Happy #SpelltheMonthinBooks Saturday! Here’s a little rundown of how this linkup works:
The goal is to spell the name of the current month by using the first letter of book titles (skipping articles like A, An, and The). This can be done with books you have on hand, creating a physical bookstack, or by building a virtual bookstack. I’ve recently started sharing themes a few months in advance to focus your book search, but following the theme is entirely optional. Once you have your stack, you can share it whatever way is convenient for you. Some bloggers do this by creating a post and adding a link to it in linkup widget toward the bottom of this page (click on the blue button that says “Click here to enter”). You can also share your list in a comment (with or without a link) or share a picture of your stack/list with the hashtag #SpelltheMonthinBooks on your preferred social media site. Regardless of how you participate, feel free to grab the button from the bottom of this page to include with it. This is a new button as of February 2021! Other than aesthetics, the only difference from the previous one is that it links to the tag #SpelltheMonthinBooks rather than one specific post.
Are you ready to take the challenge? Can you Spell the Month in Books? Linkups open on the second Saturday of each month and remain open until the next one is posted.
The theme challenge for July 2021 is book covers that are patriotic/in the colors of your country’s flag.
July – Patriotic Covers
J – Faith, Hope, and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Juvenile/middle grade contemporary fiction
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ivy June Mosely and Catherine Combs, two girls from different parts of Kentucky, are participating in the first seventh-grade student exchange program between their schools. The girls will stay at each other’s homes, attend school together, and record their experience in their journals. Catherine and her family have a beautiful home with plenty of space. Since Ivy June’s house is crowded, she lives with her grandparents. Her Pappaw works in the coal mines supporting four generations of kinfolk. Ivy June can’t wait until he leaves that mine forever and retires. As the girls get closer, they discover they’re more alike than different, especially when they face the terror of not knowing what’s happening to those they love most.
I read this in 2019 and really enjoyed it. It’s a fun story, but this book also has a lot to say about how we view people who are in a different economic situation than ourselves. It also looks at the perceived and actual differences in urban and rural lifestyles from a middle schooler’s perspective. Admittedly, this is a stretch both for the letter J in the title and for a patriotic cover. Even though it isn’t red, white, and blue, the natural landscape and the way it reflects the themes and contents of the story make it a good fit in my opinion.
U – United as One (Lorien Legacies #7) by Pittacus Lore
YA Science Fiction
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The seventh and final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling I Am Number Four series! With United as One, this action-packed series comes to a surprising, breathtaking, and utterly satisfying conclusion. The Garde didn’t start this war, but they’ll do whatever it takes to end it once and for all.
Straight from my former YA science fiction phase, United as One is a fun addition to this list, even if it is not one I frequently reread. The cover looks more silver than blue here, but in person it is a beautiful shining blue.
L – Lapse Americana by Benjamin Myers
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The twin ravens, Thought and Memory, of Norse myth are reborn as American crows to fly an interweaving pattern or remembering and forgetting through the pages of LAPSE AMERICANA. Born out of the poet’s childhood during the Pax Americana and situated within the war and economic lapse of the new century, these poems explore memory and amnesia, faith and doubt, presence and absence. They are rooted in rural, working class experience as well as in the poetic traditions of America, Europe, and China. By turns formal and jazzy, confessional and coy, these poems speak of the universal by focusing on the particular, insisting with simultaneous emphasis upon the value of remembering and of embracing forgetfulness.
Lapse Americana is an interesting poetry collection about the things in life that are soon forgotten. It’s an interesting look at the author’s life so far, and provides an intriguing perspective for considering American culture and direction as a whole.
Y – These Happy Golden Years (Little House #8) by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Juvenile/Middle Grade Historical Fiction
This is the only book on this month’s list which I have not read. I am fairly certain that my family owns a copy and has had it as long as I can remember, but I never made it this far in the Little House series. I’m stretching not to repeat books from previous months, so that Y at the end is going to have to count! Similar to the first book, the cover may not be red, white, or blue, but the nostalgia it evokes from the natural setting feels to me like Americana.
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What do you think of the books I chose this month? For August, the theme challenge will be to use books you want to read in the latter half of 2021.
If you have a suggestion for future themes, leave a comment or send me an email. I’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in the post if I use your suggestion!
Until the next chapter,