Ten Mini Book Reviews Pt. 26

Ten Mini Book Reviews Pt. 26

Hello everyone! I’m back with another set of mini book reviews! This one will feature A Flicker in the Dark, The Secret Life of Groceries, Stage Fright on a Summer Night, Sea of Tranquility, Not Quite Narwhal, Fix Her Up, The Water Will Come, Remarkably Bright Creatures, Book Lovers, and Unthinkable.

Ten Mini Book Reviews Pt. 26

These books put my total read in 2022 up to 94 and were read in July and August. I’m almost caught up! I’ve been reading some really long books lately so I should be caught up soon!

Note about my ratings: I’ve switched to using the StoryGraph to track and rate the books I’ve been reading. This site uses 1-5 stars, 5 being the highest, in 0.25 increments. Feel free to friend me on the StoryGraph – my username is StarringPamela there!

One more promo, I started a Bookstagram! Follow me at Instagram.com/StarringPamelaReads! By the way, at this point my bookstagram has already shared these books and I’m pretty far ahead there now. So if you want faster updates on what I’m reading, also check that out!

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

I read this book because it was a Readheads book club pick!

This thriller follows Chloe Davis, a psychiatrist from a small town in Louisiana. Chloe’s life was changed when father was imprisoned for the disappearance of multiple teenage girls in their hometown. Now, as an adult, teen girls are disappearing again and Chloe finds herself in the center of the case again.

I found this book so gripping! While it was a little overt at times, it was still really thrilling and I did enjoy it quite a bit. I would have preferred Chloe to be a bit more stable, but considering the role her character played in the case, it made sense that she was struggling with her father’s actions.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

The Secret Life of Groceries: The Dark Miracle of the American Supermarket by Benjamin Lorr

This was the non-fiction book club pick for July! I ended up skipping the book club meeting since I had COVID… Whoops!

This book looked into the food industry, particularly worked exploitation, unsafe working conditions, the struggle of small businesses fighting for space in grocery stores, and so much more.

I really enjoyed this book! It was such a great insight into the food industry. The book was very US-focused, but did make a trip overseas to look into slavery in the seafood supply chain. Ultimately this book wasn’t really about groceries, but rather the people that suffer for the groceries to make it into our (usually) well-stocked groceries store shelves. It is an important message to keep in mind as we shop for sure.

I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Stage Fright on a Summer Night (Magic Tree House #25) by Mary Pope Osborne

Every summer my library hosts a reading challenge. I don’t remember if the prompt was to reread a book we enjoyed as children or if it was just to reread a book, but I did want to find something fast as time was running out for the challenge!

This is part of the Magic Tree House series. Young siblings Jack and Annie find a magic tree house in the woods near their home in Pennsylvania. Everytime they visit, they are whisked away on an adventure through time, with a book to guide them along the way. In this one, the kids must overcome stage fright in Elizabethan England to save William Shakespeare’s product of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

I loved this book when I was younger and still greatly enjoyed it now! I didn’t remember that they had a book guide anymore, that Jack took notes on everything the two siblings read so that readers would see every fact multiple times, or that Annie was such an animal rights activist! I had a great time imagining the play, and now that I’m writing this review I’m thinking I need to read some more Shakespeare too!

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

I read this book because I’ve enjoyed other books by the author! Turns out, President Obama recommended this one on his 2022 summer reading list so if I did end up reading those I’ve already completed one!

Like all of St. John Mandel’s novels, the characters within the pages are all tied together by a peculiar link. This time, the link is a mysterious man playing his violin in an airship terminal.

This novel was absolutely phenomenal. While it took me longer to get into, I really enjoyed the moon colony aspect and how it all wove together. It was really intriguing and I just couldn’t put it down!

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

My sister recommended this book to me!

This children’s picture book centers around Kelp, a creature who grows up with a narwhal family. One day, Kelp is separated from the narwhals and encounter a family of unicorns instead. The creature has never really felt like he fits in with the narwhals, and realizing he’s actually a unicorn rocks his world! But Kelp can’t just abandon the narwhals, so what can he do to bridge the gap between his two worlds?

This book was TOO CUTE! Sweet Kelp was such an endearing character and I was rooting for the little guy every step of the way. I loved this story. Also, I can’t be the only one that forgets narwhals are real and not mythical creatures, right?

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Fix Her Up (Hot & Hammered #1) by Tessa Bailey

I read this book because 1) a friend recommended it and 2) I adore Tessa Bailey novels.

This book features Georgette, the misunderstood member of her family. Georgie’s family does not take her or her children’s party business seriously and she struggles to ignore her hurt feelings everytime they cast her aside. When her childhood crush older brother’s friend, Travis, moves back to town after a career ending injury (SPORTS!), Georgie finds someone who doesn’t almost forget she exists. Together, they start to fix up Georgie’s house and Travis’ pity party and, well, I’m sure you know where it goes from there.

I loved this book! Did Georgie give off strong stalker vibes? Of course. Did I really care? Not at all! This was a delightful romance and I would totally recommend it!

I gave this book 4.25 out of 5 stars.

The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World by Jeff Goodell

I read this book after seeing it on TikTok!

This book is non-fiction, covering climate change and how it will affect life going forward. It posed all the right questions, pointed out who will be the most affected, and the consequences quite succinctly.

I hesitate to say I “enjoyed” this as it was quite doom and gloomy, given the subject, but it was really well written. Furthermore, it is quite a timely post given the ferocity of this year’s hurricane season thus far.

I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

I saw this book everywhere!

This novel centers around the people whose lives are changed when they meet Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus, at the aquarium. Marcellus has lived in the aquarium for most of his life, and dreams of life in the ocean. From his exhibit, Marcellus catches onto the quirks of the humans who regularly visit him and helps them as much as they help him.

I will admit, I didn’t realize this was a novel until I started reading it! I was a tad sad about it but overall thought it was a lovely read. It is very heartwarming and sweet. I did think it took too long to wrap up, as it is quite slow-paced, but it was still a really nice story.

I gave this book 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

I read this book because it’s by Emily Henry!

This rom-com book centers around Nora, a ruthless publisher who is usually the “evil, corporate drone, self-centered ex-girlfriend” of the guy in the rom-com. Her younger sister, Libby, plans an escape to a small town featured in a book they both enjoyed. Once they arrive, Nora runs into an editor from back home in New York City. They eventually team up to both edit the novel of one of Nora’s clients, as well as to save Charlie’s family owned book store. After that, well, I’m sure you can figure out the rest.

This was such a delightful story! I totally loved the character of Nora and her journey! Having her sister in the story was also great as I love reading about sisters (I have a little sister myself!). It was a really delightful story and I had a great time reading this!

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy by Jamie Raskin

I read this book after seeing it was another account of the domestic terror attack on the Capitol in DC on January 6th.

This was Congressman Jamie Raskin’s account on living through the attack on the Capitol by terrorist radicals on January 6th. After reading another book (Midnight in Washington) on the same topic, I was curious about this one.

For the most part, the political coverage and experiences Raskin shared lined up with that of Congressman Adam Schiff’s book. Really the only differences were their own personal thoughts and feelings towards situations, as the facts remain the same. I did try hard not to judge one against the other, but it was hard. This was a lot more personal as Raskin shared the tragic loss of his son shortly before the attack. The loss did greatly affect his ability to, well, function in the aftermath of another horrific event. I did find his ability to keep on going to be very admirable. But as I read about the son, I felt very uncomfortable. I sort of felt like he was putting too much on his son, as he kept saying his son was his “inspiration” and had been his number one supporter for his political career even when the son was a young child. It was just too much how much he seemed to rely on his son for his own purpose. Of course, some of it may have been heightened due to the grief but it was way too much in my opinion.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

So those are ten books I read (somewhat) recently! Let me know if you’ve read any of them and share any recommendations you have for me!

Thanks for reading!


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