I love writing these posts, mostly because when life gets busy a good book can be such a comfort. With so many books in the library, it is easy to grab a dud, and who has time for that? Since I’ve benefited from friends sharing their favorites with me, I’m passing mine on to you! In the face of a 12 hour road trip to Florida with our two toddlers, I loaded our car with 30+ library books. They definitely helped to delay the use of a borrowed DVD player and made the rainy days stuck in a beach house more tolerable! I also grabbed a few novels for my husband and I just in case we had some time to read on the beach (mostly wishful thinking). Here are the books we’ve pulled from the library shelf lately…
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: I liked this book a lot. It may not be an enduring favorite, but I thought it was sweet with a unique plot line for high school romance. A high school girl has written love notes to the boys she had crushes on, and one day they all get mailed out and she has to deal with the aftermath. The book may be lighthearted, but the characters aren’t flat teenage stereotypes.
The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing: This book, a set of seven short stories revolving around a heroine’s quest for love, is widely acclaimed. The author’s skill in narrating the stories from different ages was obvious, but I didn’t love it. Mostly, it seemed overly complicated with “perilous terrains of love” and “treacherous waters of the workplace.” I’m too Midwestern for this story.
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake: I LOVED this book by New York Times columnist, Anna Quindlen. LOVED LOVED LOVED. A few reasons I fell hard for this book a.) Ms. Quindlen is from my mother’s generation and her perspective on three generations, her mother’s, her’s and her daughter’s, had a weight of wisdom to it that I haven’t seen in younger writers. It reminded me of Ruth Reichl’s For You Mom, Finally, but taken one step farther to my generation of young women. b.) It was obvious that Anna had studied and listened to women her whole life and her essays on motherhood, womanhood, marriage, aging, and work were full of “me, too!” moments. They are often topics I can feel I’m messing up or that I’m the only one who feels unsure, so the book was soothing and reassuring. The only chapter I skimmed then skipped was about her faith, in which she reduced her Catholic upbringing and faith to Jesus as “a good idea” and to simply be kind to your neighbor. c.) It’s a book I want to reread and even buy, which is saying a lot, as I keep my shelves pretty sparse.
The Hound of The Baskervilles: I promise the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle feel as modern and fast-paced as the equally phenomenal BBC series Sherlock. A perfect read for my husband, AND the plotlines aren’t exactly the same, so you’ll be in for a real mystery if you’ve already watched the show.
For Evelyn + Tommy:
Millie and the Big Rescue : This is the tale of a cow getting stuck in a tree and how the whole farm has to come to her rescue. The illustrations have lots of funny little tidbits to discover during poor Millie’s misadventure.
Animal Orchestra : I keep checking out this Golden Book, because my kids don’t get sick of it. Tommy, especially, loves animals (more than trucks, trains, cars, etc..) and thanks to this musical story he can say llama, camel, hippo and mandolin. It is pretty much the cutest thing ever. Plus, this one is under $4 on Amazon, if you’re looking for a good gift!
Sand Cake (A Frank Asch Bear Book): I grabbed this since we were headed to the beach. We did make a few sand cakes with Evelyn, which she thought was pretty fun.
That Is Not a Good Idea!: Mo Willems was a Sesame Street writer, whose books often have a hint (or more) of sarcasm and irony. My kids love the “gotcha” moment at the end of this story, and we also checked out Willems’ Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, another big hit with Evelyn.
The Terrible Plop: This book is great. I want to say fantastic, but at this point, I’ve read it about 40 times and my enthusiasm is waning. Ha. Really though, the story is funny, smart, rhymes, and has a good moral at the end.
A Bear and His Boy: Part of a little collection from Sean Murphy, which also includes A Boy and His Bunny and A Girl and Her Gator, these books are imaginative with good lessons and lots of rhyming words.
Please, Mr. Panda: A winner. The illustrations are simple black, white and grey – so the donuts really pop. And if your toddler is learning to say, “please,” this will help prove your point.
p.s. That Honest Co. conditioning detangler is downright amazing if your child’s hair looks like a rat’s nest after naps. It’s a $5 game changer. More on that soon, though!