We have had a very low key and relaxing with nothing much to do summer and so I’ve had lots of time to read some awesome books! I hope you can enjoy some of these as well.
Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories by R.J. Palacio
If you haven’t read Wonder yet, go get it right now and read it. Make your kids read it too! It’s an amazing book that I reviewed earlier. This is a spin-off or companion book to Wonder. It is separated into three stories that represent three different people’s points of view: Charlotte, one of the girls who is on the “welcoming” committee at August’s new school; Julian, August’s nemesis and Christopher, August’s former best friend. It was great to read deeper into these characters and read their take on their interactions with August.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I absolutely loved it. It was quick, fun and very unique. A.J. is a bookstore owner on an island on the east coast. He’s a widower who’s struggling to live happily. One day a toddler girl is left in his store with a note asking him to care for her. A.J. adopts her and his life changes. There are many interesting characters throughout the book. Detective Lambiase is the local sheriff who befriends A.J. and becomes an avid reader. Ismay is A.J.’s former sister-in-law and teacher on the island who is married to a major cheater and famous author, Daniel Parish. Amelia is a book sales rep who visits the island a few times a year and can’t quite figure out A.J. and his quirky personality. Zevin does a wonderful job of weaving everyone’s stories together. She makes you fall in love with the characters. I was sad when it was over and wanted more. That’s the sign of a good book!
Midair by Kodi Scheer
(This hasn’t been released yet. It’s available August 1st.) I really enjoyed this book. It is pretty short and very enjoyable. Four classmates take a post-graduation trip to France as part of their French class. Nessa is the main character who has plans to commit suicide by jumping off the Eiffel Tower. She is joined on the trip by Kat, her nemesis, and Kiran and Whitney who are likable enough but not considered friends. Kat has betrayed Nessa in a major way and Nessa has plans for revenge before she leaps. It is very interesting, moves quickly and provides a couple of twists and turns along the way. You should try it!
The One I Was by Eliza Graham
Rosamund Hunter has been running from her past for years. She finally takes a job that will return her to the place where she lost her mother and suffered at the hands of a terrible man. She is working as a nurse for Benny Gault who has a fascinating story of his own. As a child, he fled Nazi Germany and stayed at the same estate that Rosamund did in her childhood. Their stories intertwine in many different ways that are fascinating and entertaining. It’s a great story that you will enjoy.
Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter
You know I L-O-V-E Slaughter’s books. She is amazing and I wish she would write one every day! I found this novella on Amazon and couldn’t believe I hadn’t read it yet. Julie is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed college girl who is very upset by the recent disappearance of a girl in her town. It follows Julie as she goes through her days while trying to discover what happened to the missing girl. For a very short little novella, it was terrifying and awesome! You should check it out, especially if you’re a Slaughter fan.
My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni
This is the first in a series about detective Tracy Crosswhite. I liked it so much that I plan on reading the other books in the series. Tracy’s sister, Sarah, went missing many years ago. Edmund House was convicted of her murder but Tracy was never 100% convinced that he was guilty. She has never stopped looking for her sister’s killer or proof that House indeed did it. The discovery of Sarah’s body brings Tracy back to her hometown and lands her right in the middle of the investigation. She gets help from a childhood friend who is now a lawyer. Tracy finds herself in the middle of a nightmare but is determined to find out what happened to Sarah. It’s awesome!
The Fever by Megan Abbott
This book was unique and interesting. Deenie is a teenager from a close-knit family with a gorgeous hockey star for a brother. When her best friend has an unexplained seizure, Deenie is thrown into the middle of a chaotic mess. Other girls start having unexplained seizures and no one can figure out what is going on in their town. When the reason behind “the fever” is revealed, you won’t believe it!
Intrusion by Mary McCluskey
This book was OK but not great. Here’s the description from Amazon: “A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives.” That about sums it up! It kept my attention but I found it predictable. A predictable book automatically goes down a notch in my opinion.
For my teacher friends, some inspiring and interesting teaching books:
Make It Stick by Brown, Roediger, McDaniel
This was a great book with research-backed ideas on how to help kids learn and retain their knowledge. I skimmed parts of it (the research parts) but found many tips I think will be helpful. I’m always looking for ways to improve my teaching and their learning!
Mindset: The Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
This has ideas for how to have a growth mindset in your classroom. I found many good ideas that I will be implementing this year.
Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess
By reading this book, I discovered that I am a pirate! PIRATE is Burgess’s acronym that stands for all of the qualities an amazing teacher should have and implement in their classroom. I was happy to see that I do 99.9% of the things Burgess discusses in his book and I was able to get even more ideas to make my class an even better place!
What have you read lately? Please share!