Happy Tuesday!! We’ve had a mess of wintry mix this week and today is our second snow day this week. We all stayed home yesterday and the boys had some friends over. They had an epic, 4 hour Nerf battle followed by some fun board game matchups. I finished a funny book and started another while we were staying inside. It’s been two months since I did a book review post, so I thought I’d link up with Steph and Jana to show my books.
In the past 2 months, I read a couple of Christmas books. I’m not going to do a full review of them now but here they are:
Christmas Camp by Karen Schaler ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
Dreaming of Christmas by T.A. Williams ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
And now it’s review time!
Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
This is the story of the Birch family and their seven day quarantine in their country estate over Christmas. The oldest daughter, Olivia, is a doctor returning from Africa while fighting an epidemic and she has to stay in quarantine for a week to be sure she isn’t carrying the terrible disease. Her father, Andrew, is a restaurant reviewer and recently found out some life changing information from his past. Her mother, Emma, just received a diagnosis from her doctor that will possibly shake the family to its core. Her sister, Phoebe, is engaged and only focusing on surface level problems related to being trapped in her family’s aging estate for seven days. Unexpected guests keep showing up at the family home potentially putting themselves in harms way. All four members have a secret to keep and a lot to lose when the secrets are discovered. I really liked the book. The characters are interesting and intertwined in a way that keeps me reading. I gave it to my mom and sister for Jolabokaflod and we all read it together. My mom said that she liked it too but didn’t love the ending. My sister said that the ending was stupid. We texted back and forth about the book all day. We talked about how some parts reminded us of other books and tv shows. We all thought the best part was reading it together. 😊
One Day in December by Josie Silver ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
This book is about Laurie and Jack. They caught each other’s eye one day in December when Laurie was on a crowded London bus and Jack was sitting at the bus stop. Their lives intertwine throughout 10 years. The story is so lovely! Josie Silver did an incredible job making you feel the love, the anguish, the excitement, and friendship between the characters. It’s not necessarily a December only book, you can read it anytime. Go read this book!!! If you’re local, you are welcome to borrow my copy!
The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets by Molly Fader ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
Publish date: July 16, 2019
This is a family story and I LOVE A FAMILY STORY! I think part of it is being nosy – I am so curious about how other people do regular life things. In this family, Lindy the wild sister, left home at seventeen and never looked back. Her sister, Delia, stayed in their small Pennsylvania town to run the family business, take care of her aging mother, and raise her family. The problem is that this isn’t how it was supposed to be. Lindy always wanted to run the family business and Delia wanted to explore the world, go to college, and follow her teaching passion. Out of the blue, Lindy receives a phone call from the chief of police and comes home immediately. Both sisters are unsure about how to rebuild their relationship, become friends again, and best take care of their mother and the family business. Small town characters and history all have a part in Lindy and Delia’s attempt at reconciliation. I really liked this window in to the relationships of the McAvoy women. **Thank you to NetGalley. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**
The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Karen White, and Lauren Willig ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
When I finished this book, all I had to say was WOW! I did not see that ending coming. It is about 2 passengers on the Lusitania and a modern day historian trying to find out their stories. All three characters are woven together through the chapters and it was divine! I thought the three authors did a great job keeping the stories separate but intertwined. This was the Jolabokaflod book club book that I gave Jeff’s mom. We both loved it!! If you are looking for a great book to read, pick up this one!!
A Long Pitch Home by Natalie Dias Lorenzi ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
This is the story of 10 year old Bilal who moves to the United States from Pakistan. He only has a few days to prepare and has to leave most of his belongings behind. Bilal has been learning English at school, but not English in the way that his American peers speak. Everything is new to him. The story is told from his perspective as an immigrant. There are so many themes and messages that I took to heart as a teacher and a citizen. The story is heartwarming and I shed a few tears while reading it. It is a Black-Eyed Susan Book Award nominee in Maryland for students in 4th – 6th grades but I think so many more people would benefit from reading it.
The Library Book by Susan Orlean ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
My mom recommended this book to me after it was named Reese’s Book Club pick. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started it but as a school librarian I was intrigued. Well, let me tell you the beginning of the book describing the worst library fire in modern times sent my heart rate through the roof. I couldn’t imagine the immense damage and loss suffered in the Los Angeles Public Library on April 28, 1986. The description of the fire being so hot it was colorless and picturing all the water and smoke damage almost put me over the top. I have a little over 13,000 items in my school library and the thought of trying to protect or replace them boggles my mind. But this is more than the story of a fire, this book is the history of LA Public Library. I found the stories of the different library directors and how they advanced the library very interesting. Public libraries are pretty different from school libraries even though we both share lots of books and information with patrons. Orlean also investigates the suspected arsonist, Harry Peak, and his life would make a riveting work of fiction if it wasn’t true! Throughout the book, the librarians are the ones who caught my attention. Everything they do is for the patrons. Not only do they recommend and provide great books, but they also provide access to a multitude of services, a place to learn and experiment, new technologies, a safe haven during the day, and a person who cares. In an age where print books aren’t the only way to read, this book proves that libraries are a vital piece in a modern society. It made me love libraries even more than I already do!
You’ve Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
Publish Date: July 23, 2019 – mark it on your calendars friends!!
Jen Dixon is back!! This is the second Class Mom novel and I loved it! If you haven’t read Class Mom, go read it now! If you’re local, you can borrow mine!! Jen Dixon is back to her class mom duties and her son is in third grade now. This time around Jen’s mother just beat breast cancer, one daughter moved home while the other is touring Europe with a band, her best friend moved away, and her husband is trying to expand his business. On top of all that, she gets volunteered to lead the new student safety patrol. Jen tackles it all with sarcasm and humor. Her emails to the parents of William H. Taft Elementary School are exactly what every PTA committee chair and room mom are thinking but are too afraid to write. I loved the relationship between Jen and Max’s teacher who she affectionately refers to as Razzi. As a mom of two elementary school kids and an elementary school teacher, I was laughing the whole way through the book. Again, Laurie Gelman nails what it’s like to be a mom in 2019! This book is funny and relatable and I highly recommend it!! **Thank you to NetGalley. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**
That’s it for this month. As usual, my to read pile continues to grow and I am sure I will add some more reading all the Show Us Your Books posts. I am reading a great summer book right now as I look out on the snowy, icy mess. I have some good reading time ahead of me today so I’m off!
Have a super day full of sunshine and books!!