The Optometrist and I read aloud the first two books of the Themis Files last Spring, Sleeping Giants in April and Waking Gods in May, so we were very excited to wrap up this interview/epistolary-style trilogy this summer.
Picking up where Sleeping Giants left off, we enjoyed the journey Rose, Vincent, Eva, and Eugene took to Ekt, their struggles to adapt there, their (mostly) desire to return to Earth, and their plans to help restore needed peace on Earth upon their re-arrival.
I had been waiting for summer to arrive in order for this to be a seasonal read, after having read Little Beach Street Bakery in May. What a delight it was to return to the lighthouse in Mount Polbearne to revisit Polly, Huckle, and Neil the puffin, and to root for her bakery career and their relationship. Now I just have to wait for the final Christmas installment in this sweet (all puns intended) series.
Read via: academic library InterLibrary Loan
For a while now, I’ve been hearing a lot about the Enneagram (especially from No Thanks We’re Booked and Anne Bogel) and was curious to learn more about this ancient method of better understanding not only your strengths, but your weaknesses, and how this knowledge better allows you to live a healthy, Christian life. Enneagram teachers Cron and Stabile outline each of the 9 types/numbers with practical examples of what each number looks like in healthy and not so healthy situations, providing great encouragement to embrace who God has made you to be. (And I’m pretty sure I’m an Enneagram 1, The Perfectionist or The Reformer, which really wasn’t a surprise at all.)
Read via: Hoopla audio
Around the world people are beginning to lose their shadow and when they do, their memories soon follow suit, which has upended civilization. Told through a series of perspectives of interconnected “shadowed” vs. “shadowless” people in search of an illusive man in New Orleans, this is a story of clinging to memories, hope, and love even in the worst of circumstances.
Read via: public library
These words of wisdom were originally given as a commencement address at Langley High, actress Lauren Graham’s alma mater (I loved her memoir Talking As Fast As I Can). The audio book is narrated by her and is less than 30 minutes in length – perfect for a short car trip (like when I listened to it).
“Love yourself and what you’re doing, even if you’re not yet at the place you hope to land. Let joy be the thing that drives you and I bet you’ll get there faster. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. … Your job doesn’t define you – your bravery and kindness and gratitude do…you are enough just as you are.”
Read via: Libby audio
Former President Bill Clinton teams up with writing juggernaut James Patterson to create a fictitious, but not unlikely scenario of how the president would deal with a cyber attack – its impact, the terrorists at its inception, potential fallout in the United States and around the world, and how it can be prevented. Written in Patterson’s distinctive short-chapter style, Clinton’s influence is apparent with true insider knowledge and a positive perspective of how we are always stronger together.
Read via: public library
This children’s historical fiction story is set in 1950s San Francisco, centering around Katy Gordon, the best baseball pitcher in her neighborhood and school. The fact that she’s a girl and restricted from playing Little League, as per their rules, inspires her to fight back through research, leading her to learn more about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. While her story is fictitious, the female baseball pioneers she discovers are not, making this a great story to be used in an elementary classroom for American history and sports history alike. (And watching A League of Their Own with older kids would be a fun tie-in, too!)
My thanks to Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House, for the ARC.
This novella explores the ordinary life of Keiko, whose job at a Japanese convenience store gives her not only an income, but deeper purpose and identity. (As an educator, I would hazard a guess she would likely be classified somewhere on the Autism spectrum.) While she lacks understanding of how society functions, she possesses keen insight into human observation, making her a valued employee, until a male worker begins to disrupt the status quo with her job and life. Overall, this is a story of belonging and remaining true to yourself, quirks and all.
Read via: Libby e-book
So much of what comes out of Hollywood seems to be trivial, negative, or shallow, but this call to kindness and living a life of intention from actress Candace Cameron Bure is filled with Biblical truth, positivity, and depth. She shares first-hand examples of how she has stood up for her faith and values with conviction, covered in grace, which serves as a friendly and approachable reminder that we can all show ourselves and others kindness and respect.
Read via: public library
In this lifestyle guide, actress Reese Witherspoon shares with fans and readers insights, photos, and recipes into what it means to be a Southern woman – well put-together on the outside with a fiery spirit inside, hence the title of her book. Releasing September 18, look for a full review on my blog then!
My thanks to Edelweiss for access to the digital ARC.
August means the start of “fall” for me, since our academic year begins soon. What are you excited about reading in the upcoming season?