Even when I was a kid, books were a huge part of my life. Favorite books were like comfortable friends that I still remember with fondness. When my kids were young, I would often spend time reading books to them and we would go to the Library every week to pick out new ones.
When Alice Ozma was in the fourth grade, she and her father made a promise to read aloud together every night until the day she entered college. “The Streak,” as they called it, became an important part of their relationship. In the book The Reading Promise, My Father and the Books We Shared, Alice relates stories she remembers from those years. Her Father was a Librarian in a grade school library and he believed reading not only to be a subject to be learned, but an enjoyment to be treasured and shared. He passed on his passion and love of books to his daughter through sharing books together each night.
The Reading Promise is touching and funny and very enjoyable reading, I would recommend it even to readers who don’t usually read nonfiction. The writing style is such that you will finish the book long before you are ready for the journey to end.
The Reading Promise has a list of suggested reading as well as a sample “Promise,” for parents to use as tools to start a reading adventure of their own with their children. The author’s website, makeareadingpromise.com, has a lot of ideas for reading with children.
I really love the old hymns that we sing in worship service. There is something very special about the familiar and comforting phrases and tunes. The Southern Gospel sound is a lot of fun too, but recently I’ve really been enjoying the more contemporary sound of Christian Worship music.
We Cry Out: The Worship Project by Jeremy Camp brought a little bit of the Sunday morning sound to my car and home. Jeremy combines the Message with a modern sound and beat, with songs that will appeal to both an older and younger audience.
Chris Tomlin is a new favorite artist after listening to a few tracks of How Great is our God: The Essential Collection. He is an awesome song writer and his album is now a “must have” in my music collection.
Wow hits 2012 featured several new favorites too. Glorious Day by Casting Crowns was most enjoyable. The group took an old gospel favorite and mixed it up for a wonderful sound that really was terrific. The CD had several artists I had never heard before, and it was a good way to get a feel of what is popular in the genre.
Next time you are feeling a little down, maybe give one of these albums a try. It might be a way to “bring the joy!”
The excitement and hype is really building for the Hunger Games Movie release March 23, 2012. After practically devouring the Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay, I find myself looking for other dystopian type books to hold me over until the movie comes out in March.
Matched by Ally Condie was a good read for my dystopian mood. The book begins with Cassia looking forward to attending her “Match Banquet”. An event when seventeen year olds find out whom the Society has chosen for them to marry and be their lifelong partner. When a technical glitch occurs and another young man flashes on her matching screen before the Society choice appears, Cassia begins for the first time in her life to question the Society decisions. If a mistake could be made by them, would it be so bad for Cassia to make some choices of her own? Could she pick a better career choice, a place to live, even a future spouse?
Cassia soon learns that freedom of choice has no place in the Society. Mistakes in the eyes of the government are not easily forgiven, and perfection and freedom are not always the same. But Cassia seems to be drawn down a path that she can’t abandon, no matter what cost to her and her family.
Crossed, the second book in the Matched series is now available, and on my “Next Read” list.
Shoko, a young Japanese girl, meets Charlie, an American GI, in Japan after WWII. She has been on the lookout for a better way of life and Charlie is willing to marry her and take her to America. She is determined to become the perfect “American Housewife” and brings with her a book written for Japanese women to help them learn to navigate the difficulties of not only a new marriage, but a totally new culture.
“How to be an American Housewife” follows Shoko’s life as an Army wife and features stories of her previous life in Japan. Shoko is strong-willed and passionate and her journey is interesting as well as very entertaining. Later in the book, Shoko’s adult daughter, Sue, travels to Japan to complete a mission on her mother’s behalf. Sue finds, while unraveling her mother’s past, a way to plot a new future for herself and her teenage daughter.
“How to Be an American Housewife” by Margaret Dilloway was a most enjoyable book. The characters were real and engaging and the story both funny and heartwarming. I was excited to see on the author’s webpage that she will be publishing a second book “The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns” in Spring 2012.
Did you ever have a passing daydream when you were a kid, that your “real” parents are royalty and so you are a prince or princess of some distant land? Meghan Chase, age 17, finds herself in the middle of that daydream when she learns that her father is Oberon, the Summer King of Faery. Only it turns out to be more of a nightmare when her brother is kidnapped and taken to Nevernever and she must journey there to rescue him. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, brings Faery to life with a fantasy that has not only action and adventure, but a little “non-sickening” romance as well. Meghan finds that Faery is a place where a Summer princess needs to be careful about falling in love with a Winter Prince because the Courts definately don’t mingle with each other. Meghan is a likable and engaging heroine and it’s easy to get caught up in the story.
It turns out that Meghan’s adventures don’t conclude at the end of The Iron King, but continue in the rest of the Iron Fey Series, including The Iron Daughter and The Iron Queen.
The Iron Knight will be coming soon, so once you get caught up on these fun and “not your average fairytales” you will want to get on the hold list for this new additon to the “Iron Fey” Series.
Sometimes I tend to get stuck in my comfort zone of reading familiar authors and hesitate to read a first book by an unfamiliar author. But I’m sure glad that I decided to give Lisa Patton’s “Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter” a try.
LeeLee, a southern lady living a picture perfect life in Memphis, Tennessee, is shocked to learn that her husband is planning to uproot the family and move them to Vermont. Not only to live in this chilly climate, but to indulge his dream of owning and running an inn. To say that this was a culture shock for LeeLee is putting it mildly.
The author will have you rooting for Leelee discovering solutions and thriving in her new life. I found myself laughing out loud at some parts of the book, especially when a couple of her best-friends from Memphis arrive to bring needed “southern style” support and encouragement.
I’m already on the hold list for the sequel, “Yankee Doodle Dixie” which is on order for Clermont County Public Library and looking forward to reading more about Leelee and friends.