72: Home Work

Home Work by Julie Andrews

I listened to this over the course of about 6 months. Why’d it take me so long? Mostly because for the previous 2 months I haven’t been in the car very much, so I had less time to listen.

I love Julie Andrews as an actress so I was eager to hear her history. This memoir begins around age 18, with a quick review of her previous memoir that discusses her childhood. I only knew of a few of the movies she’s been in like Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music.

It was okay, not amazing, but that could also be because of how I listened to it (and read part because one disc was damaged). So if you’re curious about her life, I recommend! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

71: Royal Holiday

Royal Holiday by Jasmin Guillory

I’m still putting off reading my book club book, but now there are no excuses left. No books on loan with a deadline and a meeting scheduled in about 72 hours. But this was such a treat!

It’s the 4th of Jasmin’s books and follows Maddie’s mom (Maddie was the main character of #3 that I finished this morning) while on holiday in London. Super sweet, lovely, and a fun Saturday read. A great way to spend about 4 hours today.

I really appreciated that it’s a story of a “not-20-something” falling in love, there are very few of them. You also get a look in to the royal family, which is sweet.

So ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for being fun, distracting, and a delight. Heads up for some open-door scenes.

70: The Wedding Party

The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

I downloaded the 4th book in this series to read in preparation for the 5th coming out later this summer since it was recommended in Anne’s Summer Reading Guide. Started it, then realized I’d never read the 3rd. So I downloaded that one and told myself I’d use it to get into my book club book. Reward myself, every other chapter. I didn’t do that. I got sucked into this story instead.

Maddie and Theo have ‘fallen together’ a couple of times over the last year, now they’re making it a regular thing until their best friend gets married next year. Only problem is that they end up falling in love.

That might seem like a spoiler, but it’s a romance novel friends, they always fall in love! It’s what classifies them as romance!

It’s sweet, fun, fast-paced, fairly open-door, and a delightful ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

69: The Antidote for Everything

The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin

Kimmery is a local Charlotte author, which is such a delight to read. I also watched part of her Stay At Home Book Tour with Anne Bogel earlier this quarantine which prompted me to put this eBook on hold from the library.

I’ve got a lot of thoughts on this book, most of which I can’t write here because it would be so controversial. The main plot is that Jonah, a gay man, treats many patients in his primary care practice who are transgender and the clinic he works for doesn’t like people with either of these lifestyles.

So they set out to destroy him by firing his patients and then firing him. In the midst of all of this someone is stealing drugs from the clinic, the person doing it lets everyone believe it’s Jonah.

Then we have Georgia, his best friend, and the narrator of this story. She’s offended that they’re firing some of her patients too and that this is trying for her friend. I wanted to like her through the whole book, but she makes some terrible decisions. She’s not really the saint or the hero of this book. This made it a compelling read, but hard to root for the guy who’s being discriminated against because he and his best friend do some terrible things to “make everyone see it their way.”

Nonetheless, it’s still ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

There’s also a romance in this book, but closed door.

68: Tweet Cute

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

A bookstagrammer I follow read this and said it was cute – appropriate considering the title, so I promptly downloaded it from Libby (so grateful my library has Libby!!) and got to reading. I almost stayed up way to late last night to finish, but decided that sleeping when it’s dark out is one of my favorite things.

It feels like a modern day retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in New York. Families feuding over grilled cheese (also has a lot of cheesy puns, which I’m here for). Teens getting dragged into a war on Twitter. Two people falling in love when they don’t even know the other’s name.

It’s delightful. The only regret is that there are dessert recipes at the end (or even grilled cheese recipes) … I mean who writes a book about delicious food without including how you can make that delicious food at home? Maybe YA authors? Either way, super cute! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

67: Teachings for an Unbelieving World

Teachings for an Unbelieving World by John Paul II

John Paul II was ‘my pope’ for a long time. I was able to see him in person when I attended my 1st World Youth Day in Toronto in 2002. I love everything he writes and says, but, to be honest, I understand little of it. He’s just so smart.

His ‘smarts’ wasn’t ever what attracted me to him though, it was his holiness. His love for young people. His love for Jesus. One of my favorite quotes of his is: “It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness.” (The short version of 3 paragraphs of heart-provoking delightful spiritual writing).

This just came out (and I received a free copy to review from the publisher) and is a translation of some unpublished teachings he wrote sometime after 1965 but probably before he was elected pope in the late 70s. It’s inspiring and relevant. I highly recommend! Read it with a friend so you can discuss (hi Sarah)!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

66: Before I Called You Mine

Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese

This is my favorite book of 2020. I know it’s only May, and it might feel a little early to say so. Even still. I loved this book.

Lauren has been on the adoption list with an organization specializing in international adoptions from China for two years without a match. She discerned that the Lord was calling her to be a mother and to pursue adoption as a single woman. The only catch is that she has to remain single throughout the process, and at least the first year or so. The first part is a requirement of the agency (if married, at least 2 years in) and the second is just a good idea for the child who’s working to attach to and trust you.

Before Thanksgiving (and a match comes) enters Joshua. The guy she’s been waiting for her whole life. They just click immediately. She’s sworn off dating for the sake of her yet-to-be adopted son or daughter, but still, here stands Joshua. Why are you doing this Lord?

The story is sweet, centered on the Lord, profound in its understanding of adoption and the longing of single women who desire to be mothers (a feeling I’m all too familiar with). It gets all ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and most likely the award of “best book of 2020.”