Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

In 1793, Philadelphia was hit with a yellow fever epidemic which eventually killed 10% of its population. Fever 1793 is narrated by 14-year-old Mattie Cook as the fever takes over the city and sickens the loved ones around her.

This reminds me of a book that I would have read in the 5th grade. It's historical fiction and it is definitely appropriate for the upper-elementary crowd. It would be a great book for kids to read when they study this time period in US History. As for my adult readers out there, this may not be up your alley, but it may make great reading for your niece.

An exciting note: I just discovered a Little Free Library in my neighborhood as I was walking around last week. I am excited to leave this book there for another reader to pick up!

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Ove is a grumpy widower who just wants to kill himself and end it all. However, his suicide attempts are conveniently (or, inconveniently, if you ask Ove) interrupted by the noisy family who just moved in next door.

Translated from Swedish, this book is a delightful read about finding life after loss and creating family in a community. Sweet, funny, and hopeful.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Ah, it's been awhile since I've read some Shakespeare. I picked up Hamlet because I was reading the play titled Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. I've read Hamlet before, but this time around, I learned a couple more things about reading Hamlet. 1) It's not a great play to read before going to bed. 2) It's sad.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

If you're involved with any kind of creative activity, you might want to consider reading this book. Gilbert writes about why it's worth it to pursue creativity and she also gives us a look into some of her own journey and process of creating.

Inspiring, to say the least.

She also hosts a podcast called Magic Lessons and I also recommend listening to this (but listen to the episodes in order!) as she offers some great advice and encouragement.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Re-read - At Home with Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life by Jennifer L. Scott

I just finished re-reading Scott’s Lessons from Madame Chic so I re-read the sequel again as well. It’s an easy read about how to make small and large shifts both internally and in our environment in order to bring more pleasure and peace to our daily living. I like how Scott thinks, and she’s very relatable.

Monday, January 11, 2016

You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys For a More Fulfilling Life by Eleanor Roosevelt

"To be mature you have to realize what you value most. It is extraordinary to discover that comparatively few people reach this level of maturity. They seem never to have paused to consider what has value for them. They spend great effort and sometimes make great sacrifices for values that, fundamentally, meet no real needs of their own. Perhaps they have imbibed the values of their particular profession or job, of their community or their neighbors, of their parents or family. Not to arrive at a clear understanding of one's own values is a tragic waste. You have missed the whole point of what life is for." --Eleanor Roosevelt
Ah, this is just a snippet of the wisdom that fills this book. The advice and wisdom is surprisingly modern and applicable to life today. Recommended if you're in the mood for thinking about life and what it means to be a mature adult living a responsible life.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills by Daniel Coyle

A small book full of practical tips to help you improve whatever skill you're working on. I didn't read anything really new in this book, but it's a nice reminder to break things down and focus on the little things. Hum, maybe I'll practice the piano.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

I've actually never watched a show with Mindy Kaling in it, but I've read her books. She is funny, thoughtful, and smart. I'd like to be friends with her. Maybe I should watch some of her shows first.