What’s in your Summer Stack? Books we are reading at Home with a Twist

I’ve rounded up all the books we are reading this summer in our Mrs. Twist Reads This book club, and a fun announcement.

Summer reading is for the whole family.  In 2009, then Secretary of Education Arne Duncan described summer learning loss as “summer slide.”  It is estimated that school summer breaks will cause the average student to lose up to one month of instruction, with disadvantaged students being disproportionately affected. You can read more about the study here.

When Miss Bee was little I always included reading on her summer to-do list with visits to storytime at bookstores and the library.  She was allowed to check out as many books as she was years old.  We made a chart on the refrigerator with different rewards for every few books she read. I would even join in with her to read as well. One of our favorite things still is to stop into libraries in cities we are visiting while on vacation.

According to the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™: 7th Edition, 77% of kids ages 6–17 and 94% of parents believe reading books over the summer helps kids during the school year.  Here is a fun reading challenge from Scholastic for summer reading and activities. Our local library, Fort Worth Public Library, offers a summer reading challenge for prizes and its for adults and children. Be sure to check your local library to see what they are offering.  Here is a free pdf from Highlights for Children to encourage creative places to read — like in a fort with a friend or in a sand chair at the beach. And another pdf “Scavenger Hunt” to have fun while learning.

Mrs. Twist Reads This has two very different books planned for book club for July and August.

For our July read it’s Mrs. Everything from Jennifer Weiner.

Do we change or does the world change us?

Jo and Bethie Kaufman were born into a world full of promise.

Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world more fair; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life.

But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies. As their lives unfold against the background of free love and Vietnam, Woodstock and women’s lib, Bethie becomes an adventure-loving wild child who dives headlong into the counterculture and is up for anything (except settling down). Meanwhile, Jo becomes a proper young mother in Connecticut, a witness to the changing world instead of a participant. Neither woman inhabits the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy. Is it too late for the women to finally stake a claim on happily ever after?

In her most ambitious novel yet, Jennifer Weiner tells a story of two sisters who, with their different dreams and different paths, offer answers to the question: How should a woman be in the world?

In August, it’s an adventure thriller – The River by Peter Heller. Wynn and Jack have been best friends since freshman orientation, bonded by their shared love of mountains, books, and fishing. Wynn is a gentle giant, a Vermont kid never happier than when his feet are in the water. Jack is more rugged, raised on a ranch in Colorado where sleeping under the stars and cooking on a fire came as naturally to him as breathing. When they decide to canoe the Maskwa River in northern Canada, they anticipate long days of leisurely paddling and picking blueberries, and nights of stargazing and reading paperback Westerns. But a wildfire making its way across the forest adds unexpected urgency to the journey. When they hear a man and woman arguing on the fog-shrouded riverbank and decide to warn them about the fire, their search for the pair turns up nothing and no one. But: The next day a man appears on the river, paddling alone. Is this the man they heard? And, if he is, where is the woman? From this charged beginning, master storyteller Peter Heller unspools a headlong, heart-pounding story of desperate wilderness survival.

Commonplace Bookstore – WestBend

In September we will kick off our fall reading by meeting at the fun new reading spot — Commonplace Bookstore in WestBend.  They have offered to partner with Home with a Twist and host our bookclub in their gorgeous space.  The shelves are full of exquisite, unique titles.  It’s not your average bookstore, it’s something special.  We will enjoy fun bites and sips, too.  We will be reading Small Fry – a memoir by Lisa Brennan- Jobs daughter of Steve Jobs. Born on a farm and named in a field by her parents―artist Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs―Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s childhood unfolded in a rapidly changing Silicon Valley. When she was young, Lisa’s father was a mythical figure who was rarely present in her life. As she grew older, her father took an interest in her, ushering her into a new world of mansions, vacations, and private schools. His attention was thrilling, but he could also be cold, critical and unpredictable. When her relationship with her mother grew strained in high school, Lisa decided to move in with her father, hoping he’d become the parent she’d always wanted him to be. Part portrait of a complex family, part love letter to California in the seventies and eighties, Small Fry is a poignant coming-of-age story from one of our most exciting new literary voices.

Don’t wait until September to check out Commonplace.  Stop by and say hello to Kaitlynn, the store manager, and plop down on their stunning green velvet sofa for a coffee and look through all their titles.  They also have a beautiful selection of candles and journals and other gift items.  On Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. they offer a fun storytime for the littles (that’s my little in the blonde pigtails in the photo!).

If you are local to Fort Worth, feel free to join us for our July book club discussion Thursday, July 25  at 7 p.m. — we always have sips and snacks! Even if you aren’t local to my area, you can join our bookclub, membership is free, through Bookmovement.  By signing up you will receive notifications on our upcoming meetings and the books we will be reading.  Plus, you can create your personal queue of books you want to read outside of our group and find out new releases and trends in all genres of books.  Friends are always welcome.

No matter where you live, we’d love to have you join our community of women spending more time reading and less time using technology.  Join our movement!