Wednesday, June 30, 2021

June 2021 Reading Wrap Up & Challenge Progress

 Goodbye June! 

And good riddance! 
This month has been difficult, in many ways, 
and good in other ways,
but I'm glad it's over. 

I was in much more need of escape this month and read a lot to fill that need.
I also binge-watched Downton Abbey a lot this month, which is something I almost never do. I haven't had time or space to watch tv almost all year so it was kind of nice. 

It was also nice to finally have some rain, even if it is every day. 

Hopefully it was a better month for you all! 

Books I Read in June

Books Read To My Kiddo
Listened to:

Started but haven't finished:




MAY: none
JUNE: no new letters


MAY: +3
JUNE: +3

9. A Book With A Family Tree
The Cousins - Karen M. McManus
25. A Book That Was Published Anonymously
Go Ask Alice
27. A book about do-overs or second chances
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig


MAY: +1
JUNE: +3

33. Featuring adoption:
The Home For Unwanted Girls
40. Found via Bookstagram
The Home For Unwanted Girls (through #bookstorians)
Later by Stephen King
The Haunting of Alma Fielding
43. A Character with a cat
The Midnight Library


Kate Summerscale
Marie Kondo
Joanna Goodman
AJ Tedesco
Chris Bohjalian
Philip Reeve 
Don Wood


 I haven't been keeping very good track of this! 
Maybe next month! 


What was your favorite read of the month?

You can keep up with what we are reading at @LazyDayLit on Bookstagram! 


Friday, June 25, 2021

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Adult Magical Realism Book Review)

The Midnight Library
by Matt Haig
Published by Viking
on August 13, 2020
Genre: Adult, Magical Realism
Length: 288 pages

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices... Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?

A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well-lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How to Stop Time. 

My Thoughts:

Nora Seed is a middle-aged woman who has lived a life of many regrets and decides to die, but instead finds herself in the 'Midnight Library' where a very special librarian from Nora's past helps her choose which life to start over with. This fantastical library allows Nora not only to choose a new life to live, but to give up on it and choose again, and again, and again until she finds the life she can be truly be happy in. 

The Midnight Library has been one of the most hyped books of the year so far and it's definitely worth it in my opinion. 

It's about life choices and second chances, and despite the taboo content (suicidal ideation) it is a beautiful and oddly uplifting story that is easy to 'place yourself into' and compare to your own life, including the regrets you may have and wondering how you'd do things differently. 

This book really had me thinking and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who struggles with their mental health or with aging and death.  


Friday, June 18, 2021

The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman (Adult Historical Fiction Book Review)



The Home for Unwanted Girls
by Joanna Goodman
Published by Harper Paperbacks
on April 17, 2018
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction
Setting: Canada
Length: 384 pages

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

Philomena meets The Orphan Train in this suspenseful, provocative novel filled with love, secrets, and deceit--the story of a young unwed mother who is forcibly separated from her daughter at birth and the lengths to which they go to find each other.

My Thoughts:

This was the #Bookstorians historical fiction book club choice for the months of May & June. I'll admit that I hadn't seen or heard of this one previously and probably wouldn't have given it a try otherwise. I almost didn't read it because the beginning is a little slow going, but I stuck with it and was blown away. 

Set in Canada in the 1900s, when it was considered a sin to give birth out of wedlock and illegitimate babies were sold or tossed in orphanages rather than shame their families, our MC, Maggie, works for her father in his 'superior' seed shop and has been told repeatedly to avoid French boys at all costs despite that she is half French herself. So when she falls in love with Gabriel, a poor French neighbor, her parents send her away to live with an Uncle, and Maggie is forced to give up her baby, Elodie, at the young age of fifteen. 

Alternating between Maggie and her 'orphaned' daughter's POVs, we get a harrowing look at the absolute cruelty of orphanages-turned-mental hospitals during the reign of Duplessis and a heartbreaking look at a family torn apart. 

I hadn't read much Canadian-based historical fiction before this year so the orphanage/mental hospital history was all new (and terrifying) to me but I loved the overall story and its happy ending and definitely recommend it!


Friday, June 11, 2021

The Haunting of Alma Fielding by Kate Summerscale (Adult Nonfiction Book Review)


The Haunting of Alma Fielding:
A True Ghost Story
by Kate Summerscale
Published by Penguin Press
on April 27, 2021
Genre: Adult, Nonfiction, Paranormal
Length: 368 pages

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

London, 1938. In the suburbs of the city, an ordinary housewife has become the eye in a storm of chaos. In Alma Fielding's modest home, china flies off the shelves, eggs fly through the air: stolen jewelry appears on her fingers. Nandor Fodor reads of the case, and hastens to the scene of the haunting. But when Fodor starts his scrupulous investigation, he discovers that the case is even stranger than it seems. 

My Thoughts:

Taking place in the 1930s, during the big spiritualism boom after the war, this nonfiction ghost story centers around a middle-class British housewife, Alma Fielding, who was known locally to be haunted by a rather destructive poltergeist, 
and Nandor Fodor, a Hungarian 'ghost hunter' from the Institute of Psychical Research, who was determined to either prove Alma as legit or as a charlatan, like so many others at the time. 

Most of this book is made up of the detailed accounts of Alma Fielding's 'hauntings' or 'apports', but also highlights the spiritualist era with its plethora of mediums and their 'tricks'. There are a lot of connections to Alma's occurrences and other mediums that Fodor had worked with, or known to be ousted.

I love a good ghost story and have read quite a bit on mediums/spiritualists in the past so this sounded fascinating. 

The first half of the book reads as a running account of Emma's hauntings and interjects with Fodor's interactions or knowledge of sham mediums and somehow seems to suggest that Fodor is inscrutable for this reason, though it includes a case where he is bamboozled. It seems to switch from Alma's occurrences being legit to almost setting her up to catch her in an act. 
I did have a few hangups with it, but WARNING because these may be just slightly spoilery:
The book presents Alma's case and suggests that her poltergeist may be caused by frenetic energy but then never really proves or explains it. Likewise, I was hoping for a little more in-depth explanation about the connections made to Alma's childhood traumas. A little psychology... anything. 
Still, it's an interesting read and perfect for the upcoming spooky season! 


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Kids vs. Plastic: Ditch the Straw and Find the Pollution Solution by Julie Beer (Children's Nonfiction Book Review)

 We received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Kids vs. Plastic:
Ditch the Straw and Find the Pollution Solution to Bottles, Bags, and Other Single-use Plastics
by Julie Beer
Published by National Geographic Kids
on December 1, 2020
Genre: Children's, Nonfiction
Length: 128 pages
Ages: 8 - 12

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

It's in your toothbrush... your clothes... your earbuds. Chances are, you're touching it right now. We're talking about plastic! Plastic is everywhere! But why and when did we start using it in so much stuff? And how do we stop?

Discover shocking stats and surprising facts, simple suggestions for sustainable swaps, and more eco-friendly choices and smart action steps. This book answers all of your burning questions about plastic and offers tangible ways to get involved, reduce plastic use, and create a more plastic-free future! 

Our Thoughts:

It's World Oceans Day and one of biggest issues the ocean faces today is man-made pollution. And most of it is plastic!
Can you remember a time when there was no plastic, or perhaps just not as much as there is today? Can you imagine the impact all of that plastic, used by millions of people around the world, has on our planet? Have you ever thought about making small changes to replace single-use items in your daily life?

Kids vs. Plastic is a great resource to learn all about how plastic is made and used, how it affects our planet, and how we can 'ditch' it. Learn the lifespan of plastics in nature so you can make better choices in products and remember to 'pack it out' when outdoors or how to get your community involved by organizing creative cleanups.
This book is full of easy alternatives to single-use products as well as tips on how to recycle, upcycle, and much more! 

This is a fantastic book for kids who want to make a difference in the world, or already do! 


Tuesday, June 1, 2021

June 2021 Reading Goals & TBR

 Hello June! 

I can't believe we're already almost halfway through the year! 

May was an okay month, better with my reading but not the greatest with my mental health. The weather was sometimes beautiful and windy and other times it was hot and dry.  You can see more updates and what I read in my May Wrap Up

Here's what's on my TBR pile for June!


I'm hoping I'll have more time to read since it's already wayyy too hot to be outside after 10am and usually rains all summer but who knows. We installed an indoor hammock chair in my 'library' so I can relax and my kiddo can swing, in case it ends up being a bummer-summer! 

What are you looking forward to reading this summer?
Any fun plans?