May 2017 Book List

Well THIS post is a bit tardy. Sorry about that. End of pregnancy, childbirth, and a newborn have taken over life around the nest lately, but hopefully I can click-clack out a few thoughts before returning to the recliner with this little love.

mary

So, the books.

This book was written by the blogger and podcaster behind The Art of Simple.  It chronicles the round-the-world, 9-month long journey Tsh, her husband, and 3 children took a couple years ago. It’s full of reflections on world cultures and seeing the world from a child’s perspective, descriptions of incredible sounding food and exotic locales, but also day-to-days of settling into a new culture, even temporarily, with a young family. There are even some great travel tips. I really enjoyed this book and recommend finding Tsh on Instagram so you can go back and look through her photos from their year of travel. We enjoy traveling with our kids and look forward to doing it more and more, especially now that we have the Party Bus (12 passenger Sprinter) to accommodate all that a family of 7 entails. It’s a quick read and a great pool-side escape that isn’t fluff.
I read this aloud to my oldest son (7 years old) over the course of this month and we both really enjoyed it. We were familiar with the Disney version, but I don’t think I had ever read the original text. The vocabulary was rich but full of context so that he was not overwhelmed and didn’t have to stop me for explanation very often. It is not drastically different from the Disney version, but definitely a bit darker with subtleties only adults would pick up on as is the case with most classic children’s literature.  This made a great read aloud as well with chapters that were a good length-10-15 minutes, which is about my limit at 8pm!
The kids and I listened to this on audio in the car this month and enjoyed it. It definitely held my oldest son’s attention the most. My girls would tune in and out of it, but it didn’t grab them the way the Little House and Ramona audiobooks have. That being said, if your kids enjoy the Ramona books, they will probably like this book because it is also a charming glimpse into 1950’s suburbia with a protagonist who has a heart of gold, often oversteps, and finds himself in hijinks.
Wow, this book was incredible. I heard a lot of buzz about it on the What Should I Read Next? podcast and finally picked it up, and I’m so glad I did. Fair warning, this book deals with abortion, and I almost put it down at that point seeing as I was 9 months pregnant and all. However, the author did a beautiful job of showing how that one “choice” continued to impact those involved and spread to a wider and wider circle of people, over time. Mostly, this is a compelling coming-of-age story of race, tragedy, and female friendship.
Keeping this brief…parenting book….you can skim it or just read the cartoons in every chapter and get the gist. Nothing too revolutionary but good reminders mainly about how to effectively communicate and create an empathetic environment.
A story of friendship that starts in 1960’s suburban Minnesota and follows the group of friends for 40 years as they raise their families. This was a fun, easy read that reminde me of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

This was my audiobook for the month. Of note-if you also listen to the audio, I recommend speeding it up to 1.25x. Jahren has a slightly lethargic reading pace. This was an autobiography of a scientist (botany) and professor, and her journey through academia. It is also her story of dealing with severe bipolar disorder. It is a fairly easy read and not overly dense on the terminology and scientific explanations at all, and Jahren’s love of nature really shines through and encourages the opportunity to look at the natural world around you differently.

 

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