Kind of a hit and miss month with reading.

TO RAISE A BOY by Emma Brown

5/5 Stars

The full title is To Raise a Boy: Classrooms, Locker Rooms, Bedrooms, and the Hidden Struggles of American Boyhood. It dives deep into what it’s like to be a boy growing up and the unique challenges they face. This book really rocked me as a mom to a little boy. In a good way, yes, but also just in a deeply profound way. Boys and boyhood and manhood feel so foreign to me. While I read this book, I was confronted with my own preconceived notions about boys. It made me realize that there were a lot of challenges boys face that I had never considered. Honestly as I read it, I was really surprised by how wrong I was about boys in general. I’m glad I read it.

SIGNAL FIRES by Dani Shapiro

3/5 Stars

I think I’m in the minority of not loving this book, so I’m wondering if maybe it was just a case of wrong timing for me? I was so excited to read Signal Fires because the blurb sounded fantastic. The book follows a few characters, all residents of one particular neighborhood, over the course of a few decades. Children are born, teenagers grow up, families change forever. The intertwined lives of neighbors always fascinates me, but I had a hard time feeling attached to any of them. (There was also a weird tie in to the pandemic that didn’t feel necessary and kind of distracted me from the actual plot?)


3.5/5 Stars

Rebecca Makkai’s The Great Believers was one of my favorite books and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her new novel. Another blurb that sounded great to me! Based on a the campus of a prep school with an untimely death of one of the students and potentially a wrongful murder conviction. It flips between the 90s and present day from the perspective of one of murdered student’s roommate. It took me a long time to get into. By the end I was enjoying it more, but overall, I just didn’t love it. I felt like it took a lot of hot topics and mashed them into one book: the me too movement, true crime podcasting, student/teacher relationships, the pandemic… It didn’t have the same type of character development that I loved in The Great Believers.

SHINER by Amy Jo Burns

2/5 Stars

I picked up this book because I loved Educated and Demon Copperhead and really loved Betty. Shiner takes place in Appalachia and follows a 15 year old girl who lives with her parents in a very secluded cabin on a mountain. Her dad had taken up serpents after allegedly experiencing a miracle after being struck by lighting. (Also I had no idea what “taking up serpents” meant– I had never heard of it before so spent a lot of time Googling. It is a real thing that goes on!) I really wanted to like this book, but it moved so quickly in a way that didn’t feel fully baked.

GOOD INSIDE by Dr. Becky Kennedy

5/5 Stars

This was an absolutely fantastic parenting book! So encouraging and JAM PACKED with action items. This was being hyped up in a few parenting groups I’m in and I immediately had to download. Usually when people are posting parenting books, there’s back and forth on the merits of the philosophies and people debating why they did/didn’t like it. Good Inside is the exception apparently! Everyone was raving… and so am I! If you’re feeling underwater as a parent, like you’re not doing a good enough job, and that you think you might be “messing up” your kid…. you need to read this. Dr. Becky takes a lot of common issues with parenting (eating, perfectionism, separation anxiety, sleep issues, etc.) and gives practical, evidence based advice on how to handle it. The best part is that there are actual scripts you can use with your child. I loved it. I actually listened to the audiobook, but will be ordering a hardcopy so I can have a physical book to highlight and have on hand.

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Read Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax–absolutely fascinating (and a little depressing…)


Love this roundup! I always enjoy hearing what others are reading and find the ratings help me either feel energized/confident going into a book, or confident leaving one off my list. You’re getting me excited to read parenting books someday…!

Also obsessed with the vibes in your main photo – that looks like the ultimate cozy reading environment (setting the right mood is an underrated part of reading!).

If anyone here is into more mystery/thriller/suspense with a touch of romance – I did a similar style roundup for books I read in that genre (that happen to all be included in Kindle unlimited – bonus!):