Friday, March 1, 2019

What I've Been Reading: February 2019



I've been working hard lately to get ready for my next art/craft show.  I'll have a booth at Simple Treasures Boutique next week in Farmington, UT.  This is the first time that I'll be offering completed embroidery pieces! In the past I've only sold hand embroidery kits, but I decided to branch out a bit with this show and sell a few small pieces, just to see if there's any interest.

I'm bringing this up because more stitching time for me = more audiobook listening time.  Which is cool with me! Every month I share the books I've been reading, find many more book reviews here.


The Polygamist's Daughter by Anna LeBaron


I heard a bit of  Anna's story on the What Should I Read Next podcast (it's one of my few listen to it on the day it comes out podcasts). and was so fascinated by her brief description of her life that I immediately found the audiobook on my library app.  She is a fantastic storyteller, with an incredible past.


The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

This is the fictionalized story based on the real life of Helmut Hubner, a faithful and courageous young boy who dared to stand up against the Nazi regime.  I enjoyed that his story was told in flashbacks, while he was experiencing his final day in a Nazi prison, after many months of being tortured and contained.



Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery


Loved this novel, mostly about the children of my dear Anne Shirley Blythe and their friends. Anne does make a few apperances and they are short but powerful.  One of my favorite moments in the book, brought tears to my eyes.  Anne and their housekeeper, Susan, are talking about little Walter, Anne's son.  He's a dreamer and has a huge imagination like Anne's, he writes poetry and is teased by his schoolmates.  Susan says, "I do fear he'll grow up to be...a poet." (as if it's a horrible thing) and Anne replies sweetly, "Susan, he is a poet already."  I just loved that.  Our children contain such promise, such potential, but they are also already people. It made me wonder if I am honoring who my children already are as best I can.


Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and other concerns)  by Mindy Kaling


This was a quick, silly read.  I loved a lot of it: behind the scenes as Mindy was growing up and turning into the smart and funny and extremely talented writer she is.  But about 2/3 through the book it seemed to lose steam, like she was just looking for random things to include in order to meet a page count.  All in all, it was fine, but not good.



The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster


I read this with my 10 year old son.  It was a re-read for me and just as punny and fun as the last time I read it.  It has brilliant moments, but a lot of this book is so dang weird.  I liked it, but did not love it.



Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds


This novel-in-verse covers a hard topic (gang violence) in such a beautiful and powerful way.  I stopped many times throughout to re-read again and again several passages.  It's poignant and meaningful and Reynolds has such a talent with words.  I will definitely be reading more from him.


The Good Neighbor: the Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King


I watched a documentary on Fred Rogers on a plane (I believe it was during the trip where we were attacked by a raccoon).  The plane was actually delayed for quite a long time, and I watched nearly the whole movie while we were still on the ground.  People were impatient and milling about, and I was sobbing quietly in my seat because I love Fred Rogers so much I couldn't get a grip on myself.

This book is a biography of a humble, talented, and inspiring man.  While I did feel a little bogged down in sections, it is very well written and enjoyable to read.  It's full of great insights that apply to parenting, homeschooling and loving other people well.



Emily Climbs by L. M Montgomery


Two L.M. Montgomery books this month!  This one is about dear, dear Emily.  I love her nearly as much as Anne.  Montgomery has such a talent for creating little stories within a story; all the daily details that make up the lives of these characters we love so much.  I just love watching Emily grow up and become a smart, independent young woman.  She's a devoted friend, a hard worker, and a bit spunky.  Love.

What have you been reading lately?

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