Wow, I’m sooooo behind on my book updates, and it’s not for lack of reading. Let me catch up with what I’ve read, as well as feature a few great children’s books we’ve run into recently. I’ll share more of those in future posts as I get caught up with my backlog.
- What I’m currently reading
- Defending Jacob by William Landay. An interesting story on a district attorney’s teenage son being accused of murder. I’m curious to see how it all ends, and I’ve had a pretty big suspicion since almost the beginning. Argh, I hope I’m not right about this…
- The Seneca Scourge by Carrie Rubin. Carrie at The Write Transition must have had a fit when I told her I was finally reading her book. What can I say? I didn’t have an ebook reader when her book came out last year. I recently won a free electronic copy of her book and my kids were kind enough to share their new tablet to let me read the book on it so I don’t have to use my computer. I’m enjoying the read so far!
- What I recently finished reading
Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman. A fascinating read on the state of television in the mid 1980s. You’d think this book was outdated in today’s world, but it’s even more relevant with all the new technologies and the many changes that have happened on TV since then. I bet Neil Postman would roll his eyes in his tomb if he could watch only 5 minutes of the many reality shows that fill the screen every night. I enjoyed his journey explaining how writing in its own way replaced oral storytelling, and how television was the next progression. This book is filled with a lot of analysis on various TV programs, including the news and even Sesame Street. It explains how we fill our lives with so many trivial facts that really make no difference in improving our condition. Throughout the book, Postman refers to Husley’s 1984 novel and in the end, concludes that Huxley’s made-up world is not far off from where we are. A very compelling case on our addiction to the many forms of entertainment available out there.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. I can’t believe it took me so long to read this book but I’m glad I finally did! It was so interesting to read L’Engle’s interview at the end of the book, including the hard time she had to find a publisher for this specific story. This was the very first sci-fi/fantasy book written for young adults and she said it was too different for publishers to take a risk at the time. I really enjoyed her storytelling, how each character was likable and made me feel for them. And the moral of the story is a universal truth: only love can conquer evil. I can’t wait to read the next books in the series. I recommend this book to anyone age 9 and up.
To Dance With The White Dog by Terry Kay. A blogger recommended this story on her blog a few months ago and I feel terrible because I can’t remember who it was. If you recognize yourself, please chime in, as this was a great recommendation. This book tells the beautiful story about an old man losing his wife and living on without her. His children live nearby and do their best to make sure dad is OK, as dad tries hard to maintain his independence. As he starts telling his children about the white dog that has suddenly appeared but only he can seem to see, they (and the reader) start wondering if he’s losing his mind. This is a tender story about life, love and perseverance. I really, really liked this book and highly recommend the short read.
Cross My Heart, Hope to Die by Sara Shepard, the fifth book in The Lying Game series. After reading about a hundred pages of this book, I decided to put it down. As much as I’ve enjoyed reading the series so far and crossing off suspect after suspect from the list, I’ve reached my limit. This book is more of the same, making you wonder if one of the characters is the murderer or not, and it’s getting old. I think I’ll read the very last book of the series when it comes out, just to find out how it unravels.
Echo Burning by Lee Child, the #5 book in the Jack Reacher series. One thing I like about the Jack Reacher series is the consistency of the main character’s behavior and action. I enjoy discovering new aspects of his personality and skills in each book. The one thing I like best is how every book is different and keeps you guessing until the end. This one did just the trick. I scratched my head trying to figure it out as the story was bouncing me around from one possibility to another. The ending was quite a surprise and I enjoyed this book very much. Can’t wait to read the next one!
- What I think I’ll read next
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough. I saw this book at my kids’ school book fair recently and thought it could be an interesting read.
My kids’ bookshelf
- What they’re currently reading
Chowder and The Fabulous Bouncing Chowder by Peter Brown. These are some of the funniest books we’ve read in a while. Peter Brown is a talented illustrator but he also happens to be a children’s book author with a great sense of humor. And he’s not worried about pushing the envelope and going where no other children’s book author has gone become. Chowder is a bulldog who behaves more like a human than a dog, in many ways. My youngest told me I should share the first page of Chowder and he even took this photo with my phone.
I have to admit it took us a few minutes to stop laughing long enough so I could continue reading. It didn’t help that a few pages later, I misread that Chowder’s owners bought him “toy dogs” to keep him busy, instead of “dog toys” (wouldn’t toy dogs be really funny?). We’re definitely going to read these two hilarious books a few times more before we decide to return them to the library.
- What they recently finished reading
We’ve finally read a number of Elmer the patchwork elephant books by David McKee. Elmer is not only different looking physically, but he also is a great jokester with the other elephants and animals. Now, if you can get past the elephants, lions and tigers (yes, tigers) living happily all together. Oh, and a few kangaroos too… I guess that’s what happens in a borderless world.
- What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?
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