My Top 7 Reads from Summer 2016

Friday, August 5, 2016

Linking up with This Ain't the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes!

I have a habit of stacking the books I've finished on my little side stool next to my side of the bed. I clean it off about once a season. I've blazed through A LOT of books this summer, so I thought I would list some of my favorites from the completed summer books stack.

The Summer Before the War

This is a big fat novel and I loved it! It's set in pre/early-World War I English countryside. I really love that time period. The sudden change in daily living, and the dramatic effect on a shared cultural psyche is just fascinating.  

How to Be a Tudor

I got this because I loved Goodman's How to Be a Victorian. She focuses on the history of daily life (based in England) of regular people in different time periods - starting from when people woke up to when they went to bed. 
She does some experimental archaeology too. She will make and actually try things like sleeping on reed beds, doing hard farm work in a corset, and recreate historical recipes.

She is part of a team who have done a series of documentary style recreations for the BBC. Here's the first episode of their series on the Tudor Monastery Farm.

Bringing Up Bebe

I wrote my review of this here. It's nice and thorough so I'll send you over there.

Man in the High Castle 

They made this into an Amazon TV series, but the series is extremely loosely based on the book. I'm (very slowly) working my way through the series, and just inhaled the book. They're so different that they could be seen as different stories in the same world.

I like these stories that are experiments in world building. Answering the question "what if things turned out different?" What if this one thing changed? What kind of world would that be?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

It felt like a truer summer when it can include going to the bookstore to get your copy of the latest Harry Potter book!
My kids got to experience going to a Harry Potter release party at the local bookstore. Harry Potter lighting bolt scar temporary tattoos we had, bookstore employees dressed up in really impressive robes, and Harry Potter cookies!

*I'm going to really attempt not to include spoilers, ok*

I really did like the book overall (really a script). I think it will probably look absolutely magical onstage. There were some scenes that I just don't know how they would do it onstage, but I'm sure their set designers came up with something clever.
I have beef with some continuity mistakes that seem like silly mistakes if JK Rowling was involved in the script. 

Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum 

I've read this a number of times already, but I like to read it before starting a new school year with the kids. It makes me feel more like I got this if I can remind myself of the overall plan. Berquist also has a really soothing way of talking about homeschooling and learning that serves as a great little pep talk before the new school year.

After Virtue

What I'm currently reading!

It's not light. At all. It's nice, dense Philosophy, but it's really helpful. I did not take any formal Philosophy classes in college, but I met my husband while he was in the Philosophy Ph.D. program at UC Berkeley. I've been playing catch up ever since.
A lot of what MacIntyre says makes logical sense, and validates thoughts I've had from following logic. But I think it's better to have an evidence based opinion, so now I'm trying to get the grounding for my thoughts.

That's what I've been up to! What have you been reading?


  1. "The Summer Before the War" sounds awesome! I'll have to look that up in our local library system. It's good to know that "The Man in the High Castle" is so different from the series. I just made my way through season 1 (loved it!) and have been wanting to read the book, so I'm really intrigued to see what it's like, since it's different!

  2. I have How To Be A Victorian -- a friend gave it to me a while back. A good read (and fascinating with all the little bits of information it covers!). I didn't know there was a Tudor version too -- thanks!

  3. I just finished While You Were Mine by Ann Howard Creel (a few couple sketchy scenes, but other than that a good WWII novel) and Sunflowers in a Hurricane by Anne Faye.

    Have you checked out Gladys Hunts' Honey for a Woman's Heart? So many lovely titles! :)

  4. Ooh the "How to be a Tudor" book sounds fascinating! I'll have to add that series to my list :)

  5. The homeschooling book looks great. I use Tapestry of Grace, but I still like to have my own vision of the big picture.


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