Monday, June 29, 2015

Best of the Bunch: June 2015

Today I'm sharing the best book I read in June.

My reading has picked back up again in the past month, helped in no small part by our recent kid-less vacation. (Some people dread long flights; I say, "Five hours of uninterrupted reading time? Heck yes!")

I've enjoyed several of the books I've read recently, but only one in the past month earned a rare 5-star review from me:

I went into this book knowing little about it (I didn't even know it was YA) and that turned out to be a good thing. Every time I thought the author was falling back on a well-worn trope, she surprised me, yet the story and dialogue still felt familiar and true enough to be realistic. Just as the main character drops tiny, maddening hints of truth to those around her, so does the author only slowly reveal her back story to the reader. Well done and worth a read.

What is the best book you read this month? Let me know in comments, or write your own post and link up below!

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Monday, June 15, 2015

What I've Been Reading Lately (Quick Lit)

Today I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit to bring you some short and sweet reviews of what I've read in the past month. For longer reviews, you can always find me on Goodreads.

This has been a season of focusing on things other than reading (and blogging). I finally finished the KonMari process, which was totally, totally worth it. We've got a handful of projects around the house to tackle still, but overall things are in great shape. We're headed on a short vacation near the end of the month, so I hope to get some serious reading in then.

Here's what I have read the past month:

George's Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl: This was one of the few Dahl books I'd never read, so I got it on audiobook for Gregory and me to listen to. I found it pretty boring, actually, and not as clever as most of Dahl's books.

Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene: One of the few rereads I've managed to tackle this year as part of my goal. I could immediately see that my love for this book as a grade schooler had little to do with the plot (or the odd romance) and everything to do with how closely I resonated with the main character. I'm not sure I would have liked it if I'd picked it up for the first time as an adult, but for the glimpse back at my younger self I enjoyed it.

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe: This was enjoyable and informative, as expected. At times, I felt he veered farther from the original question than was warranted, either in a Mythbusters-style "How can we change the premise to make things blow up?" or in an attempt at a more robust science lesson. In general, though, I learned quite a bit and will also have a handful of memorable images that stay with me of the most extreme (im)possible natural circumstances.

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson: A beautifully written book, beautifully read on audio by Tim Jerome. I didn't fall in love with it the way many people have (and even found it boring at times), but I loved how the book is rich in symbolism and ripe for discussion and analysis, and it's left me with a lot to reflect on.

Baby-Led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett: I feel like I got all my questions about baby-led weaning (BLW) addressed and can explain it fairly well to those who haven't read the book. Some of the information is outdated, especially related to allergies, though I don't blame them since that research and the change in recommendations is very recent. I appreciated the many real-life examples and quotations they included from parents. Overall I feel fairly confident in starting BLW with my son, which is really all I wanted out of this book.

What have you been reading this month? Share over at Modern Mrs. Darcy!

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Thanks for supporting A Cocoon of Books!