Weekly Reads – June 12, 2022

All of you in the Northern Hemisphere…have you gotten summer yet? Because I’m still waiting for it in the Pacific Northwest. I do remember June being cooler and wetter when I was a kid, but it has been dry and warm for several years…until this year. I keep chanting to myself, “We need the rain…we need the rain…” (and we do) but it is starting to get to be too much. And I’m not crazy. It was NOT this wet and cold when I was a kid. In fact, this is the wettest June we’ve had since 1940!

I am finding ways to rebel against Mother Nature. I’m refusing to wear socks, unless I have my tennis shoes on. I’m also sending my husband out in the rain tonight to grill our dinner. He says he doesn’t mind, but we’ll see. He’s from the Seattle area, while I’m from Oregon, so I think his rain tolerance is a bit higher than mine.

We are finally recovered from Covid and, man, I do NOT want to do that again! Even though I had a “mild” case, I don’t think I’ve ever felt that sick from a respiratory bug before. Folks, please don’t become complacent! Pretending that the pandemic is over (or never existed) is not going to get us out of this mess!

Anyway, most of my week was spent trying to catch up on stuff after a week of being sick. This coming week is the kids’ last week of school, although it sounds like last week was the last week of actual learning stuff. My daughter was able to keep up with most of her classes online in the week she was gone, so she doesn’t have anything to catch up on this coming week. My son, as far as I know, is also all caught up–or as much as anyone is in his class. When he went back to school after his isolation, about half his class was out isolating as well. (Please see note above about not becoming complacent).

So, not much more to report from our life besides that, so onto the books!

As usual, I’m linking up with Kathryn at Book Date and her It’s Monday…What Are You Reading? blog hop.

Last week, I finished:

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
Date finished: June 6, 2022
Star rating: 4 stars

This book sat on my TBR bookshelf for an embarrassingly long time. The reason (or maybe excuse is a better word) is that I had selected it from Book of the Month way back when without knowing it was a Young Adult title. Young adult tends not to work for me and once I learned about the target audience, my interest waned.

But, as it is summer and I am doing the Big Books of Summer Challenge, I decided to give it a try and I was very pleasantly surprised! There are a lot of things going for this book. I know next to nothing about Franco’s Spain, so learning about a different historical period was a big plus. Sepetys did a phenomenal job creating the world and the time. I did really enjoy the characters and thought they were fairly complex. Sepetys excels at withholding information until just the right moment so you are totally drawn in and desperate to learn more.

The only part that didn’t quite work for me was the section when the characters were adults. To me, they weren’t actual adults but what not-yet-adults think adults are. The story in that section was interesting and fitting, but the characters just seemed unrealistic.

Overall, though, this was a great read and I may have to break my YA-moratorium for Ruth Sepetys in the future.

The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner
Date finished: June 9, 2022
Star rating: 3.5 stars

Do you remember that scene from The Brady Bunch where Bobby does his laundry when no one is home, puts in an entire box of detergent, and floods the house with suds? That is a very conservative illustration of how soapy this book is.

Honestly, if I recounted every plot thread here–including one that I have seen at least twice in honest-to-God SOAP OPERAS–your mind might just combust. The absolute weirdest part of it all is that…it actually works.

Don’t get me wrong, it is absolutely vital that you recognize this book for what it is: a soap opera on paper (or e-ink, or in audio…however you choose to consume it). If you take any part of this book seriously, this book will not work for you. However, if you take this as pure guilty entertainment, you may just be surprised.

I was about to give this 4 stars (which, honestly, is as high as I can go with this sort of book), but there were a few things that led me to knock half a star off. There is one serious-ish storyline that was taken from Weiner’s own life (no, not the flip flops) that isn’t given the due it really needs. There is also one particular storyline (the one that I’ve seen in actual soap operas) that ends up being completely dropped without any resolution.

I know soapy stories are not for everyone. They aren’t always for me, but this one just worked for summer reading and one I would recommend to anyone who knows not to take it too seriously.

Last week, I started reading:

  • Vermillion Drift (Cork O’Connor #10) by William Kent Krueger
  • The Nowhere Place by Natasha Bell

14 thoughts on “Weekly Reads – June 12, 2022

  1. I don’t mind a soapy story and I love that analogy of the suds all over the house. Interesting what you say about an even mild case of Covid. I am doing my best to avoid it. Especially as my booster shot must be wearing out now and we haven’t been offered another. Good to hear you are feeling better. Take things slow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, my booster probably wore off a while ago. I’m a little over a year too young to get another one at this point, but my recent Covid probably gives me some more immunity for a little while.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Summer has hit in my corner of Southern CA. We had temps around 100 late last week. It’s supposed to tip a bit tomorrow, but it will be back up there by mid-week.

    We could use some of your rain, so if you wanted to send it south, I’ll send you the warm weather as a replacement.

    Glad to hear you are recovered, but sorry to hear you were sick.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope your kids enjoy their summer, even if it is a little rainy. 🙂 I liked The Fountains of Silence. Ruta Sepetys is one of my favorite historical fiction authors. Her books are about teenagers, but they don’t feel like YA.


  4. I am still stunned that my granddaughter got Covid, but she didn’t get a booster, so that’s how it goes, I guess. I have had two boosters, since I am OLD, LOL, so I’m hoping I didn’t catch it. So far, no symptoms and one negative test. I guess I won’t repeat the test unless symptoms appear.

    I loved The Summer Place, so I guess i love “soapy,” LOL.

    Enjoy your week, and stay safe.


  5. I’m glad you are feeling better! We’re still waiting for summer in my part of Minnesota – but maybe this week. I have a couple of books by Sepetys on the Kindle and have had them since 2016. I should give one a try. Come see my week >a href=”https://inside-dog.blogspot.com/2022/06/its-monday-what-are-you-reading-june-13.html”>here. Happy reading!


  6. “sending my husband out in the rain tonight to grill our dinner” lol

    Glad you’re feeling better, but yeah Covid is no joke. When I had it I was fortunate enough to have a mild case, but some people don’t… obviously. Anywho… it’s been the same here, unseasonably cool and rainy to start off summer. Hope you get relief soon!


  7. I agree with you completely about Covid being a nightmare. After two weeks of hell, I finally got a negative test today. My lungs and entire respiratory tract are still a mess and I am so exhausted! At least you have had some good books to read. I adored The Fountains of Silence, but then, I end up adoring everything she writes.
    I live in Canada at the northern most tip of the Sonora desert. It really has been a wet spring, and like you, we are mostly thankful for it since the last couple of years we have experienced a drought.
    Happy reading this week.


  8. I’m glad you are feeling better, I currently have a bad cold that I’m struggling with, I dread to to think what it would be like to get CoVid.
    I haven’t read any Weiner for a while, but I really enjoyed Emily Henry’s latest, Book Lovers.

    Wishing you a great reading week


  9. I’m glad you are feeling better! Summer has arrived here in Connecticut but I’m happy to report we are not baking like other parts of the country. Salt to Sea by Ruth Sepetys was an excellent read. It’s the only novel of hers I’ve read so far and from what I recall it seemed to be on the more mature side of YA.


  10. We’re going to hit the high 90s in Montana tomorrow and Saturday. I’m not looking forward to it. But I start to get depressed when there’s too much rain and clouds, so I completely understand your complaints. Hopefully both areas find some sort of happy weather medium soon.

    I happily read books for any age group but I would not hesitate to recommend any book by Ruta Sepetys to anyone who strongly prefers adult books. Between Shades of Gray is my favorite. She just has a way of making forgotten niches of history come alive. I saw her speak when she was on tour for Fountains of Silence (remember the days of book tours?) and she is fascinating. Her first career was actually as a record producer or something that was similarly important in the music industry.

    I’m glad you’re feeling better! My husband and I are still trying to be cautious but I did start going back to the gym for the first time since before the pandemic. I get really hot when I’m working out so I just can’t wear a mask in there, even though I still wear it everywhere else. I try to go at times when it’s not crowded and choose areas away from others but I’m still nervous about it. I just had to get moving again though and I have to say that it feels good to be back in the gym. There’s just always that fear of catching covid. *sigh*

    Enjoy your week!


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About Melinda