May 2023 Wrap Up

One of my students surprised me with the Taylor swift Little Golden Book!

May was a busy month for me on between work & related commitments, hanging with friends, and yes, unsuccessfully obtaining Taylor Swift tickets for both venues that are close to me. I could write a whole blog post about how horrible Ticketmaster handled the tickets that weren’t sold in the original November presale, tickets magically popping up DURING the show, and how ridiculous scalpers/bots priced resales. Maybe there’s some world where I manage to get tickets for another Eras stop and travel there, but I’m probably at the point where I’ll have better luck waiting for the next tour. 

I am so looking forward to this summer though between the beach, pool days, concerts (despite my TSwift sadness, I have 5 upcoming concerts planned and want to try & add a a few more), and plans with family & friends. I just spent this Memorial Day Weekend reading outside and I am more than ready to continue doing so.  I have about three weeks of work left until the school year is out and have a few weeks off before my summer job beings, so we all know that means a lot of reading will be done!!! 

Despite it being my busy season, I read 11 books. My FAVORITE to no one’s surprise is Emily Henry’s Happy Place, which is again, no surprise, my favorite book of 2023 so far. That being said, right after, I finally reread People We Meet on Vacation (5/5 stars, of course). I think after I reread Book Lovers, I’ll finally do an Emily Henry romance ranking. Another romance that was a complete winner is Christina Lauren’s The True Love Experiment. CLo’s books are either singles or homers for me, and their latest is a grand slam! I also loved Alexandra Robbins’s The Teachers: A Year Inside America’s Most Vulnerable, Important Profession. Even after a long day of teaching, all I wanted to do when I got home was dive into this account of three teachers’ experiences across different areas of the US and their challenges. 10/10 recommend that teachers and non-teachers read this one for an honest look and analysis of education in the US.  Speaking of teaching, I read a middle grade favorite and award-winner, Jasmine Warga’s Other Words for Home. WOW, I so understand the praise and recognition for this lyrical novel following a Syrian teenager’s transition to the US. 

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Happy Place Review

9780593441275Summary (from the publisher):Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.

They broke up six months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.

Which is how they find themselves sharing the largest bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blue week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.

Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week… in front of those who know you best?

My Rating: 5/5 Stars 

My Thoughts: 

Emily Henry can do no wrong!!!

Be prepared for some rambles that will hopefully read as a coherent full review, but know that these are my exact thoughts thirty minutes after devouring Happy Place. And for those interested, I did get a (signed!!!) B&N edition of the novel with Emily Henry’s vacation read book recommendations in the back (I think there’s only 2 books included that I haven’t read). 

I’m really about to start rereading PWMOV and Book Lovers (I reread Beach Read right after Book Lovers last year) because I already feel a book hangover coming on. I truly don’t care what Emily Henry’s books are about BECAUSE I will read them regardless. I really kept my blinders on with the Happy Place hype since I wanted to know nothing going in. All I knew was that this was another lovers- to enemies set in Maine, based on EH’s post Book Lovers announcement last year. 

Her books just work!!! Again, I don’t care knowing what Emily Henry’s books are about because I know I will be fully wrapped up and engaged with the writing style alone. Her writing is sharp and funny, but also has such detail of setting and also doesn’t need to spell out the character’s every single emotion or thought because her writing makes it so easy for the reader to infer & understand!!

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April 2023 Wrap Up

April was a really good reading month! I had off for spring break, and we were super lucky with the weather. It truly felt like summer, between the sunshine and eighty degree temperature nearly every day.I have a super busy season coming up in May and June between work, family & friend commitments, and concerts (yes, I am hunting for Taylor swift tickets, specifically for her Philadelphia and/or MetLife shows!!!). 

April was a bit of a breather from romance, and I really leaned heavy on contemporary adult fiction. I read a total of 13 books. My absolute, currently favorite book of 2023 was known other than Emily Henry’s Happy Place. Never fear, my review is coming here on Wednesday.

My favorite reads of the month were Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson, The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close, and basically anything by Curtis Sittenfeld, but specifically Romantic Comedy, American Wife, and Eligible.

I read 2 YA graphic novels, Sunshine by Jarret J. Krosoczka (LOVE!) and Class Act by Jerry Craft (a new student fave author). I also feel like Elyssa Friedland’s The Most Likely Club doesn’t get enough hype – this was the female friendship story I was craving.

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