Somebody slow summer down, won’t you?!? I can’t believe it’s almost July!
Today I’m writing about what I’ve been into and up to during the month of June, and as usual, linking up with Leigh Kramer.
Books I Read:
Nathan Coulter by Wendell Berry
This is a short novel, the first in Berry’s Port William series. The author is setting a scene here, acquainting the reader with a small town in rural Kentucky, and introducing characters whom he’ll flesh out more as the series goes on. I love these books, mainly because Berry’s writing blows me away. It’s tidy and succinct, yet so expressive that I can see the town and the characters vividly in my mind as I read. Not much happens in this novel, but it’s a perfect introduction to Port William, and a beautiful overture for the stories to come. Others I’ve read (and adored) in the series are Hannah Coulter and Jayber Crow. 4/5 stars
Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
Much thanks to NetGalley for supplying me with an advanced reading copy of Moriarty’s latest book, which will be released on July 26th. Another fabulous novel by one of my favorite authors, Truly Madly Guilty reads like chick lit, but goes much deeper. Lots of issues going on behind the scenes, imperfect but still likable characters, and a riveting story beneath it all will keep you turning pages. Moriarty’s writing always resonates so well with me because she truly “gets” women. Add this one to your summer reading stack for sure. 4/5 stars
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman
Oh my. Where to start with this book? First off, it’s a story about a young girl and her grandmother and I found myself missing my own Granny terribly while I read it. This novel is so deep at times you’ll want to cry, and yet I laughed out loud multiple times. The characters are delightful — each in their own unique way — and the story is gracefully and perfectly woven together. An absolutely gorgeous book with a little bit of everything. This one’s my favorite of Backman’s so far. But be sure to check out his other books A Man Called Ove and Britt-Marie Was Here, too! 5/5 stars
Redemption Road by John Hart
This one’s a literary thriller that’ll keep you guessing to the end. Hart’s writing is fantastic and this is an exquisitely crafted novel. I don’t read much in this genre any more, and I’m not sure why, because I enjoyed it immensely. The style reminds me of John Grisham’s novels which I devoured like crazy in my twenties. As in any crime thriller, though, this one’s not for the queasy or faint of heart. 4/5 stars.
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Told in the style of World War Z, through various reports and interviews, this novel is part thriller, part sci-fi. It starts with a young girl falling into a hole and discovering a giant hand buried deep in the earth. What follows is a search for more artifacts, their origin, and the meaning behind it all. This is the first in what will be a trilogy and it’s an intriguing read, although not as exciting as I’d hoped. And of course, now I have to wait until the next book to find out what happens. 3/5 stars
Fellside by M.R. Carey
A ghost story inside a maximum security prison? Yes, please! This is one spooky book, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. A reviewer on Amazon called this story “Sixth Sense meets Orange is the New Black,” and I’d say that’s a pretty accurate description. There were some threads left hanging, which disappointed me a little, but overall it was an entertaining read. Also check out Carey’s first book, The Girl with All the Gifts. 4/5 stars
What I Watched:
We finished up The Walking Dead and are now — along with the rest of the world — eagerly awaiting the next season. Seriously, who did Negan kill? Thoughts, anyone? I’m scared it might be Glenn.
We’ve also watched some Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, although the newness has worn off a little.
My latest favorite is season five of Call the Midwife, which we’re just now getting around to watching. Gosh, I love British TV so much!
Went to see Me Before You and talked about it here.
The kids talked me into buying Zootopia, which they loved and I thought was ok. But last Sunday we went to the theaters to see Finding Dory and I loved it. Such a great story with plenty of laughable and adorable moments.
Other Stuff I’m Into:
1. House projects
I’m fast and furiously working my way through all my decorating and household projects, trying to make some kind of dent in all the to-dos while it’s summer and there’s actually time. So far I’ve painted two rooms and a couple of pieces of furniture. I only have about a thousand other ideas up my sleeve.
If I was a good blogger I’d have lots of before and after photos for you. But alas, I’m not a very good blogger, am I?
Oh my goodness, these are so much fun! My sister introduced me to these workouts when I was visiting her in Indiana, and I’ve been doing them ever since. It seriously doesn’t even feel like exercise. Plus the workouts are low-impact, which is a necessity for me and the plantar fasciitis that is killing me lately. Check out all the workouts on their YouTube channel!
I’m a long-time customer of Clinique products, and this is one of my favorites, especially in the summer. It gives my face moisture, without leaving it feeling oily or prone to breakouts. It’s fantastic stuff.
Sleeping later, blogging less, hanging out at the water park, all the summer things. Although I’ve been busy doing things around the house, I’ve been enjoying the time off and taking advantage of the longer days. And most days I’m avoiding makeup like the plague.
5. We have a new driver in the family!
My 16-year-old got his driver’s license and (thanks to a very generous grandmother) a pickup truck of his very own! I’m sure some people are scared when their kid starts driving, but I’m more like this:
Or maybe this:
Ok, who am I kidding? I’m really like this:
I’ve already had him running errands and it’s been FANTASTIC! He’s my rule-follower kid, so I can count on him to be responsible and law-abiding behind the wheel of a car. I’m so proud of him!
6. Enjoying my courtyard
Stay tuned because on Friday I’ll give the big reveal. Until then, here’s a sneak peek into my sweet little “secret garden.” I’m absolutely loving it!
And that’s it for this month! What about you? Want to tell me what you’ve been into and up to?
Book, TV, or movie recommendations? I’d love to hear ’em!
Disclosure: Amazon affiliate links included in this post.