Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hamilton: The Revolution

I listened to this book on audio CD while I was commuting. It made commuting much more fun!

Thanks to our amazing friend, Huy, Boomer and I have tickets to see Hamilton in San Francisco this summer! So we are studying up! I am reading the Ron Chernow book, and we have been listening to the soundtrack at home.

Hamilton: The Revolution explains the backstory of how Hamilton the musical came to be. It's a pretty short listen, only about four hours, but it's very interesting. My only wish is that there were excerpts from the songs when the book is describing certain elements of the songs.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Kadian Journal: A Father's Memoir by Thomas Harding

Kadian was only 14 years old when he was killed in a bicycle accident. This is a remarkable memoir written by his father. Beautifully written, raw, and tender. 

I've been reading more books about grief. Maybe you've noticed? It's coming up on the year marker when a family friend died after so much hope that he was going to live. And it's been about six months since another friend died after a long, long battle with cancer. So yes, loss is on my heart, and reading books about grief helps my heart make more sense of the confusion and sadness.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Julia Marks is short. And her beloved dog, Ramon, just died. Her mom makes Julia audition for the local theater's production of The Wizard of Oz, and Julia is cast as a Munchkin. She has no idea how being a Munchkin and how this summer will change her life.

This was the first time that I've had this reading experience: I read the book and cried at the end. I immediately started re-reading the book and picked up on so many more details the second time around. When I got to the end, I cried again! Same intensity! What a book.

This is a wonderfully heartwarming tale about a girl, her dog, her grief, and how much others can change our lives for the better if we let them in.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

What a treat. I read this right after I read another Newberry Medal book, The Wednesday Wars, and I loved it!

Salamanca Tree Hiddle is on a cross-country trip with her grandparents. They ask her to tell them a story, so she tells them about her friend Phoebe and how Phoebe's mother disappeared. Interwoven into Salamanca's re-telling of Phoebe's story is Salamanca's own story of her mother disappearing.

Super-sweet, with lots of heart and humor. Recommended if you're looking for a well-told, thoughtful book. Oh yah, this is another book that falls under my category of Gentle Reading.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Appleblossom the Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan

I liked Counting by 7s, so I was happy to read another book by the same author!

At first, I thought that this would be good bedtime reading, but nope, it was way too intense. Also, I'm particularly sensitive about animal books and animals dying in books (see this post) so I had Boomer skim through the book to make sure no animals die.

Appleblossom is one of a litter of possums, and their mom teaches them how to take care of themselves. But one day, Appleblossom accidentally falls down a chimney and into a house full of people. How will she escape? 

Recommended for elementary school kids! Or if you're looking for a sweet, possum family adventure! :) Plus, no possums die!

Monday, April 10, 2017

I'm Still Here by Clelie Avit, translated from French by Lucy Foster

What a fascinating premise: Elsa is in a coma after a mountain climbing accident. Her friends and family have pretty much given up hope that she will recover. They don't know that she can hear and understand every single word they (and her doctors) are saying around her.

Enter Thibault, a man wandering around in the hospital while visiting his brother, who stumbles upon Elsa's room and learns about her condition.

I devoured I'm Still Here in a day. If you're looking for a short, fast, intriguing read, you might want to give this a try.

Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way Through Great Books by Cara Nicoletti

Cara Nicoletti is a butcher and an avid reader, and in Voracious, she goes through the many books she's read throughout her life and pairs them each with a recipe. She divides the book into Childhood, Adolescence and College Years, and Adulthood.

Reading Voracious was a great walk down memory lane of my own childhood favorite books like The Indian in the Cupboard, Pippi Longstocking, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Strega Nona. So fun!

Thanks to my neighbor, Rebecca, for the recommendation!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Accidental by Ali Smith

Stream of consciousness writing isn't really my thing so I found this to be weird and confusing...So I'm just gonna leave it at that and move on with my life.

Monday, April 3, 2017

How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

Caitlin Moran is British and writes about all aspects of being a woman. No subject is left untouched! And no words are minced! (Thus, if you have sensitive ears, please stay away. There is a lot of Adult and Mature Content in this book!) I loved her thoughts about the insanity of wearing high heels. And I promptly decided to give away my last pair of high heels. I feel better already!