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– What I’m currently reading
I’m reading two books at the same time (this is not the most efficient way to read for me, but one of them is a fast read):
– 1984 by George Orwell. Last time I read it was in high school, so it will be interesting to see what I get out of it as an adult.
– The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People by David Niven. I enjoyed reading his book The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People a few months ago (you can read my review here) so I thought I’d go ahead and read the other books in the series.
– What I recently finished reading
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. I’ve wanted to read this book for a very long time and finally got to do it for my upcoming book club meeting. I think everyone will have a different opinion about this book depending on their gender and their age when they get to read this story. As a woman reading this book in my 40s, I’m fascinated by Humbert’s twisted mind and the many ways he justifies his thoughts and actions. He goes at lengths to explain why what he does is perfectly OK, and that gives me an idea of what goes through a child predator or a sex pervert’s mind. As for Lolita/Dolores, wow… First portrayed as an innocent pubescent child, you come to realize she’s got a much mature mindset and attitude than her age indicates. Overall I liked this book but I thought Part 2 dragged up for a little too long. The two-year long trip around the US bored me a bit and I found myself scheming that part of the book. The end is fascinating though. This is definitely one of those books you need to read in your lifetime.
The Optimistic Child by Martin Selingman. This book may not be so helpful if you have very young children but is definitely worth the read if you have tweens or teens. Seligman clearly marks the differences between seeing the glass half empty and the one half full. This book not only contains a lot of research data but also a ton of valuable concrete examples of what children can go through and how they handle it. Seligman shows what a parent should or shouldn’t say in some situations to be supportive, and he provides a lot of tools to help children become more optimistic than pessimistic. His 5-step problem solving process works for adults too, clearly explaining how to identify a bad event as temporary rather than permanent, take a fresh perspective, set new goals and a plan of action for the future. I definitely recommend this book if you’re interested in the subject for yourself or your kids.
– What I think I’ll read next
Teach Your Children Well: Why Values and Coping Skills Matter More Than Grades, Trophies, or “Fat Envelopes” by Madeleine Levine. Several people I know have read this book, so I thought, why not? I’m interested in coping skills for children, so hopefully I can find some good advice in this book.
My kids’ bookshelf
– What they’re currently reading
The Ninja Meerkats series by Gareth Jones and Luke Finlayson. I have not read these books yet but I have flipped through the pages. More importantly I’ve watched my seven-year old devour ALL 6 books in the series, and go back to reading them again and again. And I have seen my 5-year old flip through the books too, asking his brother to tell him what happens in each chapter and read him the story. Just check out the characters’ names: Jet Flashfeet, Chuck Cobracrusher, Donnie Dragonjab, and Bruce Willowhammer. Ninja Meerkats with super cool names? Can it get any better??? Hi-yah!
The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. This is the second time we’ve borrowed this book from the library because we like it so much. A boy’s crayons each write him a letter to tell him why they’re upset in the way he uses each color. Having boys, I know too well that red (and black) is indeed the pencil that gets used all the time, and I have plenty of unused pink pencils. Oliver Jeffers drew the illustrations for this book, with crayons, of course, and they are brilliant.
– What they recently finished reading
This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. My kids and I really, really like this book. We read it several times and never got tired of it, seeing each equation in a different light. This books sums up (pun intended) the little joys (and sorrows) of life in simple, yet smart equations, such as “wishes + frosting = birthday”. We’re big fans of Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Exclamation Mark!) and this book doesn’t disappoint. This is one of my favorite pages in the book:
The Purple Kangaroo by Michael Ian Black. Comedian Michael Ian Black can be funny on TV but he’s also hilarious as a children’s book author. This isn’t the first book of his we’ve read but my boys really enjoyed this one, especially because Peter Brown’s illustrations go so well with the text. The narrator monkey bets that he can read your mind. How can this be? He bets that you’re thinking… about… a purple kangaroo! No, you weren’t thinking about a purple kangaroo? Are you sure you weren’t thinking about a purple kangaroo on roller skates… the story goes on, adding on to the ridiculous concept until the very end, where the monkey knows that you’re thinking about a purple kangaroo now! This is one of those books my kids ask me to read again as soon as I’m done, to see if it’s just as good as the first time. It is.
– 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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