I could not be more excited that the election is over, fall finally decided to show up, and I can snuggle with a warm blanket, cup of warm cider and a good book. This winter, I plan to read some epics, so my lists won’t be long, but I will definitely have put in the time! I’d love to hear from you with your favorite cold weather reads!
Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted by Shannan Martin. This book was a birthday gift to myself at the recommendation of a dear friend with good taste in books. I started it on the beach on my birthday vacation. I was out there in yoga pants and freezing, but the beach is always worth it, and when you’re there, you have to read. This book is a paradigm shifter for Christians, or at least it should be. This is a story of a family that was rocked in some pretty devastating ways, but on the other side of it all, they can see that what God had for them was so much better than the American Dream and their idea of heaven. She admits that they came against a lot of criticism with the choices that resulted from job loss and selling their farm, and I’m sure there are still a lot of “prosperity gospel” naysayers out there for them, but this family has taken the gospel to the for real broken in their city. They are literally being the hands and feet of Jesus, and I am left challenged in all the right ways.
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs. This is the second book in the Miss Peregrine’s series. I read the first one about a year ago and enjoyed it. I don’t know why it took my so long to pick up the second one. I picked this one up at my local library, but owning the series wouldn’t be a bad idea. It’s an adventure story with some time travel mixed in. After seeing the movie, I was wondering if they took all three books and made it just one movie, and after reading this one, I’m going to say yes. While most of this book was not in the movie, some of the characters at the end are similar and the circumstances as well. It was enjoyable. I’m waiting on the third book from the library now.
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. I listened to this one on Audible. It was a daily deal one day, and I’d like to up my “classics-I’ve-read” game, so I snatched it up for like $1.95 I think. Anyway, Emma Thompson narrated this one, and she did a great job. She made the characters really come alive. I went into this one totally blind, so I didn’t realize that it was about ghost sightings, possibly a couple of possessions, maybe the governess was just crazy. Lawd. This book had me googling commentaries about it when it was over. Did that really just end that way?!?! I’ll admit that my mind sometimes wanders when I’m listening to books, so I probably missed some big details, but I got the most important parts. This was a short listen at only 4 hours and some minutes. Worth it. I enjoyed it.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. This one was a kindle daily deal or something a while back. I think I may have a little problem with hoarding cheap kindle books, but I will always have something to read. Anyway, I have heard a few people rave about this one, so I really wanted to give it a try. It was very reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (read my review of it here). It is in letter form-mostly. I have to admit that this was not my favorite new book. I feel like there were parts of the book and characters that I cared deeply about that went totally ignored in the end. Also, there were several hateable characters that really just pissed me off (like they were supposed to, I’m sure). The couple in the book lacked communication in their marriage, and I feel like the whole thing could’ve been avoided if people weren’t so passive-aggressive and would just TALK. Clearly, I may feel strongly about some things here. Anyway, it was a very easy read and somewhat funny, but I can’t recommend it the same way that I’ve heard others doing so. I have not written off the author, though.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. I listened to this one on audio as well. I checked it out from my local library. I have heard that the Harry Potter series just gets better book by book and I will totally agree that this one lived up to the “Harry Potter hype.” Harry Potter finds out a little more about his mysterious past, there’s a sketchy professor, and lots of fun magic. Ali read this one and has now moved right on to the third, leaving me in her dust. She melts into giggles every time she is about to spoil the book for me. It’s also interesting to listen to little bits together and she tells me the voices that the characters make in her head. Our own little reading club has been so much fun. I’m so glad to find books that we both enjoy.
For Christmas, I asked Ali what sort of books she would like to receive as gifts. Bless, she answered that she wants books like Robin Hood or maybe something where the people can talk to animals but they’re the only ones. So, fantasy? She just didn’t know how to claim the genre. I’d love to hear some good recommendations for her. While I want her to move on from fairies and princesses, I’ve found some interesting looking series that may be right up her alley including the Tuesdays at the Castle series by Jessica Day George.
I’ve got Christmas nailed down, but I recently read a blog post (that I cannot find!) about a book store in Indiana that has a book of the month club for kids. When I was a kid, my mom signed me up for something similar (maybe quarterly?) through Scholastic. It was my life’s joy at the time to get that package with books, stickers, posters, games. I have been looking for something similar for my kids for about 2 years, but I can’t find exactly what I’m looking for. I can find monthly crafts, STEM, you name it, but no books. This one that I found is expensive to me, just for one book a month, but the blog post recommends doing your own BOTM club, so that’s what I’ve decided to do–for both of my kids. I’ve ordered a bunch of random single books lately that I was going to give for Christmas, but I’ve decided to hold off and just give a box set this year and then mark my calendar for them to get a fresh new book on a certain date every month. I went ahead a grabbed a couple of fun crafts at Hobby Lobby to throw in with it, so I think it will be fun and more what I’m looking for. Also, this will be way cheaper because I can get 2 books and a couple of crafts every month for the cost of that book club.
Y’all. I cannot say enough about my emerging reader. Spencer is almost halfway through kindergarten, and he has blossomed. He went into this school year highly disappointed that he couldn’t already read. He thought he would be the only one, I think. On the first day of school, he came home and informed me that none of those kids in his class could read! Bless his heart. He is so competitive. It is ON now. He WILL know how to read. He wants to be good at it, so that makes him great at it right now. He can sound out words with up to 5 letters. I know that doesn’t sound like much, and maybe you’ve got an over achiever at your place, but this is a really big deal for him considering we were iffy between m’s and n’s just a few months ago. He is loving these new skills. I can’t wait to start writing about what he’s been reading, too!