Category Archives: Book recommendation

Christmas presents

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, filled with lots of books. There were several books under the Christmas tree at our house.

Cover

I got an illustrated version of one of my favorite

A chapter illustration

books, A Game of Thrones: The Illustrated Edition: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One, by George R. R. Martin.

A full color illustration

I didn’t actually own a copy of this book, but this is definitely the best one for me. It has a combination of full color and line art sprinkled throughout the book. I reread the whole series in 2015, so I’m due for a reread

Dresden Files books

Mr. Curiosity got two book presents. The first was the next three books in the Dresden Files series, Dead Beat, Proven Guilty, and White Night. He’s slowly collecting the entire series, so he can read it whenever he wants.

Cover of How to

Page from How To…

He also got the latest Randall Monroe book, How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems. It’s full of instructions on how to do everyday activities in the most complicated, scientific method possible. It’s also full of Monroe’s stick figure drawings seen in xkcd.

Cover of Harry Potter

And finally, Miss Adventure’s books.

Illustrations from Harry Potter

She got the next book in the series she’s been collecting as Christmas presents, the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Luckily, they’ve been coming out once a year for the past five years right around Christmas. She’s got a couple more years of presents lined up.

Here last book came from her brother. While they have a tradition of making presents for each other, he didn’t manage it this year. Instead, he gave her a book so she could make more projects.

Cover of Folded Book Art

The trick was finding something she hadn’t done yet. He found the perfect book in Folded Book Art: 35 beautiful projects to transform your books by Clare Youngs. He also gave her a stack of old books, which she opened first and made her very confused. She couldn’t figure out why she was getting giant Tom Clancy books for Christmas. It made a lot more sense once she opened the folded book art book at the bottom.

So many good books this Christmas! Only Mr. Curiosity has read his already – the How To book at least.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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What I Will Be Reading #44: Read Alouds

The main reason I read The Read-Aloud Handbook was to get suggestions to read aloud to the kids. The book didn’t disappoint. All of these books were suggestions from The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, seventh edition. I went through the treasury of read-alouds that ends the book and found quite a few I was interested in. I’m collecting them all here so I don’t forget about them, along with a brief description. Follow the link to an Amazon page if you’re interested in purchasing the book for yourself, and thanks for supporting my blog.

Stone Fox by John Gardiner – based on a Rocky Mountain legend about a boy who tries to save his grandfather’s farm by winning a local bobsled race

The Call of the Wild by Jack London – another dog story, but this one set in the 1903 Klondike gold rush

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose – a Civil Rights era story that Miss Adventure could read on her own

The Girl with the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts – a paranormal suspense story

The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr – a humorous story about herding turkeys in the Kansas Territory in the 1860s

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis – this sounds like a companion to Bud, Not Buddy, which I enjoyed reading to the kids years ago. It’s the story of a black family during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Trelease recommends watching the PBS special Riding the Rails to go along with the book.

My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier – an American Revolutionary War story set in Connecticut

Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle – a classic written in 1888 set in warring medieval German tribes – I’m sure this one is available via gutenberg.org

Sarah Bishop by Scott O’Dell – another American Revolutionary War story, but this time focusing on a girl who runs away from the conflict to live in the wilderness

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi – about a girl on a merchant ship sailing from England to the U.S. in 1932

Read All About It!: Great Read-Aloud Stories, Poems, and Newspaper Pieces for Preteens and Teens by Jim Trelease – a collection of short fiction and nonfiction work that is appropriate for teens and tweens

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What I Will Be Reading #42: Nonfiction variety pack

I’ve managed to collect several nonfiction books from a variety of sources to add to my TBR list. They include two science books, a book about your money, and a memoir. (As a side note, what’s with the super long titles for nonfiction books lately? Titles tends to be quite descriptive, and yet there’s always a giant subtitle to go along.) Here’s what I’ve found lately:

First off is The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World by Amanda Little. Gretchen Rubin interviewed Little about happiness, habits and productivity, and a bit about her new book. The book is all about how our food resources will have to change with climate change. That fits into two of my interests – where our food comes from and climate change.

I also picked up an economics book from Gretchen Rubin. She interviewed Jill Schlesinger about her newest book, The Dumb Things Smart People Do with Their Money: Thirteen Ways to Right Your Financial Wrongs. I consider myself a smart person, but I don’t really know what to do with my money, besides put it in the bank and maybe a 401k plan. The book sounded like a good place to start to learn about some better long-term options.

The memoir is Rowing to Latitude: Journeys Along the Arctic’s Edge by Jill Fredston. I saw this on a Wandering Scientist summer reading post. It seems to be a memoir about a woman leading the life she wants to live. I’m at the age where I’m taking stock of my life and trying to decide what to do next. Do I continue in my current path, which I’m enjoying, or make changes? Reading about someone else who’s gone through that self-examination is helpful.

I’ll end on another science book. In this case, it’s The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization by Vince Beiser from a 99% Invisible interview with author. I wouldn’t think a book about the importance of sand would be interesting, but the interview certainly made it sound that way. Did you know that people are being killed for sand? It’s a limited resource in some areas and necessary for construction (it’s used in making cement). There are sand mafias! I need to read more.

And those are the newest books I’m adding to my TBR list. Anything sound good to you? Anything I should add?

If you’re interested in purchasing a book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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What I Will Be Reading #41: Scifi and Fantasy

I’ve managed to acquire a number of new books that looked interesting, so I thought I’d share my new additions to my TBR list.

First up is an option for a read aloud (once we start school back up full time): The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty. I read a GeekMom post that reviewed books they had read recently, and this one stood out to me. It’s a middle grade book that promises lots of magical adventures and travels. Bronte’s parents have been killed by pirates, and now she must deliver a series of packages to her aunts, or her hometown will be destroyed. Might be the perfect way to start the school year off.

Keeping with the pirate theme, Tor had a post of their favorite fantasy pirate books. I’ve read a couple of them (like Stardust and Kushiel Legacy series), but many of the others sound like they’d be worth reading. Wired had a list of new fiction out this summer that had some excellent books on it. I’m most excited about Neal Stephenson’s new book, Fall; or, Dodge in Hell.

Finally, I’ve got The Emissary by Yoko Tawada. I heard about this one from a What Should I Read Next podcast (where I hear about lots of great books), episode 187. It’s a post-apocalyptic Japanese book. I’m not sure I’ve had the chance to read Japanese post-apocalyptic fiction. I’m trying to read more books set outside the U.S., so this is an easy add to my TBR.

And those are the books for this time. Anything else I should add?

If you’re interested in purchasing a book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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What I Will Be Reading #40: Not from The Modern Mrs. Darcy

I’ve been reading down my TBR list fairly quickly, which means I get to add new books to my list. Isn’t that how it works? Just to show that I can do get book recommendations from a variety of sources, none of these come from Modern Mrs. Darcy. Seriously, if you haven’t checked out her blog or podcast, you totally should. She’s a great source for a variety of books.

Let’s start with a recommendation from a friend – I was talking books with another homeschooling mom, and she recommended anything by Elly Griffiths. The Ruth Galloway series is about an archeologist who solves mysteries. I’m not huge into mysteries, but I do like a strong female protagonist and I like scientists. I’m willing to try it. The first book in the series is The Crossing Places.

The next addition is Barbara Kingsolver’s newest book – Unsheltered. I will read it without knowing anything about it, just because it’s by Kingsolver. But, if you need more information, the book is about two families who live in the same house, a century apart. We read about the troubles the families have. As a bonus, it will give me a U in my alphabet reading challenge.

Then, I’ll finish with two nonfiction books. First, I found a book on breast cancer called Flat: Reclaiming My Body from Breast Cancer by Catherine Guthrie from a Last Word on Nothing post. Having been diagnosed with breast cancer, I’m always interested in how other people have dealt with the diagnosis. Guthrie was also diagnosed before age 40, so she has a similar experience to me. Finally, a homeschooling book to finish things off. I’d like to read The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life Julie Bogart. I saw this on a Simple Homeschool post about new books. Bogart shares her experiences graduating five homeschooled kids. My kids are into middle school and high school, and I like to read success stories for reinforcement.

And those are the books I’m adding to my reading list. Anything else I should add?

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

 

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What I Will Be Reading #39: The Modern Mrs. Darcy Additions

I’ve been working hard at reducing my TBR list, which means it’s time to add some new books to it. Today, I’m going to put together all the books that have caught my eye (or ear) either reading the Modern Mrs. Darcy or listening to What Should I Read Next, her podcast.

For my Q author this year, Anne Bogel gave me a new option. Instead of reading Amanda Quick, I’m going to switch things up and read something by Anna Quindlen. Anne Bogel mentioned Quindlen on episode 151 of What Should I Read Next.

Beartown is another book I’m adding from the podcast. Anne has mentioned it multiple times. I’m adding it because it’s about playing hockey in a small town. I play hockey in an adult beer league, but I’m not sure I’ve read a book about hockey. This book sounds interesting enough to fill that gap.

The latest episode I listened two gave me two books. The The Bookshop on the Corner, by Jenny Colgan because it’s a book about books, one of my favorite subgenre. The second book is Secondborn, by Amy A. BartolThis is the first book in a series based around the premise that the first-born child gets everything. The second born child goes into service for the government. This book is told from the point of view of the second child.

Finally, a book from the website. It’s another book about books, but this time it’s a nonfiction book. The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell is all about a Scottish bookseller who lives in Wigtown, selling books to anyone who stops by.

And those are my new books this week. Anything else I should add to my reading list?

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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What I Will be Reading #38: For the Younger Audiences

First off, I’m adding Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyemi to my list, the first book in a new YA series. I like the interesting magic and West African setting. I’m trying to read more books set outside the U.S. and this would definitely fit the bill. It was reviewed on a books episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour.

The next three books came from a friend who is a school librarian. We traded book recommendations at a gymnastics meet (our daughters compete together). She recommended The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock as a middle grade book set in the Middle Ages. The main character is a bit different from the other in the village, which sets him apart. He gets taken around Europe, looking for relics of St. Peter, which makes it a bit of a treasure hunt.

She also recommended Front Desk by Kelly Yang. The book is set in a motel and touches on immigration issues. That’s a tricky issue to discuss with kids, but the setting makes it a more natural fit.

Finally, there’s Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. This is a WWII book told from the perspective of four characters whose stories slowly intertwine.

Anything sound good to you?

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