Wrapped up my “Summer Reading” with some fun August reads!
1.The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan (Foodie Fiction)
This was a delightful little novel. I did a full review here. It was engaging, a little cheesy (in a good way), and fun. It was a great summer or weekend read–bonus points if you have a fondness for Paris or chocolate.
2.The Storied Life of A.J. Fickry by Gabrielle Zevin (Bookish Fiction)
I really enjoyed this one! A.J. Fickry is a quirky, widower who owns a book store on an island whose life is turned upside down when a baby is left in his store with a note and an Elmo doll. Surprisingly, he decides to keep the child; unsurprisingly, he then turns into a big softy. I love books about books, so all of the conversations and recommendations that A.J. has throughout the books were very enjoyable.
3. Persuasion by Jane Austen (Classic)
Stop 3 in my tour de Jane. I was interested to see how much I enjoyed Persuasion because, unlike Pride and Prejudice and Emma, I was not familiar with the story or the characters. Verdict: Jane Austen is a genius forever and I love her. Persuasion was definitely very good, but it did not surpass my first two Austen loves. I found the characters a little bit uninteresting, and the conflict in this story was not as compelling as the others. Also, Anne’s sisters are the worst.
4. We’re All Damaged by Matthew Norman (Fiction)
I think I must have heard someone mention this book at some point, but I had no idea what it was when I got the notification from the library that it was ready for pick-up. I decided to just jump right in, which was a fun exercise! This book was pretty medium for me. It felt agenda-pushy and overall kind of meh. It was about as good as a movie I picked on Netflix-entertaining for the moment, but not something I’ll probably think about again.
5. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (non ficion/memoir/celebrity book)-Audio!
I actually own this book in hard copy, but when I saw it available at the library on audio, I grabbed it. I read Why Not Me? in one day when I first got it, so there were definitely some stories and quotes that I had forgotten about since then. Why Not Me? is definitely enjoyable, but I far prefer Mindy’s first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?. There are definitely some great quotes and essays, though, including “I will leave you with one last piece of advice, which is: If you’ve got it, flaunt it. And if you don’t got it? Flaunt it. ’Cause what are we even doing here if we’re not flaunting it?”
6. The Rise of the Nones by James Emery White (Christian Nonfiction)
The Admissions team at my school chose this as our Summer reading book, and it was very good! White explores the rise of the religiously non-affiliated in our culture, and he gives really practical tips on how Christians can best reach that ever-growing demographic.
7. Castaways of the Flying Dutchman by Brian Jacques (YA)
I was approaching the end of the month and still had not chosen my YA book yet, so I enlisted the help of a 6th grade boy who I babysit. He started with some obvious recommendations (Harry Potter, Wingfeather Saga), but when I had read most of the ones he suggested, he finally landed on this one. Jacques is best known for his Redwall series (fighting mouse, I think?), but Sage told me that this one was better. It tells the story of a young boy and his dog who escape from a cursed ship and are granted immortality and telecommunication between each other. It was enjoyable–definitely different than what I would normally pick up, but I did like it! I am not the intended audience for this book, but I think that it is perfect for young readers. It has adventure and a great story, and it does it without bad language or inappropriate content.