Camp Grandma – Book Review

I am so excited to share my first Pop Up Review for Book Sparks! I was selected to read Camp Grandma and am so glad I had the opportunity to read this book.

Marianne Waggoner Day was a stay at home Mom, turned Business Woman, then got promoted to Grandma. Once she retired and started spending with her grandchildren, she realized that her business knowledge could be beneficial to their time together.

From this realization, Camp Grandma was born! In her book, Marianne takes you through various activities she has done with her grandkids that have given them some really wonderful skills to help lead them into a stronger future.

Her book has given me some wonderful ideas for activities to try with my oldest daughter this summer. I look forward to implementing some skill building projects into our schedule and watching her growth.

If you are a parent, grandparent, or child care provider, I highly recommend giving this book a read. It will inspire you to choose some different activities to try with the children in your lives. It is so important to give them a variety tools for their future, I know I love watching my children learn and grow.

This book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

Happy Reading!

Summer Reading Recommendations!

Here it is, my summer reading post! I am so happy to be sharing with you some excellent books to add to your reading list this summer.

Have you joined the Leopard Print Book Club yet?! We have some exciting things happening this summer! Including the #LeopardPrintBingoChallenge which just started!

Alright, are you reading to dive in? I sure am, here come some “fintastic” books!

You’re going to need a bigger tote.

(Props to anyone who gets that joke!) ūü¶ą

 

Historical Fiction

Love and Ruin by¬†Paula McLain¬†is the story of Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway’s third wife. This novel beautifully follows their relationship and life in Cuba. Most importantly though, this follows Martha’s life as a war correspondent during World War II. I loved reading about her bravery and learning about some really amazing facts about the war I had not heard before. If you are a fan of WWII Historical Fiction, you will enjoy this book.

Often times when we think of Historical Fiction, we think of WWII. This year I had the pleasure of reading this amazing book by Lisa See. In The Island Of Sea Women, Lisa shares in the amazing life of the Haenyeo women of Jeju, South Korea and the how the wars affected this part of the world. Told through the eyes of Young-Sook, this book travels with her from childhood, all the way up through adulthood. This book is incredibly moving, and I am very thankful that I read it.

 

Real Life Adventure

I recently finished To Share the Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins, he shares in his journey riding his bike from the Oregon Coast down to Patagonia in South America. I think what I liked most about his story was that while he shared in the experiences he had while traveling, he also shared a lot of his mental journey through it all. It was really beautiful to see the changes he he went thorough while traveling the beautiful landscape.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed is one of my favorite books. I am so grateful she shared her amazing adventure with us. There are times in our lives when we need to make a change, or do something brave; and Cheryl did just that in her life. She set out and hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. In her book she shares the obstacles she faced, people she met, and lessons she learned while out on her hike.

 

Fun Series

I know that some out there are looking for a good “beach read”, or a good, fun series to read this summer. I highly recommend¬†Crazy Rich Asians by¬†Kevin Kwan; this three book series is so much fun. It left me laughing numerous times and he weaves such a wonderful tale of family, and some drama. His characters are bright, comical, and touching. I really think anyone would enjoy reading these books.

 

Mystery

I am sure you have heard a lot of buzz around this book, and if you haven’t read it yet, you have to add it to your summer reading list. In¬†Where The Crawdads Sing by¬†Delia Owens¬†uses the landscape of the North Carolina coast as the backdrop for her beautiful and mysterious tale. This book will leave you longing to visit and see just where the crawdads sing.

If you haven’t yet read one a mystery from¬†Megan Miranda, I recommend you start with¬†All The Missing Girls. This book is actually written backwards and is so creative. I didn’t want to put it down, and it left me on the edge of my seat. You’ll find yourself searching for more of her books after you read this one!

Heartfelt Read

For those looking for a touching, heartfelt read, I think you’ll fall in love with The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by¬†Dan Gemeinhart. This book is a young readers novel, however, I felt it was an a very powerful story. It will leave you laughing, and crying, then it’ll probably make you laugh again. For adults, it will remind us what it used to be like to be a kid. Go out, have an adventure, but don’t forget where home is.

My Top Ten Books

I find it funny that I have had such a love of reading for the last few years, and it is just clicking in my brain that I should blog about it. Hey, I am a mom of two, my brain is a bit overworked these days. I am so excited to share with you ten of my most favorite books. These are in no particular order, and it doesn’t mean that I haven’t loved other book I have a read recently. There are also no spoilers, so please feel free to read on!

These are simply the books that I feel like have stuck with me, and that I find myself thinking of from time to time. These are the stories that I believe shape our lives, change the way we think, and build a home within our hearts.

I hope that you find some great reading suggestions here, and if you have read any of these, pop into the comments and let me know what you thought of them. I would love to hear what your favorite books are as well!

 

Harry Potter –¬†J.K Rowling

If you know me, you know I have a strong love for Harry Potter. These books are amazing and hold some of the best life lessons. Within these books we find friendship, love of family, and acceptance of others. J.K. Rowling created such a beautiful world that anyone can escape into when we need break from reality.

If you haven’t yet given this series a try, please do yourself a favor and jump on in!

 

A Man Called Ove –¬†Fredrik Backman

I picked this book up after the movie adaptation was nominated for an Oscar in the Foreign Language Film Category at the 2017 Academy Awards. This book will leave you crying, only to turn the page and have you bursting out with laughter again.

It implores to take a look at the various relationships we have in our lives and reminds us that we may not always know what is going on when we all go home.

The film is also available on Amazon Prime and is a really great watch if you are looking for something to do this weekend!

 

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry –¬†Fredrik Backman

This is beautiful story about the love between a Grandparent and Grandchild, and the incredibly special bond they share. I greatly enjoyed the adventure the little girl goes on in this book and the wonderful net of characters Backman weaves together.

The story through out the book brings to life the fact that simply because life has been very hard to many, that doesn’t mean they are not worthy of friendship and acceptance. Just be sure you have tissues handy when you read this novel, you’ll need them.

 

All the Light We Cannot See –¬†Anthony Doerr

Fans of Historical Fiction and WWII novels will not be able to put this book down. It is one of the best books I have had the joy of reading. This novel is told from two characters on opposing sides of the war.

The tale is both sweet and intense at times. I didn’t want to put it down, and got through it in a matter of two-three days. The history shared I found really intriguing and enjoyed the various things I learned about the Resistance during WWII.

This is one of the books that stays with you long after you have ready it.

 

Sweetgirl –¬†Travis Mulhauser

Are you tired of me talking about this book yet? I sure hope not because I am not going to stop! Taking place is the frozen landscape of the Upper Midwest, this novel is the journey of 16 year old Percy, and her struggle to get a baby to safety,.

This book is very well written, and left me on the edge of my seat waiting to read what would happen next. There are some great twists and turns in this book and I have found myself recommending it over and over again.

So consider this your recommendation, read this book!

 

Wild –¬†Cheryl Strayed

Besides the fact that a lot of this book takes place in Oregon (my home state) this memoir is an incredible tale about Cheryl’s life and finding herself. I believe we have all had moments in our own lives where we feel we aren’t sure where we are going and need to figure out who we are. In Wild she shares of her experience in hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the people she meets, and the dangers she encounters.

If you are in a period of your life when you are feeling unsure about what step to take next, give this book a try; I hope it helps you to find your own path.

 

Life of Pi –¬†Yann Martel

I wish I had all of the words to share how much I love this book. It is an incredible story and will change you in ways you don’t realize. This is a novel about survival in the harshest of circumstances, and the will to live through it all.

When you are at a time in your life when you just need to feel something, this is the book read. This is also one of the movie adaptations that I have seen that sticks incredibly close to the book, I was very impressed with it.

 

The Art of Racing in the Rain –¬†Garth Stein

Alright dog lovers, this one is for you. This novel is written entirely from the point of view from the dog, and it is an amazing story. It give us a glimpse into how dogs think, and how much they truly love us.

This book will make you angry at some points, and you will just want to will the dog to be able to speak. It is very well written and shares an amazing story, I hope you give it a chance some day and enjoy it as well.

 

Bridge to Terabithia –¬†Katherine Paterson

Yes this is a book for middle schoolers, and I think a lot of adults should read it. This is the story of a young boy and the unlikely friendship with the new girl at school. It deals with family, imagination, and what childhood should be about.

It is a quick read, but very good and really makes you think about how you were in your younger years, as well as how you are with your own children.

 

The Little Prince –¬†Antoine de Saint-Exup√©ry

I read this book in one night, and oh my goodness, I am so glad I did. This is a book that I think adults should read as well. After seeing little things online about The Little Prince, I ended up finding this copy at a used book store and thought my daughter would enjoy it. Well, when she said she didn’t quite understand it, I decided to read it, and could completely understand why. She simply is not old enough yet. I told her when she was older, I was going to have her read it again.

This book helps us to remember the enlightenment we had a children, and give us a view of various people we meet through our journey on earth. If you are heading into an profession that will give you the opportunity to be in a leadership situation, this is a great book to read!