Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Recent Reads

I believe at the beginning of October I mentioned I was reading this book by Lynsey Addario, who is a photojournalist. It's What I Do is her memoir and I would recommend it as a great read for anyone.  Don't feel like you'll be left out if you aren't into photography.  It's not a requirement to enjoy this book as we all see photos by journalists.  Do we ever consider how those photos came about?  On the flip side, as a photographer, I found it to be a bit inspirational.  Especially in the sense that photography isn't a one size fits all deal and it's okay to follow your heart.

This one was a bit of a page-turner for me, not necessarily due to suspense but because it was so very well written.  It's historical fiction, but fiction based on fact as the main characters were real people.  Another definite recommend from me.

Meh.  I feel like this book had so much potential but just failed to deliver.  The subject matter (historical fiction) and the plot were interesting but I just didn't like how the book was written or how it ended.  I felt like it was missing something.

Stephen King reminds me of the good old days of high school.  I know a lot of King fans poo poo his newer stuff but I like it.  His writing is engaging and the story line here was a good one.  However, I thought this book could have stood alone and not been part of a trilogy.  It wasn't necessary to have read the first book to read this one as the plot didn't continue.  Also, I didn't like how a very subtle underlying storyline from the first book was thread throughout this book as an obvious lead-in to the next book.

So that's what I've read over the past month or so.  Let's throw in a little of what the girls have been reading as well.

Allie discovered the Dear America series at the school library but unfortunately, they were a tad bit beyond her reading level.  The first one she checked out was very long and had a small print and she became frustrated after a few days.  These are historical fiction written in a diary format of a girl.  Emily tried one out and loves them.  We also found a huge collection at the local library.  I wish they'd had these books when I was a kid.

After thumbing through some of the Dear America books at our local library, I found that some of them, specifically the My America ones, are a better fit for Allie.  The girls are learning a lot of new words with all of their reading.  I've encouraged them to ask if they don't know what a word is.  I'll either give them the definition or I'll help them look it up in the dictionary.  Yes, a real paper dictionary.  

Allie:  "There was a gambler. Well, they just called it a gambler.  I don't even know what a gambler is."

The girls' introduction to Cam Jansen last year was by the way of a scary storyline and so they were hesitant to read these books, which is a shame as they are great for kids new to chapter books.  They got over the "scary" factor and have been reading them but these are super quick reads that can be completed in a sitting or two.


michelle said...

I'm a (ahem, mid-thirties) mom and I found the Dear America series myself about two years ago. I love them! I also wish I had them as a kid - history is so much more than memorizing dates and names and battles! I'm slowly picking up the Royal series now as well. I look forward to sharing these with my kiddo when he's old enough. Glad to hear your girls are discovering the reading that is right for them!

Anonymous said...

I love that you have added what the girls are reading to your reviews. I will add them to our lists too. Thank you!

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I read one of the books you mentioned recently, First They Killed My Father. (I had to washi tape over the title, though, so as not to alarm my girls!) It was an amazing and sobering read.

I love Alice Hoffman! You're right...very well written stuff. I haven't read that book yet, though. Will check it out.


Anonymous said...

I loved dear americas. Hattie Campbell I'm pretty sure I cried at the end!