Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Quick Lit: Summer 2017

Ahhh summer. Days of sleeping in, playing outside, and lots of reading. I actually didn't finish a crazy amount of books this year, but with lots of Kindle-usage during baby feedings, I did stay on track with my goals. I read 10 books from June through August, putting me at 27 of 36.

Fiction/Historical Fiction

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman - I'm not usually a fan of contemporary fiction. I'm much more likely to pick up something set in a different time (past or future) or with elements of fantasy. Regular people living realistic lives in current times just doesn't appeal to me... However, this one was recommended by enough people, and has a current Goodreads rating of 4.34/5 over 21,000 ratings, so I thought I'd give it a try. I actually really really enjoyed it!!

Eleanor's social skills sometimes made me cringe, but usually in a way that I was simply feeling sorry for her. It was vaguely reminiscent of The Rosie Project. I enjoyed watching her "normal" change little by little, and even though I figured out a couple of the major twists before they were revealed, it was a very satisfying story. One of my favorites of this year! I'm surprised this is the author's debut novel. I can't wait to see what else she writes.

The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier - This book contains two storylines set centuries apart -- one in modern Europe/North Africa/etc and one in ancient North Africa/Troy/etc. Not surprisingly I enjoyed the ancient storyline more. :) The modern story is of a woman who is a passionate believer in the ancient Amazon women warriors and goes on a journey to track down clues of their existence. The ancient story is a fictionalized version of what those Amazon women may have been like and where they journeyed.

I read this on my Kindle and didn't realize how long the book was. About the time I thought the story should be wrapping up I looked and was only barely 50% through it! I felt like there was quite a bit of unnecessary storyline, especially in the modern part of the story. I did push through because I wanted to see how the ancient story ended.

The one thing that I really enjoyed and appreciated about this book, though, was that it sparked an interest in looking up when the events of Troy took place -- I've always considered myself pretty knowledgeable about Bible history, but seeing on a timeline how those events and the rest of ancient history coincide was SUPER interesting.

The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict - My husband is a math and physics teacher, so naturally I know a lot about Albert Einstein. This book (very well researched!) takes a fictionalized look at how Einstein's school years and successful career affected others -- specifically the woman he eventually marries. I'll be honest, I didn't really like the book very much -- not because of the quality of writing, but because as the story progressed I found myself feeling sorry for Mitza and wanting to smack Albert.


Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch - The world we live in is full of messages of "You deserve this". It's a mindset that is very dangerous for our kids to develop. I slowly worked my way through this book, part of a chapter at a time each morning, over the course of a couple of months. I took lots of notes and gained lots of ideas of things to put into practice. As my oldest is solidly into elementary school (2nd grade), she is at a very teachable age for growing a grateful, servant heart. When I finished reading it I wanted to start back over again right away! I don't often buy books, but I'm very glad I bought this one.

#Struggles: Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World 
by Craig Groechel
- Social media is one of those things for my generation that you either seem to love or hate. You either avoid it completely (or almost completely) or get sucked in and are addicted to it. I myself fall into the latter category. Sure I can take an occasional "screen Sabbath" (which I should do more often), but I do find myself reaching for my phone whenever I have even the slightest bit of downtime.

I love Craig's style of teaching -- we did one of his Bible studies in our small group a couple years ago -- and his sometimes blunt, to-the-point thoughts. I already know a lot of the "why" I shouldn't be connected online constantly, but often need the boost for "wanting" to disconnect, and that's what this book provides. Short chapters, lots of practical application, and more encouragement than guilt-tripping make me want to reach for this book over and over again.

Young Adult

Like a River Glorious (Gold Seer Trilogy #2) by Rae Carson - Earlier this year I picked up the first book in this series and was pleasantly surprised! I've always loved stories set in the mid-to-late 1800s, especially in the gold rush and Oregon Trail era. This series also includes just enough magic to be different yet believable. Book three is supposed to come out in October!

The Ranger's Apprentice #5-8 (The Sorcerer of the North, The Siege of Macindaw, Erak's Ransom, The Kings of Clonmel) by John Flanagan - I started this series when I was in a reading rut last spring and was searching for something YA that was available in OverDrive. I'm surprisingly hooked! Rather than being futuristic like so many YA books, it seems to be set more in the "Robin Hood era", with castles, longbows, knights, etc. The world that Flanagan has created gets expanded with each book, and has undertones of recognizable places like England and Scandinavia.

There are 12 books plus some companions, and I took a break after the first four earlier this year. I couldn't stay away long though, and came back when I needed a sweeping easy read this summer. I've grown to love the characters so much, I'm going to be sad when the series is over!

Did you read anything really good over summer? 

Linking up with Anne Bogel's Quick Lit on September 15.

This post does contain Amazon Affiliate links. Purchases you make after clicking through will help support The Lion is a Bookworm, without changing the cost to you! :)

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