Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Open Book for July 2022


I'm joining up with Carolyn Astfalk who hosts an #OpenBook Linkup on Here's what I've been reading this past month. The dates indicate when I finished the book. Thanks for stopping by!

6/1/22 Laura's Shadow - Allison Pittman - This book is "Little House" fan fiction, but it was a delight to read. Pittman takes a minor character in These Happy Golden Years and creates a story about her and the animosity she held toward the famous author. Mariah was one of Laura's teenage students whom Laura Ingalls Wilder portrayed as Martha in her book. In real life, Mariah was jealous of Laura because Cap Garland was in love with her and Mariah was in love with Cap. When Mariah is on her deathbed in the 1970s, she finally shares her story with her great-granddaughter Trixie. I really enjoyed this book. Even though I was reading it for work, I didn't want to put it down. (Read for a book review publication).

6/4 and 6/5/2022 I was craving some light, leisure reading and Seasons of Highclere and Christmas at Highclere, both written by the Countess of Carnarvon fit the bill perfectly. These books are all about life at Highclere Estate, the location where Downton Abbey (as well as several other movies) was filmed. They discuss history, customs, daily life, and what it means to care for an estate that goes back over 1000 years. They were a delight to look at, filled with beautiful images, and provided a mini vacation!  


6/14/22 Beneath the Bending Skies - Jane Kirkpatrick - I didn't realize until I reached the end of this book that it was about a real person, which changed my perception of the story. When I was reading through, I felt like the author was trying to cover too much ground. There were too many events. There wasn't necessarily a true narrative arc (although there were threads that tied things together). Once I realized this was a fictionalized biography, this made way more sense. It tells the story of Mary (Mollie) Ronan from 1858 - 1890. She was an Irish immigrant who lived in Kentucky, Montana, California, and then lived out most of her adult life in Montana where she was married to an agent at Flathead Reservation. It is a story of family relationships and life on the frontier, including the complex relationships between the Indians and whites. Those who enjoy historical women's fiction will find this one interesting. (Read for a book review publication.)

 6/15/22 - God Loves the Autistic Mind - Fr. Matthew P. Schneider - Fr. Schneider was diagnosed as an autistic after he was ordained a priest. In this book, he attempts to reach out to autistics, an underserved segment of the Church, to offer a guide to prayer and faith. My favorite section of this book is the second half, which offers 52 devotions geared for autistic individuals as well as those who love them. 

 6/24/22 The Santa Run - Beth Pugh - If you enjoy Hallmark Christmas movies, you'll enjoy this book. A big city man goes to a small town to manage his company's takeover of the local railroad. His father (who owns the company) is a Scrooge due to losing his wife at Christmastime. This puts the small town railroad's Santa Run in jeopardy. The Santa Run brings gifts, clothes, and food to the poor in the surrounding area. Meanwhile, big city man falls in love with the small-town girl who manages the railroad. This is pure Christmas relaxation. Totally formulaic, but a good escape.  (Read for a book review publication).


6/25/22 Pudge & Prejudice - A. K. Pittman - This fun retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in the 1980s has been making the rounds of the #OpenBook readers. It's a YA book, but I think it is more geared to middle-age women who remember the 80s! It includes lots of song references which may make you long for the days of mixed tapes. This is pure leisure reading, but it was an enjoyable escape. 

6/30/22 Jane Austen's Genius Guide to Life: On Love, Friendship, and Becoming the Person God Created You to Be - Haley Stewart - While I was reading Pudge and Prejudice, I was also reading this book which discusses how Jane Austen can be a life coach. Her characters teach us how to live well. While those without an affinity for Jane Austen probably won't get much out of this book (although Stewart does provide plot summaries), fans of the novelist will enjoy delving deeper into these characters and learning what lessons they teach. (Read for Catholic Library World)


7-1-22 The Whole Body Reset - Stephen Perrine - This is a diet and exercise book for age 50 and up. Unlike many fad diets, it doesn't make any big restrictions and it acknowledges that there will be times you will splurge and that is okay. It is basically about increasing your protein and fiber intake (especially early in the day) while still eating good carbs, and getting regular exercise. Basically, this is a diet plan that people can live with and adapt to their food likes and their needs. I'm trying to incorporate the ideas into my diet. Of course, it didn't help that I was reading this the same week my daughter was at cooking camp and kept bringing home delicious meals and desserts that definitely weren't healthy! But, next week is a new week!

7/4/22 The Baxters - Karen Kingsbury - Kingsbury has written about 20 books about the Baxter family. Over the years, I've read most of them. This one is a prequel and gives the series a new book one. These are Christian fiction with characters and lessons that anyone of the Christian faith can relate to. This particular one is centered around the wedding of Kari Baxter and Tim Jacobs and the challenges of having adult children living vastly different lives (some of which are very different from what their parents would have wished for them). It was an enjoyable leisure read.


Since spring of 2019, I have been making my way through the Great Books Curriculum of Thomas Aquinas College (I'm currently working on the readings for sophomore year). 

6/3/22 On Conoids and Spheroids - Archimedes - Archimedes lived from 287-212 BC and was a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, astronomer, and inventor. He was one of the leading scientists of classical antiquity and the greatest mathematician of ancient history. In this work (as the name suggests), he was exploring cones and spheres. 

On the plus side, this was the last math text for the sophomore reading list! Halleluiah!


My eleven-year-old daughter and I read the following book this month:


Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan - I first read this book over a decade ago to my sons. It was great to revisit it with my daughter who enjoyed the story. Many of her friends have been reading the Percy Jackson series and she wanted to join in the conversations. My sons were a huge fan of this series. They reread it many times. My copy of The Lightning Thief is currently held together with tape! Rick Riordan makes Greek mythology come alive in this series about demigods going on modern-day quests.



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1 comment:

Carolyn Astfalk said...

My older kids loved the Percy Jackson books. I should really read them someday! My younger daughter just started the Little House on the Prairie series, and I mentioned that I've never read These Happy Golden Years. Now I think I need to read that so I can read Laura's Shadow. Thanks for linking to An Open Book.

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