Book Club Review + Bonus Download! (Read for Entertainment + Improvement)

April 2021-June 2021

Before we begin, look to the right. If that doesn’t say you’re following the blog make sure you put your email in and I’ll send you free downloads from here on out!

In 2017 I started a list of my goals and accountability tracking for the year. I reached and exceeded every goal.

Download Your Yearly Goal Sheet For FREE Here! 

If you’re looking for more book or podcast recommendations you can read my other book reviews from this year you can catch up here.

The goal of this section of the blog is to share a glimpse into what inspires, motivates and teaches me. Out of the books I read, I only bring up the ones I would suggest taking a look at…there are still a few that get left out; entirely based on my own opinions.

So where do I find all these books to read? Lots of places. I follow the Book of the Month Club on Instagram and I get weekly suggestions from my daily news source, theSkimm. You can sign up for free here using my referral code!


Read For Entertainment


This was a bit slow for me but overall very identifiable and comfortable with the characters and Irish-based storyline. An American cop moves to a small village in Ireland. He intends to leave his police instincts behind him but a young villager comes to him requesting help for a brother gone missing. The once quiet community turns out to have deeper, darker problems than he originally thought. Was this surprising of a read? Eh, some mini surprises pop in here and there but overall, no. I think the hype built up around this novel was greater than the words themselves. 


I couldn’t not keep reading this. This novel takes place during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression. You can feel the grit and dust in your teeh, the strain on the family and relationships. It reminds you a lot of what is happening right now with people being out of work. The complaints on this book are about the ending when they befriend and work with a communist group but otherwise a great read. Another book by Hannah is below (a bit cheesier but I read that one first). 


Honestly…I don’t think there was a point to this book even being written. Althought this was a NYT Bestseller, it felt melodramatic with the dysfunction of a theater  industry, marriage and long-time friendship. A married couple of over 20 years looks over what they think was a happy marriage when the wife finds a ‘lost’ wedding ring of the husband’s. It was more focused on mid-life crises than it was about an interesting story plot. 


I’d heard about this historic classic but had never read it. I figured it was time to get up to date and realized it’s the longest book I have probably ever read. 100% truth: The historical read is the only thing that kept me coming back. It was hard to hear the stories of what happened to slaves when played out by actual characters you came to love. But that was entirely the point of the author as this was used as an influential, yet controversial, book in 1917. 


If you’re a military family you’ll find this a little bit cheesier than The Four Winds linked above. If not, maybe it will be a good eye opener of the insights to military life! Besides the TYFYS attitude toward the end and some of the thoughts, I will say this is a unique storyline I don’t see a lot. The mother is called to deploy, a marriage is strained and young daughters lash out in response to feelings they don’t know how to handle yet. When the mother is wounded, losing a leg, the family dynamic drastically changes. You won’t be disappointed in this read! 


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Read For Improvement

A lot of my reads in this category have been developmental stage from this book blog about TTC and Parenting. 


I appreciate and admire the way Candace Owens speaks so when her book (and all the promotion) came out, I was curious about listening in. While I think anyone calling for unity by still referring to LEFT and RIGHT defeats the purpose, I did appreciate the personal stories, references and point of view Owens offered. Whether you’re a fan or not, I encourage you to keep an open mind and read or listen in. 

You’ve read through my opinions so you deserve some FREE STUFF! Make sure you are following the blog (upper right of this page) to get free downloads in the future. Once you’re following, go ahead and download this document: GOALS FOR 2020 from Local Collaborative I mentioned to track your goals and adventures for the rest of the year and into 2020.



PS: Are you enjoying these blogs? Have we worked together? I would love to get your short and honest review on my Facebook page. Thanks in advance!

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Ashley Layton

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