Three books I read over vacation

Books I ingested while on vacation

During winter I miss living down south for an obvious reason – it is too cold up here! However, when it comes to summer I don’t feel that disconnected from the southern states. As I type this afternoon, one storm has graced us with its presence and I see another storm looming. It is like a friendly postcard reminder from Florida that says here’s a taste of what you miss (daily afternoon storms) and everything you don’t miss (the bugs.)

Oh wait, those are up here too. At least most aren’t the size of my hand.

Food update:

Trader Joe’s tasting: Back in this post I mentioned that my husband and I were going to try the Brownie Crisp coffee ice cream sandwiches. We did, they were refreshing and they surprised us in two ways:

1) Chocolate was a good compliment to the coffee – I’m not the biggest chocolate fan, which made me nervous to try these sandwiches. I did not need to be scared. In recipes such as chocolate cake or brownies, chocolate is brought to a different dimension by the addition of coffee, so it is known they are a great pair. This was the case in these sandwiches. I enjoyed the chewiness of the brownie crisp – it was a good texture and didn’t break apart (a pet peeve of mine with ice cream sandwiches).

2) The coffee ice cream wasn’t overly sweet – I’m not the biggest sugar fan, so when I bit into the sandwich and discovered the ice cream was more like a latte than caramel macchiato, I was thrilled!

And now to the meat of the post. I wanted to give some more highlights from our anniversary vacation beyond the park. Side note: part two of the park adventure is coming soon, which is all about the animals we encountered!


One of my goals during our days off was to read. Some summers I want to be active and outdoors. My mind feels like it is going a million miles-a-second and can’t focus. Other summers I want to sit and read. This summer is turning out to be the latter. I blame it on all the boot camp workouts I’m doing; they wear me out!

Regardless, I can not get enough books! Based on recommendations, I picked up three books from the library and wasn’t disappointed.

Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner Secrets of a Charmed Life
While skimming through my Instagram feed, I saw Rachel Cruze list this book as a great ‘by the pool’ read. I completely agree! I refrained from reading the summary (which is a behavior I’m going to turn into a habit because I like the thrill of being surprised), but if you’d like some info about the book, follow the link to Goodreads (above).

Immediately after finishing “The Lost Book of the Grail,” I started this book and wondered if I’d be able to switch gears so quickly. It took me no time at all to be invited into the plot. I’m sensitive to content and there were some parts that were overly visual for me, but aside from that, it was smooth and easy!


The Abrams Guide to Period Styles for Interiors by Judith Gura The Abrams Guide to Period Styles for Interiors
I’ve been looking for a book like this one for years. I gave up trying a year ago, but my subconscious kept the idea in cue. When I stumbled upon this while searching for an interior design book at the library, it was as though I had found a treasure.

Art history is something I try to keep up with after graduating from college. I’m not always great about it, but it was one of my favorite classes in school. I really would like to keep the information fresh in my mind. This book is in-depth and has great accompanying pictures. Interior design (and the history of it) is a hobby for me, so this book, though it would likely put most people to sleep, is an exciting find! To each their own!


The Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie Lovett The Lost Book of the Grail
What a fantastic adventure this book provided! I loved every bit of reading it. From the structure of the chapters to the lovely plot, it was just what I wanted for my first summer read of the year. I’ve been intrigued by the search for the Holy Grail and the legend of King Arthur, so the book provided a way for me to get lost inside the romance of those notions. It involved architecture talk, which, given the book I list above, is clearly something that piques my interest. Worth reading? Absolutely!

What’s next on my reading journey is “The Bookman’s Tale” by Charlie Lovett (because I enjoyed the book above so much) and “The Jane Austen Project” by Kathleen A Flynn. The only thing I know about either book is that they are both great according to other readers. I’m excited to find out. They were both available at my library, so hopefully they’ll be ready for pick up tomorrow!