An Open Book: July 2019

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Copyright 2018 Carolyn Astfalk. All rights reserved.

Welcome to the MONTH YEAR edition of An Open Book, hosted both at My Scribbler’s Heart AND Catholicmom.com!

An Open Book is all about what my family is reading this month, from the adults down to the little kids. Share what you’re reading by linking up your blog post below. Simply write about what you’re reading. You can make it personal or, as I do, extend it to the whole family. Your post can be as simple as a few lines about the book or as in-depth as a 700-word review. That’s entirely up to you. You can even forego writing all together and record a video or simply post cover photos.

No blog? No problem. Please share what you’re reading in the comments.

Around the time of the D-Day anniversary (June 6), my husband began listening to The Dead and Those About to Die: D-Day: The Big Red One at Omaha Beach by John C. McManus. The book is an account of the harrowing World War II battle. With fewer WWII veterans remaining every day, this history takes on greater significance. So many, including my own father and father-in-law, spoke so little of the horror or the heroism they experienced.

I’ve been listening to a historical novel that goes back a few centuries farther: The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Wodehouse. It’s the first in the Daughters of the Mayflower Series, which in includes eight books by six different authors. While from the title you’d guess this is a romance, what strikes me most are the hardships faced by the pilgrims. Stormy seas, sea sickness, scurvy, a leaky ship, scarce food and water, threatening natives, and more. Crossing the Atlantic was not for the weak. Historical figures interact with fictional ones in this sobering account of the journey to the New World by “saints” and “strangers.”

Many of the books I’ve been reading have yet to be released, and that includes one I’m ready to begin. The Killing Tide by Dani Pettrey is the first in her Coastal Guardians series. If you’re a fan of Christian romantic suspense, the author has two series under her belt already, and they are consistently entertaining. This series launches with a Coast Guard Investigative Service special agent butting heads with an investigative reporter who happens to be his boss’s sister as they try to uncover who is behind the death of one Coast Guard officer and the disappearance of another.

This summer’s CatholicMom.com Book Club features Our Lady of Charity: How a Cuban Devotion to Mary Helped Me Grow in Faith and Love by Maria Morera Johnson. The Cuban history is fascinating, and the author’s experience as an exile enriches her account of her heritage and person devotion to the Blessed Mother under the Our Lady of Charity mantle. I was privileged to interview the author. The interview and a series of chapter reflections round out the summer book club. Learn more, including how to buy the book at a discount through CatholicMom.

As the school year ended, my son told me about the great movie his Latin II class had watched. From his short description, I guessed that they’d watched The Eagle. Conveniently, I’d read The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutliff as part of Sabbath Rest Book Talk. Marcus sets out to discover the fate of his missing father, who led the Roman Ninth Legion. We requested the book from the library, and so began his summer reading.

For his birthday, my now-high school junior (gulp!) received The Jedi Path. (You knew there were Star Wars books coming, right?) This unique book is an ancient training manual for Jedi. It includes history and lore of the Jedi order with notes from Yoda, Luke Skywalker, and others. My son says it’s great for Star Wars fans and just plain fun to look at, but he does warn that since Disney has acquired the Star Wars franchise, information included in the book is no longer canon.

Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray is the latest Star Wars novel, and this one is part of the new canon. It follows Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi master and his padawan, before The Phantom Menace. Seeing as my son has been buried in this novel, for which he acquired a signed, hardcover copy, I’d say he thinks it’s very good.

My little second grader is moving between picture books and chapter books. She attends a lunchtime book chat for children her age (Chewsy Readers) at our local library. In conjunction with this summer’s spaced-themed reading program, she brought home Dwarf Planets: Pluto, Charon, Ceres, and Eris by Nancy Loewen. Simple graphics and illustrations make the astronomy lesson palatable for all ages. She loved this book!

We picked up an inexpensive copy of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This is one of those childhood classics that I missed out on, and I’d like to read it myself. Straight from the description: When orphan Mary Lennox moves to her uncle’s house, she finds lots of secrets, including nearly a hundred rooms. She discovers an escape in a secret garden and is determined to bring the garden back to life.

My two youngest are enjoying Audacious Ignatius by Paul Mitchell with bright illustrations by Katie Mitchell Broussard. Who would’ve thought so many words rhymed with Ignatius? This brightly illustrated, rhyming picture book is a fun biography of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order. It’s a great introduction to the saint for young children — and a vocabulary-building book as well!

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Copyright 2019 Carolyn Astfalk
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About Author

Carolyn Astfalk is a wife, mother of four young children, and a writer. Her contemporary inspirational romances Stay With Me, Ornamental Graces, and Rightfully Ours are available at Amazon.com. She blogs at My Scribbler’s Heart. Visit carolynastfalk.com.

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