WWW Wednesdays – August 28, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

Wow, can you believe it’s been four weeks since my last WWW Wednesdays update? I have no idea what happened to this summer, but it seems to have flown by. I still managed to do some reading in the past few weeks, probably not as much as I like to. The books I’ve read were great, so I can’t complain. The kids have been pretty happy with their picks too.

Echo Burning by Lee ChildMy bookshelf

– What I’m currently reading
Echo Burning by Lee Child, the #5 book in the Jack Reacher series. I started with book #1 earlier this year and I only enjoy learning about Jack Reacher’s character even more with every book. He’s quite an interesting guy, that’s for sure! 

– What I recently finished reading
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Wonder by R.J. Palacio. What a wonderful book on not just physical differences but life in middle school – you know, that age when you’re not a kid anymore, but not a teenager yet. August’s extreme facial deformities and his first year of not being homeschooled are described from several points of view. I usually don’t enjoy books with different POVs but it didn’t bother me here, as the narrators tend to pick up the story where the previous narrator left off, while adding some insight on their relationship with Auggie. I think what I liked best about this book is how genuine and realistic every character’s behavior was, not too tame, not too extreme. Warning: I had to use a few tissues at the end of this book, but it filled me with hope and happiness. A must read for everyone  probably age 9 and over.

Heartburn by Nora Ephron. A very entertaining novel on the breaking up of a marriage that seemed doomed – or very happy, depending on how you see it – from the beginning. Although the story’s events are nothing to laugh about, Nora Ephron made me smile or laugh out loud at every chapter. It was hard for me to understand why the main character Rachel didn’t walk away from her cheating husband many years before and this short book felt a little too long in my opinion, but the funny ending made up for the wait.

Reliquary by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, the sequel to the Relic thriller. Another great thriller from Preston & Child and an interesting follow-up to Relic, even though you don’t have to read Relic to understand this story. It’s probably not a book to read late at night though. The gruesome details will keep you up and the suspense will make you want to read the next chapter. I guess that’s what good books do to you.

– What I think I’ll read next
Cross My Heart, Hope to Die by Sara Shepard, the fifth book in The Lying Game series. There will probably be another five books after this one before I find out who the real killer is, but at this point, reading this series is more of a guilty pleasure, especially since it’s an easy read.

My kids’ bookshelf

What they’re currently reading
In the Trees, Honey Bees by Lori MortensenIn the Trees, Honey Bees by Lori Mortensen. A super cool book on bees, with very short, rhyming phrases on every page, as well as a short blub on the life of bees on the opposite page. My kids really like this book and we’ve learned quite a few things about bees. The detailed illustrations are beautiful and very helpful in understanding more about bees.
19 Girls and Me by Darcy Pattison. John Hercules is worried about being the only boy in his kindergarten class, especially since his older brother keeps teasing him he’s going to turn into a “sissy”. But once John gets the girls to join him on his wild imaginary play at recess, he has a great time. What will his brother say though, as he sees him surrounded with girls at play? This is a great book to show how girls and boys can play together and all bring their personal ideas to make the play even better.

 – What they recently finished reading
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff KinneyThe Diary of A Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. My oldest just turned seven and recently finished reading book #7 of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He’s read every book in the series before this one several times and seems to really enjoy the stories. The only thing that bugs me  is that this series describes life in middle school but it’s written in such an easy format that my son could read these in first grade (OK, he’s reading way beyond his grade level, but still). It seems few books out there cater to the young but advanced readers. The books he likes to read deal with issues he won’t get to experience for several years and he may not have the maturity to understand them all. If you know of some great books that are challenging but appropriate for a seven-year old, please let me know. He’s read plenty already, but I’m sure there are some we don’t know about.
Santa Calls by William Joyce. This is another GREAT book that belongs on the permanent shelf of classic children’s books. When Santa invites Art Atchinson Aimesworth, his little sister Esther and his best friend Spaulding to join him to the North Pole for a special mission, they jump to the occasion. But when they reach the end of their adventure, they wonder why Santa needed their help after all. Only the reader and Esther find out the real reason, and it’s a great one. A wonderful story to read anytime of the year, and definitely to siblings together.

– 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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14 responses to “WWW Wednesdays – August 28, 2013

  1. You’ve kept up with the Lee Child book’s better than me. I haven’t read past the first one yet. I love Nordic Thrillers, so I finally hunted down the first in Jussi Adler-Olsen’s series from my library. He’s a Danish author. Really enjoying his first book so far, ‘The Keeper of Lost Causes.’ But I’m at a board-review course this week–gone for 13 hours a day by the time I factor in my driving–so not much time for reading!

    • The Jack Reacher books are always a nice change of mood from the other books I read. I read this Swedish thriller/murder story years ago and I really liked it but I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the book or the author. It’s too bad because I know he’s pretty famous and has other books out there I would probably like.
      Have you tried audiobooks? That’s a good way to make your time in the car more productive. I don’t like listening to novels that way but it’s great for non-fiction.

  2. I read Wonder last fall when my 5th grader read it with his book club at school. Such a fabulous story! I agree with you, this book is appropriate for anybody 9 or over. My son is empathetic towards anybody that is different and when he would tell me about the book, I knew I had to read it too :)

  3. Oh, and I should add about Wonder that I really enjoyed the different character POVs the author employed within the chapters…the short chapters told from the different characters’ perspectives made me want to keep reading to see what the next character would have to say about Augie and their experience with him. I can’t say enough good things about this book, everybody should read it :)

    • It really is a brilliant book, one of those books that belong on your permanent bookshelf. I really liked the genuine aspect of each character, with their talents and flaws. And it shows you human nature at its worst and at its best. I really hope schools include Wonder in their curriculum. It would help spark many discussions on individual differences and inclusion.

  4. I’m reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo right now. Have you read it? It’s quite engaging, but LONG ~ over 600 pages.

  5. Wonder sounds good. I’m going to go add that to my never ending list. I wish I had more time to read.

  6. My son is a Diary of a Whimpy Kid fan but you got me interested with “Wonder.” It’s a great book to understand more what our kids go through during the many stages of growth and development. Thanks for sharing this. Have a great week.

    • My oldest loves Diary of a Wimpy Kid too! You should try the Big Nate series. It’s similar in style and according to my son, very funny. I think Wonder is good for kids who are at least the same age as the kids in the book, about 10, because of the depth of the subject. It really is a great read.

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