June was so busy!  I have been busy enjoying summer: from having company for almost three weeks, to throwing parties, running again and preparing for vacation...

I'm looking forward to July, which will be over in a flash... I'm making it a priority to enjoy every moment.

Gift idea: I discovered a great book series recently, for life, love, family, work, etc... I love this idea and plan to buy some of these books for gifts.

The purpose of 2 is to inspire you to dream together, plan together, laugh together, and grow together.

Have you heard of the six word love story? 'blind dates, soulmates, married 65 years'.  Wouldn't you love to receive six words like this?  Try sending them to someone, a friend, your spouse, a child.

June Reviews:

Looking at the list below, I'm surprised to discover that I read so much chick lit.  People kept recommending books to me, only to realize I was reading about young love over and over. It's summer so this is fine but I am transitioning back to deep/dark subject matter/plots for July!

Favorite book read: The Dovekeeper's

Books are listed in the order I read/finished them:

Always Something There to Remind Me: For some reason all of the light summer books I'm reading are about reflecting back on past love, revisiting, a plot twist and closure.  This is a fun novel, I'm happy I read it!  Perfect for the beach.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis: Can you ever really know if love is true? And if it is, should you stop at anything to get it?

Always Something There to Remind Me is a story that will resonate with any woman who has ever thought of that one first love and wondered, “Where is he?” and “What if…?” Filled with nostalgia humor and heart, it will transport you, and inspire you to believe in the power of first love.

The Dovekeepers: First let me say I loved this book.  It's at the top of my list for the year.  A must read!

I listened to this book but wish I read it since it's filled with so many facts and details. I also read faster than a narrator... so I'm sure I would have enjoyed it even more if I read it.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis:  Nearly two thousand years ago, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman’s novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path.

The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets—about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.

The Next Best Thing: I didn't like this book, I know a screenwriter and didn't connect to the character in the book... it felt odd knowing my friends experience pitching a TV show vs whats written in this book.  I have never been a big Weiner fan, I can't explain why but I tend to find them flat.  I need to pass next time, for me, for her.

Rating: 2.5/3 stars

Synopsis: Set against the fascinating backdrop of Los Angeles show business culture, with an insider’s ear for writer’s room showdowns and an eye for bad backstage behavior and set politics, Jennifer Weiner’s new novel is a rollicking ride on the Hollywood roller coaster, a heartfelt story about what it’s like for a young woman to love, and lose, in the land where dreams come true.

Shout Her Lovely Name: This is a collection of short stories.  I loved the first one!  The others are good, this is extremely well written and worth your time.

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: Mothers and daughters ride the familial tide of joy, regret, loathing, and love in these stories of resilient and flawed women.

So Far Away: I didn't love this book, didn't connect with the character and frankly... I wasn't invested.  After skimming to the end I read a review that mentioned it moves at a very slow pace but if you hold out, it's very good.  I wish I read this review before I skimmed, I would have pushed through.

Rating: DNF (since I skimmed half of the book I can't rate it)

Synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Natalie Gallagher is trying to escape: from her parents' ugly divorce, and from the vicious cyber-bullying of her former best friend.

Her salvation arrives in an unlikely form: Bridget O'Connell, an Irish maid working for a wealthy Boston family. Bridget lives only in the pages of a dusty old 1920s diary Natalie unearthed in her mother's basement. But the life she describes is as troubling - and mysterious - as the one Natalie is trying to navigate herself, almost a century later.

Why We Broke Up: This is a heavy book, physically! It's filled with illustrations and feels good in your hands.  It's in the guest room, the perfect home.  A quick read for guests.

It's a YA book about a girl who has recently broken up with her boyfriend.  She's writing about all the keepsakes from thier time together.  Girls fall, hard.  I loved the ending, a typical teen love ending to make the novel feel real.

I enjoyed this one and am happy I read it.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis: I'm telling you why we broke up, Ed. I'm writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

A 2012 Michael L. Printz Honor Book