Reading Roundup | July 2017

Holy cow I read a lot this month. I don’t know if you noticed, but I didn’t post a Reading Roundup last month–I didn’t read a single book during the month of June…well, no. I read one book but didn’t finish it in time. But this month, I read quite a bit. Granted, I read a lot of very easy 5th-grade level YA books. But, that’s because I’m desperately trying to finish reading all my classroom books before we move in a few weeks so I can pack them all up!

Reading Roundup Book Reviews on Adulthood is Hard, Blink, Esio Trot, the Magic Finger, White Fang, Little Women, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

Reading Roundup Book Review on Blink: The Power to Think without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

I read this book for my church’s book club. It was an interesting break from all the fiction we’ve been reading. (Don’t get me wrong, I love fiction, so I was a little surprised at this choice.)

Gladwell does research on how our subconscious makes decisions and snap judgment without us having to actually analyze anything. He researches how we think without thinking–how our instinct is overwhelmingly typically right. It was an interesting read and reminded me of Quiet. But, it focused more on snap judgments without realizing we are making them. It got very political fast–all about racism and prejudice and classism, etc. I wish it would’ve stayed more on the fact of trusting our subconscious, such as intuition or instinct decisions. It did mention those but didn’t focus heavily on them.

And, I just hate the cover.

Adulthood is a Myth: A “Sarah’s Scribbles” Collection by Sarah Andersen

Reading Roundup Book Review on Adulthood is Hard: A "Sarah's Scribbles" Collection by Sarah Andersen
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My public library is having an adult summer reading challenge. They have about 20 different challenges, and for each challenge you complete, you get to add a ticket to a drawing for prizes. So, I’ve been reading a lot. One of the challenges was read a graphic novel, and this book was the spotlight of the graphic novel shelf. I read it in about 30 minutes.

Adulthood is a Myth is a collection of comics from the online comic strip “Sarah’s Scribbles“. I’d seen her work online here and there but never followed her. However, the collection was hilarious! And so relatable as a 20-something-year-old adult! I loved it! If you want a quick read, grab this book and have a few laughs!

Bendon Junior Classics Abridged Version of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Reading Roundup Book Review for Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Here is yet another classical novel I had never read. I know a lot of women love this book, so when I saw the abridged version at Target for $1, I had to grab it for future English classrooms! And I loved reading it!

Little Women is a sweet, sentimental, feel-good novel about a family of sisters during the Civil War. Their father is in the war but isn’t a soldier. Their mother teaches them a lot of moralistic and virtuous lessons and the girls truly learn them. There really isn’t one plot line or one problem or one antagonist. It’s more of a feel-good novel. But, there is nothing wrong with that. I fell in love with each sister during these short pages and now I really want to read the real Little Women. I may wait till Christmas though since the first scene takes place during Christmas and it really sets the tone.

Bendon Junior Classic Abridged Version of White Fang by Jack London

Reading Roundup Book Review of Bendon Junior Classic Abridged Version of White Fang by Jack London

When I was in fifth grade, my mom rented The Call of the Wild. I loved that movie and decided to read the book. That never ended up happening. So, when I saw this find, I knew I wanted to read it.

I love the simplicity of Jack London’s style. He went to the Yukon Territory himself during the gold rush and fell in love with the wilderness there. And it shows in his novels. White Fang is about a wolf that has some dog heritage in him. He is tamed harshly by a native tribe, then taken by a dog fighter in one of the pop up gold rush towns. He was beaten and bullied by both the dog fighters and the dogs he was forced to fight. Then, he was bought by a nice young man who took him back home to southern California. White Fang learned how to be calm and happy and to love man. He even saved the man’s life when a convicted felon attempted to murder him.

It was a sweet story and I loved the way Jack London wrote it (…ahem…how it was abridged).

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Reading Roundup Book Review on the Bendon Junior Classic Abridged Version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

A few years ago, I taught the original version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to my 9th graders. They enjoyed it, as did I. Make sure you click the link for my full review on the original.

But, I think the Bendon Junior Classic Abridged Version did a great job keeping the style but definitely “dumbing” it down. Putting it at a 5th grade reading level with 21st century American vernacular really made it a bit easier to follow. And, since it is a “murder mystery”, it makes it a bit easier for students to understand the timeline and who did what and why and when and how and their reasonsings behind everything.

Esio Trot by Roald Dahl

Reading Roundup Book Review for Esio Trot by Roald Dahl

Last birthday, my sisters got me a collector’s set of favorites written by Roald Dahl. I grew up loving Roald Dahl’s works. I loved the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Matilda movies. And, my third-grade teacher read us The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach outloud. It spurned a love and I read a lot of his works.

However, I had never read the short story Esio Trot. It’s a cute little story (it took me maybe 25 minutes to read it) about an old man who falls in love with an old lady who lives beneath him but is too shy to talk to her. She has a pet turtle she keeps on her balcony but is upset he isn’t growing. So, the man makes up a “spell” for her to read to her turtle every night to make him grow. While she’s at work, he buys numerous turtles and replaces them every night with a bigger one, so she believes the turtle is actually growing. She believes it, he gains confidence, and in the end, they decide to wed.

Although it’s a cute, sweet love story about old folk, reading it as an adult gave me some confused feelings. When the man tells the woman he knows how to make the turtle grow, she says, “If you can, I’ll be your slave for life!” She is desperate to help her turtle. But Dahl writes that that phrase gave the man shivers and set him into action…that kind of creeped me out. And, after they end up getting married, she never finds out that the bigger turtle she now has is a replacement turtle! Their whole relationship is based on a lie!!!! But, that’s just cynical adult me reading too much into it.

The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl

Reading Roundup Book Review on The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl

I’m pretty sure I’ve read this short story before because it seemed so familiar. Again, it took me only about 25 minutes. The main character is a nameless girl. She gets mad at a family of boys who lives next to her because they like hunting ducks. So, she turns the magic finger on them. When she gets mad and points, strange things then begin to happen. The next day, the boys and their father went hunting again. Then, four ducks turned on them. They went home and went to bed. The next morning, everyone in the family had shrunk and had wings! They were chased out of their home by human-sized ducks with hands. Having to live like ducks for a day (out in the cold, aware of hunters, eating worms, sleeping in a nest), they realized that ducks have it hard. Finally, they turned back into humans and the ducks turned back to ducks. From then on, the family didn’t hunt anymore.

Again, a sweet, simple tale with a moral. It’d be a great read for a 1-3 grade class during an animal or ecology unit!

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

Reading Roundup Book Review on When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

As I am seriously starting to teach Rhys about God and Mormonism, I am on the search more than ever for Christian (and Mormon) picture books. He knows who Jesus is, but I want to really pound (I hate that term) it into him that Christ and Heavenly Father LOVE him. So, when I saw this book, I knew I had to get it.

The pictures are adorable and very colorful. I love the illustrations. It is a sweet book that tells the child just how much God loves them and why. How each child is an individual, different, and unique. But, they are all equally special because God made them. God made them just that way for a reason–it was part of His plan.

It was a little longer for a 3-year-old…probably more for a 5-7-year-olds, but Rhys sat still the whole time and kept looking back at our picture of Jesus hanging up. After I finished reading it to him, he decided to look back at the pictures because he enjoyed them too.

I definitely recommend you get this book for your Sunday collection!!!!!

This year, I’ve decided to reopen up Reading Roundup to other to linkup with! I’ve partnered up with two good blogger friends who love books too!

Meet Your Hosts


Tayler from The Morrell Tale | Charlene from Enduring All Things

How It Works:

  • Reading Roundup will happen the last Tuesday of every month! The linkup will be open for two weeks!
  • There really aren’t “rules.” This is free and open. We are book lovers and want to read about your books!
  • Link up a post of a book review you did from this month. Or, a roundup of book reviews you did this month.
  • Try to hop around and engage on other people’s book reviews! Make some new friends!
  • Grab this pinnable image to put on the bottom of your post! (But, no pressure to do so!)
Reading Roundup

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.

  • Matthew Paul Turner

    Thank you so much for including When God Made You in your book roundup! I’m so happy you love it…

    • Thank you for making it!

  • So confession: I haven’t read your blog in so long I had no idea you were moving. Oops! #WorstBlogFriend

    Anyway, Blink certainly sounds interesting. I’ve been sort of on a “Personal Development” genre kick lately with my monthly lifestyle challenge groups. This sounds like it might be a good one for that.

    I’ve also seen Sarah’s Scribbles around. I may have to pick that one up for a quick read as well!

    I LOVE Little Women! I keep meaning to read the sequels.

    And the pictures in that picture book look gorgeous!

    • I’m so glad you picked up Adulthood is a Myth! I can’t wait to see your review on it!

  • Rebekah Gaspar

    Wow, I’m super impressed with how many books you read! Good for you. I need to up my reading game. White Fang sounds like the kind of book I would’ve loved growing up. I’ll have to check it out. Also, now you need to read the unabridged version of Little Women sometime! LOVE that book. Read it a million times when I was younger. <3

    • I’m definitely going to!

  • Little Women is a book I started to read like 20 times as I kid. I don’t think I ever did finish it. I heard great things about it though.

    • That’s why I love these Bendon Junior Classics! You still get the feel of the classic but are able to read it quickly.

  • Yolanda Ridley

    I think Blink sounds really interesting – adding to my book list. Also, I love that your library has monthly challenges. That’s amazing. Thanks for details o all these great books – I may just pick up a few kids novels too – they are fun!

    • Thank you so much! Feel free to linkup next month!

  • Man I miss Roald Dahl’s books! I also love the movie for Little Women but have never gotten around to reading the book. I really need to, haha.

    xo, Kimberly

    • I’ve never seen the Little Women movie…but I have seen movie versions of The Witches, Charlie and Chocolate Factory, Matilda, the BFG, and James and the Giant Peach (all Roald Dahl)

  • These all sound like great books! I love the pics of your little guy reading, too. I feel like that’s such an important part of childhood!

    • I’m trying to instill my love of books in them!

  • Great choices! There are a lot of Roald Dahl things I haven’t read, I’m always surprised to hear about ones I haven’t come across.

    • I know! But, most of them are short stories I’ve never read.

  • I’ve been wanting to read Blink and I love Little Women! When God Made You looks like such a cute book. 🙂 Great post!

    • Let me know what you think of Blink.

  • Trish

    You had a great reading month. I love Little Women. It was one of my childhood favorites. It is perfect for a Christmas time read, too, if you decide to reread over the holidays. By the way, there is an upcoming PBS adaptation of this book. I can’t wait!

    • I’ll definitely have to check out the PBS version!

  • Shell

    Aww I love reading White Fang!! One of my favorite read again books!!

    • Have you read Call of the Wild?

  • Ruth I.

    You have a great list of books! I have a book collection because I love to read when I was younger. I would love to get my niece the book When God Made You 🙂

    • I have SOOOOOOO many books now!

  • Reading is the best! I’ll have to try some of these out with my kids. I know Little Women is amazing!

    • I can’t wait to read the full version!

  • What a fun linkup! I just love to read.

    • Have you read any of these?

  • I think that I have read ‘When God Made You’ to my kiddos. I have been reading some books about the history of Christmas.

  • Denay DeGuzman

    What fun summer reads for the whole family! I love books so much. Every now and then I make a donation of a large stack of books to my local library.

    • I do that too….before I became a teacher 😉

  • Gosh I wish I had more time to read. These books look so great!

    • I read about 20 minutes or so a day…right before I go to bed.

  • You sure read a lot in this month. There was a time when I used to read twice or even thrice as much.., miss those days! So, I would definitely would love to read adulthood is a myth. Blink sounds really great too! Roald Dahl never fails to interest me! Thanks for the reviews! Will check out some of these!

    • Roald Dahl is the best! And always a quick, interesting read.

  • Tiffany Petit

    What a great list of book recommendations. The “Adulthood is a Myth” book looks like a fun one.

  • At home we are book lovers too.I am glad that I found these book suggestions.I will check these books in my next visit to the library.
    – Amila

    • Go for it! They are great family reads (except for Blink….I think kids/teens would be way to BORED with it)

  • Lisa

    I loved all the books you have on your list. My daughter is a bookworm and would love to participate in your roundup. I’ll get here to write up a review and we’ll link up. Thanks

  • Leo T. Ly

    This is a great list of books. I have heard or white fang and I actually saw a few “white fang” cartoon episodes when I was a kid. I love dogs and would probably read this book out of the list.

    • I didn’t know White Fang was a cartoon! Now I think I’m going to try to find it on the internet!

  • The Salty Mamas

    Love the variety in your list! I’ve been trying to work more nonfiction into my reading rotation. I’ll have to give Blink a try!

    • Thanks! Let me know how you like it!

  • You’ve compiled a great reading list this summer! I’m a big Jack London fan, and I strongly encourage you to read the unabridged versions – you miss so much in the abridgment. Likewise Little Women.

    • Thank you! I definitely want to read the unabridged versions of all these classics!

  • Jhilmil Bhansali

    What a great reading compilation.. I personally loved Adulthood is a myth but yet to check on the rest. Shall take your reading recommendations:)

    • Adulthood is so funny because its so true!

  • Sondra Barker

    I’ve heard of a few of these books but not all. There are two I might end up checking out for myself. Looks like a love of books runs in the family with those adorable photos.

    • Which two would you want to check out?

  • Little Women is one of my all time favorites! My copy is trashed from reading it so much. You’ll love the unabridged version!

    • I definitely want to read it…probably will during Christmas!

  • I’ve read blink. great book and awww, I have when God made you. Hope you enjoyed it. Going to share it on my blog as well. Such an adorable book!

    • I loved When God Made You. It is completely adorable and I love the illustrations!

  • Katja Knox

    You make me feel bad that I don’t put time aside for reading – I really should! At least now I have a list of things to read 😉
    Katja xxx

    • Don’t feel bad! Again, most of these were super quick 30 minute reads at a 5th grade level!!

  • Laura

    I agree with you about the book Blink – the political aspect wasn’t needed in so large a section! AND! I just learned that Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! I feel like his works have been popping up around me the past year odd and I want to read more. thanks for sharing!

    • And I just learned that he wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!