Monday, August 20, 2018

The RAHM Report for 8/20/18

I had intended to be back into the regular routine of reading and posting last Monday. Sadly, right in the middle of our big move to our new house, my dad passed away, 15 months after suffering a debilitating stroke. Although the fact of his death was not a shock, since we knew it was likely to be sooner rather than later, it was still a really stressful situation. Because we had to travel for the wake and funeral, we lost an entire day from our moving plan and had to scramble to get everything done. I didn't read a single book for the first 10 days of this month, which is basically unheard of! Thankfully, things are beginning to calm down, I'm settling in to our new home, and I've been reading with a vengeance. I'm excited to really get back on track with the Bout of Books read-a-thon this week. As that kicks off today, here's what I've read lately and what I will be reading this week.

What I Finished Reading

  • Listen To Your Heart by Kasie West, audiobook read by Nora Hunter ⭐⭐⭐⭐
    I have really enjoyed every Kasie West book I've listened to this summer. Though I don't usually like stories about mistaken identity and misunderstandings, this one was written so well that I didn't feel the usual discomfort I associate with these storylines. 
  • Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres ⭐⭐
    This was a pretty generic middle grade story. It wasn't bad, but it didn't really grab my interest. I finished it because it was short. 
  • Crime and Punctuation by Kaitlyn Dunnett, audiobook read by Margaret Strom ⭐⭐⭐⭐
    I really enjoyed this cozy mystery, which is set in Sullivan County, NY, not far from where my mom lives. References to my local newspaper, and the city of Middletown, where I frequently went as a kid, and the overall small-town feel made me love the book even though the mystery itself unfolded kind of slowly. I also loved the audiobook narrator and will definitely look for other books she has read.
  • The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie ⭐⭐
    This was every bit as disappointing as I expected, and I have no idea why people rave about this book. I'll save my in-depth comments for my review, coming soon. 
  • The Intentional Bookshelf by Samantha Munoz ⭐
    This book really needed a good editor. There is also some misinformation and just outright bad advice that reveals the author's lack of expertise on the subject matter. 
  • The Book Whisperer by Donalynn Miller ⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Though this book is directed at public school teachers, I enjoyed reading about how the author encouraged her class to love reading by giving them lots of time in school to both read and write. 
  • By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank ⭐⭐⭐
    This was a very light read, and at times I found myself wanting just a bit more description. The dialogue-heavy text made the story feel rushed at times. I thought it was neat, though, that the characters were all named for real people who had won the chance to see their name in one of the author's books. All of the names fit their characters perfectly, and I never would have guessed that the author didn't make them up.
  • Dim Sum of All Fears by Vivien Chien (ARC) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
    The Noodle Shop Mysteries series is my favorite cozy series right now. I love that Lana is a younger protagonist and I enjoy all the supporting characters and the plaza setting. The writing is really excellent, and I think a lot of women in their 20s and 30s can relate to Lana. Book 3, Murder Lo Mein, comes out in March, and I'm already counting the weeks. 

Did Not Finish

  • Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
    I started this audiobook but it never really hooked me. I abandoned it about a third of the way through. 

What I'm Currently Reading

  • (George) by E.L. Konigsburg 20%
    This book has the strangest premise of all of Konigsburg's odd titles. It's about Ben, a boy with a high IQ who has a secret twin  named George living inside of him. I've avoided it for a long time because it sounds so weird, but the writing is so good I am finally taking the plunge. 
  • Reading in the Wild by Donalynn Miller
    This is the follow-up to The Book Whisperer which focuses on teaching kids the habits that will turn them into lifelong readers.  I've only read the introduction and a bit of the first chapter, but I'm enjoying it already. 
  • 51 Sycamore Lane by Marjorie Sharmat 8%
    I randomly picked this up from the shelf as we were unpacking books, and I love the tone and writing style. It will be a quick read that I will probably finish by the end of today.
  • Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani, audiobook read by the author 8%
    I have listened to the first hour of this audiobook and I already love it. The author has a great reading voice, and her main character's sassy comments make me laugh. 
  • Read and Gone by Allison Brook 2%
    In my last RAHM report, I said I was planning to read this on the last day of July for the Christmas in July read-a-thon at Seasons of Reading, but I didn't get to it and haven't had a chance to pick it up again since. I'm not really currently reading it, but it comes out in mid-September so I'll get back to it soon. 
I'll be linking up today with Unleashing Readers/Teach Mentor Texts and Book Date for It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad, Katie. It sounds like it was possibly expected, but we're still never 100% prepared for the changes and grief. Going 10 days without reading is quite a shock to the system. I had to skip a few days while I was traveling last week and it seemed to throw everything off. In any case, I'm glad to see your list this week. I had checked out both of Donalyn's books a few months ago, but had to return them before I was finished reading them. Now I'm curious about her new book coming out, Game Changer! Interestingly enough, Donalyn and I used to teach in the same school district in Texas (but it's an ENORMOUS district, so we weren't in the same school). Thanks so much for all the shares this week!

  2. I am so sorry to hear about your dad. You are in my thoughts and prayers. As always, you have such a nice assortment of books on your stack. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. I hope you find some comfort in returning to your routine and books. I have so many Kasie West books from subscription boxes and book sales and I still haven't read any of them. I need to finally get around to them. I loved reading through your list!

  4. I'm so sorry about your father Katie. I've just finished burying my sister so I understand the not being able to read. I enjoyed the book whisperer and have a copy of reading in the wild around here that I haven't gotten to.

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss, and I hope that reading brings you some comfort. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed Listen to Your Heart; I haven't read anything by Kasie West but now I'll have to add that one to my TBR. Thanks for the recommendation!

  6. Sorry about your dad. *Hugs.* I’m glad you’re back to reading, though.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  7. I still have the first of the Noodle Shop mysteries on my TBR. I have a soft spot for Stef Soto, Taco Queen. My weekly updates

  8. Truly sorry to hear about your loss. My family and I just recently moved houses - even though it's only a few blocks away, I hear your stress. We had to pack sixteen boxes of books - I am just glad they are now all sorted and shelved. :) Lovely to read about you furiously reading to make up for lost time. :)

  9. I am sorry for your loss. It sounds like it really made your move more difficult.
    Wow - 500 books for you GR goal is really impressive - or crazy!
    Read and Gone is a title I have eyed for months. I just haven't felt right getting it when I already have a dozen NG titles on my stack. I am planning to read NGs and TBRs in September.
    Happy Reading!