After I wrote about a stranger's astonishment that my four-year-old daughter understands what I read to her, and the book involved happened to be On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder, my mom sent me a link to an article about the recent controversy over whether Wilder's books are appropriate for today's … Continue reading Cultural Sensitivity and Laura Ingalls Wilder
Most of my life, I've enjoyed reading the same books over and over--not too often, but returning to old favorites every few years. I noticed that what felt like "a few years" increased as I got older, but then when I was pregnant with my daughter I suddenly wanted to read only books that were … Continue reading Two Books to Read Once
Well, it's happened with the second child: That moment when a total stranger interrupts my reading aloud to voice the opinion that the child is too young to understand what I'm reading. Here's how I described this phenomenon when my first child was 4 years old: I must say, I got far less flak from … Continue reading Our kids understand books because we read them books!
I wrote a short review of The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, but I have more to say about this book. The author is a marriage counselor whose experience with clients led him to identify 5 distinct ways of expressing love and to recognize that the acts that convey to you that someone really … Continue reading more about The 5 Love Languages
Here's a sprightly introduction to my reviews of the books I read in the past month. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty There are multiple husbands with multiple secrets in this twisty story, which is sort of a mystery but also an excellent "modern realistic fiction" novel with lots of complex characters. Cecilia finds a … Continue reading Princess X and The Husband’s Secret Love Languages [book reviews]
Sometimes it takes me a while to get through a book, even if I'm interested in it, because other things are easier to read or more compelling. I had just started Awakening to the Great Sleep War when it started to seem very confusing, and then I realized that I was coming down with a … Continue reading Awakening to The Lake House or Drop City [book reviews]
The books I've read in the past month were set in a variety of locales. News of the World by Paulette Jiles Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels around Texas in the 1870s, buying newspapers when he can and stopping in small towns to invite people to pay a dime each to hear him reading aloud … Continue reading The World, the Woods, the Moor, Cranbury, and Florin [book reviews]
My church planned a Lenten book study, and then our books came in late, so I've spent the Easter season reading Waking Up White in parallel with the fiction that looked interesting at the library, which coincidentally was all by Asian authors. Sometimes I make an effort to seek out diverse authors/characters in my reading, … Continue reading 3 novels by Asian authors + Waking Up White
Some fiction and some nonfiction, both with strong female characters. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly This book tells an amazing story that deserves a place in history, but reading it isn't nearly as much fun as watching the movie. I'm disappointed to realize that a lot of the most pleasing moments in the movie … Continue reading What I’ve Been Reading Lately
I love the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and have treasured the experience of sharing them with my children. Little House on the Prairie was the first chapter book that interested Nicholas enough for me to read it to him. His sister Lydia's first chapter book was Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of … Continue reading Little House on the Prairie: Too racist for children?
It's Dr. Seuss's birthday! This is the day to enjoy reading a Dr. Seuss book, no matter how old you are. Stop by your local library and look for one you haven't read before! That's how we found Scrambled Eggs Super! (reviewed here). If you've never read I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew … Continue reading Easy Costume for Dr. Seuss Day
It's hard to think of titles for book-review posts. I only read two books this month, and U-words in the titles is one thing they have in common. In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume Between December 1951 and February 1952, three commercial airliners crashed in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Judy Blume was a teenager in … Continue reading U is for Unlikely Uterus [book reviews]
I started the year by finishing my library book, then dived into the stack of books I got for Christmas! Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman, translated from Swedish by Henning KochThis novel featuring one of the background characters from My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry (reviewed here) isn't nearly as unusual … Continue reading What I Read First in 2018
This isn’t really a blog. It’s a constantly expanding reference book. Most years, the most popular articles are more than a year old--they've had more time for other sites to link to them. I've made two Top 17 lists here: The articles written in 2017 that were most popular, and the articles that were overall … Continue reading Top 17 Articles of 2017
I've been rereading books lately (including The Geography of Nowhere, reviewed here) and reading magazines, but here are two books I read with my kids in the past month. The Giver by Lois Lowry My seventh-grade son Nicholas read this book in school and then, coincidentally, was given a copy by his sixth-grade cousin who'd … Continue reading The Giver and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz [book reviews]
It's been several months since I've posted book reviews. Here's what I've been reading.... Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal This novel has an extremely interesting structure, on which is hung a story that doesn't need to be told this way, if it needs to be told at all. Each chapter is … Continue reading Time Travel, Story Structure, and Unconvincing Women [book reviews]
My brother got me two books about cities for my birthday--one fiction and one nonfiction, both great books with great covers! Here they are, along with reviews of the other books I've read recently. Walkable City by Jeff Speck I love living in a walkable urban neighborhood! This book by a city planner told me a … Continue reading Walkable City, Visible City, and 4 more book reviews
My three-year-old Lydia and I recently enjoyed a picture book from our local library, Jacob's New Dress by Sarah & Ian Hoffman, illustrated by Chris Case. Jacob is a preschool boy who enjoys wearing dresses from the costume box but is criticized by his classmate Christopher. His mom is kind about his hurt feelings, but when … Continue reading Every school needs a Jacob!
Here's a sprightly introduction to my reviews of the books I've read in the past month. The God We Never Knew by Marcus Borg Marcus Borg is a theologian and Biblical scholar who admits that he got well into his adult life and graduate studies before he realized that his understanding of God was warped by … Continue reading 5 Book Reviews
I started a new job three weeks ago, so I've been rereading familiar books as a backdrop to all the new ideas! However, right before going back to work, I read a book published in 1999 that was new to me. Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger John is a teenager in the era of zines--that … Continue reading Book Reviews: Old and New