Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Read-at-Home Mom Report: July 2022 Wrap-Up

My Month in Books

After a slower month in June, I thought the downward trend might continue through the summer, but that didn't end up being the case. I read a whopping 24 books in July. I'm trying to simplify the way I do my monthly wrap-ups, so there isn't going to be much commentary this month, especially since there are so many titles. 

40 Re-reads Before 40 

I didn't read enough for this challenge during June, so I made a concerted effort to re-read a bunch this month. I ended up with a good mix: 

  • The Tenth Justice by Brad Meltzer (4 stars)
  • Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger (4 stars)
  • The Library Book by Susan Orlean (5 stars)
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (5 stars)
  • The Professor's House by Willa Cather (5 stars)
  • One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak (2 stars)

Most of these kept their original ratings, but One More Thing dropped from 5 stars down to 2. I don't know what 2014 me saw in that book. 

Challenges and Book Clubs

Here's what I read for each of my challenges and groups this month:  

#EbookSummer Challenge

  • The Bodyguard by Katherine Center (5 stars)
  • 3 Things to Forget by Cynthia T. Toney (3 stars)

Ronald Welch Book Club on Zoom

  • Escape from France by Ronald Welch (4 stars)
  • Captain of Foot by Ronald Welch (2 stars)

Close Reads Podcast

  • A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr (4 stars) 

Goldberry Reading Challenge (A book that takes place somewhere you want to visit)

  • The Patron Saint of Second Chances by Christine Simon (5 stars)

Buzzword Reading Challenge (A book with a book related word in the title)

  • How to Write a Mystery by Lee Child (5 stars)

Read Your Bookshelf Challenge (Want to read but have avoided)

  • The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe (4 stars)

#WorldFullOfBooks: Italy

  • The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani (3 stars)

Local book club

  • Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper by Brant Pitre (5 stars)

The Patron Saint of Second Chances was such a fun, heartwarming story, and it had Catholic characters and themes! I didn't even know that going into it, and it was a pleasant surprise. The Bodyguard kept me up until 2am to finish it and it made me cry. 


I read two books aloud to my girls: 

  • The Narrow Passage by Oliver Butterworth (4 stars)
  • The Little Silver House by Jenny Lindquist (3 stars)

Mood Reading

These are the books I picked up that didn't fit any of my challenges: 

  • Flying Solo by Linda Holmes (4 stars)
  • Nine Lives by Peter Swanson (4 stars)
  • All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson (4 stars)
  • Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan (3 stars)
  • Sparring Partners by John Grisham (4 stars)
  • French Braid by Anne Tyler (5 stars)

Flying Solo wasn't as good as Evvie Drake Starts Over. It's hard for me to sympathize with characters who want to get married but adamantly oppose children. I really enjoyed the Peter Swanson books and want to read more. Maine was disappointing because it was about a Catholic family but got everything wrong about actual practicing Catholics. Sparring Partners was great. I especially loved the second of the three stories, entitled "Strawberry Moon." French Braid was my favorite of these  - I love Anne Tyler.

As for the rest of the family's reading...

A (girl, 2 years 4 months)

  • Boats by Richard Scarry
  • Babies by Gyo Fujikawa
  • No, David by David Shannon 

R (boy, 2 years 3 months)

  • Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever 
  • Big Stuff: Planes, Rockets, Spacecraft! by Joan Holub, illustrated by The Little Friends of Printmaking

E (girl, 4 years 9 months)

  • Animals do the Strangest Things by Leonora Hornblow
  • Birds do the Strangest Things by Leonora Hornblow
  • Reptiles do the Strangest Things by Leonora Hornblow
  • Insects do the Strangest Things by Leonora Hornblow
  • Meet The Men Who Sailed the Seas by John Dyment 
  • Riding the Pony Express by Clyde Robert Bulla 

C. (girl, 6 years 10 months)

  • Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter 
  • Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum 
  • Granny's Wonderful Chair by Frances Brown 
  • Alexander the Great by John Gunther 

M. (girl, 8 years, 8 months)

  • Robin Hood by Henry Gilbert 
  • John Treegate's Musket by Leonard Wibberley
  • Peter Treegate's War by Leonard Wibberley
  • Sea Captain from Salem by Leonard Wibberley
  • Treegate's Raiders by Leonard Wibberley

My husband

  • Peter by Anne Holm
  • Escape from France by Ronald Welch
  • When Shlemiel Went to Warsaw and Other Stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • John Treegate's Musket by Leonard Wibberley
  • Peter Treegate's War by Leonard Wibberley
  • Sea Captain from Salem by Leonard Wibberley
  • Treegate's Raiders by Leonard Wibberley
  • The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
  • Leopard's Prey by Leonard Wibberley
  • Captain of Foot by Ronald Welch 

Up Next For Me

On the agenda for August are Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin (with Close Reads), Absalom! Absalom by William Faulkner (for a buddy read on Instagram), Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Jane Austen's Genius Guide to Life by Haley Stewart (for #WorldFullofBooks), and Mystery and Manners by Flannery O'Connor (for my local book club). I'm also hoping to read A Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh and Brighton Rock by Graham Greene. 

I'm adding this post to the link-up for An Open Book at