I’m joining Janssen today over at Everyday Reading for a quarterly round up of all the books I’ve read from April to June. I read 32 books, though several of them, as you will see, were really fluffy reads.
Here’s what I’ve been reading – the good, the bad, and the embarrassing.
- The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert | In the history of the earth, there have been five mass extinctions that changed the landscape of the earth. Humans right now are looking at the sixth. Really good book and though it’s science, it’s not written for the scientists.
- Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson | This lady is a crazy genius. Her family of four only produces a quart size mason jar of trash a year. A Year! I think we might sometimes produce that much trash in an hour. So, while I’m not about to start foraging for wild moss to use as toilet paper (don’t worry, the author only did that for a bit until she realized that was too crazy), I was very inspired by Bea Johnson’s family and the way they live. It definitely made me think about more ways that we can reduce and make smarter choices and simple changes in our own home. (More about this book later).
- Eat, Move, Sleep by Tom Rath | When Tom Rath was a teenager he was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that causes him to grow cancerous tumors all over his body. So, he’s not a doctor or a scientist, but he’s become an expert on being healthy because he has to be. This book was a fun, quick read with helpful tips and good motivation to make small, manageable changes to the way we Eat, Move, and Sleep to be healthier and feel better. A good read.
- I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella| This was my first Sophie Kinsella. I know she’s wildly popular but I don’t read much chick lit. Lately, however, I’ve just been in the mood for more lighthearted reading and this fit the bill. It was so fun! A perfect, quick romantic comedy of a read.
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed | I liked this one. I always appreciate when someone can tell their story with such brave honesty. I also always love a book about someone who overcomes something hard.
- Tiny, Beautiful Thing by Cheryl Strayed | This one is at times intense, occasionally moving, mostly ridiculous, and often disturbing. If anybody asked me, I’d probably say don’t read it. I can’t think of anyone I’d recommend this book to. Wild is better.
- The Round House by Louise Erdrich | I love Erdrich’s writing, the poetry of her prose, and this book is no exception. The plot centers around the brutal rape and attack of a Native American woman and the way it all unfolds makes for a very suspenseful read. Erdrich captures the heartbreaking challenges of life on the reservation as well as the beautiful culture and spirituality of the Ojibwe tribe. There was so much that moved me in this book and overall I think it was incredible. . . . But, I have to say, as silly as it may be, that I really don’t love reading about young teenage boys and all the dirty sex talk and hormonal scenes that inevitably come up. There was a lot of that in this book and I found myself rolling my eyes every time. Gross boys.
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart | A well written Young Adult novel. Enjoyed this one and added it to my summer reading guide too.
- Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight | This book was like a car accident that you can’t look away from. Disturbing and not really my type of book, but I couldn’t put it down until I knew what had happened to Amelia. I stayed up half the night to finish this book and still felt a little sick when it ended.
- The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce | This was such a heart warming, uplifting read.
- Delirium by Lauren Oliver | This is a Young Adult Dystopian Romance trilogy – as far as the genre goes, it’s okay. Good enough to read all three anyway.
- Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
- Requiem by Lauren Oliver
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo | I picked this one up because I have a small obsession with books about India. It’s written like fiction but is really the work of an incredible reporter. Boo lived in the Annawadi slum settlement for three years alongside the subjects of this book. She tells their stories as the happened. It’s really an outstanding book that moved me to tears more than once. This is a raw, emotional read.
- Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford | This is chick lit from the 1940’s and I loved it! It’s witty and ironic and I actually laughed aloud while reading, which I hardly ever do. But while this is mostly romantic comedy, I found it surprisingly insightful too.The plot is very Jane Austen-ish, but with more of an edge. One of my favorite reads so far this year.
- Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes | This was my second Jojo Moyes book and I enjoyed it. British chick lit, light and fun. I like the Audiobook versions of her books.
- The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty | Historical fiction that started off strong for me but didn’t hold it together. The ending felt too forced, especially after several false endings that dragged on a little too long.
- The Hot Zone by Richard Preston | Totally terrifying nonfiction. Couldn’t put it down. Ebola virus – yikes!
- The Selection by Kiera Cass | This Young Adult romance series is a cross between The Bachelor and Cinderella. It’s so silly. But, I read all three and I’d say they’re kind of like marshmallows – I know they’re not good, but I still like to eat some every now and then anyway.
- The Elite by Kiera Cass
- The One by Kiera Cass
- Blue Nights by Joan Didion | I love Joan Didion and I loved this book. Beautiful, heart wrenching book about losing her daughter.
- Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter | Meh.
- The First 20 Minutes by Gretchen Reynolds | I was a big fan of this one. Wrote a full review here.
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins | Less disturbing than Gone Girl. Still, a real page turner. I’m not sure I really liked it all that much, but I couldn’t put it down and I read the whole thing in less than a day while I was on vacation.
Books I’ve read aloud with the kids this quarter, all of which we enjoyed:
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
- The Penderwicks by Jeane Birdsall
- A Cricket in Time’s Square by George Selden
- The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
- The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
- The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
What have you been reading lately? I’d love to hear about it.
And, if you’re looking for something good to read, my 2015 Summer Reading Guide has something for everyone.