I came to the sad realization about a year ago that because I devote so much of my free time to writing, and the business of making my writing a business, I read a LOT less than I used to. (Note, I haven’t stopped buying books… I have just ceased to have as much time to read them.) However, in the past few months, I’ve managed to do a bit more reading, and to celebrate, I’m going to share some of these amazing titles with you.
I am lucky that part of my job is to read to children aloud daily. At any given time I am reading four different books at school, and recently, we have enjoyed a few incredible stories. I also picked up a book during my girl’s weekend in Madison… one that I had previously coveted while in the tech college library as I waited for my students to finish checking out books. I discovered a few more treasures in my sons’ book order and $65 later we were the owners of said treasures. And of course, I got a few books for Christmas.
In today’s blog post, I’d like to share some of these amazing titles with you. If you are a voracious reader, you’ll perhaps add these to your epic list of books to read on Goodreads. If you are addicted to Amazon (hey, I’m not pointing any fingers!) you’ll maybe consider adding them to your cart. Or as a devoted library patron, you might rush the shelves of free reading material to snatch a copy and cozy up on the couch. No matter how you get your hands on these books, I hope you do. And then, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
by Lisa Papp (Picture Book)
Okay, confession. I don’t like dogs. Any animal actually. I know, I am a cold-hearted beast and you probably hate me now, but wait… I just might redeem myself by introducing you to this beautiful book. Madeline Finn does not like to read. Not at all.
But one day she goes to the library and is given the opportunity to read to Bonnie, a dog. And even though Madeline dos not like reading, Bonnie doesn’t giggle when she makes a mistake. Bonnie doesn’t get impatient while she waits for Madeline to read all the way to the bottom of the page. And through this unlikely partnership, Madeline learns a few beautiful things. In addition to this sweet and touching story, the pictures are absolutely to die for. Do yourself a favor, find a copy of this book, and a child who likes to read (or maybe one who doesn’t) and enjoy this book together.
by Greg Logsted (Middle Grade Fiction)
Cody has only ever known the life of a spy. His dad is a top level member of the FBI and since his mother is dead, the result of a terrorist, Cody travels with him. He speaks half a dozen languages, is a master at martial arts, and prefers fancy cuisine to cheeseburgers. He sees nothing wrong with this life, but things are getting dangerous. There was a bomb, in a café. People died. Cody’s father is no longer certain their living arrangement is what is best for Cody, so he sends him to live with his Aunt Jenny. And thus, Cody starts his most difficult mission ever… living life as an actual teenager in Junior High. This book is a hilarious look at life in junior high, the perils of complying with incompetent authority, the slippery slope of social acceptance, and gasp, girls. If the constant laughs aren’t enough to entice you, the promise of an action-packed plot and beautifully eloquent word choice should seal the deal.
By Kassia St. Clair
A book cover doesn’t often have polka dots. They caught my eye. In a library full of books, this one book, jumped out at me. I picked it up. Nonfiction. Not usually my jam. But I kept looking. Apparently, the author, Kassia, is into fashion, but as she was reading old fashioned descriptions of fancy wardrobes in black and while catalogs she kept having to reach for the dictionary. Chartreuse? Vermillion? Mauve? She decided not being able to visualize these shades was simply unacceptable. So, she educated herself. She researched 75 colors. How they got their name, what role they played in history, what colors mean… scientifically, culturally, artistically. The final result of all her hard work is this absolutely digestible, collection of color facts, broken down into bite-sized essays on each of the 75 colors. If you are looking to learn something new, read something incredibly interesting, or bulk up on your bank of trivia knowledge, then check out this book.
by Misty Lown
I love people who do cool things, big things, un-done-before things. I love it even more when these people are regular people. Misty Lown is one of those people. She also happens to have grown up in the town next to mine, making her feats seem even more impressive to me. I remember when she was crowed Miss Oktoberfest. I drive past her dance studio weekly. The dance campus (and empire) she is building is right across the street from the store where my children love to rent videos. She is mom, a teacher, a business owner, a thought leader, a disability over-comer, and also the author of this book, One Small Yes. In this book she lays out her path… the ways she said yes, to herself and her dreams. More than that, she tells readers how they can do this same. This book is encouraging, practical and helpful. If you dream big, if you are a do-er, if you need a little inspiration or encouragement to take a leap, this book is for you!
Other books I recently enjoyed
Audible version of: The Silkwork by Robert Galbraith (aka: J.K. Rowling)
One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Books on my To-Read List
The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston
All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert