June went by so fast and then the beginning of July was even faster - so here's two months in one!
Family: We took our annual end-of school year trip to my sister's in Northern Michigan so we got a ton of family time!
In July my husband and I have found ourselves childless quite a few times leaving us to see what life may hold for us in the next few years.
Faith: 2 Peter, 1 & 2 John, Jude, Revelations and Matthew. I've started asking myself during my devotions time where I've seen God.
Health: Except while I was at camp hiking, canoeing and horseback riding - I've kept up exercising formally every day. I can also tell how much I've loved eating out during July, but I figure there is time to focus on eating healthier home cooked meals as we approach the Fall.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I read this book for book club and it really isn't my genre. It was well written, but more suspenseful than I prefer.
Second Chance by Jane Green. Fun read about friends who become reacquainted after another friend dies. They explore how much they have changed - and how much they are the same, since being in school together.
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. I actually really liked this book. It took me a while to figure out what was going on, but as the book unfolds in layers we find out that Pat has had a head injury which has resulted in memory loss. He befriends/is befriended by Tiffany who has lost her husband and they begin to form a bond. Throughout the book there are themes of family, friendship, trust, happiness and who you can depend on.
We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen. This was an enjoyable read! I liked the alternating narratives between 13 year old Stewart and 14 year old Ashley as their lives collide when their families blend together. They both learn about each other and themselves as they navigate through the social stratus as school. This book would work best with older middle school ages since it deals with realistic situations of friendship, who to trust, underage drinking, and bullying. By the end of the book Stewart and Ashley have found their own ways to deal with these issues and find that they are stronger together.
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. We just re-read this book 5 years after the original time, what stuck out to me this time was the self-reliance of the children in the book and how they worked together to solve mysteries.
Although this book was long it kept mine, and my kid's, attention!
I loved the rich vocabulary of the book and that it was a great mystery without being morbid.
Looking forward to the next one!
The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman.
Wow! This book was so good. I received it as a Goodread giveaway and was expecting a heartwarming tale. However, I was immediately drawn in by the rich story line. Not only does Patience describe midwifery but also life in the small town she occupies in 1929 as Wall Street crashes far away and ripples its effects through Appalachia. As Patience thinks back on her life we see it is filled with varied experiences such as union organizing and protesting for workers rights, a dead lover and husband as well as her baby, losses and gains that keep life circling in an unpredictable pattern.
Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo Crucet. This book shows how Lizet straddles two cultures when she attends an elite college in the North after growing up in a low-income Cuban-immigrant neighborhood of Miami. While she learns to navigate a system that everyone else already seems to know, she is concerned for her family back at home as immigration issues rear up when a young boy is rescued from the sea after fleeing Cuba with his mother who died on the journey. Although this book was written to take place in the 1999-2000 school year, so many issues are still pertinent such as support for first generation college students, the inequality of the public school system and the inability of colleges to address that, and, of course, what does asylum mean for immigration and when is it applied?
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart. Re-read, original review: Love this series for my kids (ages 7 & 11). The text is so descriptive I feel like I'm adding to their vocabulary. The characters are realistic and the danger is never downplayed so the children realize that they are extraordinary and have adults who realize this - but also who are concerned for their safety. If I have any compliant, its just that the books are a little on the long side - but my kids would say that means more to love!
Melissa Explains It All: Tales from My Abnormally Normal Life by Melissa Joan Hart. What caught my interest about this book was that the author and I are the same age, so I could remember much of what she was writing about happening. It was interesting to see the differences in our lives as she pursued an acting career. Although I am not convinced that her life was "abnormally normal."
The Beach House by Jane Green. I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick, relaxing read and yet The Beach House delves into the life of 3 families that end up becoming involved with each other as they spend parts of the summer together in Nantucket.
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. A day in the life of Daniel and Natasha. They start the day off not knowing each other and find that fate conspires so they are thrown together at different curves. One is a first generation child of immigrants, the other is undocumented and being deported. One believes in science, the other in poetry. Do opposites attract? Is there only one person for everyone, as the day continues these two 17 year olds ask themselves these questions and more.