What I Read: September

One of my favorite parts of motherhood is seeing what interests each of my kids develop. And I’m so thankful that they both seem to be falling in love with reading! Zeke especially would read (be read to) for hours, carries around books instead of lovies/stuffed animals, and demands them to be in his crib when he takes a nap and goes to bed. 

And then there’s Knox, who has a lot of the books we read in bed memorized…it’s crazy impressive! I just love his little mind! And of course I love spying on him when he’s still in his room just sitting there reading before he comes out and our day is jump started. 

As for me, I read great books this month! When I looked back and realized I read 5 books in a month I was amazed, but it helped that my husband and I went away, off the grid, for 3 days- no TV, no wifi, no cell service! I read 2 1/2 books in those 3 days, and loved every minute of it! I even convinced my book-hater husband to flip open a book (which he actually liked!). Insert praise hands here ;) 

Open your amazon or library tab, and be prepared to buy/request some awesome books this week! 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

This book was like reading a breath of fresh air. It’s historical fiction, a love story and I swear by the end of it, you’ll be looking up flights to Guernsey. 

I fell in love with every single character, wanted them to be friends IRL, and desperately wanted to live on the island of Guernsey. Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows have an amazing ability to take you back in time while most of the world was rebuilding from WWII and create a world out of simple correspondence and a love of books. 

Juliet Ashton is a writer who receives a letter from a man who lives on the English island of Guernsey. He recently acquired a book that once belonged to her and has her name and address written in the front. He loved the author (Charles Lamb) and due to there being no more book shops standing in Guernsey, he writes to her requesting the name and address of a book store in London that carries more books written by Lamb. 

Eventually Juliet ends of visiting Guernsey, where it feels more like she’s coming home than traveling somewhere she’s never been. You will seriously want to throw out your iPhone and grab a pen and paper and write to all your friends. I absolutely loved this book and did NOT want it to end! 

I watched the Netflix movie with some friends a couple days after finishing the book, and while I thought it did a good job of following relatively close to the book, I still think the book is better (as usual). It was still a really good movie, that brought the characters to life. The book is written completely in correspondence, which takes a little getting used to, but I promise if you stick it out you’ll come to love the way it’s written! Read it!!

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

Oh my gosh guys (I realize I start a lot of my reviews this way…) this book. I literally read it in like 2 days. It also helped that as I said above, Stuart and I were away for our anniversary and didn’t have cell service, a TV or wifi! So I literally read for 3 days straight, and it was G L O R I O U S. But anyway, back to this book…I LOVED this book! It has the potential to be in my top 5 for the year. It’s so fun to live vicariously through Ella, who wins the Rhodes Scholarship and studies at Oxford for a year. 

On her first day of class, Ella almost gets hit by a car, (since they drive on the opposite side of the road in England) then the guy who almost hits her walks into her at a restaurant, causing her to spill food all over her shirt. She’s rude to him, and then of course walks into her first class, only to find out he’s her professor. The rest of the book is just as fun, and will cause you to both laugh and cry, and become super attached to the characters, wishing they were your friends IRL. 

Trust me, you want to add this book to your “to-read list” immediately, it’s fabulous.

The Brave Art of Motherhood by Rachel Marie Martin

Omg you guys. If you’re a mom, you NEED to read this book. A few days after I wrote my blog post about letting myself go and finding myself again, I read the blurb about this book. It was SO similar to what I’d been realizing about my life that it felt meant to be. I jumped on the launch team, and loved every single word I read. I’m going to write a longer post about the book, because there was just so much goodness in its pages. But a quick synopsis is that it’s about taking risks in motherhood, pushing past your fears, and not allowing excuses such as scarcity, baggage and busyness hold you back from your passions. 

Motherhood is full of sacrificing yourself for others, but author, Rachel Marie Martin uses vulnerable stories from her life, including a divorce and bankruptcy, to encourage you that you can get through anything and live your best life. 

Seriously, read this book, it’s amazing!!

A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell

Ok, I’d been anticipating this movie for a while, and when I realized it was a book (I should’ve known…they’re always books first!) I decided to attempt to read it before seeing the movie. Of course it came into the library only days before my friend Becky and I were planning on seeing the movie so I had to read it fast! 

I feel like such a traitor to my book nerd ways, but in all honesty, I liked the movie better. I know, I know, I’ve said the unspeakable statement in book nerd circles…but it’s the truth. The book has a very open ended ending with no real closure, and the movie ends with a nice clean bow. Not that every book or movie has to have closure, but I just really didn’t like the ending. 

So I guess what I’m trying to say, is just see the movie. (I’m cringing writing those words, but ugh it’s the truth.) 

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

I picked this book up because it was a Reese Witherspoon/Hello Sunshine book club pick, and it was a great read! It felt similar to The Marriage Lie, which I read back in January, but I won’t tell you how so I don’t ruin the story line. 

Erin and Mark are honeymooners in Bora Bora, who are out on a boat one day and find a duffle bag in the water. They eventually decide to open it up, and what they find inside changes the whole trajectory of their lives. It makes you think, “what would I do if I were them,” and finally teaches you the difference between flotsam and jetsam (hint, they’re not just the evil eels in The Little Mermaid!). 

Overall this was a fun book, not 5 star worthy in my mind, but only because I’ve read some truly fabulous books this year. But still a lot of fun, with suspense, and lots of twists and turns!

Past Book Reviews: