Jessica's pick for July/August was The Help, which I finished a bit earlier than expected (you can read my review HERE). If you haven't read it, I would recommend it - and I would recommend reading it before seeing the movie that is about to come out. I'm a bit nervous that they'll ruin the book with the movie (making too many changes), though the previews look pretty good. We'll have to see, eh?
In the last four weeks I finished La's Orchestra Saves the World and The Unbearable Lightness of Scones, both by Alexander McCall Smith, as well as the Wingfeather Book #1. I want to give a bit of a review for each, but I'll try to keep them brief.
La's Orchestra Saves the World reminded me a bit of the idea behind The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in that the characters are tired of war and they search for something else to occupy their time. They seek to escape from the loss and hardship and tragedy occurring all around them, and they discover a mutual love of music, something that they enjoyed before the war began. Thus begins the orchestra. La is the primary character and we follow her throughout her life in this book, from early marriage, through divorce, finding and losing love, and ultimately discovering happiness for the final few years of her life. It's nothing to write home about, but if you have the opportunity to read it, it's easy and simple and entertaining.
The Unbearable Lightness of Scones is part of the 44 Scotland Street series that McCall Smith started as a newspaper serial. Overall, I enjoy this series and I find the characters to be amusing, though sometimes frustratingly stupid. Even though life goes on (Bruce finds himself without a fiancee, Matthew ties the knot, and Bertie finally gets to attend the Cub Scouts), there are aspects that never seem to change (like Bertie's age - shouldn't he be at least seven or eight by now?!). If you're looking for a light, easy read, then selecting one of the 44 Scotland Street set would be a good choice, including The Unbearable Lightness of Scones. Again, nothing noteworthy (unlike my experience with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie), but an enjoyable book nevertheless.
My final book of the month (at least, the final book that I finished) was Book #1 of the Wingfeather Saga, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, by Andrew Peterson. I actually read this book out loud to Peter and we are currently in the middle of #2 (North! Or Be Eaten) at the moment. I put this set on my "To Read" list when Jessica listed book #3 (The Monster in the Hollows) as the December Booking It choice. Without going into too much detail, I would say that there are times when we both laughed as I read the antics of the Igiby children, as well as times when I wanted to throttle them. Peterson is no Lewis and the Wingfeather Saga isn't at the level of the Narnia series, but it's still a fairly well-written story with some original ideas (something I don't seem to find a lot of with Christian writers/fiction). I think it would be worth your time to check it out from your local library or pick up a used copy (as I did).
Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English by Patricia T. O'Conner
In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson (out loud to Peter)
What's on your nightstand these days?
Make sure you stop by and see what Jessica and others are reading today over at Life as MOM!
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