Tuesday, October 31, 2017

My Year in Nonfiction

NonFiction 2017 

I'm joining in Nonfiction November for the first time this year.  So far I have finished 5 NonFiction books this year. I'm currently listening to a non fiction audiobook (how timely!). Obviously this isn't a Genre I pick first, but I know it is important to be well rounded. Im excited to add a few new ones to my to read list that are recommended by others!

My favorite NonFiction book so far in 2017 is:

1.  The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

 I gave it 4/5 stars and you can read my mini-review here

2.  I won a Goodreads giveaway for A Hope More Powerful than the Sea by Melissa Fleming

I am so glad that I was able to read this book and share it with other teachers that work with Refugee children at our building.  I gave the book 4/5 stars but the content was tough to read at times.  I haven't posted my review of it, so here are my thoughts (via Goodreads)

Wow! I'm glad I read this book but it unfortunately is just one of so many sad and horrible stories from Syria. The scary part is that parts of the book matches stories told by my students. (Thankfully not the boat escape)I'm learning so much from them and their resilience is amazing just like Doaa's in the book. I feel honored to have won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

3.  A local publisher gave us the opportunity to read Lowi &G: Living outside the Lines and meet the authors at book club!

This book gave me so much more appreciation after talking to the ladies and hearing the steps to writing it.  It was fun to hear their essays and a bit more information.  After seeing their fun personalities the book means so much more!  A fun opportunity and I am happy to spread the word on a great book.  Short stories that are fun to read and completely relatable!  5/5 stars

4.  I also read The Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

Although this book was a favorite of my bookclub, it didn't really work for me.  I did appreciate the discussion we had at book club but only gave it 2 stars.  My mini-review is here.  Some of the ladies in Book Club loved it so much they went to see Glennon Doyle Melton at a local event. Maybe I can revisit one of her books another time!

5.  Another Book Club book was Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City  by Matthew Desmond

I gave it 3/5 stars.  It was the same sad story over and over, important information, but I didn't love it.

Currently Reading (and enjoying) : Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life by Jenna and Barbara Bush 

It's currently my Audiobook and its a quick but fun look at life as a kid in the WhiteHouse. I love Jenna Bush Hager from The Today Show and I'm learning how different she and Barbara are!  This is a great November read for me!  Love listening to them and their Secret Service detail.  This isn't political and that makes it refreshing too!

In the Midst of Winter

In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende

I enjoyed the character development in this book. I haven't studied the political history of parts of Latin America in years, but this book was a good reminder for me as the characters flashed back.  I have been to both Chile and Guatemala and although this topics aren't often in books the political impact is important. I like how the snow storm brought the characters together as they began to trust each other. Isabel Allende is a wonderful story teller and makes the reader feel like they are there with the characters. I love the international elements she incorporates in her books. I also love the title and the meaning of it! I recommend this book to people that enjoy strong characters and historical elements. Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for the opportunity to read this book.
4.5/5 Stars

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Weight of Lies

The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter

This book was mysterious without being too violent or gruesome. I liked Kittens short chapters that alternated with Meg's story.  It is an interesting format to have a book within a book and it absolutely worked.  I could almost smell the mustiness described and felt like I was in the middle of the Georgia heat and humidity as I read this book. The cover caught my eye first, and then I kept hearing great things about this book. I'll be looking for more stories from this author!!
4/5 Stars

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

This was an Audiobook I listened to in the car and I wanted to stop at red lights just so I could keep listening!  The book was heartbreaking, but a different view of WWII and an amazing read.  I liked the uniqueness that each character brought to the story. 3 of the characters narrate the book and the chapters are short but powerful.  I highly recommend to read this book.
5/5 Stars

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Sound of Glass

The Sound of Glass by Karen White

I enjoyed this book! I read it this summer and the descriptions of the hot south echoed our weather.  The story was well from a few perspectives. I enjoyed how the relationship changed and grew for Loralee and Merritt. The characters of Gibbs and Owen were perfectly woven into the story. I listened to the Audiobook and the emotion of the narrators added to the story for me. I felt like I was having a conversation with the characters. Another great Karen White book that I recommend! 5 Stars

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Love Warrior

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

I don't agree with some choices this Author made. I could relate to parts (life of a new mother) but I enjoyed my book club discussion the most!  Many of the bookclubbers enjoyed the book and felt that the author opened herself up to show that she is human.  This was one of those bookclubs that I was able to appreciate the conversation and discussion.  This author came to an event nearby and some of those ladies went to see her and loved it.  3 stars.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Magnolia Story

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

I like their show, and I liked that they voiced their own Audiobook. They made poor financial choices/took many risks at times, but ended up being successful. Not everyone is that lucky. They seem humble and appreciative, but I can't imagine living as whimsically as they described at times.  Overall since I don't read enough nonfiction, this was a good read.  4 stars!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Living the Dream

Living the Dream by Lauren Berry 

I enjoyed this book! There was humor (bad date, I've been there) and also some frustrating parts that I wanted to the characters to just think and make the right choice! Overall I found this to be a fun, quick, and entertaining read. I love that it took place in London and described city life. I also think this book represents many in their late 20's just trying to do the best they can to figure life out! I received an ARC from LibraryThing.com and was happy to find a new author that I like! 4 Stars!!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

My Not So Perfect Life

My Not so Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

I love Sophie Kinsella and this book was her usual humor, fun characters, and overall entertaining. I know this book/author which is pure chic lit isn't for everyone, but it was a fun read for me.  This book felt more mature than the Shopaholic series while still being lighthearted.  I love the London setting and predicaments that Katie gets herself into. I think this would be a perfect beach read or book to read on vacation. Thank you to NetGalley and RandomHouse Publishing group for the opportunity to read this book. 4.5 stars.

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Life We Bury

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

Overall a good book. I liked the narrator too. A bit of mystery, good character development.  It was a good combination of backstory with an active plot line   This was my first book by Allen Eskers, but I have already requested a book of his that has gotten great reviews on Goodreads.  I plan to read more of his books. 3.5 stars

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

We Were the Lucky Ones

We were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

This book took me on an emotional rollercoaster with the Kurc family. I held my breath at times listening to the book, and I even got the library copy to continue to read at home in the evenings since I couldn't stop thinking about it out of the car! I laughed and I cried with this family. This is a WWII book that I will be recommending to others! I did get a bit confused at times with all of the members of the family, but it didn't take away from the overall book. I also love the Author's message and memories of her grandfather at the end. Recommended! 5 stars!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Night the Lights Went Out

The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White

I love the character Sugar! Meriliee, Dan, and Wade were also well developed characters. This story was a fun bit of gossip with mystery mixed in. I looked forward to reading it and hurried to sit down to read it each day. This was my first book by Karen White, but I have been wanting to read her books for awhile. I love some of the minor storylines that interweaved in the book, and to see the characters grow.  I'm thankful I won a copy from a Goodreads giveaway! 5 Stars!!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Excise (Dr. Schwartzman #2)

Excise (Dr. Schwartzman #2) by Danielle Girard

I am enjoying this series. I liked this book even better than the 1st and it was a quick read that kept me turning pages.  This book is great as a stand alone book, but I recommend reading them in order.  In the first book there are many details about the ex-husband which are brought up and reviewed in Book #2.  I can't wait for Book #3 to come out. I like the combination of mystery with a bit of medical information and the varying viewpoints of characters. Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. 
4 stars!  

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Shadow Sister

Shadow Sister (The Seven Sisters #3) by Lucinda Riley

I am glad that I am reading this series. They are all great books that take the reader on an adventure to different times and places across the country. I didn't think that I would like Star's story since she was the passive sister between her and Cece, but I am glad that the author gave her a voice. My book club will be reading it eventually (I hope!) and I am looking forward to the discussion and finding some common themes/threads and even a bit of mystery in all 3 of the books. I like how the previous two sister's were mentioned in this book also. I know these take forever to write, but I am looking forward to the next one sooner than later.  I already have pre-ordered Book #4 the Audiobook from Audible which comes out in November.  4 stars!

Confessions of a Domestic Failure

Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan

I am a bit behind in posting on the blog, but I am going to try hard to catch up this month on all my reviews.  This book was a fun summer read. One friend actually had an identical situation that was mentioned in the book (about gym childcare) happen to her the day after she read that part, so this book is totally relatable! It was a great bookclub book and a funny discussion. There are a few parts that get far fetched, but overall I recommend this to moms of young children that need a laugh and a reminder that we are all doing our best. I laughed a lot!  I have recommended it to others and they have enjoyed it as well.  This was the perfect book to escape reality and all the sadness in the world.  5 FUN STARS!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Nonfiction November

10 Nonfiction Books I haven't read (but want to read)

I'm joining Sarah from Sarah's Book Shelves for the NonFiction Book Swap.  Feel free to join in with the link on her page! The books (in no particular order).

1.  Reading People by Anne Bogel-  I have been following Modern Mrs. Darcy blog for awhile now and I enjoy her book reviews.  I enjoyed hearing her open up about the process for her to write this book and know it would be a book I enjoy.

2.  Born a Crime: Stories from South Africa by Trevor Noah-  A Bestseller that I have been wanting to read, but just haven't gotten my hands on it yet.

3.  A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen-  This book was on every nonfiction book list that I looked at for recommendations!  It seems to be a nonfiction must read!

4.  Stormy Seas by Mary Beth Leatherdalde-  I had to include at least 1 picture book.  I work with a handful of students that are refugees.  I think it is important to include a variety of diverse books on my school bookshelf.  

5.  When Breath Becomes Air- by Paul Kalalinthi-  This book has been on my To Read shelf forever. It sounds amazing and has 5 stars from the majority of my friends that have read it.

6.  Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal-  This looks interesting.  We are at the zoo all the time with the kids and sometimes animals just impress us with their instinctive abilities. (and I recognize a zoo isn't the best example).

7.  The Radium Girls by Kate Moore-  Another book on everyone's non-fiction recommendation list.

8.  Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay-  by Susan Hood.  Another NonFiction picture book.  I am a lover of all things Latin America.  I have taken more than one trip to South America and one of those trips was to donate supplies to a small school north of Quito Ecuador.  This book looks wonderful.

9.  Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick-  I have to include one fun memoir in Nonfiction November. Right? It was either this one or The Girl with the Lowerback Tattoo by Amy Schumer 

10.  Forty Autumns by Nina Wilner- I am a sucker for historical fiction books, and this nonfiction book seems to be a similar read. 

Any Recommendations that I am missing?  Happy Reading!

Dr. Schwartzman series books 1-3

Danielle Girard has a series about a medical examiner, Annabelle Schwartzman that I enjoy. I haven't posted any of my reviews on the blo...