• I made ice cream for the first time! Or, rather, nice cream. My mom hosted a 4th of July cookout and I made vegan banana-peach ice cream – yum!!
• Another cookout involved my cousin doodling tattoos on everyone – mine was AWESOME!
• Nacho turned 4 months old!
• I’ve mentioned before than I’m not a huge tv person (so I tend to be REALLY behind on all the ~cool~ shows). Matt and I recently binged on The Man in the High Castle and it was so, so good.
• I’m the kind of crazy dogmama that wears clothes with my pups on them. I already have a Pittie shirt for Bay, so the second I saw this Boston Terrier blouse I knew it had to come home with me!
• We’ll be posting the details soon, but if you missed last week’s #HistoricalFix chat, we inadvertently chose our next #BookClubFix pick!! Mackenzi Lee’s The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. Holy cow, I hadn’t realized what a doorstop this was until it arrived at my library. This book is BIG.
• I read 16 books in July, 7 on audio, 9 print/e-books. I’m more than a little surprised by that, I thought I was in a bit of a slump! lol I guess not!
HELLO, SUNSHINE BY LAURA DAVE was such a pleasant surprise! I wasn’t a huge fan of Eight Hundred Grapes and was admittedly a little hesitant about jumping into this one, but I’m so glad I did! A Youtube chef-turned-Food Network star & bestselling author loses everything when her Twitter account is hacked by someone who knows more about Sunny’s rise to fame than they should. I did have a slight problem with the ending, but this book really made me think about how we show ourselves online vs who we really are.
GIRL ON THE LEESIDE BY KATHLEEN ANNE KENNEY had such a beautiful setting – rural Ireland – but the main character dragged this one down. She was nearly 30 but was written (and acted and treated) like a child. Being a bit sheltered and something of a late bloomer is one thing, but Siobhan took it a step too far to the point where the romance came off as SUPER gross and creepy.
THE LIST BY PATRICIA FORDE left me feeling confused. This Middle Grade dystopian novel initially sounded exciting and intense – after a devastating flood, a new society emerges where the government has created a list of 500 approved words. Anyone caught speaking a word outside those allowed will face severe punishment, even exile. What had me scratching my head was the timeline: this book only takes place a few years in the future…as in, MANY people who were around pre-flood are still alive. These people all know how to speak, all know far more words than the 500 on the List – and when government officials aren’t around, they do speak the old way. There didn’t seem to be much of a point here and I think the ideas got a bit too large for the author to tackle, leaving the book feeling sloppy.
THE WILDLING SISTERS BY EVE CHASE was a novel I couldn’t wait to get my hands on! Eve’s debut Black Rabbit Hall is one I KNOW you’ve all heard me talk about many times – it was my favorite book of 2016 and a favorite in general! Her follow-up was fantastic: a dual-era timeline, a crumbling old manor, secrets from the past that refuse to stay hidden. So lovely. So great. Eve Chase is absolutely one of my favorite authors and I HIGHLY recommend her books!
WE NOW RETURN TO REGULAR LIFE BY MARTIN WILSON was a massive surprise. I hadn’t heard of Martin OR this novel until it appeared at my door and, guys, this is a top read of the year. When Sam was 11 he was kidnapped. Three years later he’s found, this whole time he’s only been two hours away in a neighboring city. What follows isn’t Sam’s story as much as it’s his sister’s and former best friend’s. Told in alternating chapters, the book follows Beth and Josh as they not only deal with their own problems, but how Sam’s sudden reappearance fits into their new lives. If you’re looking for a gut-punch of a novel, look no further.
IMPOSSIBLE VIEWS OF THE WORLD BY LUCY IVES was a massive dud. Initially pitched to me as an adult From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, this was less exciting museum romp and more about a woman avoiding her ex-husband, pining after a coworker she had a fling with, and having lunches with her glamorous mother. The author is a poet and I was intrigued to see how she would take to novels…not so great as it turns out. Horribly over-written, big sweeping phrases where a single, simple word would suffice, a mystery that just wasn’t there.. I was so disappointed with this one.