Friday, October 7, 2022

Books I Read in August and September

Hi there friends! I hope you've had a nice week! We are finally getting settled into our new routine and it feels nice to have a sense of calm. I started documenting "a day in the life" today and at 4 pm realized I hadn't taken a single picture since 7:30 am. Hahaha oops! 😂 I'll try again next week! The past two months I was able to read 6 books. Most of them were good, one was great, and one was unfortunately not good. Let's have a look:

The Girl From the Channel Islands-- 

"Summer 1940: Hedy Bercu fled Vienna two years ago. Now she watches the skies over Jersey for German planes, convinced that an invasion is imminent. When it finally comes, there is no counterattack from Allied forces—the Channel Islands are simply not worth defending. Most islanders and occupying forces settle into an uneasy coexistence, but for Hedy, the situation is perilously different. For Hedy is Jewish—a fact that could mean deportation, or worse.

With no means of escape, Hedy hides in plain sight, working as a translator for the Germans while silently working against them. She forges a tentative friendship with a sympathetic German officer who is likewise trapped by circumstance. But as the war intensifies, Hedy knows she is in greater danger each day. Soon, her survival will depend not just on her own courage but on the community she has come to cherish and a man who should be her enemy."

I accidentally stumbled across this book while searching for another book on my Kindle. You all know I love historical fiction, it was a no-brainer to me to give it a shot. I really liked it! I enjoyed learning about a place in Europe during WW2 that I did not previously know about. The Channel Islands are islands located off the coast of Normandy, France. Even though Normandy was liberated shortly after D-Day, the Channel Islands were not liberated until almost a year later. If you love historical fiction, I recommend this one! I give it an A. 

The Resistance Girl-- 

"War rages, and, under cover of darkness, Rumi Orlstad and her fellow resistance fighters smuggle British agents, fugitives and supplies across the North Sea into Nazi-occupied territory.

One night, when he braves a storm to complete an ill-fated mission, Rumi’s fiancé is lost to the dangerous waters. Broken-hearted, she withdraws from the clandestine group, vowing never to let her loved ones put themselves in the line of fire again.

But months later, Rumi stumbles across a Nazi secret that lays Hitler’s plans for Norway bare, and she knows she has no choice but to risk her life for her country once more…"

Eh, I hate to report that this book was pretty mediochre. It sounded good from the synopsis, not fell pretty flat. The characters were not likeable, it took way too long to get to the "meat" of the story, and wasn't great even when you did get to the "good" parts. I do not recommend this one. I give it a D. 

Local Woman Missing--

"Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they'll find…"

This has been one of the best books I've read this year! I was on the edge of my seat from the very beginning. If you love a thriller, I highly recommend this one. This is one of those books where you stay up way too late reading, and then wake up early just so you can keep reading. I have yet to read a book by Mary Kubica that I didn't like, and I feel she is one of those authors who gets better with each book. Please add this one to your list! A

We Were the Lucky Ones--

"It is the spring of 1939 and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships threatening Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world, each desperately trying to navigate his or her own path to safety. 
As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent, while others struggle to escape certain death, either by working grueling hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by an unwavering will to survive and by the fear that they may never see one another again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere. 
An extraordinary, propulsive novel, 
We Were the Lucky Ones demonstrates how in the face of the twentieth century’s darkest moment, the human spirit can endure and even thrive."

I found this book fascinating, especially since it was all based off the author's real family and their survival story. I give this book an A. 

Free-Range Kids-- 

"FREE RANGE KIDS has become a national movement, sparked by the incredible response to Lenore Skenazy's piece about allowing her 9-year-old ride the subway alone in NYC. Parent groups argued about it, bloggers blogged, spouses became uncivil with each other, and the media jumped all over it. A lot of parents today, Skenazy says, see no difference between letting their kids walk to school and letting them walk through a firing range. Any risk is seen as too much risk. But if you try to prevent every possible danger or difficulty in your child's everyday life, that child never gets a chance to grow up. We parents have to realize that the greatest risk of all just might be trying to raise a child who never encounters choice or independence."

This book came highly recommended by Joanne and I am very happy I read it. 

As a 90's kid, I used to play outside after school for hours on end. My sisters, my neighborhood friends and I would ride our bikes and come back home when we got hungry. Our mom knew the general vicinity we were in, but never knew our exact location... and we turned out to be very independent kids who could solve our own (minor) problems. But now? In 2022? I feel like letting your kids play freely and unsupervised outside is really rare. I will be the first to admit that I have some serious anxiety when it comes to letting Lily Grace go play with her neighborhood friends unsupervised (to be fair, she's only 5). Honestly though, this book reminded me that as long as she is with other (older) kids I know and trust and I have a general idea of where they are, she is better off having a little freedom. 

I used to be the "stalker mom" who followed the kids around the neighborhood when LG wanted to play, but now I tell her "you can go to _____'s house and _____'s house. If you want to go anywhere else, come home and tell me first" and it's been working out very well. At what age did you let your kids start playing freely in your neighborhood?

I give this book an A. 

The Woman in the Window-- 

"Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems."

I really liked this book, but have to admit it was pretty predictable. That being said, it was engaging and well written, so I didn't necessarily mind that I saw the ending coming about halfway through the book. If you like a thriller, I'd recommend this one! I give it a solid A. 

Today I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites. Have a nice weekend!


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed Free Range Kids! I found it so hard to go against that helicopter mom culture and let my kids do things more like how I grew up but I do think it has led my kids to be quite independent. Even now with my 16 year old driving I have to remind myself that he's fine and that my mom was not able to call me on a cell phone when I was 5 or 10 minutes late and to have faith.

    I used to read a lot of books about spending time outside in nature too and how much kids learn and grow from that-- books like How to Raise a Wild Child.

    I've had We Were the Lucky Ones on my TBR list forever. I LOVE a good historical fiction novel but do find ones about the Holocaust & WWII in particular leave me feeling so drained and sad that I have to space them out a bit.

  2. I absolutely loved We Were the lucky Ones. Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. I LOVED We were the Lucky Ones. Local Girl Missing was so good too.

  4. Speaking of the Channel Islands during WWII, I'm sure you've already read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, but in case you haven't, you'll love it. And it's a movie too!!
    I started letting my younger son play at the neighbours when he was 5 (just this past year) but he does have his older brother with him. I don't remember when I let the older one play by himself, but probably 7 or 8. He started walking to school and getting himself to piano and tutoring on his own last year when he was 10. We live in a big city but our little neighbourhood is pretty contained and I don't feel nervous. I think the big thing now is whether the kids need a phone in order to go somewhere alone, but I don't feel that way. We do have an Apple Airtag for his backpack but I don't check it all of the time, and it's more to know if he's gotten somewhere on time rather than if he's lost. We have to trust our kids. They can do more than we think they can, but we'll never know until we let them.