A Couple of Book Reviews

Hi everyone!

How’s it hanging?

Happy Pioneer day! It’s a holiday here in UT (today, in 1847, was the day the pioneers crossed into the SLC valley & saw the desert that would become their home.)

It’s a pretty sweet holiday since everything is off, so Jared is home with us and we’re going to party! (I am teaching my fitness classes tonight, you local readers, so don’t be a complete bumm, and come and join me! haha)

So lately I’ve been reading a lot. I read. And read. And read. Every spare minute (and even the ones where I shouldn’t be sparing….) I read.

{When I was little my sisters and I would read so much that we got in trouble when we wouldn’t go to bed because we wanted to read! And yes, if someone is talking to me and I’m ‘into’ a book, I don’t hear that person. Just ask Jared. ;) haha}

I LOVE reading!! It is definitely a huge passion of mine, and one of my ‘happy places.’

It’s funny actually, I have so many happy places that just make me feel alive, make me live IN the moment, and use my talents and brain…and they’re all so varied! Being a mom. Teaching fitness classes. Reading a book. Cuddling with my husband. Being with my family. Swimming. Being in nature in general. Boating. Prayer. Eating ice cream.

Yep, eating ice cream is a talent. ;)

I live a generally happy life because I surround myself with love, my passions, and things that enliven me. And it’s awesome. :)


A Couple of Book Reviews

Anyways. Today we’re talking books! And I’m here to ‘review’ a few books I’ve read in the past few weeks. I also read pretty fast, so that’s why I am bunching a few reviews into one post. Katie did this too, and I was a fan, so I’m doing it too! If you’re looking for a book to read, reviews are the best way to find ‘em!

linking up with Amanda today because I’m definitely thinking out loud with all these reviews ;)

Also, I love all sorts of genres (minus sci fi<–can’t really get behind many of those), so these are a mix of novels, historical fiction, non-fiction, and chick lit (I told ya I am all over the place!)

a couple of book reviews

{albionfit swimsuit/houseboat vacation/The Monuments Men book}

The Monuments Men by Bret Witter and Robert M. Edsel

This is non-fiction, and relates the experiences of the men (and woman) of the ‘Monuments Men’ during WWII in Europe. It is all so fascinating!

This is a relatively long book, and there are a lot of dates & facts (and some boring parts). It was SO interesting though, so I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, but it’s not a beach read at all (as in it’s good but not a quick read/page turner). I am fascinated by history, especially WWII, so this book really opened my eyes to a part of the war that I had no idea about! And to think so many of our precious pieces of art are still around because of a few men who knew the price of war and were willing to go to any length to preserve history’s culture astounds me!

The movie came out in December, and I heard it’s good, so I can’t wait to see it now that it’s on DVD!

Labor Day by Joyce Maynard

This is a book written from a man’s perspective as he reflects on the summer of his 13th year. He lived with his divorced mom, and after a very surprising turn of events, a criminal stays with them in their home.

The novel is a quick read, and it has a lot of twists that you keep enthralled in the story. I liked the way it was told from the little boy’s perspective too. It is a book that makes you really think about true love, and what it really means. I cried a lot during it. Definitely a fan!

Also, this too was made into a movie (anyone else notice that like every book is now made into a movie?), so I want to see this as well. I think it’s on DVD now?

The One and Only by Emily Giffin 

the one and only book review

This book is about a gal obsessed with football (and the coach of her alma mater’s football team, who happens to be her best friend’s dad). The story chronicles her journey in love & loss, as she tries to find herself during a critical time in her life.

It’s definitely a chick lit book, and one that I could see the end result from the beginning (what chick lit book can’t you though, am I right?!), but it was still a fun read.

In all honesty I just couldn’t get behind the reality of the relationship (a younger girl in love with a very much older man who’s wife just died) though, so even though it was a fun read, I like more fairytale type books.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

From Amazon’s description:

“Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse…

As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life – answers that will ultimately free them both.

Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.” {source}

It was such a good book! Seriously. Go read it right now! It’s a shorter book too and it will keep you hooked from beginning to end.

book review orphan train

It is a historical fiction novel (based on the true stories of orphans who rode a train to the midwest to be placed with families in the early 1920s), and it bounces between then and now, which I LOVE in books. I cried. I laughed. I smiled. I learned. And I devoured it all. TWO big thumbs up!

Vision in White by Nora Roberts

Amazon’s description:

“#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts cordially invites you to meet childhood friends Parker, Emma, Laurel, and Mac—the founders of Vows, one of Connecticut’s premier wedding planning companies. 

With bridal magazine covers to her credit, Mackensie “Mac” Elliot is most at home behind the camera—ready to capture the happy moments she never experienced while growing up. Her father replaced his first family with a second, and now her mother, moving on to yet another man, begs Mac for attention and money. Mac’s foundation is jostled again moments before an important planning meeting when she bumps into the bride-to-be’s brother…an encounter that has them both seeing stars.

Carter Maguire is definitely not her type: he’s stable, and he’s safe. He’s even an English teacher at their high school alma mater. There’s something about him that makes Mac think a casual fling is just what she needs to take her mind off dealing with bridezillas and screening her mother’s phone calls. But a casual fling can turn into something more when you least expect it. And with the help of her three best friends—and business partners—Mac must learn how to make her own happy memories…” {source}

Another romance novel/chick lit, but this one I totally liked!

Apparently it’s a quartet (so there are three more books, yay! and I just got the second one, double yay!), so this was book one. It’s a book that made me think about my relationships –easy and hard ones–and how I handle those persons who might manipulate me, and those persons who truly love me no matter what. It’s a page turner, and a perfect beach read for this summer!


Thankful Thursday

  1. I am thankful for the pioneers who endured a lot as they crossed the plains to this beautiful state and settled here.
  2. I am grateful for the gift of words. Reading is something I cherish, and I am thankful I can read.
  3. I am grateful for lemonade. It’s just so refreshing on a hot day. :)


Have a GREAT day!!

What books have YOU been reading lately??! Any more recommendations for me??! What’s YOUR favorite genre for books??! What are YOU thankful for today??!

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