Browsing Category "reading"
30 Dec
2016
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Favorite Books of 2016

I’m a bibliophile. I have a rotating stack of books on my bedside table, a never-ending list of books on hold at the public library and keep track of the books I read each year. This year I read 60 books, not including the countless books read to and with children. What follows are my favorite books from 2016:

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

This is not only a favorite book from this year but one I’ll be talking about and sharing for years to come. It’s a story of meeting people where they are, acceptance and how judgement can lead you far from the truth of a situation. I cried, and I haven’t loved characters like that in quite a few reads. The characters felt very real and the emotions raw. You won’t regret choosing this one.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Put this author on your go-to list. She has yet to disappoint. This book takes place during WWII, which happens to be one of my favorite settings for books. It’s a story of promised salvation, unlikely unions and tragic consequences. It’s told from alternating points of view which is a writing style I enjoy. It’s a young adult book, so it’s a quick read.

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

Larson is known for his narrative nonfiction. Dead Wake is set in WWI and is the in-depth story of the disastrous sinking of the Lusitania. I only knew of the Lusitania as a few sentences in a long-forgotten history text book. I found the dichotomy of Winston Churchill and Woodrow Wilson to be fascinating, with one bent on having the United States enter WWI and the other hindered by the loss of his wife and new love on the horizon. I met and heard Larson speak in April. It was interesting to hear how he takes his ideas for nonfiction and generates them into a work that is engaging while also educational.

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

This is a collection of short stories from the Lunar Chronicles (Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, and Winter). I enjoyed the background stories on characters from the series, some major players, others not. Meyer is a young adult author. I read quite a bit of YA because I have children who read YA but mostly because I enjoy the genre. The Lunar Chronicles are an imaginative twist on fairy tales with a science fiction twist. She’s a seamless storyteller with fresh plots and intriguing characters. I suggest starting with Cinder and working through the Lunar Chronicles before tackling Stars Above.

Side note: After you read the Lunar Chronicles and enjoy them as much as I did, read Meyer’s Heartless which is a twist on Alice in Wonderland. No book, in recent memory, has made me quite as angry as this one, even if I should have seen the ending coming. At one point, I closed the book and contemplated throwing it. Big props to Meyer for drumming some seriously strong emotions from at least one read.

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin

This book won’t ever be one of the top books I recommend to people and is in jeopardy of becoming a book I vaguely remember reading, but it was one of the more unique books I read in 2016. The book deals with reincarnation and a mother’s journey to help her young son. The book is slow in sections but has an interesting twist that will keep readers motivated. I enjoy works of fiction that have me researching topics in conjunction with the book. There are studies purported in the book from cultures across the globe dealing with reincarnation, many that were new to me. I researched a few of those cultural beliefs and find it fascinating how different people can be in their belief systems yet how very similar we all are at the core of our humanity.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling and Jack Thorne

Technically this selection is a script for a play and dubbed the eighth installment in the Harry Potter series. The story is set 19 years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It seems Harry’s past refuses to let him be and now one of his children, Albus, must deal with what it means to be the son of Harry Potter. Script reading as opposed to novel reading takes getting used to and may take readers longer to become invested in the story. Once I was used to the format of the story, I had a difficult time putting the book down. The underlying Potter theme of love conquering all is still present in the story as is the importance of friends. I do have lots of questions about characters in the series and how they are 19 years later and more importantly where they are during this story. Make peace with the story being about Harry and one of his children. Potter fans that I talked with either enjoyed this installment, like me, or give it a solid one-star rating. If you have a love affair with all things Potter, it’s worth a read.


 
5 Book Recommendations from 2015
By     |    Jan 7, 2016
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5 Book Recommendations from 2015

Most nights I find myself awake long past any reasonable bedtime hour. I unwind reading on the couch until I begin to doze off. Only then do I know I’ll fall asleep and stay that way until morning. My late nights lend themselves to a lengthy list of read books each year. The following 5 books top my list of books I read in 2015: All the Light You Cannot See by Anthony Doerr — Those who know me well... [Read More]

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Summer Reading with Children
By     |    May 15, 2015
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Summer Reading with Children

The school year is winding down and papers are arriving home with ways to keep children reading over the summer months to avoid the summer slide. Public libraries run reading programs along with publishing companies and book stores. There are quite a few options, more than I remember as a child. Reading is part of our family lifestyle. We have bookshelves, book baskets, book bins and use books for decorating. We’re known to ask our children to put the book... [Read More]

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Parenting with Dr. Seuss
By     |    Mar 2, 2015
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Parenting with Dr. Seuss

I don’t have any childhood memories revolving around Dr. Seuss books. I don’t recall sitting on any laps being read any of his rhyming verse. Dr. Seuss entered my life in high school when I was helping in an elementary school kindergarten class. That class did two things for me: it showed the importance of being read to and learning to read and gave me a great love for children. The roots were planted for my future self who would... [Read More]

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Meet an Author: Jay Asher
By     |    Feb 9, 2015
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Meet an Author: Jay Asher

Books are important and talking with authors about their books is a privilege. Authors are like rock stars for me. I had the chance to talk with and listen to author Jay Asher last week. He stopped in my town as part of his 50 States Against Bullying author tour. I was Christmas-morning excited to hear what he had to say. I read his book, 13 Reasons Why, almost three years ago, and still think about the topics he wrote... [Read More]

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Power in Connecting
By     |    Jan 7, 2015
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Power in Connecting

Over 10 years ago when I was pregnant with my second son, I started taking my toddler to a play group in the hopes of connecting with people and ridding myself of nagging loneliness. I made a passing comment about missing the act of reading. I wasn’t making me a priority. A new friend invited me to her book club and my decision to step outside my comfort zone and attend caused lasting ripple effects. The first Tuesday of every... [Read More]

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My Year in Books
By     |    Jan 5, 2015
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My Year in Books

Reading has always been an escape for me. A good book can both relax and invigorate me. I’ve spent many nights reading just one more chapter into the wee hours. One of my goals when I became a parent was to instill a love for books in my children. We’ve done that job well. Our three oldest carry books with them when we run errands. They’ve been known to wake up early, hop out of bed, and curl up with... [Read More]

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Kids’ Summer Book and Movie Club
By     |    May 30, 2014
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Kids’ Summer Book and Movie Club

Most of the time movies don’t do books the justice they deserve. A beautifully written story carries more weight for me than images on a screen. Last summer we started a summer book and movie club for our family. I made a list of books that are also movies, and the kiddos picked five books from the list to read and then watch the corresponding movie for a family night. Our oldest son opted to read the books himself while... [Read More]

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May’s Book List
By     |    May 6, 2014
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May’s Book List

I’m an avid reader, raising a brood of book lovers. Each month I’ll share what we’re all reading and would love to hear what books you recommend. Me: The Death Cure (Maze Runner Book 3) — James Dashner The Kill Order (Maze Runner Prequel) — James Dashner Champion: A Legend Novel — Marie Lu The Rook — Daniel O’Malley (book club selection) Sycamore Row — John Grisham (book club selection) The Last Letter From Your Lover — Jojo Moyes I’m... [Read More]

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April’s Book List: One Book Wyoming
By     |    Apr 9, 2014
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April’s Book List: One Book Wyoming

I’m an avid reader, raising a brood of book lovers. Each month I’ll share what we’re all reading and would love to hear what books you recommend. Me: Spirit of Steamboat: A Walt Longmire Story — Craig Johnson A Fatal Grace: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel — Louise Penny The Scorch Trials — James Dashner Legend — Marie Lu Husband: A Clash of Kings (second novel, A Song of Ice and Fire series) — George R. R. Martin 11-year-old son:... [Read More]

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Favorite Classic Children’s Books
By     |    Mar 26, 2014
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Favorite Classic Children’s Books

I like to peruse bookshelves when I’m in people’s homes. I’m always on the lookout for new books to read, for me and my children. Most of the children’s book collections I see are mainly contemporary as far as original publishing dates. We own a decent number of children’s books published 50 years ago or more, and those classics are some of our most read. Older books have a tone different from contemporary books. Illustrations on older books seem to... [Read More]

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March’s Book List
By     |    Mar 7, 2014
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March’s Book List

I’m an avid reader, raising a brood of book lovers. Each month I’ll share what we’re all reading and would love to hear what books you recommend. Me: Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children) — Ransom Riggs Reconstructing Amelia: A Novel — Kimberly McCreight Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors — Stephen E. Ambrose (book club selection) 12 Years a Slave — Solomon Northup (book club selection) In the Shadow of the Banyan: A Novel... [Read More]

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