Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April Books.

How in the world is it already Wednesday? And how in the world is it almost MAY!? James has 12 days of school left. I am SO SAD about that...not because it's summer and what in the world will we do {we have PLENTY to do}, but because I am SO SAD to be leaving his teachers this year. They have been extra special. Will has six days left. His teachers are fantastic, too, but he's the class bully so they're probably thrilled to see him go. {I KID...but he is in timeout every. single. day. for hitting and pushing. I don't kid about that. He's so proud when he tells me he had to go to timeout for shoving. Awesome. I've had no idea what to do with him for about half the year.}

I read a LOT this month and I have a lot left on my bedside table that I'll hopefully finish in the coming days. If you're not following on Goodreads you can find me HERE. My personal goal is to read 60 books this year and I've already read 22! I read some great books this month!

The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle. I love The Big Mama Blog and have read it for years. I enjoyed her first book, Sparkly Green Earrings, when it came out a year or two ago. The Antelope in the Living Room was just FUNNY. It's a light-hearted look at marriage and everything that comes along with it. She's funny and warm and sincere without being overly emotional about the things about marriage that can be overly emotional. One of the things that made me laugh and laugh was when about going to a wedding and taking a gift and she says that when you've been married for a while - that's when you deserve the wedding gifts! {And it's the truth...not because I feel like I've been through a lot, but six years later my "nonstick" pots and pans sure have.}

The Selection by Kiera Cass. If you're the person who sent this to me during our Christmas book swap, I would like you to please raise your hand. I cannot remember who sent it and it is my favorite new book I've read in a while. SO MUCH SO that I immediately ordered the next three books. I described it to Eddie as Cinderella meets Hunger Games meets The Bachelor. Later I read that the author meant it to be a little bit Cinderella and a little bit Esther - what if Esther had been in a relationship at home when she was sent off to be a part of the royal beauty pageant for King Xerxes. The book follows a girl named America as she is entered into The Selection - the prince's way of picking his new queen. America lives in a country {previously the U.S. - it's in the future} that has a caste system and she's a five - of eight. She is picked as one of 35 girls to compete for the prince's heart. The problem is that she's left someone at home who already has her heart. I couldn't put it down! You definitely have to like young adult lit and romance {although this isn't all that mushy} to enjoy this series, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it!

The Elite by Kiera Cass. This is the second book in the series. It continues to follow the girls in  The Selection. This one, to me, wasn't quite as good. I still thoroughly enjoyed it {I read it in a day and a half which is GOOD for me} and couldn't put it down, but I got a little frustrated with America and her decisions. I'm waiting on pins and needles for the final book - The One - to come out next week. {I can't imagine having had to wait for three years. So glad I just found these!} I recommended the series to a friend and she loved it as well. It would be great beach reading this summer!

Hands-Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters! by Rachel Macy Stafford. I have mixed feelings on this one. On the one hand, the book is great and offers perfect advice for mamas {and daddies!} living in the time that we live where our electronics are always buzzing and we're told that we always need to be busy. On the other hand, this wasn't new advice that no one could think of themselves. I agree with every little thing that she said - enjoy your children while they're young!, don't feel bad about saying no to things that take away from your family time!, PUT THE PHONE DOWN!, look at your kids and listen to your kids when they're talking! But there's not a ton of information in the book that I couldn't have come up with on my own. HOWEVER, I didn't read it the way that she recommends. She recommends taking your time to read it - I think she's set out a chapter for each month of the year - and I read it in just over a month. I didn't spend a ton of time focusing on each aspect of what she recommends. It would make a great book for discussion and it's excellent if you're overwhelmed and just don't know where to start, but you could also just look at your own life and figure out what needs to go and where you could fix things.

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl. James loved, loved, loved the first book. He especially LOVED the Oompa Loompas and their singing {and yes, I did "sing" their songs}. We were not quite as taken with this one. It was just sort of - weird. And that's probably saying a lot for Roald Dahl. The Great Glass Elevator takes Charlie and his family to outer space where they battle aliens before coming back to the chocolate factory. It was still entertaining for James, but not nearly as much as the first book. 

Bluebonnet Bride: A Love Across the Sea by Colleen Coble. I'll tell you more about this one another time. I reviewed it for Book Look Bloggers and owe them a review. It was a sweet, but VERY short book.

I have about six other books going right now - y'all know I don't read just one! Hopefully I'll finish a few of those up this week. As always, tell me what you're reading!

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Anna Catherine said...

Oompa Loompas are scary!!

Mrs. Harvey said...

Girl!! I sent you 'The Selection', and I'm with you! I've read the first two, and I cannot wait until the last one comes out! I've already pre-ordered it!!

Jackie said...

Thanks for the recommendations! I am going to try The Selection! My son and I are almost finished with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory right now.

My goal for the year is also 60.