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July has just flown by! I feel like summer just started and now the end is creeping up on us. Park dates, appointments, research, family time and camps have kept me busy this last month. I am planning on slowing down a bit this month and enjoying as much of summer as I possibly can. My routine this month got a bit out of whack and I tried to enjoy the ride because summer does that. Honestly, it’s one of the many things that can make summer great (if we don’t let it stress us out!)  During this last week of camp for my oldest I took a break (I plan to write more on this later), and it was really refreshing.

I have two books to share with you this month. I normally get in 4 books a month, but this month I bought an online bundle of incredibly valuable blogging resources, tools and products. My normal reading time was used to weed through those and take courses. It was a really beneficial trade off to me and to my blog as well. My recent post 13 Ways to Find More Reading Time totally made me feel guilty for it, but this was just reading in a different form, so I was able to shake it off.

2 Summer Must-Reads

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

Sometimes I like to use the provided description because it so succinctly describes the book “Freshly disengaged from her fiancé and feeling that life has not turned out quite the way she planned, thirty-year-old Ruth quits her job, leaves town and arrives at her parents’ home to find that situation more complicated than she’d realized. Her father, a prominent history professor, is losing his memory and is only erratically lucid. Ruth’s mother, meanwhile, is lucidly erratic. But as Ruth’s father’s condition intensifies, the comedy in her situation takes hold, gently transforming her all her grief.
Told in captivating glimpses and drawn from a deep well of insight, humor, and unexpected tenderness, Goodbye, Vitamin pilots through the loss, love, and absurdity of finding one’s footing in this life.” Amazon

This book is a coming of age book with staccato, diary type writing. If you read the book “Chemistry” (which I recommend you don’t if you haven’t here) you will find the same type of writing style, but Goodbye, Vitamin brings it about in such a fuller way. It is written from Ruth’s perspective and the format slightly changes as the book moves on and is easy to miss. Ruth has to navigate new waters as she puts her life on hold for her family, but it affords her an opportunity to start fresh in her own life too. Somehow Rachel Khong has written a funny book about Alzheimer’s, one that reflects things that have been and an acceptance of things that are now.  This is a fresh new book that will afford you the opportunity to reflect on your own thoughts and feelings of loss and moving forward, but light enough to make you glad you did!

The Rumor by Elin HIlderbrand

The Rumor involves two families and the rumors and truths surrounding them. Madeline King has a wonderful husband and son who are envied by many on the island. She is a famous writer but she can’t come up with an idea for her new book. They are running out of money and makes a very bad decision. Grace Pancik chases after her dream to have the best garden in Nantucket, and hires the best gardener/ landscaper in town. Rumors begin to fly about what type of relationship they may really be having after her garden becomes the gardener’s pet project. Storybook romance between the children of the two families may be headed for disaster and these families are becoming desperate to silence the rumors.

I have read many Elin Hilderbrand books. Her writing has the same themes and styles weaved through all of her books. Her writing is like an old holey blanket that you love so much and just can’t bring yourself to get rid of. It”s comfortable, predictable but soothing at the same time. You can count on it being set in Nantucket, characters without a lot of depth, at least 2 up to 6 characters with weird distracting names, and endings that are consistent with each other. Having said that I think that we all need an author or two we can turn to when we want to read something familiar.

I found The Rumor to be just ok. It has the typical drama and bad decisions of a beach read, but it’s not too much. You can stop to swim during this one and not be wracked to come back and see what happens. You will want to know what happens, you just won’t be in a rush to finish it.

The One I Set Down

The Science of Positivity by Loretta Graziano Breuning

Unfortunately,  I set this book down but this is what Amazon says about it :
“The Science of Positivity teaches you how cynical thought habits are formed, and how you can rewire yourself to go beyond them. Neurochemical expert Loretta Graziano Breuning, PhD, empowers you to transcend negativity by creating new thought habits. You’ll learn simple, practical actions you can take to shift your thinking to a way that causes your brain to reward optimism with the release of happy chemicals. You can even permanently replace cynical thought patterns with realistic and optimistic thoughts.
In just minutes a day for six weeks, you will build new pathways to see the world in new ways. Frustration is an inevitable part of life, but rather than using cynicism to manage frustration, you can rewire your brain to get beyond it.”

I picked this book up looking for an encouragement, maybe self help type book. Instead the introduction of this book started talking about how we are related to animals and we need to understand that part of us. I just did not connect with this introduction and couldn’t go any further with it.

Question: Do you enjoy my monthly book reviews? Would you rather they are quarterly, or focus on something else?

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