Books I Read in June

June was another great reading month! Here’s a quick look at the books I finished, with some brief thoughts about them.

    Book Club Selections

  1. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
    LOVE LOVE LOVE. I took for.ev.er. to finish this, because I was savoring it. I read much of it terrified that Towles was going to break my heart at some point, and I am so happy to report that my heart stayed intact. Not that it’s emotionless; it’s not at all. The writing is beautiful, and the setting magnificent. Go and read this!
  2. True Grit by Charles Portis
    Much better than I was expecting, and I’m glad I read it. I might even try to watch the movie. It’s a quick read, so if you’re on the fence about trying it, the reading commitment is minimal.
  3. Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
    I wanted to love this, but if it wasn’t a book club pick for October I would have abandoned it.
    Instead, I slogged through it, wondering all the while just what it was that everyone who raved over it was seeing in it. The premise is entertaining, but the execution left me so bored (especially the second half of the book). It’ll be interesting to hear what everyone else thinks of it.
  4. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
    I listened to the audio, and also read a detailed plot summary, which is good because otherwise I’d have been completely lost through most of the audiobook. My book club is supposed to go and watch a performance of it next month, so I’m looking forward to that.
  5. Mysteries

  6. In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear
    The problem with this title is that I’ve finished it and I’m all caught up on the Maisie Dobbs series. Big sigh.
  7. A Question of Honor by Charles Todd
    Love the Bess Crawford series, because I love Bess, and some of the other supporting characters,
    but WOW did this particular book rely waaaay too much on coincidences. Don’t start with this title, or you will be wondering what on earth I can possibly see in this series.
  8. A Rare Book of Cunning Device by Ben Aaronovitch
    A quick little teaser of a story (go & grab it from Audible if you haven’t already – it’s a free download!) that just makes me look forward to more with Peter Grant. I would also love to see that librarian take a more prominent role in a future novel.
  9. A Long Shadow by Charles Todd
    Probably my least favorite of the Rutledge series: it’s getting really repetitive in some aspects, and there was one huge improbable plot line in this one that seemed so unnecessary. I’ll keep reading the series because I like the character, but I’m hoping Todd gets out of the plotting rut they seem to be in.
  10. Death of a Dyer by Eleanor Kuhns
    I read the first in this series ages ago, and had forgotten about it until I was looking for an audiobook immediately available from my library. I like the unusual time period, and if my library ever gets the third book in the series I’ll read it (or listen to).
  11. Nonfiction

  12. Word by Word by Kory Stamper
    Loved this book, and it reminded me so much of The Professor and the Madman (just a modern look at dictionaries, not a historical one). It’s much more personal than the Winchester title, and I enjoyed how Stamper structured it as a combo memoir/look at lexicography.
  13. How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing with Your House’s Dirty Little Secrets by Dana K. White
    Highly recommend this one, for the kind of person who needs it (I need it). I liked her approach,
    and it’s very encouraging.
  14. Small Move, Big Change: Using Microresolutions to Transform Your Life Permanently by Caroline L. Arnold
    Paired really well with White’s book, which seemed to put into practice much of what Arnold suggests. I like her suggestions and advice, and it all makes a lot of sense3.
  15. Veganize It!: Easy DIY Recipes for a Plant-Based Kitchen by Robin Robertson
    I’m not vegan, so this is mostly wasted on me, but I think it’d be a great choice for anyone who is trying to go vegan.
  16. Children’s Literature

  17. The Many Worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge
    Excellent book and a fun companion read to Dark Matter.
  18. The Thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence
    Pre-reading it to decide if I want to read it to my kids this year, or if I want to have my son read it for himself. It was good on audio, and I’ll keep it on the list for the kids in the future.
  19. Philomena by Kate Seredy
    Reading it to decide if it’s one I want to read to my kids this year. I don’t think my son will especially like it, so I’ll probably hold it for my girls when they get older.
  20. Fen Gold by Joan Lennon
    Cute story, and a very quick listen.
  21. Re-Reads

  22. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
    One of my favorite series, and I was thrilled to find they’re being released via Audible.
  23. Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
    Continuing the series – the narrator is excellent!
  24. A Dedicated Man by Peter Robinson
    I had been caught up on this series but then had children and never read any of the ones published since 2009. I wanted to re-introduce myself to the characters, and since my library has them all on audio they’re an easy listen.
  25. A Necessary End by Peter Robinson
    Continuing the series.
  26. The Sins of the Wolf by Anne Perry
    Not my favorite of hers, but I’m catching up on the William Monk series. I skimmed a large chunk of the middle, to just get enough of the action to remind me of what happened.
  27. Didn’t Work for Me

  28. Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor
    I expected to love this – time traveling historians! It’s a five-star premise, for sure. I gave it my best try, even pausing for several months before continuing with it in case it was just a case of bad timing initially. The second time was no better though, and i all but forced myself to finish it, simply to know what happened with. The book is so fast-paced as things careen from one disaster to another, perhaps because if you stop and think about any of it, none of it makes sense. I want to buy what an author is selling, but they have to at least attempt to make things believable. It felt like a poor rip-off of Connie Willis’ time travel books, which are *so* much better.
  29. Out of the Dawn Light by Alys Clare
    Historical mystery that included some supernatural elements, and while I can enjoy that combo in some books, this time it felt like a cop-out for resolving plot issues. The writing and dialogue also did not seem remotely historically accurate: I’m not a complete stickler, but at least attempt to get me into the right time period, rather than seeming like a modern character plunked down in the Middle Ages.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

New on the Stack in June 2017

Welcome to New on the Stack, where you can share the latest books you’ve added to your reading pile. I’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own post or Instagram picture sharing your books! It’s a fun way to see what others will soon be reading, and get even more ideas of books to add to my “I want to read that!” list.New on the Stack button

Nonfiction

How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing with Your House’s Dirty Little Secrets by Dana K. White

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: Overdrive recommended it to me.

Small Move, Big Change: Using Microresolutions to Transform Your Life Permanently by Caroline L. Arnold

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: I don’t remember how I discovered this title.

My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues by Pamela Paul

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: It’s a book about books, of course I’m interested in it.

Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically & in audio from the library
Why did I get it: It’s one of my book club’s trio of books for October.

Veganize It!: Easy DIY Recipes for a Plant-Based Kitchen by Robin Robertson

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: Overdrive recommended it to me, and the author’s name sounded familiar.

Work Clean: The Life-Changing Power of Mise-En-Place to Organize Your Life, Work and Mind by Dan Charnas

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: I like the premise of it.

On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety by Andrea Petersen

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: I don’t remember how or why I found this title.

A Touch of the Infinite: Studies in Music Appreciation with Charlotte Mason by Megan Elizabeth Hoyt

How did I get it: Bought a copy.
Why did I get it: Catherine said great things about it.

Fiction

A Distant Prospect by Annette Young

How did I get it: Bought it.
Why did I get it: It’s been on my lst but my library doesn’t have a copy. When I discovered that the Kindle version was only $2.99 I couldn’t resist. And so far I’d say it is TOTALLY worth buying, especially in case they raise the price soon. I’ve only just started it but I’m loving it so far.

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

How did I get it: Bought the Audible version.
Why did I get it: Love this series!

A Rare Book of Cunning Device by Ben Aaronovitch

How did I get it: Downloaded it from Audible.
Why did I get it: It’s a Peter Grant short story, and it’s currently free. Go get your own copy!

A Question of Honor by Charles Todd

How did I get it: Borrowed it on audio from the library
Why did I get it: Next in the Bess Crawford series.

A Long Shadow by Charles Todd

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: Next in the Ian Rutledge series.

A Dedicated Man by Peter Robinson

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: Next in the Alan Banks series.

A Necessary End by Peter Robinson

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: Next in the Alan Banks series.

Out of the Dawn Light by Alys Clare

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: I don’t remember how it ended up on my TBR list; it might have just been because it was a historical mystery.

The Sins of the Wolf by Anne Perry

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: Next in the William Monk series.

Philomena by Kate Seredy

How did I get it: Bought it.
Why did I get it: It’s a discontinued Sonlight title, and I generally trust their literature picks. I wanted a copy to eventually read to my kids or have them read for themselves.

The Many Worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: Someone in my Facebook book club suggested it for fans of Dark Matter.

The Thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence

How did I get it: Borrowed it on audio from the library.
Why did I get it: Catherine mentioned it.

Winterbound by Margery Williams Bianco

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library
Why did I get it: I don’t remember how this ended up on my TBR.

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
How did I get it: Borrowed it on audio from the library
Why did I get it: My friend Katie gushed over it.


“New on the Stack” Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share your posts or instagram pictures about the new-to-you books you added to your reading stack last month. They can be purchases, library books, ebooks, whatever it is you’ll be reading! Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to this post – you can use the button below if you’d like, or just use a text link.

The Deliberate Reader

3. The linkup will be open until the end of the month.

4. Please visit the person’s blog or Instagram who linked up directly before you and leave them a comment.

5. By linking up, you’re granting me permission to use and/or repost photographs from your linked post or Instagram. (Because on social media or in next month’s post, I hope to feature some of the books that catch my attention from this month.)

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

New on Your Stack (volume 26)

Some highlights from the books from last month’s linkup:


Stacie (Sincerely Stacie) has a small stack this month, but it features one I immediately went searching for at my library: Surgeon’s Story. I *love* medical memoirs, so I was disappointed to find my library doesn’t have it. I’ll keep an eye out for it in the future though!


Happily for my TBR list, Kate (Opinionated Book Lover) added nothing to my “want to read” list this month. Don’t be that impressed with my self-control though: it’s only because I’m intentionally avoiding beginning the Charlotte Holmes series by Brittany Cavallaro, until the last in the trilogy is published (next year hopefully). So despite her praise for book #1, A Study in Charlotte, and for tempting me this month with book #2, The Last of August, I’m resisting.


Arwen (The Tech Chef) mentioned getting Queen of Extinction for joining the author’s email list. Just like Arwen, the teaser describing the book for those who like “fairytale retellings, magic, steampunk, and romance” got my attention. Ok, I’m not so much into romance, but 3 out of 4 work. The author’s website no longer offers this title, but I did sign up for her email list and instead received Rebel’s Honor, the first in a Steampunk Fantasy series.


Jill (Days at Home) showcased a new-to-me title and series: The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett. I love the cover, and I love the idea of the 1927 National Park setting. I’ve got it on hold from my library, and my fingers crossed that it lives up to the cover. 🙂


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Introducing July’s Book Club Selection: True Grit

true-grit

True Grit by Charles Portis

What’s It About?

(Description from Goodreads)

Mattie Ross, 14, from Dardanelle, Arkansas, narrates half a century later, her trip in the winter of 1870s, to avenge the murder of her father. She convinces one-eyed “Rooster” Cogburn, the meanest available U.S. Marshall, to tag along, while she outdickers and outmaneuvers the hard-bitten types in her path.

Why Was This Title Selected

I’ve never read a western, so I thought it’d be fun to try one. This one appears on a lot of “best of” lists, and if we’re only going to read one, I want it to be a good one.

Anything Else to Know About It?

The discussion will begin soon in the Facebook group, and you’re welcome to come and join us.

It’s available in Print, for Kindle or Nook, or via Audible.

And a heads-up: you can get the Audible version for a reduced price if you buy the Kindle version first.

What’s Coming Up Next?

the-diamond-ageThe Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

What’s it about? A young girl named Nell grows up in a future world in which nanotechnology affects all aspects of life.

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Nook | Audible | Goodreads

And a heads-up: you can get the Audible version for a reduced price if you buy the Kindle version first.

See all the books we’ll be reading in 2017 here.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Series Love: Peter Grant / Rivers of London

Peter Grant by Ben Aaronovitch series covers

A new series all about … book series! Because sometimes it makes more sense to talk about the entirety of a book series, instead of doing a post about each individual title.

First up, is my beloved Peter Grant / Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. If you’ve been reading here for awhile, you may remember my post about the first entry in the series, Midnight Riot. You may also have seen the other titles in the series appear in my New on the Stack posts, so don’t be surprised if the author’s name is familiar.

This series is a ton of fun – it’s a delightful conglomeration of mystery and urban fantasy. Things get weird in it, so if you don’t like oddball books these probably won’t appeal to you, but I love them. Peter, Leslie, Nightingale, Beverly, The Folly – the personalities involved and the setting all make me so happy.

Why They Might Not Be Your Cup of Tea

The series is very British and sometimes I have to guess on some of the slang or Google it if I can’t figure it out by the context. I’m sure I’m still missing some nuances, but I love how British it is. It makes me wish I knew London better, as I’m sure I’d appreciate some of the events more if I wasn’t so clueless as to where things take place in relation to each other (I know, I could get out a map, but I don’t care that much).

There are a few sex scenes, but nothing is too graphic. It’s enough that my grandmother wouldn’t have been willing to continue reading the books, so if you’re a very conservative reader you may want to pass (or know that you may have a few pages to skip over).

If you’re a sensitive reader, you may be bothered by some of the more disturbing scenes. There are some icky things mentioned; not usually super detailed, but it’s in there. I am not a sensitive reader so I could usually just think “ew” and move on. Know your own reading tolerance for this sort of thing.

While I love the series as a whole, the books themselves are sometimes uneven. Book #4 ends on a major cliffhanger, so you’ll want to have #5 ready to go. Book #5 mostly takes place outside of London, and I prefer Peter in a more urban environment. The ending for book #5 is fairly weak as well – it just kind of ends, and many loose threads are left dangling. If all I’d ever read was that one, I’d be wondering what on earth all the fuss was about the series – this isn’t a series that works well enough as potential stand-alone titles.

Reading Them All

If you find you love the series, there are some graphic novels, short stories, and novellas that are intermixed with the main novels. None of them are essential for following the storyline from the novels (although there are some comments in a few of the later novels that refer back to events from the graphic novels).

Numbered titles in bold are the novels, that need to be read to follow the overall plot, and should be read in order to avoid spoilers. Other titles are optional, but fun if you’re a series fanatic. Be aware that the visual nature of the graphic novels makes them a poor choice for Kindle copies, and don’t be like me and let your kids peek over your shoulder as you read them. A couple of the illustrations caught me off guard and I quickly moved to close the book before my kids could notice.

Audio book fan? The narrator for the series is excellent. You can get a good sample of his style on the free Audible short story linked below.

  1. Midnight Riot (published in the UK as Rivers of London) Print | Kindle | Nook | Audible | Goodreads
  2. Moon Over Soho Print | Kindle | Audible | Nook | Goodreads
  3. Whispers Under Ground Print | Kindle | Audible | Nook | Goodreads
  4. Broken Homes Print | Kindle | Audible | Nook | Goodreads
  5. Foxglove Summer Print | Kindle | Audible | Nook | Goodreads
  6. The Hanging Tree Print | Kindle | Audible | Nook | Goodreads
The Graphic Novels
Extra Stories

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Homeschooling Update: Looking Back at Kindergarten

Last month we ended H’s official Kindergarten year (we’re doing some “fun school” over the summer).

Reading

I’m not sure how to describe our year of reading instruction. While “resistant” isn’t exactly right, it may be the closest term I can come up with to describe how she generally responded to lessons.

I know she’s young, so I didn’t want to push her, and if it hadn’t been for her saying that she wanted to learn to read, I’d have dropped any lessons completely As it was, I would end up trying a lesson with her, going until she got … emotional/uncooperative, and then I’d back off for a time (sometimes a few days, sometimes a week, sometimes a month), until she requested more.

However, I discovered Teach Your Monster to Read and she LOVED playing that game on the computer, and it helped her realize she could read some things, which was nice as she wants so much to read.

She does not like following the scripted lessons from All About Reading 1 the same way G did for Kindergarten, so I’m having to be a little more inventive. I was hoping it would work just like it did for G, but no such luck. I’m expecting that she’s close to really becoming a reader, and will start back up attempting lessons with her in August.

Math & Science & More

She enjoyed math, which was Mathematical Reasoning, and then some random workbooks, and then we had just started Math Mammoth 1A, getting about halfway through the first (long) chapter before breaking for the summer.

Science was probably her favorite: Sonlight’s P 4/5 has lots of fun science books to read, like the beloved Big Book of Science and Nature, and I supplemented with extra books from my Usborne collection, and from the library. Favorites included Wild Animal Atlas, First Big Book of Animals, First Big Book of Why, and Q & A About Animals.

She usually liked handwriting, and her favorite thing of all is probably art, and she’d like it if I would include that every day. While she’s always welcome to do art on her own each day, she’d like me to do it with her every day and that doesn’t always happen.

I think it’s funny how much she looooves workbooks right now, and I’m catering to that love by getting her some extra ones. Those random math books I mentioned, plus some Kindergarten-level activity books I found on Amazon, Explode the Code primer books A, B, and C, an easy Geography workbook. She loves them all.

Read-Alouds

She also generally loved read-aloud time. Her favorite books from the year were:
The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook (and More Milly-Molly-Mandy), A Doctor Like Papa, Stories from Around the World, Beginners World Atlas, Street Through Time, and What Do People Do All Day.

Extra Activities

PE was taken care of through taekwondo (she received her brown belt right before her 6th birthday; she’s by far the youngest in the advanced classes now, but she loves it), as well as soccer and softball. She’s asked to play basketball this year as well, as she was disappointed that it wasn’t offered for Kindergarteners. She amazes me with her athleticism and drive to be the best on her teams. I was not that way. 😉

Her other activity for the year was Awana, which she loved. She worked very hard to finish her book for the year, and then made it through a second time to get the review patch.

I was thinking it was a really light year, and it felt like that during the year, but looking back at the year she actually covered quite a bit. Yes, she’s still not reading fluently like they’d expect her to be doing if she was in the public school here, but I know she’ll figure it out soon enough and catch up. She’s excited about moving on to her first-grade materials, and I’m happy she’s still enthusiastic about school.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Reading The Hobbit for the First Time (Don’t Be Like Me)

At the end of last year, my Facebook book club read The Hobbit. I’d been looking forward to it for years, but was underwhelmed by it. If you too want to avoid overall disappointment when reading The Hobbit, I have some suggestions.

Read it when you’re younger

It’s a much simpler book than The Lord of the Rings and expecting that layering of depth in The Hobbit led me to wonder where the rest of it was. It’s much more straightforward and felt lacking. If I’d read it as a teen or even tween, I don’t think I’d have noticed anything.

Don’t listen to it the first time

There are some songs scattered throughout the text, and listening to the book makes it hard to skip over them. I wanted to skip over them, as they were tedious and seemed to take for.ev.er. to get through. I’m also much faster at reading than listening, so the book seemed endless for what all it didn’t cover, and if I’d been reading it I could have zipped along.

Read it before The Lord of the Rings

Knowing what happens afterward leads to a lot more of a “who cares” feeling throughout this book. Read it first so you don’t know who the characters are, and don’t have any inkling of things that might be important later.

Have the movie ready to watch afterward

Reward yourself for it.

Don’t overhype it to yourself

Too much build-up can lead to ultimate disappointment. That was probably my major problem with the book. 😉

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

New on the Stack in May 2017

Welcome to New on the Stack, where you can share the latest books you’ve added to your reading pile. I’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own post or Instagram picture sharing your books! It’s a fun way to see what others will soon be reading, and get even more ideas of books to add to my “I want to read that!” list.New on the Stack button

Nonfiction

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Book club’s pick for June

Word by Word by Kory Stamper

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It sounded interesting (and I’m halfway through and it is)

The Commonsense Kitchen by Tom Hudgens

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Overdrive suggested it to me so I tried it.

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Seemed like it might be helpful

Fiction

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

How did I get it: Purchased it from Audible
Why did I get it: Love love love this series.

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I held off on reading the last one in the Cormoran Strike series as long as possible, but then wanted it for vacation.

The Dry by Jane Harper

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It was popping up a lot in various spots online, and the Australia setting was appealing.

Savage Run by C. J. Box

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it:

An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Next one in the Bess Crawford series

A Cold Treachery by Charles Todd

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Next book in the Ian Rutledge series

The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: A later title in the series was recommended, but I wanted to start with the first

Gallows View by Peter Robinson

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it:

Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Satisfying my current Jane Eyre obsession

Himself by Jess Kidd

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I don’t remember how it ended up on my TBR

Jane Steele

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: For my book club

True Grit

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: My Facebook book club’s pick for July. I need to get moving on it.

Death of a Dyer by Eleanor Kuhns

How did I get it: Borrowed the audio version electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I read the first book in the series and enjoyed it well enough to be interested in trying the next one.

Excalibur Rising by Eileen Enwright Hodgetts

How did I get it: Got it for free on Kindle
Why did I get it: Figured it was worth trying

In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Lastest in the Maisie Dobbs series

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: July’s selection for my in-person book club


“New on the Stack” Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share your posts or Instagram pictures about the new-to-you books you added to your reading stack last month. They can be purchases, library books, ebooks, whatever it is you’ll be reading! Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to this post – you can use the button below if you’d like, or just use a text link.

The Deliberate Reader

3. The linkup will be open until the end of the month.

4. Please visit the person’s blog or Instagram who linked up directly before you and leave them a comment.

5. By linking up, you’re granting me permission to use and/or repost photographs from your linked post or Instagram. (Because on social media or in next month’s post, I hope to feature some of the books that catch my attention from this month.)

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

May 2017 Recap

May was an amazing reading month – I read so much, and most of the books I finished were ones I really enjoyed.

I didn’t get a lot done in the way of blogging – I was hoping to get posts written ahead before we left on vacation, but it didn’t happen. Then I intentionally left my computer at home and conceded that the blog was going to be put on a brief hiatus. 😉

May 2017 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 24
Books Read This Year: 76

Things That Happened
  • Book club – My Antonia for my in-person book club and Hannah Coulter in the Facebook group.
  • We went on vacation to Florida! We went to Legoland, Disney, and Animal Kingdom. We also had days spent at the pool in between the amusement parks.
  • We wrapped up the “official” school year, although we’ll be doing some light things for the summer.
What’s Cooking

    Lots of quick-and-easy meals, as we’ve been busy with baseball & softball. I keep thinking I should make myself a belated birthday cake, but so far I haven’t bothered. We were in Florida for my actual birthday, which is why it hasn’t happened yet.

    But! The smartest thing I did was schedule a Home Chef box to arrive right after vacation. We got home late Monday afternoon, and Tuesday morning a meal box was at my door. IT. WAS. AWESOME. I want to do that every time we’re coming home from vacation, as it made re-entry so much easier.

What I’m Anticipating in June
  • H’s birthday! 🙂
  • Baseball and softball will end. G’s team will have a tournament, so I’m not sure of the exact ending date.
  • Taekwondo camp, and VBS.
  • Belt testing. G tries again for his 1st degree recommended black belt, and H goes for brown belt. I am *so* hoping she passes because that’ll move her up into the advanced classes. Why do I care? Because then she’ll be in the same class as G again, which makes my life easier. 🙂
  • Book club – Into Thin Air for my in-person book club and Uprooted in the Facebook group.
Books I Read in May

I shared the list of books I read in a post on Thursday, so I’ll share my favorites of the picture books we read in May:

  • The Gardener by Sarah Stewart

    Beautiful illustrations, and a sweet story

  • The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach

    Really funny, and great illustrations

  • Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

    Made my girls laugh, especially the pictures of the grumpy bear.

  • The Firehouse Light by Janet Nolan

    H really liked this one, and asked for it several days in a row. Interesting story, and well-done at showing the passage of time. It’s a wordier book, and wouldn’t hold the attention of toddlers.

  • Xander’s Panda Party by Linda Sue Park

    Cute story.


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Books I Read in May

Trying something new here, since I’m so behind on regular review posts.

I read a TON in May (thank you vacation!) – here’s a quick look at the books I finished, with some brief thoughts about them.

    Favorite Nonfiction

  1. At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider

    Thought-provoking, and it would make an excellent discussion book.

  2. Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach

    Super fun nonfiction, and I learned quite a bit about space travel and the space program. It’s got some parts that if you’re squeamish or opposed to discussions of bodily fluids etc you won’t appreciate. I found it fascinating, and much of it made me very grateful for gravity.

  3. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

    Heart-breaking but encouraging and inspiring. Highly recommended for anyone dealing with a loss; it doesn’t just apply to those who have had a spouse die.

  4. Loving My Actual Life: An Experiment in Relishing What’s Right in Front of Me by Alexandra Kuykendall

    I really like this sort of nonfiction – a year (or in this case, 9 months) focusing on specific things to improve your life. If you’re not a fan of this type of book, I doubt this one would appeal to you, but I enjoyed it. It does have a faith basis to it, so if you’re not Christian you may be put off by some parts of the text.

  5. The Commonsense Kitchen by Tom Hudgens

    Some delicious sounding recipes, although I didn’t like the Kindle formatting, which ended up making things harder to read. I’d like to try a few of them but would need to get a print copy first.

  6. Favorite Fiction

  7. Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

    My Facebook book club selection for May, and I LOVED it. Gentle fiction, I savored it, and am looking forward to reading more by Berry eventually.

  8. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

    My Facebook book club selection for June (hooray! I’m ahead again for my reading!) and it was excellent. Highly recommended for fantasy fans. It got a little more brutal towards the end than the first part of the book had led me to expect, so I probably wouldn’t recommend it to precocious readers – I’d say this one should stay as an (older teen) young adult title, unless your younger reader is really not bothered by battle descriptions at all.

  9. A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny

    Love the Gamache series, and this is a fantastic entry. Make sure you’re reading them in order though. Really looking forward to the next one publishing in August!

  10. The Dry by Jane Harper

    The setting is well-done, and made me feel like I was there in Australia, suffering through the drought with them. I liked the main character and was happy to see that it’s the first in a series, with the second book publishing (in the US) in 2018. The ending got a bit ridiculous, but I can forgive that in a debut author.

  11. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

    Love love love this series and I held off on reading #3 for as long as I could. Now to join everyone else in impatiently waiting for #4 to be published. Robin is one of my favorite characters in literature.

  12. A Cold Treachery by Charles Todd

    Love this series, and I was completely surprised by the ending of this one. It was a good one to read during warm weather, as it does such a good job of depicting a frigid winter I was glad not to be living through a snowstorm while reading about one!

  13. Re-Reads

  14. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

    Re-read (listen) because they’ve just been released by Audible and I needed to get them.

  15. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

    For book club.

  16. Gallows View by Peter Robinson

    Beginning the series again as it’s been so long since I read it. Listened to the audio version.

  17. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

    For book club.

  18. A Sudden Fearful Death by Anne Perry

    Working through the series again.

  19. Other Titles

  20. My Antonia by Willa Cather

    It suffered in comparison to Hannah Coulter, otherwise, I think I’d have liked this one a lot more. If it hadn’t been my in-person book club’s May selection, I would have put it aside for several months.

  21. An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd

    I love this series, but this particular title wasn’t my favorite. There are some plot issues that crop up regularly, and it’s getting tedious. If I read the books with more of a gap between them, I doubt it’d bother me quite so much. I’m still looking forward to the next in the series, so this comparatively low rating is simply because of how much I have enjoyed the other titles.

  22. The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan

    I wanted to like this one more than I did, but found parts of it really confusing, and the overall resolution was quite unbelievable. I did like how it highlighted a part of world history about which I am shamefully ignorant.

  23. Didn’t Especially Like

  24. A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

    Disappointing. The plot was poor, the characterizations were absurd, and I found myself rolling my eyes throughout it.

  25. Savage Run by C. J. Box

    Much more brutal than I was expecting, with some gruesome details included unnecessarily.

  26. Simply Clean: The Proven Method for Keeping Your Home Organized, Clean, and Beautiful in Just 10 Minutes a Day by Becky Rapinchuk

    Not my favorite of these sorts of books – Clean Your Space was better – in part because it didn’t give unrealistic promises about keeping your home organized, clean, and beautiful in just 10 minutes a day.

  27. Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg

    Really uneven – some of them made me laugh out loud, others left me scratching my head, and others were just not funny to me at all. And that’s just with the titles where I’d read the inspiration book, and knew all of the characters and plot points referenced in the texts.

  28. The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill

    The cover was pretty, but the book didn’t live up to it. I question the historical details included, and the obliviousness of the main character. I finished it just to see how it all resolved, but I regret the wasted reading time.