Tuesday, August 1, 2017

July Recap

Am I down to only every-other-month recaps?  I hope not...

Let's talk about what I read this month:

Windfall by Jennifer E Smith. In this, an 18-year-old girl, who has been dealt a bad hand at life, buys a lottery ticket for her best friend (secret love) and he wins millions. Millions and millions of dollars. I really enjoyed this one. It's definitely a quintessential coming-of-age YA story where everything works out in the end, but sometimes we need lighthearted fun books. Especially in summer. Don't let the lighthearted nature fool you though; I definitely cried more than I thought I would.

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon. I was killing the YA game in July. I loved this one. This is the story of Maddy, the girl who was allergic to the world, and Olly, the mysterious boy who moved in next door. I loved Maddy. I loved Olly. I loved Carla. I want to play phonetic scrabble. And I was so so surprised by the twist - I legit never saw it coming. That's the best kind of twist, right? Also - top notch flirting in this one. Perfect for summer.

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan. You guys! This. Was. Perfection. Listen to it on audio, if you can. There's a full cast production, complete with music, which is so important to the story. Echo tells the story of three children growing up during World War II all over the world, mysteriously linked together by a magical harmonica. It was a Newberry Honor for a reason.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Yet another twist that I did not see coming. I flew threw this one in a matter of hours. Who is Evelyn Hugo? Why was she married seven times? (I would have given up long before number seven.) Any why on earth does she want Monique Grant, virtually unknown writer, to tell her story?

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin. I heard about this one from Hannah at So Obsessed With. See her review here. I would never have picked this book up on my own, even though it's set during WWII, my favorite era. And is a WWII alternate history telling, another fave. The motorcycle race that is the center of the story would have thrown me off. I'm so so glad I took Hannah's recommendation and listened to this on audible anyway. The narration is fantastic. The story moves at a frantic clip. There are so many twists and turns that I audibly gasped at several points in the story. If that's not enough to sell you, I'll leave with this - I am counting down the days until my next audible credit so I can get the sequel (only nine more to go).

Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson. A little back story - I've only read one of Joshilyn Jackson book prior to Someone Else's Love Story, and that was Gods in Alabama. I listened to it on audio, but being from the south, I had a really hard time with the affected southern accent given to the characters. But Anne Bogel (Modern Mrs. Darcy and What Should I Read Next? Podcast) always raves about her, so I hadn't written her entirely off yet. I just wasn't in a hurry to binge all of her book. But then, several months later, I saw an essay by her in the AJC about her work teaching creative writing to inmates in the women's maximum security prison in Atlanta. Hold up... She's Atlanta based? And does such a good deed on a regular basis? Perhaps it's time to give it another shot. So I read the essay and loved her writing; much more than I loved listening to it. I decided to try out her other book I hear about most from Anne Bogel, Someone Else's Love Story. It was delightful. So cute. I loved Shandi, her son Natty, and Will. And I loved that the story was wrapped up in the tidiest of tidy bows. No loose ends. Sometimes you just need that, right? Needless to say, I picked up The Almost Sisters (her latest) this weekend and am strongly considering joining the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club just to hear her author talk. AND while I was browsing the bookstore, The Almost Sisters in hand, this woman came up to me to talk about it and said that Joshilyn Jackson went to high school with her husband and she just loves her books so much and that her name is pronounced JOSSilyn, not JOSHilyn. (We also talked about Fredrik Backman, so we're basically best friends now).

Life things to recap:

I visited a winery for the first time and did a wine tasting and it was so. much. fun.  I left spending $75 on three bottles of wine, which I'm sure is revealing to you all how uncultured I am, but whatever. I usually go for the $5-$10 bottle of Barefoot Moscato at the grocery store on the rare occasion that I do buy wine, so this was a pretty serious upgrade.

So where did I go?  I went to Chateau Elan, a winery here outside of Atlanta. The statue lady pictured above is a grape stomping woman from the winery.  I didn't realize how close it was to my house (not super close - about an hour and a half away); I always thought it was up in North Georgia somewhere and would take me like four hours to get there.  I took my mom as a belated 50th birthday present.  I wanted to do something special for her last year for her 50th, but I was too broke then.  As soon as I could afford it, I booked the room and the wine tasting.

We also hit up the Mall of Georgia, where I kept my spending very on-brand and bought clothes for Isla and books for us both.  :-)

Also in July, my little family took a trip to the beach for a weekend.  One last getaway before Pre-K.  We went to Destin, FL and had the best time even though we were only there for a weekend and all got sunburned despite my diligent sunscreen application/reapplication.  (Those little footprints slay me.)

Other than that, I've been listening to lots of great podcasts (post forthcoming), watching lots of Doctor Who, and I saw Dunkirk.


Congratulations if you made it to the end of this super long post. Perhaps I should post more, so I'll have less to say in one sitting.

Anyway, tell me about your July!  What did you read/watch/do?

1 comment:

  1. I had the same experience with Jackson that you did! Didn't really love Gods in Alabama, but finally picked up Someone Else's Love Story and did like that. And have been hearing good things about The Almost Sisters too.

    I'm also on the library waiting list for Evelyn Hugo and have heard great things!