Monday, September 11, 2023

Read-at-Home Mom Report: August 2023 Wrap-Up

August Favorites

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
I did a slow read of this book with a group on Instagram that took most of the summer. Because of trips and other summer activities, I fell behind a few times and went long stretches without reading, and I know the stopping and starting caused me to miss things, but I loved the main character, Isabel Archer, and the writing, and I liked knowing I was reading a novel that was loved by one of my favorite writers, Flannery O'Connor. 

Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
Though this is quite different from the other novels I've read by this author, I really enjoyed the reading experience. The way Greene incorporates religious themes into the story is similar to the approach he takes in my favorite novel of his, The End of the Affair, but in a totally different setting.  

Tom Lake by Ann Patchett
This was the stand-out book of the month. The audiobook is read by Meryl Streep, the story involves many references to Our Town, and the author manages to tell the story of two timelines in a single narrative. I have read a few other books by Ann Patchett and felt they were just okay, but this was truly delightful. 

Zero Days by Ruth Ware
Ruth Ware is an author who has always been very hit or miss for me, but this ended up being my favorite of hers. She builds suspense in such an organic and believable way, and I didn't want to put the book down. Imogen Church who reads the audiobook is also excellent. 

Share Your Stuff, I'll Go First by Laura Tremaine 
I gave this 5 stars not for the self-help angle, but because I enjoyed the memoir-style anecdotes the author used to illustrate the different areas about which she suggests women share with each other. 

Stand-Alone Books

  • Welcome to Beach Town by Susan Wiggs (4 stars)
  • Must Love Flowers by Debbie Macomber (4 stars) 
  • The Life Council by Laura Tremaine (4 stars)
  • Hello, Stranger by Katherine Center (4 stars)

Short Stories

  • The Girl in the Plane by Katherine Center (5 stars)
  • All Roads Lead to Here by Abby Jimenez (5 stars)

Series Books

  • Wishes (Heartbooks Book 1) by Brittany Eden (4 stars)
  • Well Matched (Well Met Book 3) by Jen De Luca (4 stars)
  • Below the Root (Green Sky Trilogy Book 1) by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (4 stars)
  • Positively, Penelope (Skymar Book 2) by Pepper Basham 


  • The Midnight Horse by Paul Fleischman (3 stars)
  • Friendly Gables by Hilda van Stockum (5 stars)
  • The Story of Science: Einstein Adds a New Dimension by Joy Hakim (3 stars)

Family Reading Lists

M. (girl, 9 years, 9 months old)

  • Americans to the Moon by Gene Gurney 
  • Reaching for the Moon by Buzz Aldrin
  • Moonshot by Brian Floca
  • The War in Vietnam by Don Lawson
  • Women of Courage by Dorothy Nathan
  • The Three Investigators in the Mystery of the Coughing Dragon by Nick West
  • The Space Shuttle by George Fichter

C. (girl, 7 years, 11 months old) 

  • More All-of-a-Kind-Family by Sydney Taylor 
  • Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar 

E. (girl, 5 years, 10 months old)

  • The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton
  • The Secret Staircase by Jill Barklem
  • The High Hills by Jill Barklem

R. (boy, 3 years, 5 months old)

  • Anthology of Aquatic Life 
  • Shimmer and Splash by Jim Arnosky
  • If You See a Kitten by John Butler 
  • A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle 

A. (girl, 3 years, 5 months old)

  • Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy
  • What Shall We Do with the Boo Hoo Baby? by Cressida Cowell 
  • Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle 
  • Owl Babies by Martin Waddell 

My husband 

  • Fingal's Quest by Madeleine Polland
  • Pictured Worlds: Masterpieces of Children’s Book Art by 101 Essential Illustrators from Around the World by Leonard Marcus 
  • Dexter by Clyde Robert Bulla

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