Arranged relationships, inanimate toys, and my favorite homeschooling book so far {Quicklit – August Reads}

Non-Fiction:

  1. The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life by Julie Bogart – 5 stars. So helpful and practical. I love how she described the way not adhering to any one method of homeschooling really freed up her family to thrive. I also loved her idea to keep a list of what is being learned just in the normal everyday as well as the formally taught moments. So encouraging and I have already begun our list. Read it!
  2. One Thousand Gifts Devotional by Ann Voskamp – 5 stars. I picked this one up at a library sale for a dollar and it was just the perfect note of grace and gratitude in the morning. Bonus points since the pages for counting blessings were still blank.
  3. Starting an Etsy Business for Dummies by Kate Shoup – 4 stars. Helpful, a little overwhelming, a touch outdated. It gave me a lot to think about.
  4. Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path by Erin Loechner – 3.5 stars. After I began I found her story so engrossing just for the sake of her story. Enjoyable. 
  5. Birthing Hope: Giving Fear to the Light by Rachel Marie Stone – 5 stars. This is not at all the collection of stories I was expecting based on the first story. I really did enjoy this. Review to come! (Thanks to IVPress for the review copy!)
  6. Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer by Maya Angelou – 5 stars. After reading a couple of Maya Angelou’s books about her life I knew I needed a little of her poetry as well. This was a lovely collection for starting off the morning a poem at a time. (Side note: I need another poetry collection to try… thoughts?)
  7. Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram by Calhoun and Loughrige – 4 stars. Really in depth look at how our spiritual formation is also informed by our personality and some suggestions for working with instead of against it. I liked it for my own personality, but it is really too much to try to read and think about all 9 types. A little overwhelming, but I’m sure it could be really valuable given the right impulse for reading it. Review with more info to come! (Thanks to IVPress for the Review Copy.)
  8. How We Love Our Kids by Milan and Kay Yerkovich – 5 stars. I really appreciated this specific look at how our love styles/attachment effect how we parent and what that might mean for us and our kids. Really useful… though I wish implementing that knowledge were as easy as reading the book.
  9. Back Roads to Belonging: Unexpected Paths to Finding Your Place and Your People by Kristen Strong – 5 stars! Full review over here. I know, so timely! :)

Fiction:

  1. Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson – 5 Stars. An insightful YA novel set in Portland. Major themes: art, friendship, race, economic status, and what it means to be labeled instead of seen. 
  2. Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson – 4 stars. A drama-loaded family story about moving away and coming home again. It would have been too much if I read it at my normal pace, but taken more slowly it was interesting and compelling. I especially liked the ASL bilingual perspective and thoughts.
  3. The Frangipani Tree Mystery by Ovidia Yu – 5 stars. A fun, feminist, culturally insightful mystery. It reminded me of The Widows of Malabar Hill. Just exactly right. 
  4. The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin – 4 stars. An intense remembering of siblings growing up years in an unstable family environment from the perspective of old age. Excellent. Tough traumatic childhood. Thought provoking. Really really good story. 
  5. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang – 4 stars. A desparate mother chooses a bride for her son who may have Asperger’s. Nerdy, romantic and some gutsy female characters. I loved it…except for the inclusion of explicit bedroom scenes. So be warned.
  6. Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary – 4 stars. So fun. The kids loved it. We’ll have to go back and read the first one now. 
  7. Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Viorst – 4 stars. Lulu wants a brontosaurus for a pet, but she might have to learn some manners. So quick and cute. We read this in a couple days for library book club (we found out late so we had to rush through it!). I loved hearing the kids thoughts in the book club discussion later and the kids had so much fun with the snacks and book-related crafts. We can’t wait for next month.
  8. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – 3.5 stars. Reese Witherspoon describes this book as “beautifully written and incredibly funny.” I’d say it’s more horrifying than funny. Though the humor helps it along a little, don’t go into this book expecting an entertaining and fun read. This story is heavy on trauma; compelling and sometimes funny, but the difficult outweighed the funny for me. I was very stressed out by this book.
  9. The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay – 5 stars. Exactly the kind of fun and heartwarming read I was expecting. Madeline inherits a bookstore and her life gets turned upside down in all the best ways.
  10. There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandyha Menon – 5 stars. YA fiction. running, body positivity, falling in love, arranged relationships, respect for different cultures, and a window into growing up Indian-American.
  11. Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin – 5 stars. Perfect. Pretty much just read it. I forgot it was a Pride & Prejudice reimagining until I got to the middle and it really didn’t matter.
  12. Little Culinary Triumphs by Pascale Pujol – 2.5 stars. It took a while, but eventually all the stories came together. I spent the first half of the book a little confused though. I kept reading because I wanted to know what happened even though the chapters seemed unrelated. Warning for TMI adult content.
  13. Toy Dance Party: Being the Further Adventures of a Bossyboots Stingray, a Courageous Buffalo, and a Hopeful Round Someone Called Plastic by Emily Jenkins – 5 stars. The toys are beginning to be replaced by the barbies (who are inanimate) and it is worrisome! We will read all of these. So perfect for the early years of reading aloud. Love them.

What have you been reading lately? Any great recommendations for fun grown-up fiction with a happy relationship angle without the bedroom scenes?

I’m taking my inspiration for Quicklit from Modern Mrs. Darcy where we share short thoughts about what we’ve been reading lately.


(Disclaimers: This post contains Amazon affiliate links – thank you. I’m thankful for review copies from IvPress and Revell Publishing. All opinions are my own!)

7 thoughts on “Arranged relationships, inanimate toys, and my favorite homeschooling book so far {Quicklit – August Reads}

  1. I felt the same way about ‘Ayesha At Last’…and I am currently working my way through ‘The Last Romantics.’ Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Thanks for your reviews! I especially appreciate your less-than-4-star ones. I would probably feel the same way about Eleanor Oliphant, and I like the TMI warnings too! :-). This is my first time at your website – now I’ll look for more of your book reviews!! :-) Found you over on MMD’s blog!

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  3. It looks like you read some great books. The Printed Letter Bookshop in going on my TBR list. It sounds really good! I have read some of her other books, but didn’t know about that one.

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  4. I have heard great reviews of The Printed Letter Bookshop, Ayesha At Last, and There’s Something About Sweetie, but after reading your reviews, I am finally adding them to my TBR and luckily Overdrive has them both on ebook and audiobook (which is the only way I get reading done these days with a newborn). Did any of them have a lot of steamy scenes? I try to limit books with sex scenes. I did not realize until I looked on Goodreads that There’s Something About Sweetie is the second book in the series that starts with When Dimple Met Rishi, which I liked!

    My September books are linked in my name if interested!

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