Reading, Reviews

Random Reads of Winter 2014-2015

Usually on Fridays I feature our favorite children’s picture books of the week. Sadly, this week has been one of those “For the love, I cannot read The Tawny Scrawny Lion one more time!” kind of weeks.  I guess I could just tell you that my kids have been hitting the Little Golden Book classics kind of hard and all this animal and toy personification is really getting to me (elephants, puppies, tugboats, little engines that still can, every time you read about them…). Apparently, I’m more of a people person than I thought.

So here’s what I’ve been reading lately:

The Distant HoursThe Distant Hours: I used to call myself a great fan of Kate Morton. It’s true, I do really like her story telling and her characters. However, after reading The Distant Hours, and recalling some creepy elements of The Forgotten Garden, I’m realizing that I’m really just a great fan of her latest book The Secret Keeper. It doesn’t have the ghostly element that her other books do. As a disclaimer, I hate spooky stuff. The Distant Hours isn’t really that scary, but I still was unable to go to sleep for about an hour after finishing it last night, which is a pretty mean reward for finishing a 500+ page book. Also, the whole parental guilt theme in her writing kind of messes with me after a while. I’m second guessing myself enough as it is without thoughts about turning my daughters into mad women floating around in my head. All that’s to say, I wouldn’t recommend The Distant Hours unless you like somewhat spooky stuff and you’re good at compartmentalizing what you read and what you think about when you’re not reading.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and LifeBird by Bird: It feels really dumb to say I’ve never read this before but equally dumb to say I’m reading a book about writing. How pretentious can I be? Anne Lamott (whose name I always spell wrong, kind of like I always get vaccum vacuum wrong) does an amazing job of writing a book about writing that’s actually quite enjoyable. That must be the mark of a truly great writer. I didn’t like the one novel of hers I’ve read, but I do admire her writing abilities.

By the way, on the “Writers write so just write already” note, this post by Jen Hatmaker on Becoming A Writer resonated with so many people on the internet, I’ve decided that at least 50% of all people want to be writers. Turns out it’s not that crazy or rare of a thing to have a need to write things down. It’s just a crazy thing to expect to be published. That’s what I’m learning from Lamott and Hatmaker and any other person who is an accomplished writer. Thank goodness for blogs, right?

Own Your Life: How to Grow a Legacy of Faith, Love, and Spiritual InfluenceOwn Your Life: The timing of this book for me and several of my friends is just perfect. I’m just getting into it and really looking forward to our discussion. Sally Clarkson is one of my favorite authors on parenting. For all my mommy readers, you need to check out these podcasts she was recently a guest on:  Inspired to Action and God Centered Mom. I badly needed her wisdom on the two separate days I listened to these. Heck, when do I not need this kind of wisdom?

I’ve got nothing on the horizon for a good novel to read right now. Someone, help me. I’ll be under the kitchen table rocking back and forth until I have another good book to read. Of course, the only difference is that when I do have a good book to read I’ll be under the kitchen table reading instead of rocking. Oh, I’m kidding, calm down! We’re all fine here, kids are dressed, fed, read to, played with, scolded, laundry is (mostly) washed (but rarely folded and put away).  I even made dinner every night this week, which, you know if you’ve read my Saturday Cooking posts, is not my favorite thing. I really was kidding about the under the table thing, I promise.

Have a happy weekend! Oh yeah, and if you’re feeling ambivalent about the weekend’s holiday, here are my thoughts from last year on what the day should really be about. I’m all in this year – I cut out hearts and owls with wings made out of hearts almost all morning yesterday. Ella had this idea that she wanted to make a Valentine’s Day Tree (A “Valentree”) with hearts and heart-owls on every branch. How could I say “no” to that kind of creativity that’s totally foreign to me? But even if you’re not crazy about the holiday, I hope you find a way to spread some love in your corner, wherever that may be.

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