Friday, July 31, 2020

Quick Takes #291: July Wrap

  1. Happy last day of July; a month that felt like it lasted about a month's worth. I'm not sure if that means things are improving or I'm getting better at this new normal.  I do know that it was a month when I wanted the circle a bit smaller, but do now want to check-in and let readers know how we are doing.
  2. The kids have been great about their assigned summer work; workbook wise we are about done and are making good progress with summer reading.  I'm also continuing to make good progress with my reading challenges, and thanks to my local library opening for curbside pick-up have recently read some great summer reads.
  3. Visiting our community pool has allowed a bit of summer fun in a year when most activities are canceled.  I have been impressed with the distancing policies they have put in place; and really nice to see the kids playing with their friends ~  6 feet apart while covered in chlorine.
  4. The Garden is steady but good. We are growing summer squash for the first time and have harvested our first one.  One tomato plant is not growing well but ripening fruit well; the other is growing beautifully and hopefully, the fruit will begin ripening soon.  The mint as always is crazy!
  5. July also saw us making a quick trip to Virginia which was wonderful on so many levels.  We had our best trip down traffic-wise in several years.  It was amazing to see my mom and sisters again.  The cousins had a great time together and Lisbeth enjoyed a fun sleepover.
  6. Other ordinary but fun family milestones to note this month; Liam is learning to mow the lawn, and Caitlin is learning to ride her bike without training wheels.

  7. Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Open Book ~ July'20

A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman is a charming story of a curmudgeon's opinions and how he adjusts to changes in his neighborhood.  Backman through flashbacks and current misadventures tells a wonderful story of the measure of a man and when you realize long held grudges no longer matter.

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams tells the story of Lily Dane and her friend Budgie of New York, Smith and summers in Rhode Island.  Alternating between 1931 and 38; you see these young women grow into adulthood and how the sin of omission can do as much harm as an actual lie.  I found Lily to be a bit too gullible but the writing pulled me in and kept me interested.  Explicit in places so would definitely pre-read if considering for a older teen.

Summer at Tiffany is a memoir by Majorie Hart of the summer of 1945 when she and a college friend became the first girls ever to work as pages at Tiffany's.  Coming from Iowa to New York to work for the summer the author recounts their adventures at Tiffany's, throughout the city, and particularly in Time Square on VJ Day.  A fun, fast read ~ just right for a summer afternoon.

The Personal History of Rachel DuPree by Ann Weisgarber is a fictional but well researched look at the experience of the black homesteader.  Rachel is a cook working in a boarding house in Chicago when the owner's son a Calvary soldier about to retire from the Negro troop comes home for a visit.  By the end of the visit in exchange for her claim to 160 acres; Isaac DuPree agrees to marry her.  The book is a wonderful glimpse of life at the turn of the 20th Century first in Chicago and then the Badlands

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park tells in an alternating way the daily life of a young Sudanese boy in 1985 and a young Sudanese girl in 2008.  As I read further in this very well written YA book I borrowed from my oldest; I learned that Salva's story of being one of the 'lost boys' of Sudan escaping the war and living first in refugee camps and later coming to the US is true told to the author.  Nye's story is a composite of the many children of Sudan he is now trying to help.  A lovely book which has proven to be the source of some good conversations with my 12 year old about the world and giving back.

For more Open Books please head over to Carolyn's!