What I Read…

Happy Tuesday & happy belated 7th Anniversary to the Show Us Your Books link-up!

I’m so glad Steph and Jana started this series seven years + 1 month ago. I have found so many wonderful reads thanks to them and the community they’ve cultivated. I missed their anniversary link up, but I still wanted to give them a shoutout!

I hit my GoodRead’s goal of 15 books this year! A small but satisfying achievement. Next year we’re upping it to 20 books.

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney | Thriller | ★★★★/5
I chose this as my BOTM pick because nothing else caught my eye. Honestly, it was a left-field choice for me; I’ve mentioned I don’t read a ton of thrillers. I tend to try to figure out the twists the entire time I’m reading- I never just enjoy the ride. In this one, I DID figure it out early on, but kept reading because a) I was sucked in and b) I wanted to see if I was right. The characters were shady (but not unreliable) and the setting was spooky, so it had all the components of a good thriller IMO. It was a solid 3.5 star read for me, but I round up.

Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena | Thriller | ★★★★★/5
There was nothing mind-blowing about this one to make it 5 stars, but I also had 0 problems with it, flew through it, and enjoyed the ride. So… I had no reason not to give it top marks. No one was likable- especially the dad. You were a little glad that the dead people were dead. And you also wished some of the non-dead people were dead. LOL. *Fun fact- I am Audrey and I also have a brother named Fred. He’s not a dick like the Fred in the book, though.

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling | Romance | ★★★★/5
I found this one as cute as nearly everyone said it was. Based on the description, I was a little worried it’d just be a comedy of errors with nothing going right for the pair. I’m glad I was wrong. I liked Rhys, loved Vivi, and adored her little family and town. I could’ve used more backstory on some of the people/situations, but it was a solid little Halloween romance.

As M grows and cultivates her personality, I’ve started reading parenting books on behavior, discipline, and happiness. I take all parenting books with a massive grain of salt.

No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury | Parenting | ★★★/5
All parenting books should be taken with a grain of salt… and the understanding that every kid is different and will react differently. There were things in this book that I found very valuable: remaining calm when your child is not, talking to your kid like they’re a real human, allowing them the big emotions with the safe boundaries. But then there was stuff that made me go “Ehhhh”, too. I’m interested in listening to her podcast, though.

Moo Reads

A Mischief of Monsters by Roger Priddy
This one is a new fav in our household. Lots of sounds and colors. M LOVES it.

I meant to have more M reads, but time got away from me. She’s been a reading machine lately, so I’m sure this category will get bigger soon!

What did you read this past month?

-Aud

Spooky Reads for Spooky Season

I’m not a book aficionado or a full-time reader, but I’ve read a handle of stories that go great with a fresh PSL, cozy blanket, and fall-themed candle.

I love a good spooky story. This is not a comprehensive list, but these are good ones to get you started. Some are for kids, some are classics, and some are YA or adult reads. I’ll note what they are & how many pages. That helps me when deciding what I have time for during a book break!

The Witches by Roald Dahl
Childrens / 208 pgs / Goodreads
Surprising creepy for a kids book, but that’s how Dahl is.

The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
Middle Grade / 465 pgs / Goodreads
This is such a fun read! (And a series!)

Which Witch? by Eva Ibbotson
Middle Grade / 186 pgs / Goodreads
One of my favorite books as a kid!

Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
Young Adult / 7 books / Goodreads
This series is good for any time of year, but especially cozy season.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Young Adult / 162 pgs / Goodreads

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Young Adult / 182 pgs / Goodreads

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by
Classic / 139 pgs / Goodreads

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Classic / 464 pgs / Goodreads
I did not enjoy this story, but the setting is spooky enough to be included.

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Young Adult / 145 pgs / Goodreads
I didn’t love this one, but it is a Halloween story.

The Whisper Man by Alex North
Thriller / 355 pgs / Goodreads
A very eerie and dark thriller.

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox
Paranormal Fantasy / 364 pgs / Goodreads
A slow but spooky historical fiction.

The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen
Gothic Mystery / 368 pgs / Goodreads
Another haunting (and relatively slow) mystery.

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova
Magical Realism / 336 pgs / Goodreads
Not spooky, but hauntingly beautiful.

Next up for me is The Ex Hex. What do you like to read in the fall?

-Aud

What I Read…

Book Day couldn’t have come at a better time, ya know? Sometimes you just want to get lost in blogs about books, then go add a bunch to your tbr list. Or maybe that’s just me. But I doubt it.

Anyway, welcome to Show Us Your Books day! Linking up with our hosts Jana & Steph!

This month I finished two. And Moo wanted me to share her two picks for the month, too 😄

We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange | Fiction | ★★★★★/5
I don’t read a lot of contemporary fiction but this was a book club pick & I was sucked in from the very start. The characters were flawed but warm and relatable. Their struggles were interesting but believable. It flowed nicely and I read it quickly. It had enough depth to keep it from being a “light read” but not so much grit that your stomach twisted up.
*there is a trigger warning with this one but it gives away some of the plot, so highlight at your own discretion: highlight —>>> miscarriage <<<—-

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova | Magical Realism | ★★★★/5
I don’t know why I picked this book from the BOTM options, but I did. It was so unique and captivating. It took me off my couch and out of my living room, into the orchard at Four Rivers or along the fishing banks in Ecuador or under the hightop in Europe. Marimar and Rey were such lovely characters, flawed but filled with so much love. Their fight for the truth and for their family’s safety made this book spellbinding and so enjoyable.

And now for the main event:

Moo Reads

M and I took our first trip the library a few weeks ago. She got her library card and four books! Two were kind of duds, but she really into these two:

Hop! Plop! by Corey Rosen Schwartz & Tali Klein
This is a silly little story about two friends on the playground, but it has lots of onomatopoeias and fun words. Moo had us reading this one over and over and shockingly sat still for most of the readings.

All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon (Illustrated by Marla Frazee)
I think I like this one a little more than M does, but it’s just so beautifully illustrated!

We still read lots of board books and flap books, but we’re slowly getting into picture books 😊

What did you read this month? We’re moving into cozy season now… my favorite time to read!

-Audrey

What I Read…

Book Day! Linking up with Steph and Jana for the best day of the month!

This month I knocked out three books 📚

Loch Down Abbey by Beth Cowan-Erskine | Mystery | ★★★★/4
This felt like a Downton Abbey knockoff mystery. It was ok and I gave it four stars on Goodreads, but now that I’m writing about it I realize how forgettable it was. I solved one mystery pretty early on. I hated one of the resolutions. Most of the people were terrible humans. But I breezed through it and it held my interest the entire time- honestly can’t ask for much more.

Coldhearted Boss by R.S. Grey | Romance | ★★/5
Nope. Didn’t like it. Usually I’m a big fan of Grey’s steamy romances, especially the enemies to lovers. This one was weird. The dude was vindictive and cruel… until he suddenly wasn’t. And the girl was like, “I hate you… and maybe love you… but hate you. Oh- you love me? Ok, I love you.” Yeahhh… not my cup of steamy tea, thanks. Very unbelievable and, honestly, unhealthy in my opinion.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid | Fiction (Historical?) | ★★★★★/5
Another gem from TJR. I know some people weren’t into it, but I loved this one. I loved the siblings and June. I loved how it flowed and I was hooked all the way through. I didn’t like Daisy Jones because of the era but this 80s surfer vibe was perfect for summer. I was into it from start to finish. And I loved the ending. A beautiful journey for each Riva sibling. (Mick can eat glass TBH.)


I’ve read nothing from Erin’s Book Challenge yet.

What did you read this month?

Life According to Steph

Book Challenge by Erin 15.0

It’s time for another book challenge with Erin! I’ve been pretty bad at these lately, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

Book Challenge by Erin 15.0 – Categories

5 points | Freebie: Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First. by Laura Tremaine
10 points | First word starts with “A”: America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray
10 points | Read a debut book: The Marriage Code by Brooke Burroughs
15 points | The word to/too/two in title: Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus
20 points | A book by an POC author: Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
20 points | A book 500+ pages: GoT (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R.R. Martin (819 pages)
25 points | A book about a famous woman: Becoming by Michelle Obama
30 points | Has a color of the rainbow in the title: Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
30 points | A song title in title: Live in Love by Lauren Akins (same title- Times of Grace)
35 points | Protagonist is a girl younger than 15: Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

I know some people just don’t do well with reading challenges. I’ve found that I’m the opposite- I can’t decide what to pick up next unless I have a paired down list in front of me. So while I rarely finish all the categories, it helps remind me of the stuff I WANT to read. And I like that.

What are you reading this summer?