Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Recent Reads (Mom + Kid Edition)

I was going to comment that I don't know how I managed to read so much this month but a few of these books are quick reads and being sick led to more reading time than usual.

Fates and Furies - I have mixed feelings about this book.  The first half just seems to wander without reason, a little aimless.  I found myself thinking, Okay, but what's the point of this story?  The second half pulls it all together and while the pace picked up, I had trouble believing the story.  Also, I wasn't invested in nor did I particularly care for any of the characters.  So not a terrible book, but not one that I would highly rate.  I will say that the concept was unique.

Troublemaker - I didn't know much about Scientology prior to reading this book, which heavily revolves around Scientology.  It was definitely an extremely interesting read, which could be viewed as gossipy at times.

To Kill a Mockingbird - Not until I read about the release of Go Set a Watchman did I realize that I had never read To Kill a Mockingbird.  A classic that everyone should read.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Meh.  It's well written and short.  I checked out it from the library without really knowing what it was about.  If there's any sort of magic in a book, it has to be written a certain way or I simply just can't get into it.  That, unfortunately, was the case here.

Room - This book was so good.  When I first heard about it, I was curious but hesitant to read it because I thought it would be too graphic and violent.  And then I heard more about it and how it was really a story of the bond between a mother and her child.  I had trouble putting this book down.  I was so absorbed in it that I feared I would miss my stop on the train at night.  I would suddenly glance out the window and have no idea where the train was or how long I had been reading.  One morning, I decided to finish reading "just this page" but when I looked up, I was the last person in the train car.  

The girls have been reading a combo of "real" paper books and books on their kindles.  Unfortunately, while our library network has a wide selection of e-books for adults, the children's section isn't as robust.  We do qualify for membership to Boston's public library and e-books but I haven't gotten around to completing the application process.

This e-book was available through our library and Emily recognized it because some fourth graders had read it for a book project.  So we checked it out and she plowed right through it.  Emily tells me that it's a really good book.

I can't remember if I've mentioned before that I picked up these three books from the $1 section at Target before Christmas.


These are reworded and condensed versions of the originals and the girls seem to enjoy reading them.  A few years ago, I found different classics (such as Little Women) made into versions for children also at Target for $1 each.  And Michael's has them on occasion too.  It's been an easy way to introduce them to "older" books.

The girls have independent reading time in class at school and their teachers try to ensure that the kids are reading books at an appropriate skill level.  Beverly Clearly and Judy Blume (the Fudge books!) have been recommended.  They are not ready for Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.  (I don't know if I'm ever going to be ready for that.)  


Tracey's Life said...

Have you tried Kindle Unlimited? I have it and love it because I can binge read for $10 a month. I am not sure about their selection of children's books. I might be worth checking in to??

Erika said...

I tried Fates & Furies (picked it solely based on the cover art, haha) and just gave up maybe 30% in. I just couldn't get into it. Good to know that it all eventually had a point...but I gave it back to the library, so I guess I'll never find out what the point was. :) My book club read Beyond Belief, another Scientology autobiography, a few months ago and my jaw was on the floor the whole time. I had NO idea! I will probably need to check out the Leah Remini book!! (It also came up during our discussion that Erika Christenson (Julia on Parenthood) is a practicing Scientologist, which basically ruined my life. Ha.)

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

So did you read Go Set a Watchman?

I walked around the bookstore with it for a while when it was released, but I just couldn't bring myself to buy it. I have very mixed feelings (particularly being from Alabama) about Harper Lee's intent / lack thereof to publish that book.

I am super curious, though!

Can't remember if I told you that I read First They Killed My Father at your reco. It was an incredible read. Wow.

I'll have to consider Room.


Sarah said...

I looked into Kindle Unlimited but our library network has so many e-books, I have a huge backlog and wish list. I may have to reconsider with the how many books the girls are reading.

I heard about Beyond Belief - I may have to read that one too.

I haven't read Go Set a Watchman yet. I'm wait listed at the library. I'll let you know what I think.

First They Killed My Father was a great book. Made me feel extremely sheltered.

mel brouard said...

I am currently reading To Kill A Mockingbird for the first time and am enjoying it. I am unsure as to whether I will read Go Set A Watchmen, I think I will wait for your review as we seem to have similar taste. Room is truly amazing, have you watched the movie? It isn't available in English here in France so I need to wait for it to be online. I read Wonder about a year ago, I am very surprised it is a book in the USA for 4th grade, in South Africa it is a set book for 6th or 7th grade! Have you read White Oleander or anything by Barbara Kingsolver?

Tracey's Life said...

I think it is wonderful that your girls all love to read so much. They don't know it now, but it will make them better students when there is so much more reading required of them. Kudos to you Sarah for teaching them the love of a book. Kindle Unlimited is nice in that you may have 10 books out at a time. You can also cancel and resubscribe when you don't think you would get your money's worth for a particular month.

Teej said...

oooh, did the girls like Anne of Green Gables? That was one of my absolute favorites as a kid. They are probably almost old enough to read it unabridged…maybe next year. I think I read it first in 4th or 5th grade, and they seem to be pretty advanced readers. And there are sequels! Actually, everything by L.M. Montgomery is so good. Just…wholesome. (Ok, I may have read the whole series again last year during a stressful time in my life. Very soul-soothing.)

Sarah said...

Mel - I was thinking about reading Wonder myself. Amazon has listed the suggested reading level at 3rd to 7th grade. Kind of a big range. I read White Oleander a looong time ago - must have been 15 years ago. I still remember it - good book. I have Barbara Kingsolver on my wish list at the library.

Tracey - thanks for the info on Kindle Unlimited. I agree - reading is so very important.

Teej - they did like Anne of Green Gables. I'll have to check to see what the library has for L.M. Montgomery books for them. I actually don't think I've read Anne - I may have to do so.

Baby Detective Agency said...

Have they read the Bunnicula books? Do they still publish those books?

That's also a good age to start on Nancy Drew.

mel brouard said...

I am living in France and shipped my books over. The bookstore here has only a small selection of English books so I try to read one new book then reread one of the ones I shipped, I got White Oleander for my 18th Birthday and I have just turned 30. I do have a Kindle but limited with what I can buy to some degree as don't have a USA credit card.

Teej said...

Other L.M. Montgomery books that would be good for their age:

Magic for Marigold
Jane of Lantern Hill
Emily of New Moon (the first Emily book; the other two are wonderful too, but the character gets older and deals with more adult issues. Better for when they are a little older too.)
The Story Girl & The Golden Road

Now I need to go read some L.M. Montgomery, stat.

Henson Clan of the North said...

Have you considered project gutenberg as a sourde for the L.M. Montgomery books?