Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Book List . .

My book list is way behind . . .  I haven't posted anything I've read in the past six months. Yikes. I'm sure to miss some, but here's part of what I remember:

Beyond the Sea, Emily Goodwin.  YA Series.  Cute.
Insurgent. Veronica Roth.  YA Series.  I actually can't remember much of it.
The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Classic.
Theodore Bonne: The Activist.  John Grisham.  Not as good as the others.  Not even close.

Real Mermaids Don't Wear High Heels.  Boudreau.  YA Again.  I'm pre-reading a bunch for the girls.
Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath.  Helene Boudreau.  YA, again.  Cute series.
Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings.  Helene Boudreau.  Cute.

The Mind Readers. Lori Brighton.   1 of 3 in a series.
The Mind Games.  Lori Brighton.  Interesting.  Inventive.  I liked it.
The Mind Thieves.  Lori Brighton.  Liked.  Different idea.

Catering to the CEO.  Free Kindle Romance by Samantha Chase.  I don't read much romance.  Now I remember why. It was easy and shallow and idealistic.

Twilight.  I read it again for Big.  Gave my stamp of approval.
New Moon.  I wasn't sure Twilight would capture Big's interest, but it did.  Slow in the beginning but once she read the first, I knew she would want to continue.  She's one of those.  She finishes a book even if if sucks.

The People of Ember and The People of Sparks.  Jeanne Duprau.  Read them with Little.

Mindset:  The New Psychology of Success. by Carol S. Dweck. Wowzers.  This one is a winner.  I loved it for the parenting and sports psychology aspects, and for the praising the effort idea.  Actually, I loved it for a lot more.  I'll read this one again.  It should be in every parent's must-read list.

The Center of Everything.  Laura Moriarty.  She authored one of my all-time favorite books, so I chose this by author.  Not as good as The Chaperone.

The Dating Deal.  By Melanie Marks.  YA pre-read for Big and Middle.  Cute middle school concept that introduces religion and standards in a new/different way.  I liked it.

Gym Mom by Rita Weiber.  Yea.  Since I am living this Gym Mom life right now, I found this very, very, very helpful.  Educational.  It's not a how-to manual for dealing with coaches or an owner's manual for your young gymnast, but this I know about the sport of gymnastics:  The communication between coach and parent is the absolute worst and the expectations are the absolute highest.  At least reading this book made me feel like (1) I'm not alone;  (2) I can survive this; and (3) both me and my gymnast will come out the other end of this tunnel as better athletes, better people, great communicators and super friends.

A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass.  My girls love Wendy Mass books and she's one of the few YA authors that has my maternal "stamp of approval" with no questions.  So when I notice that Big is reading this book for the second time and there are tears in her eyes, I thought it must be catching her eye and heart.  I asked her about it and she said, "It's kind of amazing and written so that I'm aching for the girl . . . and I don't even like cats!"  With that kind of an intro, I had to read it.  She's right.  I cried and I did think it was pretty amazing, and I don't even like cats.

Wonder.  RJ Palacio.  Okay everyone go out and get this book.  It's AMAZING.  It's a chart topper and one for the record books.  I read it.  Then I gave it to Big.  She read it.  Then she gave it to Middle.  She read it.  Then we bought a hardcopy, keeper edition for Middle's 5th grade teacher.  He read it to the class.  It's an AMAZING book to read alone or with your upper elementary or young middle school kids.  It will be required reading for the other kids.  A life changer.

In our last library run, I picked up a whole variety of books about the Japanese Internment Camps.  I read most of them aloud to the kids during afternoon QT, our Quiet Time.  That sounds so . . . I don't know . . pre-school, but ever since the kids were little, we've had QT in the house.  Everyone still really likes it, so I keep it going.    On library runs, I usually set some kind of "game" with the kids.  Last run, I asked them to all randomly pick a book about a place, so we read books about Mesopotamia, Greece, Bosnia and Yellowstone.   We went to the library again on Monday and I asked them to pick animals . . . so we're reading books about harp seals, walking sticks, elephants and cobras.  I keep thinking that my middle school kids will outgrow having a book read to them, but come QT time, they are the first ones cuddled up with a blanket and a drink waiting for the book to start.  Incidentally, the treehouse is the BEST place to read in the afternoons.  I love that thing!!  There's no phone up there and I love, love, love a place with NO PHONE!!!

Also . . . .
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Piccoult.  It was in the Teen Center but her books are deep, deep, deep, and it's one I hadn't read before.  Yea, glad I read it.  It's a bullying book.  Bullying to the point that the kiddo becomes a school shooter and kills a bunch of kids.  And a popularity book.  I really, really, really liked it, but I held it back from my 13-year old reader for frequent f-bombs and sex (even though the sex wasn't over the top), that's precisely what I pre-read for . . . the idea of teenager kids bumping uglies in the basement is not at the top of what I want my kids to learn from books.

Finally, because I don't EVER want my reading list to fall this far behind again, I'll add my current read:  Between the Lines by Jodi Piccoult and Samantha Van Leer.  YA.  It's cute and very good.  I like it a lot and have chosen a couple of thing to read to the girls.  Excerpts that I really like or that have spoken to me.   Like this piece from when main characters Delilah and Oliver are talking.

I smile at that, "Maybe we can be crazy together."
"Maybe we can," Oliver says, grinning widely.  "I found another way out."
My eyes widen.  "What are you talking about?" I whisper.  "Why didn't you tell me right away?"
"Because you were crying," he says, truly surprised, "That mattered more."

Ahh.  It's fresh and true.  It's RIGHT.  This is the boy to idealize.  One that thinks you are important when you are crying.

I also read them an excerpt from when best girl-buds Jules and Delilah are having a "falling-out" or "discussion" . . . . .   it ends like this, "I can't help it:  I stifle a laugh.  Jules glances at me sideways and bumps shoulders with me. "Don't shut me out, okay?" And just like that, I'm forgiven. "

We had quite a discussion about how perfectly open and honest that was . . . and how it's not necessary to get your feathers in a ruffle and be "mean" to accomplish your goal.   Female friendships are the WORST . . . in life and especially in MIDDLE SCHOOL (insert eye roll and knowing sideways glance here), so a book that gives examples of how things CAN be is a great read.  Great. Read.




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