July 2016 Book Reviews


I travelled to Poland at the end of July to attend World Youth Day (WYD) with Pope Francis and 2M of my closest friends. It was my first WYD since 2008 and Pope Benedict. I was excited for this trip not only because it was my first experience with Pope Francis but also because it was the birthplace of St. Pope John Paul 2. In preparation for the trip, I read several books on Poland. I usually don’t do this because I like to be surprised and learn as I go but for some reason, I felt called to read about Poland. I am glad I did because I learned a lot about Poland – its struggles, triumphs and saints. I fell in love with Poland through books and its history first and then more deeply while there. Books really can take you anywhere… This month I spent a lot of time in Poland but I also went back in time and to places where Vampires, Fairies and other creatures live. #bestlifeever


  1. Husband Sit and Husband Stay by Louise Cusack
  2. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  3. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
  4. Runaway Vampire by Lynsay Sands
  5. Fablehaven and Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull

Tom SawyerThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain – I read this when I was younger and I didn’t appreciate it then as much as I do now. When I read this we didn’t have a computer let alone cell phones and game systems. We had to use our imagination to entertain ourselves. We played the same games Tom and Huck played – Cowboys and Indians, Pirates, Cops and Robbers, Hide and Seek, Tag etc… This book reminds you about your first loves/crushes, how to use your imagination, how a simple picnic can turn into grand adventures and how to do the right thing.

AmericanahAmericanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – This was our Book Club book for July and for the most part we were all disappointed that it was too short. We wanted more details about Nigeria but we relented since the book was about being Nigerian in America. While reading this book there were several police-related killings of black men in the US which heightened my sensitivity to what the author was saying about being “black” in America. This is a raw, honest book about being an “African” black in America and how they view things. There were several examples that made me cringe but mostly because I had probably done some of them. If you are one the of “privileged” and are looking for ways to support your friend, this book is a good start. Read it, ingest it, learn from it and act. #Blacklivesmatter

End of Watch by Stephen King – (Fiction) Great ending to the series! The first two books were mysteries. This last book added a touch of SK’s supernatural/science fiction that he is so known for.

The Unwanted Heiress by Amy Corwin – (Historical Romance) I have come to love these books in general but I really liked this one because it incorporated mystery and suspense.

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas – (YA Fantasy) I still can’t get enough of this series! I must read for all YA lovers.

Lady of Pleasure and Night of Pleasure by Delilah Marvelle – (Historical Romance) School of Gallantry series – Fun reads! You will wish you can send your partner there!

Runaway Vampire by Lynsay Sands – (Paranormal) LS doesn’s disappoint. I have loved ALL of these books and I can’t wait for more.

Husband Sit and Husband Stay by Louise Cusack – (Romance) I couldn’t put the first book down! I meant to only read the first couple of chapters one (work) night and ended up reading the whole thing and staying up till 2am. I am still trying to figure out if I can become a husband sitter 😉 If you are looking for a fun sexy read …this is it!!

Against a Crimson Sky (The Poland Trilogy Book 2) by James Conroyd Martin  – (Historical Fiction) A great follow-up to the first book.  Personally, this was the beginning of my search to really understand Poland. This book takes place (along with the others in the series) in the 1700s which was the end of the country of Poland until the 1900s.

City of Saints: A Pilgrimage to John Paul II’s Kraków by George Weigel – (NF) WOW! This is a great book to read before going to Krakow especially if you are Catholic. If you aren’t Catholic, I think you will still find this book interesting but you may skim through some of the more religious references. I am SO glad I read this because we really didn’t have a “guide” while in Krakow and this book helped me point out different churches and locations and their significance to JP2.

Goodbye Poland by Stefan Maczka – (NF) Another WOW! You read and hear so much about the Germans it’s easy to forget about the Russians. This book really really shook me to the core. Not only were the actions of the Russians horrendous to the Polish but then the actions on part of the US and UK when they basically handed over Poland to the Russians. Very very sad especially after all that the Polish accomplished to regain their country.

Fablehaven and Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull – (YA/Children’s book) Several of my ADULT friends recommended this series and after reading all the Polish doom and gloom books I am glad I read them. GREAT books for children and adults alike. Fun, fast reads that take the readers through excellent adventures 🙂

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