Reading Roundup | August 2016

Book reviews on The Dark Garden, Uppity Women, ZInk, Harry Potter & The Cursed Child, and The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands.

It seems that whenever I’m really into blogging, my reading suffers. Whenever I’m really into reading, my blogging suffers. And, that is exactly what happened this month. I was able to begin and finish five entire books this month! I loved being able to read this much!

Book reviews on The Dark Garden, Uppity Women, ZInk, Harry Potter & The Cursed Child, and The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany

Book review on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

I know a lot of people had harsh opinions about this and were disappointed. But, I actually really liked it! This play is about Harry’s son, Albus, and how he has to live in the shadow of his father, The Boy Who Lived. Albus isn’t very good at anything magical and is friends with Scorpio, Draco Malfoy’s son. Oh, and he’s a Slytherin. But, when an opportunity comes to try to fix a “mistake” in Harry’s past and make a name for himself, Albus jumps at the offer–only to cause some bad rippling effects.

I really liked the premise to this story–it made sense to me. Especially the part about Voldemort having progeny. I loved that idea. I also really liked the symbolism of the Augery. The distance and awkwardness between Harry and Albus made complete sense…I mean, how would you feel if you were a mediocre wizard whose father was the famous Harry Potter?!?! And, if you were Harry Potter, how would you feel with a son who did poorly in all things magical? And for that matter, the relationship between Draco and Scorpio was well done. Given Draco’s past and his relationship with his mother and father and all the emotional and mental turmoil he went through, especially since the order from Voldemort that he had to kill Dumbledore, it makes complete sense that he wants something different for his son, but just doesn’t really know how to do it. It was so fun for me to watch this play happen in my mind and makes me really curious about how they do all the magical stuff on a stage without CG or special effects! Too bad it’s going to take forever for the play to come on tour OFF Broadway in America.

However, there are a few things that I didn’t like. I enjoyed the play format and understand why, but I would’ve liked it in a novel format. In fact, I’d be willing to read a whole series about Albus Potter! I also wanted more background on the Augery and the whole Voldemort’s child story. I didn’t like Ron’s character at all. I think he was just downgraded to a buffoon adult comic relief. I also thought that the ending was a bit rushed and anti-climatic.  But overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it and loved talking with my husband about it. I read it in 48 hours, then he did the same after me, and we’d talk about it for hours together.

The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger

Book review on the famous Dr. Laura's book, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands
Image Via

My husband doesn’t like books like this. He sees the title and thinks, it’s another book for women to say how to deal with men, it’s all about degrading men. Well, my mom told me to read this book. She literally handed it to me as I was leaving for Texas and told me to pay attention to it and take good care of my husband. I trust my mom’s taste as she really loves and respects my dad. And, it’s more on how to be a good wife, how to stop being a whiny, nagging, entitled b**. It honestly reminded me of a book I read last year called When Beauty is a Beast

The whole point of this book was really to let women know that men are truly and completely different then women, and typically, it’s the women’s fault for not trying to understand men that causes a lot of arguments and tensions in the family and marriage. Dr. Laura used a lot of examples from clients on her radio show and letters she’s received and I found myself shaking my head numerous times at these pitiful women ruining their own marriages, but trying to blame or change their husbands. Although it wasn’t necessarily as insightful as When Beauty is a Beast to me, it was still a nice way to reflect on how I treat my husband and think of ways to do a better job at being a better, more supportive, less complaining wife.

But, be warned, Dr. Laura is very Christian and has many conservative Christian ideals about marriage in her book–which I liked because they aligned with mine and how my religion feels about marriage and family. And, she is very obviously against feminism…so, if you are a feminist, please take what she says with a grain of salt! She still has great advice on being a better wife!

Zink by Cherie Bennett

Book review on the YA novel, Zink by Cherie Bennett.

This is about a 4th-6th grade reading level YA novel from my classroom collection. I’m making a good dent in it! Anyway, this is a cute little novel about a young girl, Becky, who gets leukemia. It follows her as she goes through treatment, and remission, and then had a relapse. But, through this whole time, she had the company of three Zebras who gave her friendship and courage, and allowed her to travel to Africa in spirit. They also taught her the story of Zink, the brave Zebra who was different from all others and was proud of it.

Bennett wrote this book for a girl she knew who was suffering and died from leukemia. She had other young kids suffering from cancer draw the illustrations in the book and had a lot of information about it at the end of the novel. It is definitely a sweet book, and I cried a little at the end.

The Dark Garden by Margaret Buffie

Book review on YA thriller The Dark Garden by Margaret Buffie.

This is another one of my classroom YA’s. It is definitely a high school read, though, and is a thriller with paranormal events. Thea, a sixteen year old, got in a bike accident and received traumatic amnesia–she couldn’t remember anything about herself, her family, or her past. But, she started seeing ghosts and hearing voices. She wasn’t sure if this ghost, Susannah, was actually herself and her memories, or if she truly was Thea. But, with the help of a local farthely priest and a teenage clairvoyant named Lucas, Thea was able to begin to piece memories and scenes together and figure out a murder mystery.

I initially liked the idea of this book, but I thought the writing was a little all over the place and too confusing with the points of view and timings. I also absolutely hated Thea’s family–the parents were basically absentee, and the kids definitely needed social services to care for them. I also thought the climax was a bit anti-climatic, especially with all the spooky and paranormal buildup. It also happened way to fast.

Uppity Women Speak Their Mind by Vicki Leon

Book review for Vicki Leon's Uppity Women Speak Their Mind.

I love learning and reading about women in history. They are so fun, especially when it comes to the subject of “uppity women”. I love the famous quote, “Well-behaved women rarely make history,” and this book falls into that category. This book has short one page vignettes about women and a quote they are famous for. I often found myself smiling or doing imaginary fist pumps after reading about each woman. There were even some coarse women that I literally would laugh out loud after reading. I loved this easy, fast read, but wish that it was organized in a different way–maybe either alphabetically or chronologically.

What books did you read this month? Which one of these would you like to read?

Tayler from The Morrell

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • I probably wouldn’t be able to handle reading The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, I’m a huge feminist and my fiancé and I often talk about how I’m more “manly” in societies standards whereas he is more “feminine”. I always enjoyed the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. I read that for psychology class and found it interesting. Uppity Women sounds like a fun book though!

    • Uppity Women is a GREAT book! But, honestly, I loved The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands…it has some great ideas on strengthening marriage. She doesn’t put down women at all, she just feels that the feminist movement has gotten out of control…like, “women are better than men and women don’t need men” rather than “women are equal to men.”

  • We read The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands in a marriage class I took at BYU and I really liked it! I should probably re-read it, actually 🙂 My August books are going to up on Monday!

    • Who did you have as your professor? Coincidentally, Justin and I had the same marriage prep professor, just different semesters before we met.

      • I can’t remember his name, but I really liked him! It wasn’t marriage prep, though. (Although I did take that too!) It was marriage enhancement, I think.

  • These sound like interesting books. The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands title sounds almost like she thinks men are like babies (to be fed and ‘properly cared’ for) but I am glad you explained the book and that she is not dumbing down men and their capabilities, but rather, showing wives how they can be a suitable helpmeet for their husbands. It sounds like a practical book!

    I haven’t posted my August book reviews yet but here are my July book reviews if you are interested:

    • That’s why my husband didn’t really like the title. And, honestly, I didn’t either. Haha. It’s a bit misleading.

  • I haven’t heard of any of these! Thanks for sharing! And I can relate to the ebbs and flows of reading. I try to set a goal for the year and allow myself grace when the reading time is less than I wanted, knowing I’ll make up for it next month 🙂

    • You should read some! I’ve done a lot of re-prioritizing over the past few months and I am so happy I’ve been reading more.

  • I have Cursed Child sitting beside my bed waiting for me to finish my current re-read of the HP series. I’m on Half-Blood Prince right now and dying that it’s taking me so long! Anyway, I haven’t read the synopsis because I don’t want to know anything about it, but I’m glad to know you enjoyed it!

    • You should hurry! Haha!