Reading about Iran

Interested in joining in with us for the Reading Together: A Family Exploration Book Club? Our theme for May and June is Iran, and you’ve still got time to find the books and join our new co-host Katie from Cakes, Tea, and Dreams for the discussion.

RTFEBC Iran Books

What are the three books we’ve selected? The picture book is Forty Fortunes by Aaron Shepard, illustrated by Alisher Dianov. (Can’t find it? I’ll list some other suggestions below). The elementary grade book to be discussed in May is Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher, and the middle grade / teen book for June is Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.

Want some additional picture book options?

If your kids are anything like mine, you can run through a half dozen picture books in a day, and they like nothing more than doing just that. In case you can’t easily locate Forty Fortunes, or if you just want more options, here are some more possibilities. Asterisks (*) mark ones I especially enjoyed, and the tilde (~) denotes one I haven’t actually seen, thanks to it vanishing off my library holds shelf before I could borrow it.

Chat about the books

We’d love to chat about the books with you in the Facebook group – tell us what you & your family think about the titles, or share additional ideas for books (or crafts, or food) that connect to the theme!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Savor by Shauna Niequist

Korea-Themed Picture Books

Interested in joining in with us for the Reading Together: A Family Exploration Book Club, but have children too young to appreciate the chapter books we’ll be reading? While the “official” picture book for our theme is The Firekeeper’s Son, here are 19 other options in case you can’t find that one at your library, or if you read it and want more!

Twenty Picture Books about Korea

20 Korea-Themed Picture Books:

Asterisks mark ones that I especially enjoyed

Korean History

I do love learning about history through picture books, and all three of these are well done – focusing one small aspects of history (often with a personal connection) to bring it to life.

Korean Immigrant or Korean-American Experiences
Based on Korean Folktales

The lack of asterisks here is perhaps based more on my usual indifference to folktales than a fair reflection on the quality of these books. If you’re a fan of folktale retellings, you may appreciate them more than I did.

Contemporary

If you’re looking for picture books best for the youngest of readers, you may want to try one of these. The above books all are longer picture books, and none of my toddlers would have wanted to sit through them.

  • * Bee-Bim Bop!Bee-Bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Lee by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Lee
  • * The ZooThe Zoo by Suzy Lee by Suzy Lee
    (Note: This is a really great book, but the Korean setting is incidental to the story, and if I weren’t looking for it I’d easily miss the limited hints about the setting that are provided. Do read the book, but unless you have no other options pick another one to support the theme. And, don’t feel like this is only for younger readers – the illustrations are detailed, and lead to fun discussions about the contrast between the text, and what the pictures show.)
  • My Cat Copies MeMy Cat Copies Me by Yoon-duck Kwon by Yoon-duck Kwon
    (Note: Another one where the setting is incidental to the story. It was originally published in Korean, and the illustration style and technique are apparently traditionally Korean, so you can always branch off on that if this is your only book option.)
Other Options

Thinking that perhaps you want to give the other readalouds a try? In March we’ll be reading The Kite FightersThe Kite Fighters by Linda Sue Park and in April we’ll read When My Name Was KeokoWhen My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park, both by Linda Sue Park.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Book Review: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Two years ago: Book Review: Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry by Jack Prelutsky
Three years ago: Reading Through Grief

12 Sports Books to Read if You Liked “The Boys in the Boat”

12 Sports Books to Read if You Liked The Boys in the BoatFeeling adrift after finishing Daniel James Brown’s fabulous book The Boys in the BoatThe Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown, and not sure what to read next? Here are 12 ideas. (Disclaimer: I haven’t read any of these titles; I’ve just been eyeing them all.)

The AmateursThe Amateurs: The Story of Four Young Men and Their Quest for an Olympic Gold MedalThe Amateurs: The Story of Four Young Men and Their Quest for an Olympic Gold Medal by David Halberstam by David Halberstam

Classic book by an accomplished author which follows rowers competing in the 1984 Olympics.

Buy the book: Print | Kindle

The Red Rose CrewRed Rose Crew: A True Story Of Women, Winning, And The WaterRed Rose Crew: A True Story Of Women, Winning, And The Water by Daniel J. Boyne by Daniel J. Boyne

Follows the US Women’s crew as they prepare to compete in the 1975 World Championships.

Buy the book: Print

The Emerald MileThe Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand CanyonThe Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon by Kevin Fedarko by Kevin Fedarko

Exciting adventure tale recounting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Buy the book: Print | Kindle | Audible

Twelve Mighty OrphansTwelve Mighty Orphans: The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites Who Ruled Texas FootballTwelve Mighty Orphans: The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites Who Ruled Texas Football by Jim Dent by Jim Dent

Uplifting depression-era tale of the undersized teams that became some of the best in the state.

Buy the book: Print | Kindle

Our BoysOur Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center RedmenOur Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen by Joe Drape by Joe Drape

Cheerful chronicle of small-town high school sports glory, told by a reporter who relocated from New York to Kansas to follow the team for a year as they attempted to win the state title for a fifth consecutive year.

Buy the book: Print | Kindle

The Glory of Their TimesThe Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played ItThe Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) by Lawrence S. Ritter by Lawrence S. Ritter

Entertaining look back at their baseball careers (and the game as a whole) by players who were in their prime in the first quarter of the twentieth century.

Buy the book: Print | Kindle | Audible

One Shot at ForeverOne Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season  by Chris Ballard by Chris Ballard

Inspirational story of an improbable high school coach and his 1971 team who played for the state championship. (I love the fact that the coach was an English teacher with no coaching experience, and want to read the book based on that alone.)

Buy the book: Print | Kindle | Audible

The Bottom of the 33rdBottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball’s Longest Game by Dan Barry

Engrossing account of a minor-league game that lasted for eight hours, and the individuals involved in it, including two players who went on to achieve notable major league success: Cal Ripken and Wade Boggs.

Buy the book: Print | Kindle | Audible

The Boys of WinterThe Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey TeamThe Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team by Wayne Coffey by Wayne Coffey

Underdog tale of the “Miracle on Ice” team which was involved in what’s often called the greatest sports moment of the 20th century. Personal stories of players and the coach are interwoven with details on the match between the US and Soviet Union.

Buy the book: Print | Kindle

The Miracle of St. AnthonyThe Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball’s Most Improbable DynastyThe Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball's Most Improbable Dynasty by Adrian Wojnarowski by Adrian Wojnarowski

Inspirational biography of legendary high school coach Bob Hurley follows his team one season (and what a season!)

Buy the book: Print | Kindle

The Perfect MileThe Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve ItThe Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It by Neal Bascomb by Neal Bascomb

Story of the dramatic race to break the four-minute mile barrier in 1954, interwoven with the story of the three men who were all poised to do it first: Englishman Roger Bannister, American Wes Santee, and Australian John Landy.

Buy the book: Print | Kindle

The Great Match RaceThe Great Match Race: When North Met South in America’s First Sports SpectacleThe Great Match Race: When North Met South in America's First Sports Spectacle by John Eisenberg by John Eisenberg

Fast-paced mix of horse racing and history provides a peek at the United States in the early 1800s.

Buy the book: Print | Kindle | Audible

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

5 Translated Novels I Want To Read, and 5 More I’m Considering

Translated Novels I Want To ReadIn honor of Modern Mrs Darcy’s reading challenge, here are 5 novels that I would like to read that have all been translated into English:

Heidi by Johanna SpyriHeidiHeidi by Johanna Spyri by Johanna Spyri
(originally written in Swiss German)

The one book I will definitely read this year, as it’s a book club pick. It seems like one that I should have read already too – how did I get to adulthood without reading this story?

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasThe Count of Monte CristoThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas by Alexandre Dumas
(originally written in French)

I’ve wanted to read this ever since visiting Château d’If, setting for the book. And then last year I enjoyed his book The Three Musketeers, so that’s even more reason to finally get to this one, more than a decade after that visit that made me say “I need to read that book!”

The Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoThe Name of the RoseThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco by Umberto Eco
(originally written in Italian)

I love historical mysteries, and this is a classic in that genre. I have no idea why I haven’t gotten to this one already – it’s one I should have read ages ago.

Suite Francaise by Irène NémirovskySuite FrançaiseSuite Française by Irène Némirovsky by Irène Némirovsky
(originally written in French)

The backstory on this is amazing, the cover is gorgeous, and I’m only afraid it will make me cry a bit too much, and wish the author had survived to finish the other three novels she’d planned.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia MarquezOne Hundred Years of SolitudeOne Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez by Gabriel García Márquez
(originally written in Spanish)

I avoided it when I thought I disliked Magical Realism, but after reading The Night Circus and enjoying it, I’m ready to try the one that started it all. This one seems like it might qualify for “everyone has read it but me” as well.

And five more where I haven’t completely decided if I want to read them or not:

Don Quixote by Miguel de CervantesDon QuixoteDon Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes by Miguel de Cervantes
(originally written in Spanish)

It’s a classic for a reason, and I keep stumbling across references to it which make me think I should give it a try.

Les Misérables by Victor HugoLes MisérablesLes Misérables by Victor Hugo by Victor Hugo
(originally written in French)

I read the beginning of it, but never finished it. Perhaps I should give it another try? I missed the book club meeting where this one was discussed, and that’s always such a good motivation for me to finish a book, that I’m missing that push.

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander SolzhenitsynOne Day in the Life of Ivan DenisovichOne Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
(originally written in Russian)

It’s such an influential work, and feels a lot more accessible than The Gulag ArchipelagoThe Gulag Archipelago Abridged: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (P.S.) by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Anna Karenina by Leo TolstoyAnna KareninaAnna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy by Leo Tolstoy
(originally written in Russian)

Seems like one I should have read already, plus I’d kind of like to see the movie and I have a thing about always reading the book first.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor DostoyevskyCrime and PunishmentCrime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
(originally written in Russian)

In high school I tried to read The Brothers KaramazovThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and gave up about a third of the way through, and that put me off trying Dostoyevsky again. I’d like to rectify that.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Favorite Books of Hope and Redemption

As part of my “Favorite Books” series that’s been running, I’ve asked some other bloggers to share some of their favorite books. Today’s guest post is by Darcy of Message in a Mason Jar. She’s become a friend-in-real-life, and if you didn’t read her 31 Days to Preserve Your Story series, you really should.

When evil shows its face in the world like it did at Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary last Friday, I slip in to seeing the world in shadows. Waking up in the night, I can almost feel the dark. When I talk it out with those around me, I gain insight and perspective, not necessarily in making sense of the tragedy itself, but in turning my focus to the redemptive stories that show up in the midst. This happens when I read good books, as well. Below are a few of my favorite books of hope and redemption. I hope they’ll encourage you in these dark days to look for every good and perfect gift “coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”

[Read more…]

Favorite Books for Budding Writers

As part of my “Favorite Books” series that’s been running, I’ve asked some other bloggers to share some of their favorite books. Today’s guest post is by Anne of Modern Mrs Darcy. I’ve read her blog since soon after it began, and while I love all of her posts, I admit to being especially fond of the ones about books and reading.

Do you have a budding writer in your life? These books feature characters who dream of growing up to write one day, too. These books are wonderful in their own right, but will be especially appreciated by young authors.

[Read more…]

Favorite Spiritual Growth Books

DogFur and Dandelions buttonAs part of my “Favorite Books” series that’s been running, I’ve asked some other bloggers to share some of their favorite books. The first guest post is by Elizabeth of DogFur and Dandelions. I “met” Elizabeth this summer and enjoy her thoughtful posts that encourage Christ-centered living.

First, I want to thank Sheila for giving me this opportunity to share with you all. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her over the past few months, and love this new site of hers – in fact, I’ve already read several books recommended during her 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads series.

When she asked me to contribute to this series, I immediately knew which books I wanted to share with you. These are some of my favorites; they have each influenced my relationship with God in tremendous ways. Each of these book has helped me cultivate a greater intimacy with Him by encouraging a more consistent devotional life, instructing me towards better communication with God, and and exhorting me to remain faithful in those things despite the difficulties of life.

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