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I honestly can’t remember the last month that I read 4 whole books! I think it’s pretty much a literary phenomenon, if we’re being honest. I’m more of one every six weeks kind of gal. I love to read. I really do! But mine is the same story just about every mom could tell. My To Be Read List is way longer than the time I have available.
Usually, I’m like some poor soul at Thanksgiving whose eyes are too big for her stomach making her fill her plate too full of food and leave half of it uneaten. I come home from the library with a bunch of books that sound great, but most of which, sadly, remain left unread.
Not this month, though! Maybe it was starting the month off just chilling on a cruise ship. Maybe it’s a simple case of reading momentum. Whatever the reason, I’ll take it!
And, because I love ya, I’m going to share what I read with a little synopsis/review. Then, I want to hear from you! What is on your bookshelf? Is your list like mine, ever-growing and varied in content? This month’s books were half and half. Two were books on faith and womanhood while the other two were, well, really entertaining fluff. What can I say? I like to keep life balanced.
Let’s go the fluff route first, shall we?
What a treat! The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan was a hoot. Romantic and funny, timely and entertaining, but nothing you had to think too hard about. In other words, a perfect vacation read! Basically, think of Great Britain’s William and Kate, but make Kate an American. It could border on the predictable, but had enough plot twists and “behind the royal scenes” subject matter to keep it moving and interesting. And toward the end? Holy page-turner, Batman! Of course, like all Cinderella stories, you kind of know all along deep down in your heart that the happy ending is inevitable. And what else would we want, right?
Author Lauren Graham, of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood fame, did a great job on her debut novel! She’s written two other memoirs (In Conclusion Don’t Worry About It and Talking as Fast as I Can) which I haven’t read, but now I really want to! This book seems to be loosely based on Graham’s own life as a struggling actress trying to make it in NYC in the mid-1990s. For those of us of a certain age, it was an awesome flashback of fashion, fun, and even a filofax! (Don’t know what that is, youngsters? Google it. Bahahahaha!) The writing style was very conversational and the dialogue was fast and funny, much like that of Graham’s famous television characters. Lighthearted and quick, I’d really recommend it! (Just make sure to read the filofax pages that are included in the book. You’ll glean extra info about the plot!)
Now, we move on to substance and soul. I’m not sure why I chose this book to read, other than I had continued to see it pop up here and there when I would be looking for something else. A hint from the Holy Spirit, perhaps?
In this memoir, we travel along with the author as she moves from troubled college student to author to White House speech writer to family woman and beyond. All along the way, she learns life’s lessons through some amazing women saints…Teresa of Avila, Dorothy Day, Therese of Lisieux, and Mother Teresa just to name a few.
I thought she did a wonderful job transitioning between her own story and those of her saintly “sisters.” Another aspect of the book I enjoyed and related to was that, while her faith remained strong, she didn’t relay it as always being easy. She had struggles and worked through them with the help of her family here on earth and those in the Communion of Saints in Heaven. I found it to be educational, entertaining, and actually quite moving. If you’d like to learn more about female saints to turn to in times of trial, this would be a great book!
Alright, friends. I’m going to be really honest here. An entire blog post could be devoted to my reaction to this particular book. I just finished it this afternoon and it’s the first time I ever made use of the “notes” feature on my Kindle. I had highlighted so much! This honest, laugh-out-loud-funny look at what it’s like to be a mom with a dream truly touched my heart. I’ll save most of my thoughts for another time, mainly because they’re still bouncing around being formed in my head. But let me just say this…
If you are a mom who ever feels torn between what she wants to do and what she thinks she should do… If you have a passion that draws you like a moth to a flame, but you feel guilty following it… Should you have a dream that you’ve been harboring, but think that now isn’t the time to pursue it… This book is for you.
Seriously. Whether you’re Catholic or not, a SAHM or not, Jen’s stories of her wild ride through the child-bearing and book-writing years will leave you in stitches. Not only that, your heart will be touched as well. I couldn’t recommend it more strongly.
Soooo…What’s up next?
Well, the book Crazy Rich Asians just popped up on my library Overdrive account, so that’s probably what will be directly next. There are a couple others that I’m looking forward to in July (maybe We Were the Lucky Ones or Forty Rooms?). But I’d love it if you have any memoirs you really enjoyed or any Catholic/Christian books to recommend that really touched your soul.
Until next month, happy reading!