"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Sunday, July 30, 2023

July Books


All We Ever Wanted Was Everything by Janelle Brown -- Janice is excited when her husband's new pill is a Wall Street success and their fortune is made! She's less thrilled, understandably, when she can't get him on the phone and later gets a message that he's filing for divorce. Meanwhile older daughter Margaret is running from credit card companies wanting to get paid plus younger daughter Lizzie is dealing with her own issues at school. Pretty good story.

Spare by Prince Harry -- I saw this available online at our local library so I put it on hold and started reading it on July 1 (Princess Diana's birthday). In it, Harry tells his point of view on several things. Part 1 is more of his growing up, schooling and such. Part 2 talks a lot about his military life. Part 3 is more about Meghan.  I would enjoy reading Prince William's take on all of this if he ever wrote a memoir...ha.  (Andrew is reading this book now.)

The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks -- A book told from the perspective of Betty Gow, the young Scottish woman who cared for Charlie Lindbergh until his disappearance. Interesting perspective!

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon -- I wasn't familiar with this story, but since I've read other books by this author, I decided to read this one as well. It delves into the story of what happened to New York Supreme Court Judge Joseph Crater who disappeared in August 1930. This is told from the viewpoints of Stella the wife, Maria the maid, and Ritzi the mistress. 

The Last Ride of the Pony Express by Will Grant -- "My 2,000-mile horseback journey into the Old West;" the author and his two horses, Badger and Chicken Fry, travel the Pony Express from western Missouri to Old Sacramento, California. Pretty good.

A Most Intriguing Lady by Sarah Ferguson -- This definitely wasn't the most intriguing story, but it was OK. Lady Mary met Colonel Walter Trefusis who quickly became Tre to her. While many women of her era desire to be wives and mothers, Mary wants more.

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs -- Georgia Walker is a single mom raising a preteen named Dakota. When her ex, Dakota's father, returns from France out of the blue, he adds a huge wrinkle to their lives. Also, this book deals with others in this Manhattan-based knitting club. Pretty good.

The Housemaid by Freida McFadden -- I was first introduced to Millie last month, and then I realized the library has another book about her which is where she works for Nina and Andrew who is drop-dead gorgeous. Really, Andrew could have had any woman he wanted as Nina is just...not as pretty and put together as she could be. This alternates between Millie's first months on the job, and later when Nina tells how this situation came to be. Fast-paced book.

The Education of Dixie Dupree by Donna Everhart -- I don't think I read the jacket to see what this book was about, but having read this author before, I decided to read it when I was at the library recently looking for a few books to check out. This book made me cry more than once. Dixie is eleven years old, and had to recently hand over her diary because it contained some evidence. This story tells some of what Dixie experienced as her mom and dad's marriage faltered, and as her mom became more distant and wanted to leave in order to go home to New Hampshire. Meanwhile Dixie is concerned about her father and their lives in Alabama. Then when something happens to her father, Uncle Ed joins the family from New Hampshire.  Though this book made me cry, it also made me laugh a bit. First when Dixie calls her grandma, "Granny Ham" as in Hampshire. Secondly when the family is driving to visit NH, and they are driving on the Appalachian Trail! (see page 216) Hahahahaha....even more funny is when an 18-wheeler is riding their bumper up and down the mountains. Right. On the Appalachian Trail?  Too bad the book's fact checker didn't realize that it is a hiking trail that reaches from Georgia to Maine. Can't imagine seeing a car on it, much less an eighteen wheeler! Haha!   (Also, cool fact since this book dealt with diaries somewhat...this month I was rereading some diaries I kept when I was young, and some things are quite funny while the details pertaining to my senior year in high school are quite embarrassing at times. Ha!)

Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner -- This is the second book in a row with a main character from Alabama. Unlike the previous book, this book takes place in California as Violet has left her hometown in Alabama in order to be in the secretarial pool for the movie industry. She meets Audrey Duvall who is trying to be rediscovered for parts in movies, and the two roommates have some interesting adventures. This takes place during the filming of Gone With the Wind and thereabouts. Pretty interesting story.

The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell -- Grace and Pip are the new kids in an area in central London. Their flat opens into a three acre private park where they meet new families and make new friends, of sorts. There is the girl named Tyler along with the Howes - who homeschool their three girls: Catkin, Fern, and Willow. When something happens to one of the girls on the night of her thirteenth birthday, the police ask questions about what is going on in this private park. Pretty good. 

A Little Ray of Sunshine by Kristan Higgins -- Nearly 18 years ago, Harlow was a pregnant college freshman who gave her baby to a loving couple. Today she runs her family's bookstore on Cape Cod when she recognizes a man who walks into her store, and - oh my! - the teenager with him. It's her son whom she had named Matthew. Unbeknownst to his family, Matthew found his birth mother and decided the family's summer-long vacation would be to Cape Cod so he could meet his birth mother..and maybe hang out with her. How complicated is that?

A Tender Hope by Amanda Cabot -- The last book in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy; I just figured I'd read this one since I've read the other two. In it Thea leaves her home to be the new midwife in Cimarron Creek. Her friend Aimee joins her for the adventure. There they meet Texas Ranger Jackon Guthrie who is looking for the Gang of Four. Decent, in a low-key way.

The Locked Door by Freida McFadden -- Nora Davis has created a good life for herself. After being removed from her family as an eleven year old - well, her parents were jailed so perhaps they removed themselves in a way. Now she is a surgeon who enjoys an Old Fashioned at her local bar, and reconnects with an old friend. When some bizarre things happen that parallel her serial-killer dad's MO, she finds herself a suspect simply because of her dad. A fast-paced thriller.

Yesterday's Tides by Roseanna M. White -- I know I would have enjoyed this so much more if I'd remembered all the characters from past books - plus maybe I've missed a few books in her various series?? She mentions in the Author's Note how she had interwoven so many people from different books, and, well, I had a tough time recalling the details. That detracted from this book for me, but otherwise the story was fine enough. It takes place with two timelines - during the first World War and then the second. Most of the story takes place on North Carolina's Ocracoke Island though parts take place in Maryland and Europe.

How I'll Kill You by Ren DeStefano -- Have I ever mentioned how Andrew often makes fun of books that I read? I mean, the titles? He often makes a sentence about it, and this title: whoa! So, yeah, these triplets have this pact where they make men fall in love with them, and then take turns murdering them. Nice book, eh? At least it was a fast read.

Zero Days by Ruth Ware -- When Jacintha "Jack" Cross gets home in the wee morning hours from her penetration security mission and finds her husband murdered, she is alarmed to realize the police suspect her. Instead of sticking around for the interview, she does what she does best: escapes and runs from the law. She has to find answers about who is framing her. Fast read. 



Since it's only the 30th, I might finish one more book, but I can add that here if I do. For now, I'll go ahead and post this list! Can't believe it's almost the eighth month of 2023!  

Aha! here's another one to add:

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert -- My mom read this and said it started a little slowly, but that she liked it so I decided to read it as well. An interesting look at integrating schools in a more modern day. When one inner-city school district receives a failing grade, parents are allowed to transfer their children to schools outside their districts. Schools that are richer and much whiter. This book explores this happening in one Missouri school. Good story.