April Books Read
- A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck – A conclusion to the series I read in March. Another romance between a royal and American. I like books with happy endings like these.
- The Diplomat’s Wife by Pam Jenoff – Another WWII read by Pam Jenoff that gave a different look at post WWII from the perspective of a Nazi camp survivor. The ending was not what I expected and I think I preferred her book, The Things We Cherished, more.
- The Auschwitz Escape by Joel Rosenberg – My husband read this is in a week and since he doesn’t normally read books that quickly, I knew I needed to read it. It was a heartbreaking look at Auschwitz and Christians in the Resistance movement. Very well written and researched and a powerful read.
- Love the Home You Have by Melissa Michaels – This book was exactly what the title said and I learned so much. It had lots of good ideas about creating a home you love – wherever you are – with the reminder not to wait until someday.
May Books Read
- The Selection by Kiera Cass – For the MMD challenge, I started this series about books I wanted to read but didn’t want to admit. Ha. This was a teen fiction series best described as the Bachelorette meets the Hunger Games. Oddly, the concept worked and I read the entire series this month. The Selection starts off with America Singer being selected (chosen) as one of 35 girls competing for a chance to marry Prince Maxon.
- How to Blog for Profit without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup – This was a reread as I was thinking about how to diversify my blog income. I try to read a variety of blog books and Ruth is a a very knowledgable teacher.
- The Story People by Heather Kaufman – When I saw this new release from Concordia Publishing House at the library, I picked it up. It was several stories beautifully woven together, the main one focusing on a children’s book author and a book store owner, and how their past and present intertwine.
- Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar – Another girl picked this for our book club and we all agreed it was odd. It was a dark, post-Communist fiction book. It’s difficult to describe and just know that the book jacket doesn’t match up with the book.
- The Elite by Kiera Cass – The Elite continues the series with America still in the competition, learning more about the caste system that has been forced upon her country.
- The One by Kiera Cass – America is one of the last in the competition and finds herself following in love with Maxon. It is the story that wraps up the Selection.
- The Heir by Kiera Cass – The next book jumps forward 20 years since the selection and continues the story of Maxon and America with their daughter.
- The Crown by Kiera Cass – The final book of the Selection series was a good conclusion. I like reading dystopia fiction and I think this was one of my favorite series yet. This was a fun and interesting read – all five books. They are quick reads, too!
- The Magic of Motherhood by Ashlee Gadd – This book was a collection of short essays on motherhood written by a variety of authors. Some of these resonated more with me than others. It was not as Christian focused as I expected or wished.
June Books Read
- True to You by Becky Wade – A book about searching for a birth mother and a romance as well. Full review below.
- Between Heaven and the Real World by Steven Curtis Chapman – I have long been a fan of SCC and his music. I was eager to read his biography, especially after reading Mary Beth’s a couple years ago. It was an honest and deeply personal look into the Christian artist that I admire so much.
- Guernsey Literacy and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows – I listened again to this book that I read a couple years ago. This might be one of my favorite books of all time! Told as a series of letter, this post WWII story is exquisitely written. The audio book is absolutely delightful to listen to as each letter is read by a different English actor or actress.
- Escape by Carolyn Jessop – This is the true story of the escape of fundamentalist Mormon wife from the polygamist cult. One of many wives, married to a man 32 years older, Carolyn had 8 children and managed to escape with all of them.
- Time Management Mama by Sarah Korhnak & Beth Anne Schwamberger – I’ve read a lot of books about time management but this was the first one written by moms for moms who are trying to juggle their passions with diapers. Written from a Christian perspective, it was refreshing to read a book that reminded me how important it was to put my family first and still have unique tips for managing my time better. One of the best books I’ve read this year so far!
- 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff – I chose this book for book club as it checked off a book about books on the MMD challenge. A short compilation of letters from an American author to a British book seller, it was not what I expected but I did enjoy it.
- Driving Heat by Richard Castle – As a fan of the former Castle tv show, these fiction books read just like the television show. Even as they were solving the murder mystery, it was still a light read, perfect for summer.
- The Harvest Raise by Katie Schuermann – If you are Lutheran, you need to read this book. Even if you are not, it’s still a delightful read. It’s like the town of Mitford meets your local Lutheran congregation. Written by a Pastor’s wife, the Harvest Raise is a beautiful conclusion to this trilogy. I highly recommend this whole series!
- Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge – A delightful modern-day story of Sense and Sensibility set in Austin, Texas. It was a great ending to a great month of reading! Full review below.
True to You was a review book that I requested because the beautiful cover caught my eye. Unfortunately, the book was not as captivating as the cover.
True to You is the story of Nora, a passionate historian who is hired by John, an ex-Navy seal, to help find his birth mother. Nora is reserved, hiding in her books and British tv shows, but she is intrigued by John and wants to help him. Slowly, the search continues as John and Nora learn to trust each other.
I liked the dialog of Nora with her sisters. Eventually, John does find his birth mother, but it leads to startling discoveries about his past – and Nora’s! However, the ending seemed rather unrealistic and left a lot of things unresolved for me. I don’t want to give it away but I don’t think the ending would have wrapped as neatly in real life.
It was a book concept unlike any other that I have read, but it was just an okay read for me.
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Jane of Austin, on the other hand, was an absolutely delightful read! The cover was unassuming but the story was a brilliant twist on Sense and Sensibility.
This book tells the story of Jane Woodward and her two sisters. Once their father disappears with all their family money, they set out to provide for themselves and manage to build a successful tea shop. Due to some untimely circumstances, they move from San Francisco to Austin, to be near distant cousins and relocate their tea business.
Older sister Celia has just broken up with her long-term boyfriend, Teddy, and younger sister Margo, is just trying to finish high school and make new friends. Jane works at holding the family of sisters together while inventing new teas and scones for their shop. Along the way, Jane meets musician Sean Willis and retired Marine captain Callum Beckett. The two men are as different as night and day and Jane learns what love really is, due to them both.
As in Hillary Lodge’s other books, many of the chapters end with a recipe. I love a good book that incorporates lots of food. Growing up in Texas, this was a fun read for me!
If you are a Jane Austin fan (and even if you are not), you need to read this book. It proves that classic stories never go out of style! It’s a modern day romance with old-fashioned ideals that will delight you.
I received this book from Blogging from Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Now that you’ve seen what I’ve been reading lately, what have you been reading? Any good books that I should add to my list?