Read & Read: Book Review Round Up for May and June

Whoops! Apparently forgot to post the last few book review summaries. I have been reading a lot more but writing fewer reviews. So easy to fall behind….

Some of what have I been reading (besides Good Night Construction Site, work journals and a bunch of ‘why is my toddler insane’ type books…)


I Would Tuck You in By Sarah Asper-Smith

(my) Favorite Bedtime Story right now!  I found this book in a gift shop on a recent work trip to Alaska. It is a sweet simple story featuring Alaskan wild life and how the mama/parent demonstrates their love. Perfect for bedtime. The sea otter tucks her baby into kelp, the mama walrus gives baby a ride on her back, the hummingbird’s heart beats 1000 times a minute and other endearing facts. You do not need to go to Alaska to enjoy this book.

Motherhood Martyrdom and Costco by Whitney Dineen 

Reviewed this for Portland Book Review (PBR), excerpting myself “the funny books can be too much like a blog crammed between two covers or too repetitive or superficial, but Whitney’s book, her voice, and experiences shared for some reason feel different. Yes, still hilarious but also raw, honest, and beautiful.”

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Found this intriguing ebook via the Seattle Public Library. Mary did an excellent job respecting the cadavers and investigating the living’s emotions around the experience of work with cadavers. The book is a mix of historical (and oft gruesome treatment) and current day use of cadavers in improving every day life for the living. This goes beyond the classic A&P class for sure.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Put this on your summer (or fall) reading list. A great story with endearing characters and a twist or two to keep you reading along the way. It also made me think about Eleanors’ in my life.

The Last Days of Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan

This book is in my favorite genre of food lit. The story is beautifully detailed with food served at Cafe Leila spanning several decades in Iran, building a community. I love how the memory of food and life are so closely connected and also how the author presents the distinctly different lives inside versus outside the home.

Unearthing Paradise: Montana Writers in Defense of Greater Yellowstone edited by Marc Beaudin, Seabring Davis, and Max Hjortsberg:

Click title for full review: I do encourage the basic message of the book and for people to educate themselves about the mining potential, to take action, and embrace our national parks (

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

A short but fun read the plays to the Taming of the Shrew story line. It was my first Anne Tyler book and enjoyed her ability create a story and character so quickly. I have started another Anne Tyler book (Spool of Blue Thread) and it has a similar feel, so not sure how many more I will read. Stay tuned.

Hats off to You! by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by Leuyen Pham

Snuggle Bunny (A StoryPlay book) by Kate Dopirak, illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld

Snuggle Bunny, by Kate Dopriak, really lives up to the StoryPlay book tagline: ““A fun way to read together!” complete with discussion prompts, related activities, and play suggestions. The illustrations are soft, but full of recognizable animals (always plenty to talk about there), prompts for blanket forts, counting, and more.  The book title is fun to say for the littles, easy to remember (it is requested by name by my two-year-old) and I am all for encouraging snuggles with mama. The prompts are appreciated and are a way to give the book more lasting power, as right now some of them are not quite in our wheelhouse yet (age 2). It will be fun to see how my little one uses this book as he grows older and starts to read it himself.

Super Genes: Unlock the Astonishing Power of Your DNA for Optimum Health and Well-Being by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi

The following quote from page 15, sets the book’s goal. Is it attainable? That is up to you and perhaps we are still learning the science to realize it but why not aim for it?

“Radical well-being requires conscious choices. When you make the right choices, your genes will cooperate with whatever you want.”

Full review over on my LinkedIn page.

Where’s The Poop? Julie Markes

Sad to say this is now in the favorites rotation. Every night we have to read, lift the flap to see a pile of poo, although I let the toddler tell the story etc. It has done nothing to encourage potty training. Apparently monkey poop in trees, elephant dung under a rock, pink penguin ice turds and a ‘kid in the pool’ are uninspiring. 🙂 The poop is not in the potty.




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