Books I've Been Reading Lately
It used to be that when I got sick, it was a balancing act of movies for the kids and attempted rest for me. Not anymore, my reading list got a big boost when I got sick last month. I crawled back in bed after giving some direction to the kids for school and they kept me well-supplied with tea and cold water and keeping themselves busy with quiet activities. I read an entire middle grade novel between naps and it was just the kind of rest I needed.
That title was City Spies: Dead City by James Ponti. I originally got the first book in the series for my oldest to see if she might like it. It wasn't to her taste but I love this series! Five kids from around the world (named after the city they're from ) who have somehow fallen through the cracks but have outstanding talents form a spy agency under the guidance of their mentor who has ties to MI6. It's snappy, it's fast-paced, there's lots of international travel involved- this book takes place between London and Cairo. The books do build on each other so start with book one and enjoy the ride. Five stars.
The White Lady by Jacqueline Winspear continues the spy theme and explores the idea of a retired agent in post World War II England. This book was great in its back and forth story telling, the reality of post war life for those who fought and the stories that everyone has even if they are buried deep beneath the surface. This was a stand alone novel and I also really love her Maisie Dobbs series about a plucky female detective during the first World War and beyond. Four stars.
Mama Bear Apologetics edited by Hillary Ferrer has been my long companion in the mornings along with my journal and coffee. I appreciated the exhortation to train my kids biblically and still love others in this post-modern world. It's helpful, insightful and humorous. I studied apologetics in high school but that was awhile ago and the culture is a lot different. If any of my local friends want to do a book club with this book, let me know! I think it's most valuable in having conversations around the topics raised. Five stars.
My Midsummer Morning by Alastair Humphrey - I am slowly working my way through the 1000 Hours Outside book club for this year. This book wasn't on their list but the one by Alastair that is on their list has a super long wait so I read this one instead. The author is one who is known for wild and epic adventures around the globe but has given a lot of that up to have a family and settle down. This book explores one more adventure in his early forties where he walks and busks his way across Spain. It's absolutely fascinating with rich descriptions of the countryside and culture as well as musings on changing of identities as seasons of life shift. Four stars.
Becoming Free Indeed by Jinger Duggar Vuolo- between reading Spare and now this one, I'm ready for a not so tinder box biography written by a ghost writer. The writing apart from the story wasn't great and I was unimpressed with the quality of story telling. I was raised in the same homeschool organization as Jinger (IBLP) although not to the extreme extent that her family was involved. I appreciated reading her perspective on leaving an incredibly legalistic and damaging lifestyle. It was hard reading at times because I was also trapped in legalism and I know so many people who have been damaged by the teaching of Bill Gothard. I don't agree with all her thoughts and conclusions or the church she ended up with but I'm glad I read it. Two stars.
Coronation Year by Jennifer Robson- is there a more perfect book to read in May 2023?? I love all the books I've read by this author and I really liked this one. Three characters all converge in London around the coronation- a struggling hotel owner, a bi-racial artist and an Italian-Jewish photographer. The hotel itself is a character which is a detail I love in books. It just so happens to be on the coronation route which is hopeful for the hotel's struggling business. There's many details of London in the early fifties with the backdrop of the coronation but from the perspective of the regular people. Five stars.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin - this was our May book club pick and I'm including it here because I have never read it before! We listened to it during lunch or in the van and I was completely swept up in the story of plucky Minli who sets out on a quest to change her family's fortune based on legends her dad has told her all her life. The story weaves between Minli, her parents and more legends. It's fantasy and adventure with a significant quest. We all loved it and the book club goodies were fantastic.
I'm working on my summer reading list- a homeschool book for inspiration, a parenting book on teens to finish up, lots of fun fiction to give my brain a break from homeschooling and some inspiring non-fiction for professional development. Reading in the summer by the lake or in the shade of the yard with peony blossoms wafting on the breeze is one of my favourite seasons! I'd love to hear what you've been reading lately or what's on your summer reading list!