Friday, August 4, 2023

Books I Read in July

Good morning friends! I hope you all had a good week. I cannot believe it is August!! This summer FLEW by. I have already gone into my classroom a handful of times to get a head start on getting it set up before the year begins, because as all teachers know--  there will be a lot of meetings during those first few days and I don't want the classroom setup hanging over me. Now, being a Learning Support teacher, I don't have a full classroom (unfortunately), it's a tiny room that used to be used as an office and now I get to squeeze my Learning Support kiddos in for some small groups. A perk to a smaller room though is less to decorate! I promise to show ya'll some pictures soon!

Anyway, onto. today's post...

While Paris Slept-- 

"Santa Cruz, 1953. Jean-Luc is a man on the run from his past. The scar on his face is a small price to pay for surviving the horrors of Nazi occupation in France. Now, he has a new life in California, a family. He never expected the past to come knocking on his door.

Paris, 1944. A young Jewish woman's past is torn apart in a heartbeat. Herded onto a train bound for Auschwitz, in an act of desperation she entrusts her most precious possession to a stranger. All she has left now is hope.

On a darkened platform, two destinies become intertwined, and the choices each person makes will change the future in ways neither could have imagined.

Told from alternating perspectives, While Paris Slept reflects on the power of love, resilience, and courage when all seems lost. Exploring the strength of family ties, and what it really means to love someone unconditionally, this debut novel will capture your heart."

I absolutely loved this book and couldn't put it down. It was a beautiful story about parenthood and the power of love and the human spirit.

The four main characters were all so endearing and likable, and as the story went on it was hard to know which couple was in the “right”. I highly recommend this book and give it an A+!

It Goes So Fast-- 

"The time for do-overs is over.

Ever since she became a parent, Mary Louise Kelly has said “next year.” Next year will be the year she makes it to her son James’s soccer games (which are on weekdays at 4 p.m., right when she is on the air on NPR’s All Things Considered, talking to millions of listeners). Drive carpool for her son Alexander? Not if she wants to do that story about Ukraine and interview the secretary of state. Like millions of parents who wrestle with raising children while pursuing a career, she has never been cavalier about these decisions. The bargain she has always made with herself is this: this time I’ll get on the plane, and next year I’ll find a way to be there for the mom stuff.

Well, James and Alexander are now seventeen and fifteen, and a realization has overtaken Mary Louise: her older son will be leaving soon for college. There used to be years to make good on her promises; now, there are months, weeks, minutes. And with the devastating death of her beloved father, Mary Louise is facing act three of her life head-on."

I saw this book on Dara's blog and thought it looked like a cute read. I thought this was a topic many moms could relate to: finding the balance between work (or other life stuff) and being present for your kids. One part in particular stood out to me, when Mary Louise was a stay at home mom and ran into a former coworker who was still working and appeared to be at the top of her game. Mary Louise was envious of how much this other woman had going for her while she was covered in applesauce and hadn't showered in a few days. Fast forward and we come to find out that the coworker who "had everything" was envious of Mary Louise and her ability to be at home with her kids. I thought it was a great way to show that the grass is always greener: sometimes the stay-at-home-moms want the thrill of working, while sometimes the working moms want to be stay-at-home-moms. I found that to be very relatable to many of the moms I know. I give this book a B.

Balancing in Heels--

"For the first time ever, entrepreneur, designer, and TV star Kristin Cavallari will share her lifestyle and tips and tricks for managing health and wellness, food, fitness, fashion, and her success in business to more private matters of family, motherhood, and her relationship with her husband, NFL quarterback Jay Cutler, Kristin leaves no stone unturned to give fans of Laguna Beach and The Hills all of the answers they’ve been looking for. 

Tracing her journey from reality stardom to real life—the good, the bad, and the ugly—Kristin digs down to the most personal of relationships in her life and discusses how they made her who she is today. She also talks about the amazing effects of her healthy diet and exercise, which have made Kristin and her family the happiest and healthiest they’ve ever been. Kristin shares the family’s favorite recipes and even reveals how her food philosophy has drastically improved Jay’s type 1 diabetes." 

While we were at the beach I noticed that Laguna Beach and the Hills were on Netflix. Did any of you watch these shows back in the day? I loved them back in high school/college but omgosh rewatching them now was ROUGH! Constant cringing!! Anyway, I remembered that Kristin had a book and thought I’d read it… only to realize I’ve read it before-- haha oops! 😂 Have you ever done that? Picked up a book to read only to go “hey wait, this is very familiar”? Anyway, this book was cute but I can’t say I came away from it having learned anything new. But maybe that’s because I’ve already read it haha! I give it a solid B.

Hang the Moon--

"Sallie Kincaid is the daughter of the biggest man in a small town, the charismatic Duke Kincaid. Born at the turn of the 20th century into a life of comfort and privilege, Sallie remembers little about her mother who died in a violent argument with the Duke. By the time she is just eight years old, the Duke has remarried and had a son, Eddie. While Sallie is her father’s daughter, sharp-witted and resourceful, Eddie is his mother’s son, timid and cerebral. When Sallie tries to teach young Eddie to be more like their father, her daredevil coaching leads to an accident, and Sallie is cast out.

Nine years later, she returns, determined to reclaim her place in the family. That’s a lot more complicated than Sallie expected, and she enters a world of conflict and lawlessness. Sallie confronts the secrets and scandals that hide in the shadows of the Big House, navigates the factions in the family and town, and finally comes into her own as a bold, sometimes reckless bootlegger."

This is the first book I have read by this author and I LOVED it! This book centers around a very strong female character and her family, friendships, and life in Appalachian Virginia in 1920's... not exactly a great time to be a strong female. This author will have you holding out hope for the main character as she goes through the struggle of staying true to yourself while dealing with loss, betrayal, grief, and more. I highly recommend! A+

Thanks for reading along today! Today I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!!


  1. I haven't heard of that first one but it sounds good!

  2. I'm adding While Paris Slept to my list...thanks for the recommendation. Hope you have a good weekend.

  3. I have It. Goes. So. Fast.: The Year of No Do-Overs on my list to read still.