Tuesday, September 30, 2014

{September in the books}

I read 9 books in September.  I skimmed one other book, which would have made my total 10, but I really didn't like it (that is why I skimmed it) and I really don't think I can count it as reading it. It's not even worth mentioning.  It looked so good on the cover at the library...guess you can't judge a book by it's cover.

Anyway - 9 books is still great progress towards my goal and I feel like they were overall nine really great books.


Sense & Sensibility, Rebecca Jamison
This is a cute, clean modern day version of Sense and Sensibility.  I know Jamison has a couple other books, and I am looking forward to reading them.

For Elise, Sarah M. Eden
I was SO excited for this book!  Her last book came out in January and it seemed like it would be forever until this book was released, but it finally was September and the book launch.  I really wanted to go to one of the book signings, but it didn't work out this time.  Last time I took all 5 kids and it ended up in a minor disaster that gave me a headache, and so this time I just decided it would be worth my sanity to just go get the book and skip the signing.

Anyway - I loved this book.  No surprise there!  For Elise introduces Miles and Elise as new characters, but we see a couple older characters from some of her other books as well.  Miles and Elise were childhood friends until she mysteriously disappeared.  As adults they meet again, and the story continues.  There is romance and mystery.

I really love all of Sarah's books and recommend this book to anyone who loves regency romance.

The Good Life for Less, Amy Allen Clark
I was not familiar with her blog, but I found this book at the library and decided to try it.  I loved it!  She has lots of good ideas and the book includes some pretty good recipes.  It was easy to read and I've started following her blog too. If you like mommy blogs, check out her blog and her book too.

The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women, Dawn Dais

This was another library find and I ended up thinking it was so hilarious!  I don't think it would help me run or train for a marathon, but it did make me laugh out loud.  If you are a runner, serious one or not, I think this is a pretty entertaining read.

Rare Bird, Anna Whiston-Donaldson

I saw this book recommended on a blog a couple weeks before it was released and it looked interesting.  It's a memoir of the authors son, who was swept away in flood waters in their neighborhood.  This was a heartbreaking book, but a good book to read at the same time.  I am not sure how I would survive the loss of a child.  This book describes how Anna found light.  I think it was well written and I recommend it, even though it is a heavier topic.  There is some language, if you are sensitive to that.  But honestly, if I had just lost my son in an accident, I would probably have some language too.

Missing Lily, Annette K. Larsen
I read Annette's other book, Just Ella a few months ago and really loved it. A friend told me that she had another book out and I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book!  Missing Lily is about one of Ella's sisters. I don't know if this is a series, but I love when books are connected and some of the lesser characters get their own stories.  The story starts out in the middle of action and sucks you in immediately.  If you love princess stories, if you have a tween or teen who loves princess stories, I think both of these books would be great recommendations!

Reaper, Lindsay Hiller

I saw this book recommended on Goodreads, or facebook, I'm not sure.  It looked intriguing and it's a local Utah author so I thought I would give it a shot.  Reapers are girls who have powers to take away or erase bad memories from you, and keep them for themselves, but in this society they are looked down on.  Jenna, the main character, has been shunned because she is a reaper, but she wants to make a new life for herself.  There is a little romance, a king, a prince and some action.  It's such an interesting book, and so hard to describe! I am really anxious to read more of this story in the second book.  It will be released in the sometime this winter.

The Secret Keeper, Kate Morton
I downloaded a sample of this book a couple months ago and was not that interested after the first chapter. Then my sister handed me her copy and said she had the same problem, she had tried to read it before and couldn't get interested, but then picked it up again and got sucked in.  She thought I should give it another try.

Honestly, maybe the the first half/first third really did not grab my interest, but I kept on reading because my sister said the ending was really good.  About halfway through I could not put the book down.  The ending made it all worth it. I don't even know how to describe the book without giving it all away.  There were some twists and turns that I didn't see coming and I really enjoyed the way this book turned out.  I'll have to keep Kate Morton on my list of authors to try again.

Hands Free Mama, Rachel Macy Stafford
I have mixed feelings about this book.  I was really excited to read it.  I think she has some great points and some great ideas.  I need to be better at putting down my phone and enjoying the moment with my kids.  I know that.  But this book made feel guilty for everything.  I don't need more mommy guilt in my life.  The author has two kids.  It's great she can lay down with each child individually every night at bedtime and spend 30 minutes with each one talking about their day.  But if I did that bedtime would take 2 1/2 hours to get everyone to sleep. That's a bit ridiculous.  Maybe that is an exaggerated point, but I think when you have 5 kids you have to be pretty good at balancing your time.  At least I think I am pretty good at balancing my time.  (maybe I'm wrong?) But sometimes I have to make phone calls for church while waiting in the school parking lot, instead of reading a book to my 4 year old.  I still find time to read to him.  Sometimes the older kids like to read to him.  Then it's like bonus points because the big kids are reading and the younger kidsa are getting read too.  Sometimes the kids have to watch tv so I can work out.  or take a nap.  Sometimes I read a book (like this one) while they play and make a huge messes in the playroom.  And I tell them that I am reading and that they can play on their own.  I am a horrible mom. I don't think it's bad that I am not there every second of every hour of every day.  Our phones don't come to the dinner table.  Either do the legos.  We spend a lot of time playing outside.  We have weeks where we go unplugged and don't watch tv. We turn our phones completely off every week for church.  But I am not perfect.  Eli always likes to tell me to put my phone down and look at him.  I look at facebook and instagram too often, I don't need a book to tell me this.

The other thing that bothered me about this book is that it was all directed towards her kids.  I think we could read this same book and apply it to ANY relationship. Our spouses, our parents, our siblings, our kids.

Again, I think the book had some good ideas.  It is set up in a format so you can read it over a year and it has exercises you can work on every month.  I think it's a good idea and maybe a book worth reading if you are struggling coming up with ideas to help you go hands free.

Maybe I just feel so much guilt because I know I could do better at this.  But I can always do better at everything.  geez.  anyway, maybe someone else can read it and love it and write a better review for me:)


Nine books down this month.  
The total for the year is 74.  
That kinda makes me want to go read a book right now since it's technically still september and make the total 75.  
(but it's tuesday.  the busiest day of the week for me and that is just NOT going to happen)

Three more months to go, hopefully I can make it to 100 books!