Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Reads

It is a dark and stormy day here. I knew the storm was coming so I headed out to the grocery store earlier than I normally do on my weekly grocery run. Ben came with me as my helper and the rest of the kids stayed home with strict cleaning instructions. All the floors needed to be swept, rooms cleaned, basement cleaned, all toys picked up. I had my doubts as to how the kids were perform the tasks. Their behavior yesterday (for Father's Day, nonetheless) was less than stellar (to say the least) and I wasn't about to get my hopes up.

I was shocked to come home to a very clean house. Joey, Tommy, and Grace went above and beyond what I had asked. They worked their little butts off, I tell you. I was so proud of them. When Ben came home and saw the work they had done he jumped on the bandwagon, too, and made his bed, cleaned up his toys, and helped finish off cleaning the playroom. It really made me proud.

I was so happy the kids did such a good job and that they could be rewarded. It is the perfect day for building forts and watching movies and reading books.
Each kid got their own fort/tent/tunnel/lean to. I had to use a flash on these pics because our house was SERIOUSLY dark. It was so much fun for them. While the kids played and messed around in their forts I read my books. When everyone settled down a bit I had the kids read for a little while too. Side note: kids are much more willing to read when they can read in a fort.
Last week the kids and I took a trip to the library to start on our summer reading program. I want to make sure their brains stay active this summer and keep them on track. Each kid was allowed to pick out 3 books but somehow they all ended up with around 5 books each. Dear me. I hope I can keep track of all of those books.

I have a nice pile of books myself. I have hit some summer reading gold lately and if you are looking for a great summer read I have got some great books for you.

This book is definitely one that has stuck with me. A story about a young girl searching to find out what happened to her mother. It is such a twisty-turning book, with rich characters, and an original plot. Bonus- the info on elephants (a huge part of the plot- the mother was an expert on elephants and worked at an elephant sanctuary) made me fall in love with the genius creatures. 


I found my new favorite author (well, one of them, anyway). Marisa de los Santos writes such brilliant characters. She writes with such intelligence. Her books are usually told from the perspective of three or four main characters but it is never confusing. Her characters are so strong that even if you miss the name at the beginning of the chapter you still know which character is speaking.

The first book I read by Marisa was Belong To Me. I was unknowingly reading out of order since Belong To Me is actually a follow up to Love Walked In but it worked. As a matter of fact, when I fell in love with Belong To Me I decided to read everything by de los Santos and read Love Walked In still not knowing that this book was to be first. It was a fun surprise unwrapping the beginnings of the characters I had already grown to love. Either way, You absolutely must read them both. Fantastic books.
As I said I read almost everything de los Santos has written (I'm still waiting on a few from my library). Falling Together is another great read. This one may be a little bit more predictable in some ways but still had plenty that kept me guessing and reading.

This last read may not appeal to all of you. I have always been a fan of Emily Giffin and this book is right up my ally. It is a considered chic lit but it is centered around football. Texas college football, to be exact. The main character in the book is a sporty, smart, feminine woman who is obsessed with football. I loved it. The book has an ending I'm still grappling with, but I still enjoyed it.

I have a handful of books on order at the library. Next up, The Rocks by Peter Nichols, Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews, Dietland by Sarai Walker, and The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins. I've heard good things about all of them and now I just have to wait patiently until they come in. Many of them have a long wait list. Do you have any recommendations for me while I wait? I have a few I'm about to read but nothing I'm all that excited about. I just returned a book to the library after reading the first dozen pages. It was I Take You by Eliza Kennedy. The main character was so off putting that I decided not to waste anymore of my time. I have never done that before. Anyway, maybe I'll read a few more Harry Potter books while I wait for my other books to come in.

The skies have cleared now and it is a humid 84 degrees outside. I can hear Joey and Grace outside playing basketball together. I sneak over and listen as Joey explains the proper shooting form to Grace.

Tommy and Ben are riding bikes. The massive puddles from the earlier downpour have already dried up. They run Molly alongside their bikes and she comes back exhausted. I think she needs a haircut, poor pooch. She lies down on the tile in the front hallway trying to glean any coolness she can.

I, however, am reveling in the heat. I have all the doors and windows open and the house has heated up nicely. I don't think Todd will agree, but for now I am enjoying my summer warmed house. I hope the hot weather sticks around.

It has been a good day.

I see ice cream in our future.


Stephanie Faris said...

How awesome that they cleaned up so well. I have to admit, there's nothing better than hunkering down on a rainy day to read for hours!

betty said...

Great idea to have them build forts to read in :) Looked cozy there too! I always enjoyed the summer reading program at the library for the kids, especially if the libraries also did free programs associated with it. Anything to encourage reading is always a plus for me :)

Seemed like a pleasant summer day for you all!


Elaine Alguire said...

Have you read The Light Between Oceans yet? So good.

Thanks for the recommendations! I'm reading a lot more myself these days. It's so good! :D

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I just posted my summer reading list. Sounds like you've got a good one going as well. Cheers to summer reading.

Tabor said...

I was going to suggest The LIght Between Oceans as well. I am in the middle of having will have to get back to you on other titles.

Bijoux said...

I recently read The Apple Orchard and it's sequel, The Beekeepers Ball by Susan Wiggs and loved them. Thanks for your recommendations!

I'm loving the hot weather, but the rain has been a bummer.

Kat said...

Thanks ladies! I just requested The Light Between Oceans and The Apple Orchard from my library. :)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

All the things I love about summertime--reading and ice cream and lazy days hanging with the kids. Sounds like you are making the most of these months!

Riahli said...

I'm going to have to check out some of those book suggestions! :)

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson