How playing Gollum can boost reading skills

Lydia is in kindergarten now and easily picking up the "sight words" and phonics as they're taught.  There's no need to pressure her to pick up reading any faster, but I pounced on this opportunity to help her practice by doing something she was really interested in doing! The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is one … Continue reading How playing Gollum can boost reading skills

The Forgotten Garden and books I’m going to read in 2020

Four years ago, I posted a photo of the stack of books I got for Christmas and later updated the post with links to the book reviews.  This year, I've already finished one of the books (the longest one!) so this post isn't just a tease--it also includes one review! The Forgotten Garden is the … Continue reading The Forgotten Garden and books I’m going to read in 2020

Vinegar Girl, Bright April, Tell the Machine Goodnight [book reviews]

As we wrap up the second decade of the twenty-first century, I've been reading and thinking about things like the effects of immigration policy on science and marriage, how the struggle against racism has changed over time, and what weird new technologies may emerge in the 2020s. Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler The cover emphasizes … Continue reading Vinegar Girl, Bright April, Tell the Machine Goodnight [book reviews]

Two First Novels by Authors Starting with K [book reviews]

I stepped into an aisle in my local library's fiction section and checked out the first two books that looked good.  Each of them turned out to be the first novel by an author experienced in another type of writing--Erin Kelly is a journalist, and Richard Kramer is a television scriptwriter.  Both of them are … Continue reading Two First Novels by Authors Starting with K [book reviews]

Trixie Belden and the Little Fires Within You [book reviews]

My daughter Lydia is about to start kindergarten and is not really reading yet, only recognizing about 10 words.  That's fine.  When I was her age, I was reading on about a fourth-grade level, and that was fine, too--except that I got bored with the books in my classroom.  My father mentioned to a co-worker … Continue reading Trixie Belden and the Little Fires Within You [book reviews]

Wild Sheep, Wingmen, and Dueling Detectives [book reviews]

I recently read two novels translated into English, a book written in English that attempts to translate "boy world" into ideas parents can understand, and an English mystery with some parallels to the Swedish mystery I'd just read. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami, translated from Japanese by Alfred Birnbaum A young man finds … Continue reading Wild Sheep, Wingmen, and Dueling Detectives [book reviews]

Princess X and The Husband’s Secret Love Languages [book reviews]

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]