I know I don't always post my monthly book lists here, but I thought I would this time, in case summer is your time for more reading.
The Box-Car Children - Gertrude C. Warner
You probably know that this children's (of all ages!) book is about four homeless siblings who move into an abandoned boxcar. A friend pointed me to the original version (with the hyphen in the title) of this posted online here. I had heard this story as a kid, but forgot most of it. It's very good and happy. I want all my nephieces to read it (plus there's a whole series).
Twenties Girl - Sophie Kinsella
Laura's great-aunt Sadie died at age 105 in 2005, but her Roaring 20s Flapper ghost is "haunting" Laura until she finds a particular necklace. My friend Dania recommended this a long ago, but I couldn't find an audio copy until recently. It was perfect timing as I started walking around my neighborhood. (My current walking motivation, besides my Fitbit, is to listen to an audiobook instead of music. It works well!). This is a really fun and heartwarming "celebration of life" story with a bit of romance and mystery mixed in. Sadie is annoying at times but otherwise, I loved it. It's probably my favorite Kinsella book so far.
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton
At age 21, Nell learns that her parents aren't her biological parents and that they found her abandoned on a ship when she was four. Later in life she goes searching for clues about her past. The book hops between time periods and perspectives from Nell in the 1970s, Cassandra (Nell's granddaughter) in the early 2000s, and Eliza (Nell's caretaker who apparently abandoned her on the ship) in the early 1900s. Dania recommended this book, and the story itself has potential, but I found it to be very slow and way too long. Sorry, Dania! :( And sorry, Kate. It's 16 CDs, and though it isn't completely uninteresting, I never felt sucked in. The last CD was more riveting, though, and confirmed some of my story-related suspicions.
The Girl Who Chased the Moon - Sarah Addison Allen
17-year-old Emily goes to live with her grandpa after her mom dies. The small town where her mom grew up has secrets that are influencing how people treat Emily. Meanwhile, 36-year-old Julia (who went to school with Emily's mom) has returned temporarily to run her dad's restaurant, and is forced to face her painful past. This is by the author of Garden Spells, a book I really enjoyed last year. I enjoyed this one as well. It wasn't exactly action-packed or full of crazy surprises, but it was charming in the Allen way, with a bit of magic and romance mixed into small-town life struggles.
I'm currently listening to yet another Sarah Addison Allen book (I recommend her!), a Kim Vogel Sawyer book that is just ridiculous, and I'm rereading Twilight on my Kindle so I can highlight hilarious passages and laugh about them with friends. And, okay, I might be enjoying it a little, too. :) I've also been reading Landscape Photography by Tim Fitzharris.
Today I was reflecting on how awesome it is that there are so many books available for free. Not only that, but audiobooks have become so much more common than when I first started listening to them back in the 90s. It's awesome. I can listen on my drives, as usual, but I can also download them on my phone and listen while walking or doing chores. Then, of course, there are all of the e-books (for my Kindle) I can check out without even having to drive to the library and touch all the icky books. :D Thank you, Library2Go!