Book Update: September 2015

Book Update from Lone Star Signers: September 2015

Hooray for a reading groove! I have been on a fiction kick recently, which you’ll see below. In September, I finished 15 books–just three of them non-fiction. I especially enjoyed The Martian, which was a spur-of-the-moment read toward the end of the month. (I mean, any book turned into a Matt Damon movie is worth my time…)

Books I finished:

(Affiliate links used, which means if you purchase the book, I’ll receive a small commission. Please view my disclosure policy for more information.)

1. Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker–3 stars
This was a quick read (YA fiction) recommended by Goodreads. I liked the characters, but wouldn’t necessarily read it again.

2. A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass–2 stars
I’ve always known about my synesthesia, but didn’t have a name for it until I was in college. I really like reading about other synesthetes’ point-of-view, but this author went WAY overboard with Mia’s descriptions. (See book number 6 for a book that got it right.)

3. Smart Parenting for Smart Kids by Eileen Kennedy-Moore–4 stars
I’m always on the lookout for helpful parenting books, and I felt like this one had a lot of practical tips that have already impacted our family culture.

4. Where Trust Lies by Janette Oke–3 stars
I fell in love with the characters Jack and Elizabeth in “When Calls the Heart” on Netflix, and thought the first book was well-written. Unfortunately, this second book throws “Beth” on a cruise ship with a far-fetched plotline. Hoping for a return to Coal Valley if there is another book.

5. Back to You by Priscilla Glenn–4 stars
After several disappointing fiction choices, I scoured my “to-read” list on Goodreads to find something with great reviews–which led me to Back to You. I enjoyed the friendship-to-love story and the redemption of both characters. Goodness knows I have grown a lot since high school, and I enjoyed seeing that transformation happen in the book. (Please note that this is a romance novel with two somewhat-steamy scenes.)

6. One Plus One Equals Blue by M.J. Auch–3 stars
A novel about synesthesia written by someone who *has* synesthesia! I liked the setting and the characters, but the climax was over-the-top/unrealistic. I know that authors need to put their characters into interesting situations or books would be about…nothing…but sometimes I lose my patience with unnecessary drama.

7. Power of Play by David Elkind–4 stars
Some books come into your life at just the right time. I enjoyed this one, but it has a lot of stinker reviews on Goodreads, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

8. A Child’s Work: The Importance of Fantasy Play by V. G. Paley–4 stars
This book was nothing what I expected, but a delightful and insightful read, nonetheless. Our schools are changing, and not for the better–bringing academia into Kindergarten (and now preK) is short-changing our children. This book was written just a decade ago, but it’s clear to see how quickly things are disintegrating in the classroom, despite our best teachers.

9. Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway–4 stars
So, you want to know the difference between unnecessary drama and well-timed conflict that moves the story forward? Well, it’s all in how the author handles the relationships…and Ms. Benway did a great job with this one. Long after I read the last page, I kept thinking about the characters. Emmy and Oliver won me over!

10. The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion–2 stars
The San Antonio Public Library has recently created the “Express Collection”–a place where you can stumble across the newest, most popular, or buzzworthy books currently available. No holds, no renewals–just pure dumb luck of being in the right place at the right time. This has led to me picking up a few books that I might not have otherwise read, some which I have loved and some which go in the “meh” pile. The Rosie Effect is (in my opinion) not worth the buzz.

11. The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena B. Miller–4 stars
I guessed (by looking at the cover) that this would be a fluff read, but Goodreads persistently recommended it to me, so I finally gave it a try. It took me a few chapters to really commit, but once Katie ended up in camp, I knew I’d see it to the end. Great, meaty historical fiction!

12/13. Short-Straw Bride and Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer–4/3 stars
These two books were perfect for a 24-hour stomach bug that hit our house. I was up all night with two sick little girls and these were immediately available via e-book checkout. Probably not something I would have stuck with during the daylight hours, but definitely a good distraction in the middle of the night. 🙂

14. The Martian by Andy Weir–5 stars
I had heard the buzz about this one from just about every blog I read, but who wants to read a book about aliens? It wasn’t until I saw the preview for the movie that I realized this was a story that I needed to know more about…and why I’m so thankful for the Express Collection. I devoured this one in just 48 hours. (I may have skimmed over some of the science stuff.)

15. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West–3 stars
Well. This book reminded me a lot of the Rory/Logan relationship in Gilmore Girls. That’s about all I have to say…except, sometimes I wonder if authors specifically keep their teen female leads bland on purpose so that the reader can easily substitute herself into the role? Something to think about…

My to-read pile just keeps growing–I’m hoping to find the next great title for our November Mom’s Book Club meeting. What are you reading?

Lone Star Signers: To-Be-Read Pile | October 2015


6 thoughts on “Book Update: September 2015

  1. Ooo Marisa de los Santos is one of my favorite authors, but I haven’t read The Precious One yet! I want to buy it so it’s on my wishlist. 😉 I hope you love it! I’m reading The Martian right now and finding it downright fascinating.

  2. I keep hearing people talk about Big Magic. I’d like to add it to my list. I’m currently reading Becoming Ellen by Shari Shattuck (I think it’s a sequel…which I prefer not to start at book 2). I’m having a hard time with it though so maybe I need to read the first one to understand what I’m reading. The other book I’m reading is a Chick-Lit and it’s called Right Click. I just finished the first one in the series called Click. It was a fun, email-back-and-forth, type book. Very quick read.

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