We recently read My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett and Red Fish LOVED it. We read it in one weekend and I'm pretty sure it is her favorite book we have read. She loved Wild Island and all of the adventures in the story. Red Fish has decided that next year she is going to ask Santa for baby dragon because even though he failed to secure her a "real unicorn" this year, "Surely he can bring a baby dragon." This also lead Red Fish to ask me if she was EVER going to get a unicorn. I reminded her that Santa said unicorns have to stay in their magical environment or they die. She replied: "Sometimes when a unicorn gets old, just before it dies, it has always dreamed of living with a redhead." Hysterical I don't know where she comes up with these things.
I read Making A Good Brain Great by Daniel G. Amen MD a few months ago and it was fascinating. It would be a dreadfully boring book if it was written by just about anyone else. It is interestingly written. It has a lot of great information and ideas. I loved the information about how music affects your brain. The section on supplements has caused me to make a serious change in lifestyle that I am currently testing. I really enjoyed reading it and plan to try and implement many of the ideas into my life.
I read The Apple And The Arrow by Mary and Conrad Buff with my kids because it was part of the Sonlight curriculum for kindergarteners. It was a total flop. They hated it and it wasn't age appropriate.
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morten was something I read for book club.
The mystery was captivating. I enjoyed the organization of the book and reading from the different viewpoints. I thought the love story was extraneous (as I usually do) and amoral but it didn't detract too much from the main story line. I liked the idea of a mystery spanning three generations and the stories melded together nicely for the most part. I absolutely hated the view on adoption. It almost made me stop reading the book in the beginning. It was extremely negative and ridiculous. Otherwise, it is an easy light read.
Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson was exactly what I thought it would be. It was a fast, easy read, sad and uplifting at the same time. I have read some of Stephanie's blog so I knew what to expect and had heard much of the story ahead of time. It is a nice story of one mother's journey to reclaim her life and her children. I appreciated that it felt very genuine and honest.
To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee was absolutely incredible. My brother gave it to me for my birthday because I've always meant to get around to reading it. There are not words for how much I loved it. I can't believe I had never read it before and really had no idea what it was about. I absolutely adored this book in every way. The characters are so sharply drawn and the story completely absorbed me. This will absolutely go on my shelf of favorites.
I read The Boxcar Children to my kids recently. It was a quick read and they enjoyed it. It brought back great memories of reading the series as a child. I'm sure we will read more of the books over the next few years.
Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls was great. It filled in some lingering questions I had about her other memoir, The Glass Castle. I loved Lily Casey's character and reading about ranch life. Walls has an amazing ability to capture her character's voice. This story made me want to rope steers, homestead, drive airplanes and become braver in general. Loved it.
I am Half Sick of Shadows by ALan Bradley was a complete let down. I love Flavia but the murder mystery in this book was boring and not as well thought out as the others. I liked the plot to trap Father Christmas and I did enjoy the showdown scene. I hope that Alan Bradley kind rediscover his writing mojo in future books.
The D'Artangnan Romances or Ten Years Later- I've been reading all of the Three Musketeers series by Alexandre Dumas but I will be taking a lengthy break after reading the 4th in the series. It was all court intrigue instead of action and I would recommend skipping over it. It is way to lengthy and boring to bother with.
I read Charlie And The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl with the girls. It is a fun story but they didn't get into the story as much as I thought they would. They seem to prefer animal adventures to anything else.
She Got Up Off The Couch by Haven Kimmel is laugh out loud funny but not quite as humorous as A Girl Named Zippy. I appreciated the evolution of her mother and her mother's quest to better herself and change her life. The story is very real, honest and fun to read. It shows some of the dysfunction and trouble in Kimmel's family as she begins to mature and recognize the underlying family problems. Kimmel also writes about her generally good life and happy outlook no matter what forces seem to conspire against her. I love that she portrays her parents as generally loveable people and forces for good in her life despite their obvious flaws. It is definitely a reminder to look at the good side of life and learn to laugh at yourself.
The Nutcracker by E.T.A Hoffmann was a fun holiday read. Red Fish and I read it together throughout December. The illustrations are fantastic and the story is completely captivating. Maurice Sendak's illustrations are fabulous and it was so fun to share with my little girl.
So these are a sampling of what I have been reading. I can't think of a complete list right now but I should at least make an effort to keep track of what I have been reading with my kids!