Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

The fictional story of a love triangle. The wife, the husband, and the mistress. The wife befriends the mistress but doesn't tell the husband (her lover) that she is also spending time with his wife. She hears about their marriage from both sides and wonders about how it works.

Dark, creepy, twisty with a crazy, crazy ending. (But really, only a so-so read for me.)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Young Widower by John W. Evans

John Evans was hiking in Romania with his wife, Katie, when they got separated. When he found her, Katie was being attacked by a brown bear. Evans was a witness to her death.

Evans writes about his relationship with Katie, his guilt about surviving, and his grief that follows.

Tragic and heartbreaking, but beautifully written. This was even more touching to me as one of my friends, unfortunately and very sadly, is a new widower, and I thought about him a lot while I read this book.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

I LOVED this book.

It's about Holling Hoodhood and it's 1967 and the Vietnam War is going on. Holling has to spend Wednesday afternoons with Mrs. Baker because he doesn't have religious instruction at that time like all of his classmates. She makes him read Shakespeare!

There is SOOOOO much heart in this book. The writing is wonderful. Wow, I was not expecting to be so moved by this book.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Lament for a Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff

Wolterstorff's 25-year-old son, Eric, dies in a mountain climbing accident in Austria.

These very short essays give a glimpse into the devastating heartache and grief of a father.

Poignant, sad, beautiful.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

I read this a long time ago when it was first published, but re-reading it now was perfect timing.

I love Lamott's writing and her thoughts on life, faith, and what matters in life.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

The title is more shocking than the book actually is. The book is basically about asking yourself questions about your life, deciding how you want to spend your time, and figuring out how you are going to measure your standard of success. And to not care about the rest.

I think a lot of people could benefit from reading this book and actually thinking about why they are pursuing the things they pursue.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Kid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood from America's Presidents by David Stabler

A young friend of mine, Graeson, highly recommended this book to me, and so I checked it out! Graeson is a very smart young man with a head full of interesting facts, and I will not be surprised if he becomes president one day. I will vote for him!

As the title says, this book goes into different stories about the presidents when they were kids.

Super interesting, especially the story about Franklin Roosevelt. His mom was very controlling and kept him on a strict and regimented schedule. After asking for a bit more independence, his parents allowed him one day to do whatever he wanted. He left the house and came back at night all dirty. He never told anyone what he did that day.

What makes this book really cool is the great illustrations by Doogie Horner. They are cartoonish and very funny and fitting.

There are two more books in this series, one about Kid Athletes, and another about Kid Artists

Monday, March 6, 2017

We Were Heroes by Walter Dean Myers

The subtitle of this book is The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins: A World War II Soldier, Normandy, France, 1944.

I'm pretty sure that this is fiction. But it's confusing because there's an epilogue reads like Scott Pendleton Collins was an actual guy. Some clarification, please?

Anyway, I read this book before I gave it to one of my friend's sons who is in late elementary school and interested in reading about World War II. I think he'll like it! I did, mostly because it's always good to remember all of the lives lost to fight for freedom. In addition, several years ago, Boomer and I traveled to Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery in Normandy and it was a sobering experience. Anyway, just like the title describes, this is a journal of one soldier that starts with the D-Day landing. It describes the horrors of war, what the soldiers of WWII might have faced, and the little things that kept them going (e.g. letters from home, SPAM!). Appropriate for upper elementary school kids too.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The View From Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg

Mrs. Olinski chooses four of her sixth graders for the Academic Bowl team. But she can't quite explain why she chose who she did. She also can't explain why they work together so well.

This is another book that falls under Gentle Reading. It is a sweet and surprisingly deep and thoughtful book about life and the journey we're on. And how important it is to be kind.