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Summer Book Review July| 2020

Summer Book Review July 2020

YAY! I’m so excited to write my Summer Book Review! I know, we are in August but I had some trouble finishing my books in July and ended up finishing the last two July Books yesterday.

So here I am with my Summer Book Review for July 2020 and I’m ready to go!

I read four books this past month which is considerably less than last month when I read 7 books. I am truly so proud of myself for finishing even four books. Heck, I’m proud of myself when I finish one book!

Ok so let’s get to this book review!

Book Review Checklist 
G, PG, PG-13, R 
How I read the book (Audible, Kindle, Hard Copy)

July Book Review | 2020

The Coddling of the American Mind

  • PG
  • Informational/Educational
  • Audible

The first book I listened to on Audible this month was The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure and you guys, it was pretty good.

My husband had listened to this book and kept talking about it so I decided I needed to listen to it myself.

I’m glad I did because we continue to talk about the topics in this book.

I will let the summary speak for itself.

A timely investigation into the new “safety culture” on campus and the dangers it poses to free speech, mental health, education, and ultimately democracy

The generation now coming of age has been taught three Great Untruths: their feelings are always right; they should avoid pain and discomfort, and they should look for faults in others and not themselves. These three Great Untruths are part of a larger philosophy that sees young people as fragile creatures who must be protected and supervised by adults. But despite the good intentions of the adults who impart them, the Great Untruths are harming kids by teaching them the opposite of ancient wisdom and the opposite of modern psychological findings on grit, growth, and antifragility.  

The result is rising rates of depression and anxiety, along with endless stories of college campuses torn apart by moralistic divisions and mutual recriminations.   

-Summary of The Coddling of the American Mind

If you are interested in topics like this, this is a great one to read!

All We Ever Wanted

  • PG-13/R in one scene
  • Domestic Fiction
  • Audible

The second book I read for my Summer Book Review, was All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin.

I was unsure about this book at first. I really don’t like tragic or sad books about children, even teenage children, now that I’m a mom.

But last month, I read a book by Emily Giffin and it was so good that I decided I needed to try another.

All We Ever Wanted was good but in my opinion not as good as The Lies That Bind.

All We Ever Wanted is a very current story. Giffin tackles a subject that I believe needs to be told more.

One of the main characters, Lyla a teenage girl, has an inappropriate picture taken of her at a party while she was passed out. And of course, the picture spreads like wildfire.

Emily Giffin tackles issues of class, race, sexism, and so many other topics all within this fast-moving story. Your heart cannot help but break into many pieces as you read.

What I do know after reading this book, is I never want Caroline to get into an awful situation like Lyla found herself in for so much of the story.


  • PG/PG-13 in a couple of domestic abuse moments
  • Memoir
  • Audible

You guys I’m obsessed with Julie Andrews! I love her so much and think the world of her but this book was somewhat hard to finish. And as I was finishing, that is when I wanted to keep listening.

When I started this book I didn’t realize it was a memoir of her time before Mary Poppins. I guess I should have read the summary. All I knew was others loved her second memoir Home Work and wanted to read her first memoir after finishing her second. So I thought I’d do it the “right way” and read Home first then Home Work second.

Well, not a mistake but the stories seemed to drag on a little at times. Gosh I feel so bad even writing that but I promised myself to always be truthful here.

I think what threw me off was I didn’t grow up knowing great theater names that she speaks of so often throughout the memoir. I think if I was able to relate a little more I might have gobbled it up. But for me I kept finding myself wanting a more summarized version.

Gosh, I feel awful for even writing that! Julie Andrews is truly an amazing figure. And I just adore her! And in my opinion, she has the right to write about any story even if some little American like me wants a more summarized version of it. Because at the end of the day, I have even more respect for her now knowing what it took to get to the lead roll in Mary Poppins.

Julie Andrews is tremendous, hard working, and so loving. I will be reading Home Away and I am very excited about it. By the way if you love Audible like I do this is a great one to listen to because it is read by none other than Julie Andrews herself! #obsessedwithJulieAndrewsvoice

Ok, was that too harsh? Sorry if it was….I truly do love Julie Andrews.

Girl Wash Your Face

  • PG-13
  • Motivational
  • Hard Copy

Am I the last girl in the world to read this book? Probably.

I finally read Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. I had found it at a consignment shop for about $3 over a year ago. And well, as life goes I finally read it.

I’m not the biggest fan of the book but I did find some inspirational ideas. I do like how raw and real Rachel is in her book. She has gone through some tough and very real stuff and she brings all of it to this book.

At moments I would think gosh this or that story is so awful and tragic, I wonder if she will get to the point. Then there were moments I felt like she got to the point and left me hanging, not wrapping up the end of the tragic story. I wanted to say to her if you’re going to take me down the tragic road, tell me what happens in the end! lol!

Easy read, I don’t agree with everything she says but I did take some good things. I like it when a book challenges my thoughts and this book did that at times.

And God bless Rachel Hollis, I know she is super duper famous but she has lived a hard life.

That’s it for my Summer Book Review in July….well technically speaking August. lol!

I wasn’t super crazy about any of these books.

My top two were The Coddling of the American Mind and All We Ever Wanted which I finished more quickly than the other two.

XO, Holley Signature


Jaclyn from Coffee, Pancakes, and Dreams

Brittany from Dreams and Coffee

Mary Leigh from Live Well Play Together

Tiffany from Lake Life State of Mind

Lindsay from Lindsay’s Sweet World

Keri from Cultivate an Intentional Life

Holley from Simply Holley Marie

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  1. Tiffany on August 5, 2020 at 7:14 am

    I love your book reviews!!! They’re so fun to read. For the record, you’re not the last person in the world to read, Girl Wash Your Face. I am! I just haven’t gotten around to it. I heard she was getting a divorce and so many people were upset with her that she was kind of selling an image she wasn’t living and it turned me off. Maybe I’ll read it one day, but definitely not anytime soon.

    • Holley on August 5, 2020 at 7:51 am

      Yeah, I was disappointed to hear she was getting a divorce. I actually just heard about it last week as I was in the second half of the book. It made some of the parts difficult to read especially when she talks about having a “healthy” marriage. Bless her. I hope she is doing ok and I hope the best for her but I wasn’t super crazy about her book even before I knew about her getting divorced.

  2. Jaclyn Musselman on August 5, 2020 at 8:12 am

    I did not love Girl Wash Your Face either. But I do want to read Home..I love Julie Andrews.

    • Holley on August 5, 2020 at 5:51 pm

      So good to know that I wasn’t the only one!

  3. Joanne on August 5, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    I actually felt the exact same way about Homework from Julie Andrews other than Mary Poppins and Sound of Music (she doesn’t get into the Princess Diaries at all) I didn’t know any of her other movies she talked about and hardly any of the stars/names she was dropping. I found myself looking up so much on my phone as I slogged through. I like it.. but I didn’t love it and wondered if her Home book would be easier to read but it doesn’t sound like it. I did like that Emily Griffin book and since my boys are all pre-teens & teens I did bring it up to them a few times about posting anything about anyone on social media (which none of them are into at all — yet?).

    • Holley on August 5, 2020 at 5:51 pm

      Oh wow! So I wonder if I should take the time to read Home Work…I was thinking that one would be more interesting. Sounds like it is the same as Home. #stillaJulieAndrewsfanforlife!
      That is so great you were able to bring up the subjects in the Emily Griffin book to your boys. She really touched some difficult subjects through a this book. She is an amazing writer!

  4. Brittany Boyce on August 6, 2020 at 8:58 am

    Love reading these – it inspires me to pick up some books and actually read! I️ have great intentions but then never get around to it. I️ want to read these now! Especially Emily Giffin’s new book – love her!

  5. Caroline on August 7, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    That Emily Giffin book was my least favorite of hers. I read her newest one a few weeks ago, and I’m really wanting someone to make it into a movie! The first book you mentioned is added to my list!

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I'm Holley, I am a wife and mom who loves making each day enjoyable for my family! I'm so glad you are here! I hope you find ways to make your life simple, fun and organized! Enjoy!!!

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