In My Library Tote: Books with a Little Bit of Everything in August

I always get a lot of books read in the summer, but this summer has been my best reading summer yet. I attribute this bookish success to two things: pump breaks and library due dates. I often work through these breaks, but when I'm home and the kids are sleeping I take advantage of the opportunity to sit down and read. 

With the library, I used to just check out one book (for me) at a time, and make sure I had something waiting for me when I got close to finishing. However, this summer, I put a lot of books on hold at once because they all had pretty long queues. As a result, I would have 2-3 books come in at the same time so if I wanted to read them all I had to get them all read in 3 weeks. Having that little challenge really motivated me to read as much as possible. 

The downside of all this reading is that I can't keep up on blogging my books--these I read in June and July. So if my memory of the details is hazy, forgive me. I will eventually figure out a good system for blogging my books!

{recent reads: a little bit of everything}

{Mr. Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker} Jane Eyre is one of my all time favorites, and I'm always eager to read, yet wary of, a new take on the classic. I ended up loving last year's Jane Steele, and this summer I found another gem in Mr. Rochester. Like its title implies, this is the story told from Edward Fairfax Rochester's point of view; from his lonely childhood at Thornfield Hall, to his inheritance in Jamaica where he takes over his father's business dealings. We see how a young man eager to make his way in the world gets in over his head in many ways, from a marriage doomed from the get-go to an attempt at a fresh start at Thornfield. Despite knowing what would eventually happen, I loved the fresh perspective on a classic story. My rating: 3.5/5 stars.

{Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith} For his 18th birthday, Alice buys her best friend Teddy a lottery ticket. The last thing she expects is for him to actually win. Yet soon they realize that Teddy is the winner of $140 million, an amount of money that would change anyone's life, but especially the lives of two kids who haven't had much luck on their side. Alice refuses Teddy's offer to share his winnings with her, for reasons that are about as complicated as her feelings toward Teddy. For years she's had a crush on him, but hasn't had the nerve to tell him. This combination of a life-changing gift and her pent-up feelings start to drive a wedge between their once solid friendship. I enjoyed this fun YA story. My rating: 3/5 stars. 

{The Alice Network by Kate Quinn} I enjoy historical fiction that tells parallel stories of the past and modern day, but this novel tells parallel stories of two pasts: both world wars. Eve Gardiner is recruited as a spy in the Alice Network in France during World War I, and, trained by their infamous ringleader Lili, she risks her life to relay the secrets she learns in the German-occupied restaurant where she works. Several years later, in 1947, Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and expected to have her "problem taken care of" unless she wants no part of her wealthy, upstanding family. I enjoyed the way the stories came together, and I found the Alice Network of female spies fascinating, more so because it was based off of a true spy network. My rating: 3.5/5 stars.

{This Is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick} I mentioned last month that I was reading this as part of my two-person book club with my friend Becky. Sadly, our book club meeting turned into more of a play date as the timing for a kid free get-together didn't work out. However, I did really enjoy this book and appreciated her practical advice for appreciating the community around you. After moving around a lot in her adult life, searching for the perfect place to live, Warnick realized that maybe you can choose to create the "perfect place" wherever you are. I loved how readable, yet practical and specific, Warnick's advice and anecdotes are. My rating: 3.5/5 stars. 

{Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser} Violet and her husband Finn have been married for three years and have a son together. On their first vacation as a family, Violet stays on the beach while Finn puts their toddler down for a nap; when she returns to the hotel room no one is there. It's clear that there was no foul play--Finn simply packed up his things, took their son, and disappeared. With a premise like that you know there will be plenty of secrets, deception, and desperation as a mother searches for her little boy. This was definitely a page turner. It's not the type of book I typically love, but it did keep me enthralled. My rating: 3/5 stars.

Have you read anything good lately?

Linking up to Modern Mrs. Darcy

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