What I’ve Been Reading…

Summer reading is in full swing…

This is such a wonderful time of year to be a bookworm. There’s nothing better than relaxing outside with a good read!

Here are a few of the books I’ve been enjoying lately…

Lost Roses

by Martha Hall Kelly

I have been waiting with much excitement for the sequel to Lilac Girls. (I was so absorbed in that book I kept reading it when I was in labor with my daughter!). This time with  Lost Roses I was sneaking pages in at a Red Sox game. I’m fascinated by the lives of everyday women in history and Martha Hall Kelly succeeds again in bringing the past to life through the eyes of three women in very different circumstances during the Russian revolution and World War I.

“It is 1914, and the world has been on the brink of war so often, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia: the church with the interior covered in jeweled mosaics, the Rembrandts at the tsar’s Winter Palace, the famous ballet.But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia’s imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortune-teller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming, she fears the worst for her best friend. From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg and aristocratic countryside estates to the avenues of Paris where a society of fallen Russian émigrés live to the mansions of Long Island, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways. In her newest powerful tale told through female-driven perspectives, Martha Hall Kelly celebrates the unbreakable bonds of women’s friendship, especially during the darkest days of history.”

The Perfect Couple

by Elin Hilderbrand

I brought this book on vacation in Charleston and it was perfect for keeping me turning the pages on the plane, at my hotel, and of course on the beach. Set on Nantucket, Hildebrand delivers with a love triangle, murder mystery, and wedding–this is the kind of beach read I gobble up.

“It’s Nantucket wedding season, also known as summer-the sight of a bride racing down Main Street is as common as the sun setting at Madaket Beach. The Otis-Winbury wedding promises to be an event to remember: the groom’s wealthy parents have spared no expense to host a lavish ceremony at their oceanfront estate.

But it’s going to be memorable for all the wrong reasons after tragedy strikes: a body is discovered in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony-and everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash interviews the bride, the groom, the groom’s famous mystery-novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, he discovers that every wedding is a minefield-and no couple is perfect. Featuring beloved characters from The Castaways, Beautiful Day, and A Summer Affair, The Perfect Couple proves once again that Elin Hilderbrand is the queen of the summer beach read.”

The Whole-Brain Child

by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

This book has been on my TBR list for years. After hearing it recommended from yet another parent, I decided to give it a try. This book is really eye opening in terms of what is going in in young children’s brains, particularly during tantrums or difficult moments. There is also a follow-up book called No Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind.

“In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the bestselling Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson offer a revolutionary approach to child rearing with twelve key strategies that foster healthy brain development, leading to calmer, happier children. The authors explain—and make accessible—the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures. The “upstairs brain,” which makes decisions and balances emotions, is under construction until the mid-twenties. And especially in young children, the right brain and its emotions tend to rule over the logic of the left brain. No wonder kids throw tantrums, fight, or sulk in silence. By applying these discoveries to everyday parenting, you can turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child’s brain and foster vital growth.

Complete with age-appropriate strategies for dealing with day-to-day struggles and illustrations that will help you explain these concepts to your child, The Whole-Brain Child shows you how to cultivate healthy emotional and intellectual development so that your children can lead balanced, meaningful, and connected lives.”

 

Far Away

by Lisa Graff

I am always excited to read a new Lisa Graff book. I can still picture the shelf of Lisa Graff books in my elementary school library. Kids would read a book like Absolutely Almost or Umbrella Summer then keep coming back, checking out every book on the shelf. In her latest book, she once again offers a funny yet moving and heartfelt story, this time following a young girl on a mission to find a way to stay connected to her mother.

Stay tuned for an upcoming episode of A Bookish Home, the podcast with author Lisa Graff.

“CJ’s Aunt Nic is a psychic medium who tours the country speaking to spirits from Far Away, passing on messages from the dearly departed. And CJ knows firsthand how comforting those messages can be — Aunt Nic’s Gift is the only way CJ can talk to her mom, who died just hours after she was born.

So when CJ learns that she won’t be able to speak to her mother anymore, even with Aunt Nic’s help, she’s determined to find a work-around. She sets off on road trip with her new friend Jax to locate the one object that she believes will tether her mother’s spirit back to Earth . . . but what she finds along the way challenges every truth she’s ever known. Ultimately, CJ has to sort out the reality from the lies.

 

Hide and Seek

by Polly Noakes

It’s always fun to check out books from the library based on what your little one is interested in at the moment. We are currently playing lots of hide and seek in our house and my toddler is also loving seek-and-find books. We spotted this new picture book on display at the library recently and it’s been such a fun book to share together.

“A group of friends wanders out into the meadow to play a game of hide-and-seek on a beautiful summer’s afternoon. Children will delight in spotting the hidden creatures on each page as the little girl tries to find them. But it’s not always clear who is hunting whom, or who is actually playing. A charming, richly illustrated book, with a gentle hint of suspense and a satisfying twist at the end.”

 

Press Here

by Hervé Tullet

press.jpg

This books is in heavy rotation in our bedtime read alouds. My toddler loves how interactive this one is and has fun seeing what “magic” happens when she presses the dots, tilts the book, shakes the dots, and more.

“Press the yellow dot on the cover of this interactive children’s book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey! Each page of this surprising touch book instructs the reader to push the button, shake it up, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next! Children and adults alike will giggle with delight as the dots multiply, change direction, and grow in size! Especially remarkable because the adventure occurs on the flat surface of the simple, printed page, this unique interactive picture book about the power of imagination and interactivity will provide read-aloud fun for all ages!”

What have you been reading? Leave a note in the comments or let me know on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.

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Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

 

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