Quick Lit for May 2015

Quick looks at some memoirs I finished recently:

The Center Cannot HoldThe Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through MadnessThe Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. Saks by Elyn R. Saks

A fascinating account. I’d disagree with the subtitle – this isn’t so much as a journey “through” madness, as that seems to imply it’s over and she’s no longer dealing with it. Instead, this is about how she has built an amazing, successful life while also living with schizophrenia. Astonishing and eye-opening, and well worth reading.

Sparkly Green EarringsSparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every TurnSparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn by Melanie Shankle by Melanie Shankle

Light and amusing, but mostly devoid of any real depth or substance. Read it if you’re in the mood for something quick and breezy, but be aware that it reads like a string of blog posts assembled into a book. I don’t read her blog to know if the stories are mostly repeats from there, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the case.

Shakespeare Saved My LifeShakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the BardShakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates by Laura Bates

Well-written but occasionally uneven, this was an interesting look at a program that taught Shakespeare to prisoners. At times I found Bates’ to be a bit too self-congratulatory and even tone-deaf at times. I might have found it more compelling because of the Indiana setting, but I don’t think that played all that large of a role in my overall impressions. Worth reading? A tentative yes, but go for Saks’ book first.

For more peeks at what people are reading, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up!

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What the Kids are Reading (in April 2015)

We didn’t have all that many new picture books that we finished this month. We’ve been reading more chapter books, and rereading old favorites, so the new picture book total is slim:

QuestQuestQuest by Aaron Becker by Aaron Becker

Becker’s the author of JourneyJourney by Aaron Becker (mentioned on the blog previously), and if you liked that one you’ll want to read Quest as well – it’s more of the same, in the very best way. I like hearing what the kids think is going on with each page. Wordless picture books took a little getting used to, but now I generally love them.

Angus and the DucksAngus and the DucksAngus and the Ducks by Marjorie Flack by Marjorie Flack

We may be relatively new to Flack, but I’m a huge fan of her work now. Love the illustrations in this one! My son loved it too – he asked for it to be repeated twice the first time we read it, and has continued to ask for it. A prime example of why there weren’t many new picture books finished this month. 😉

You Are the Best MedicineYou Are the Best MedicineYou Are the Best Medicine by Julie Aigner Clark, illustrations by Jana Christy by Julie Aigner Clark, illustrations by Jana Christy

My daughter’s pick from the library – she always goes for the ones with pink colors. And this one got a quick scan by me and then it went back into the library bag. No, nope, not gonna read it. But if you are looking for a cancer book, or just a book where a parent is sick – this might be one you want to check out.

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Quick Lit for April 2015

Playing catch-up with reviews because as my reading pace picks up post-baby I’m getting backlogged on sharing:

April 2015 Quick Lit
Once Upon an AlphabetOnce Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the LettersOnce Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters by Oliver Jeffers by Oliver Jeffers

I grabbed this for the cover, and thought it was truly a kid’s alphabet book. Yeah, not exactly. Some of the entries for various letters are NOT ones I’d want to read to my kids as they’re surprisingly dark and even creepily morbid at times. I’m not really sure who the intended audience is for this one, but I’m glad it was a library book and I wasn’t out much more than a small amount of time, and because I pre-read it before starting it with my kids, they never knew what they were missing.

Saturday the Rabbi Went HungrySaturday the Rabbi Went HungrySaturday the Rabbi Went Hungry by Harry Kemelman by Harry Kemelman

The second in the series begun with Friday the Rabbi Slept Late. You could easily pick this one up without having read the first, and while there is a bit of backstory you won’t know, it’s not at all essential to the plot of this one. It still feels so dated at times, but I liked it well enough I’ve checked out the third third in the series – Sunday the Rabbi Stayed HomeSunday the Rabbi Stayed Home by Harry Kemelman.

Betrayal of TrustBetrayal of TrustBetrayal of Trust (J. P. Beaumont #19) (J. P. Beaumont Novel) by J. A. Jance by J. A. Jance

This one wasn’t my favorite – maybe I need to save Jance’s books for vacation, because I really preferred the one I read last year while traveling. Or maybe I just didn’t enjoy the teenage bullying plot line. Either way, I’ll read the next, because it’s so far into the series and I am invested in the characters, but it’s not a priority.

Lost in a Good BookLost in a Good BookLost in a Good Book (A Thursday Next Novel) by Jasper Fforde by Jasper Fforde

Second in the Thursday Next series, and it continues the craziness of the series begun in The Eyre Affair. I’m already in the middle of book #3, The Well of Lost PlotsThe Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next Series) by Jasper Fforde, as I do like Thursday as a character, and this book ends leaving me desperate to know what happens next.

Ever After High The Storybook of LegendsEver After High: The Storybook of LegendsEver After High: The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale and Ever After High: The Unfairest of Them AllEver After High: The Unfairest of Them All by Shannon Hale by Shannon Hale

While I love fractured fairy tales, and I love Shannon Hale as an author, this combo of the two didn’t work for me at all. There are lots of pop-culture references/silliness in this story that grated on me, and the puns were NONSTOP. I think maybe you need to be a tween girl to fully appreciate this series, and I’m not tempted to read any more in it.

Ever After High Unfairest of Them AllApparently I’m alone in that though, because it seems like it’s a HUGE hit, and there is tons of merchandise for it. I had no idea until I was at the store looking for baseball cards for my husband’s birthday and there was a big display of Ever After High dolls and other items. (Turns out baseball cards are in the toy section. Who knew?)

Instead, read Book of a Thousand Days or The Princess Academy for better books by Hale.

For more peeks at what people are reading, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up!

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What the Kids are Reading (in March 2015)

John Philip DuckJohn Philip DuckJohn Philip Duck by Patricia Polacco by Patricia Polacco

Really fun – we read this one dozens of times. The only thing I wish is that there was a note at the end with a little more detail as to what’s the real story, and what’s Polacco’s invention.

Math Fables TooMath Fables Too: Making Science CountMath Fables Too: Making Science Count by Greg Tang, illustrated by Taia Morley by Greg Tang, illustrated by Taia Morley

We’ve been on a kick as far as reading fun math books, and this was another winner in that string. Loved the little animal facts included in this one as well!

How Do You Know What Time It IsHow Do You Know What Time It Is?How Do You Know What Time It Is? by Robert E. Wells by Robert E. Wells

The Wells books have been very popular with my children, especially my son, and this was no exception.

DruthersDruthersDruthers by Matt Phelan by Matt Phelan

Unexpectedly delightful – this is a charming story with lovely illustrations. Both kids enjoyed it, but my daughter especially loved it.

Bear Snores OnBear Snores OnBear Snores On by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman

We’ve read two other Bear books, but this was our first time with the original title, and it was just as fun as I expected it would be. My daughter liked repeating the “bear snores on” line quite a bit.

Never Tease a WeaselNever Tease a WeaselNever Tease a Weasel by Jean Conder Soule, illustrated by George Booth by Jean Conder Soule, illustrated George Booth

I was more amused by this one than my kids were, especially my daughter who adamantly did NOT want me to read it again. It’s got some funny lines and vocabulary words, but I didn’t like the illustrations all that much.

Farmer Brown Goes Round and RoundFarmer Brown Goes Round and RoundFarmer Brown Goes Round and Round by Teri Sloat, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcot by Teri Sloat, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcot

This was ok. The kids were mildly entertained by the silliness, but I didn’t think it was worth repeating, and they didn’t ask for it again.

Because You Are My FriendBecause You Are My FriendBecause You Are My Friend by Guido Van Genechten by Guido Van Genechten

Another one picked out by my daughter because of the pink cover, another one that went right back into the library bag after one reading. In the “well at least it’s got that” aspect, the little bear has texture, so it becomes a touch-and-feel book for babies. There are better of those out there (much better), so don’t let that persuade you to give this one a try.

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Quick Lit for March 2015: Recent Re-Reads

I seem to go on re-reading kicks, and lately I’ve been on another one. Happily, they’ve all been great books to read again:

The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker ConwayThe Road from CoorainThe Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway by Jill Ker Conway

Rereading this one because it was book club’s March pick. I picked it up with some trepidation, because I was the one who pushed for it to be the month’s pick – what if I ended up thinking that I shouldn’t have recommended it? Instead, while the very beginning was a bit slower than I remembered, the rest of it was as strong as I’d recalled. It’s a very thoughtful book, but so worth reading (just be warned that it can be a tough one too – there are difficult events recounted). It also made for a *fabulous* discussion book – I was supposed to facilitate the discussion, but most of it ended up being organic as there is just so much to talk about in the book. (Read my original review on it)

The Eyre AffairThe Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next NovelThe Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel by Jasper Fforde by Jasper Fforde

Reread to prepare myself for reading additional titles in the series (and because it’s an easy read, so reading it again wouldn’t take long.) It’s such an odd book and premise, but lots of fun. It also makes it very hard to ever read Jane Eyre again without imagining agent Thursday Next’s behind the scenes role in that story. 🙂

Princess BrideThe Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High AdventureThe Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman by William Goldman

Reread after reading As You Wish, and because it’s August’s book club pick. Super fun, especially after having just finished Elwes’ memoir.

The ThiefThe Thief The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner by Megan Whalen Turner

Reread as I get ready to finally read the last in the series – A Conspiracy of KingsA Conspiracy of Kings (Thief of Eddis). Or at least the last one so far – there’s still supposed to be more books, but there’s no indication on a publication date. I adore this series and almost don’t want to read the last one, as it’ll mean I no longer have it to look forward to reading eventually. (Read my original reviews on The Thief, and the second and third in the series – The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia).

CinderCinderBook Review: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer by Marissa Meyer

Reread as I waited my turn at FairestFairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer. I love this series too, and it was maybe even more fun the second time through it. Will I reread them all before WinterWinter (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer is published? Perhaps… (Read my original reviews on Cinder, and also Scarlet, Cress)

For more peeks at what people are reading, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up!

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Quick Lit February 2015

We’ll just call this a clear-out of some books from 2014 that never got mentioned. Plus some more recent reads. 🙂

Tasting the SeasonsTasting the Seasons: Inspired, In-Season Cuisine Thats Easy, Healthy, Fresh and FunTasting the Seasons: Inspired, In-Season Cuisine Thats Easy, Healthy, Fresh and Fun by Kerry Dunnington by Kerry Dunnington

Has some very intriguing recipes, but the book is crying out for photographs. There are a few recipes that call for specialty ingredients, but there is a source list in the back. I hope to do a “Cooking the Book” feature with this one soon.

Everythign I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden BookEverything I Need To Know I Learned From a Little Golden BookEverything I Need To Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow by Diane Muldrow

This was a gift, and it’s very cute. If you’ve read many Little Golden books, it’s more fun than if you’re looking at it and are unfamiliar with the source material.

The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the PlanetThe Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet: Make Lunches Your Kids Will Love with More Than 200 Deliciously Nutritious Meal IdeasThe Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet: Make Lunches Your Kids Will Love with More Than 200 Deliciously Nutritious Meal Ideas by Laura Fuentes by Laura Fuentes

Was hoping for some ideas to get out of the lunch rut we’ve fallen into, and I’ll be trying some of these with my kids. Fingers crossed that they’re a hit!

Signs of Life New TestamentSigns of Life New TestamentSigns of Life New Testament by David Jeremiah by David Jeremiah

Liked this except for some text issues – bad color choices make some parts of it almost impossible to read, at least in the copy I have. Boo.

Encounters with JesusEncounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life’s Biggest QuestionsEncounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life's Biggest Questions by Timothy Keller by Timothy Keller

Liked it but didn’t LOVE it like I expect to do with all Keller books. My expectations might be a tad bit high for him though.

WorshipWorship: The Ultimate PriorityWorship: The Ultimate Priority by John MacArthur by John MacArthur

The most in-depth look at worship I’ve ever read, and I found it fascinating. Not a quick read, but one that required focus and attention. Highly recommended.

DIY CookbookThe America’s Test Kitchen DIY CookbookThe America's Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook

It’s fine, but there weren’t as many things I was tempted to try in this one. I’m sure a homemade version would be tastier, but right now with three young children? It’s not happening. Priorities push my time elsewhere. Someday though, I think it’d be fun to try making my own ketchup, hot sauce, candied ginger, pickles, cheese, and more. The only thing in the book I’m currently making on my own? Granola.

Slow Cooker RevolutionSlow Cooker Revolution Volume 2Slow Cooker Revolution Volume 2: The Easy-Prep Edition by America's Test Kitchen by America’s Test Kitchen

Not sure if it was me or the book, but I wasn’t inspired to try many of these – a first for an ATK book (excluding the one above, which was a very different sort of book). Maybe I’ve just looked at too many slow cooker books, and feel like I already have recipes for most of the types of meals I’m likely to make?

For more peeks at what people are reading, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up!

Disclosure: I received a copy of Tasting the Seasons from the author for review, but was not required to post a positive review (all opinions are my own!) This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Recent Cookbook Reads – Twitterature-Style

recent cookbook reads, twitterature-style

It’s been a good couple of months as far as reading cookbooks goes, even if my timing on two of them wasn’t the best.
My Paris KitchenMy Paris Kitchen: Recipes and StoriesMy Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz by David Lebovitz
I’ve loved his other books, both his memoir (The Sweet Life in ParisThe Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious - and Perplexing - City by David Lebovitz) and cookbooks (especially The Perfect ScoopThe Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments by David Lebovitz and Ready for DessertReady for Dessert: My Best Recipes by David Lebovitz), and his latest bridges the gap between the two formats. It’s still clearly a cookbook, but it is filled with stories about his experiences in Paris since moving there a decade ago. I had to return it to the library before I was able to try any of the recipes, but there were lots that sounded (and looked) delicious.

Barefoot Contessa FoolproofBarefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can TrustBarefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust by Ina Garten by Ina Garten
Beautiful photographs, and lots of suggestions for menus (not just individual dishes) and tips that work for entertaining. She likes seafood a lot more than I do, and some of her other ingredients aren’t ones that I buy because of their cost, but I still found several recipes I’d like to try.

Cooking with LoveCooking with Love: Comfort Food that Hugs YouCooking with Love: Comfort Food that Hugs You by Carla Hall with Genevieve Ko by Carla Hall
If you’re familiar with her at all, the personality that came through on Top Chef shines throughout her first cookbook. She may be a chef with the ability to design and execute complicated dishes, but the focus here is on comfort food, and everything seemed very do-able for a home cook without extensive experience. I loved the tips she includes on some of the recipes for how to turn them into a fancier presentation if you’re wanting to use them for entertaining.

Fresh from the FarmFresh from the Farm: A Year of Recipes and StoriesFresh from the Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories by Susie Middleton by Susie Middleton
Gorgeous photographs and some tempting-sounding recipes for late spring/early summer, high summer, and late summer/early fall dishes, but the formatting and organization was terrible. The stories that flow throughout the text are appealing, but laid out in these small sidebars that carry over page after page. It’s very strange, and makes for a very disjointed reading experience. It also makes the recipes themselves sometimes not fit on a page as well, and results in lots of additional flipping back and forth.

Fresh from the Vegan Slow CookerFresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker: 200 Ultra-Convenient, Super-Tasty, Completely Animal-Free Recipes by Robin Robertson by Robin Robertson
One of the ones that my timing was bad – the weather is too warm for me to want most of the soups, stews, chilis, and casseroles where slow cooking shines. However, that’s not the fault of the book, and I may check it out again once fall arrives. I tried the chili potato gratin recipe (subbing lentils for the seitan according to her suggestion) and thought it was really tasty. I’d happily make it again, especially as it was just as good reheated the next day. My husband even liked it. We did use real cheese on it though, as we’re not actually vegan. 🙂

Pies and Tarts with Heart
Pies and Tarts with HeartPies and Tarts with Heart: Expert Pie-Building Techniques for 60+ Sweet and Savory Vegan Pies by Dynise Balcavage by Dynise Balcavage
The other one where my timing was poor, but it also wasn’t the best fit, so I doubt I’ll try it again. Although pies may be popular in the summer for most people, I generally try to avoid turning my oven on once temperatures approach 90, so I wasn’t trying any of them right now. Since I’m not vegan, pie crust with butter isn’t an issue for me, and that’s one of the benefits of this book – no butter in the crust, or other dairy products in the pies themselves (or meat products in the savory pies). However, if you are vegan or trying to cut down on dairy or meat products, there were lots of ideas in here that sounded tasty.

For more peeks at what people are reading, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up!

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What the Kids are Reading (in June 2014)

The overall theme of this month’s reading has been “SPACE.” But there’s been some other topics too:

Dinosaur KissesDinosaur KissesDinosaur Kisses by David Ezra Stein by David Ezra Stein

My kids LOVE this book. LOVE LOVE LOVE. What’s not to love, from their point of view? There is WHOMPing and STOMPing and CHOMPing.

Digger Dozer DumperDigger, Dozer, DumperDigger, Dozer, Dumper by Hope Vestergaard, illustrations by David Slonim by Hope Vestergaard, illustrations by David Slonim

Not quite as good as Goodnight, Goodnight Construction SiteGoodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, but a solid choice for machine-loving little ones.

Let's Go for a DriveLet’s Go for a Drive!Let's Go for a Drive! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Willems / Today I Will Fly!Today I Will Fly! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Willems by Mo Willems

So much love by my children for these two. Elephant and Piggie are big hits.

DK Eyewitness Astronomy
DK Eyewitness Books: AstronomyDK Eyewitness Books: Astronomy

Eh, not the right fit. G prefers solar system and planet info to astronomy, and this one had a bunch of details about the history of astronomy, and lots of artifacts relating to it.

The Solar SystemThe Solar System (Early Bird Astronomy)The Solar System (Early Bird Astronomy) by Laura Hamilton Waxman

His favorite of all the space books I brought home the last trip. There are other titles in this Early Bird Astronomy series, and I may try some of those as well for him.

SpaceSpaceSpace (Kingfisher Readers. Level 5) by James Harrison by James Harrison

Simplified explanations of things make it a great intro book. This is meant as a reader, but for kids reading fluently. We’re just using it as a readaloud, because G is nowhere close to reading on this level.

Scholastic Atlas of SpaceScholastic Atlas Of SpaceScholastic Atlas Of Space

He likes some of the pictures, but it’s not as engaging as I expected it to be for him.

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Twitterature May 2014

Twitterature

Holey, Wholly, HolyHoley, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of RefinementHoley, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement by Kris Camealy by Kris Camealy

Very reflective book that could work any time of year, not just during Lent.

The Enneagram Made EasyThe Enneagram Made Easy: Discover the 9 Types of PeopleThe Enneagram Made Easy: Discover the 9 Types of People by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele

Loved this easy-to-understand look at the Enneagram. And now I know I’m a 5.

My Name's Not SusieMy Name’s Not Susie: A Life Transformed by LiteracyMy Name's Not Susie: A Life Transformed by Literacy by Sharon Jean Hamilton by Sharon Jean Hamilton

Hard to read at times, as she had a difficult upbringing. I enjoyed the memoir aspects more than the literacy narrative.

Best 100 Juices for KidsBest 100 Juices for Kids: Totally Yummy, Awesomely Healthy, & Naturally Sweetened Homemade Alternatives to Soda Pop, Sports Drinks, and Expensive Bottled JuicesBest 100 Juices for Kids: Totally Yummy, Awesomely Healthy, & Naturally Sweetened Homemade Alternatives to Soda Pop, Sports Drinks, and Expensive Bottled Juices by Jessica Fisher by Jessica Fisher

We’ve tried a couple of the smoothie recipes already, and one was a big hit (the other I should have modified a bit more to our tastes). Am sorely tempted to buy a juicer so I can try some of the juice mixtures as well.

What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and MarriageWhat Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage: Lessons for People from Animals and Their TrainersWhat Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage: Lessons for People from Animals and Their Trainers by Amy Sutherland by Amy Sutherland

Short and readable and very enjoyable look at applying some animal training methods to human relationships.

For more peeks at what people are reading, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up!

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Most Memorable Books

I’m taking a mini blog break but instead of having no posts at all, I’m sharing some content that originally ran on another blog I had. I’ve updated the posts, but if you’ve been reading me for a long time, they may still be familiar.

Last year Anne from a Modern Mrs. Darcy had a “The Book That Changed My Life” Carnival. I didn’t participate because I couldn’t really think of a book that struck me as “This Book Changed Me.” But it did get me thinking of what books have been the most memorable.

Most Memorable BooksMost Memorable Books

  1. All those kid’s books that my mom read overandoverandover. Nope, no specific names here, because there were so many. I’ve got pictures of me as a toddler hefting a pile of books almost as big as me. I’ve got a picture of me passed out in the chair surrounded by books. I’ve even got a picture of me on the little kid potty, reading books.

    I wanted my mom to read those books so many times that she finally made her own books on tape, complete with a little chime to tell me when to turn the page. I would listen to them endlessly, so much so that I learned to read when I was barely 3 just from sheer repetition. A relative thought I’d simply memorized those books, and brought out new ones to test me. To her shock, it confirmed that I was really reading!

    Pure determination and desire (and a lot of repetition by my mom) opened up the world of books to me long before I’d have learned in school. It may be cheating because I don’t remember all the specific titles, but as a group the story of how I learned to read has entered family lore, as has the early start to my reading addiction.
  2. Little House on the Prairie

  3. The Little House on the Prairie seriesLaura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie series - one of my most memorable books. The books, not the TV series, which I always hated because of how it departed from the books.

    I read these countless times as a child, and certain scenes have stuck with me. Laura and her family using their coffee grinder to prepare the wheat for their small daily ration of bread in The Long WinterThe Long Winter - one of my most memorable books. All the glorious food described in Farmer BoyFarmer Boy - one of my most memorable books. Jack the brindle bulldog trotting along beneath their wagon as they traveled west.

    I’m anxious to share these stories with my children, and I hope they love them as much as I did.
  4. Anne of Green Gables

  5. Anne of Green GablesLucy Maud Montgomery's The Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed Set (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne's House of Dreams, ... Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside). I’m still determined to travel to Prince Edward Island someday so I can see the setting for this book and the others by L. M. Montgomery. Anne was so real to me, and her books made me long to have a close friend like her. I’m glad I have a daughter to share this book with her someday. And while I liked all of the seriesLucy Maud Montgomery's The Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed Set (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne's House of Dreams, ... Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside) well enough, the first bookAnne of Green Gables - one of my most memorable books was definitely my favorite.
  6. Jane Eyre

  7. Jane EyreCharlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre - one of my most memorable books. I read this as a fairly young child (around 3rd grade), and to this day I remember the shock some people expressed when they found out I was reading it. I didn’t get the surprise – there was nothing that complicated to understand in the book, and it had such an exciting ending. I did reread it a few years ago, to see how I liked it as an adult, and yes I missed some of the subtleties, but it’s still not anything I would say I shouldn’t have been reading, which is the impression I remember getting.
  8. All Creatures Great and Small

  9. The James Herriot books (All Creatures Great and SmallJames Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small - one of my most memorable books, All Things Bright and BeautifulJames Herriot's All Things Bright and Beautiful (All Creatures Great and Small series) - one of my most memorable books, All Things Wise and WonderfulJames Herriot's All Things Wise and Wonderful (All Creatures Great and Small series) - one of my most memorable books, The Lord God Made Them AllJames Herriot's The Lord God Made Them All (All Creatures Great and Small series) - one of my most memorable books, and Every Living ThingJames Herriot's Every Living Thing (All Creatures Great and Small series) - one of my most memorable books). My mom got me started on these books, and she used to read one chapter a night. I’ve never had any interest in being a vet, certainly not a large animal vet in the Yorkshire Dales, but these books transported me. I still own them, and hope that my children like hearing them all, one chapter at a time.
  10. The Distant Summer

  11. The Distant SummerSarah Patterson's The Distant Summer - one of my most memorable books by Sarah Patterson. I first read this as a teen or maybe even a pre-teen as a Reader’s Digest Condensed Book. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit how much I adored this story. It’s a sappy love story! Sappy love story or not, I read it multiple times, and have never forgotten the story or characters – it’s definitely one of my guilty reading pleasures! I’ve always wondered if I would still love it as an adult, so writing this post made me curious enough to order the book (long out of print, there are used copies available). I’m somewhat scared to see if reading it now will taint my fond memories, but I’m going to try it anyway. Someday.
  12. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

  13. The Harry Potter seriesJ K Rowling's Harry Potter series - one of my most memorable books. I was an adult when I read this series, but it’s so special to me because of my grandmother. She loved to read and in the last years of her life, when she was unable to get out much, I would do my best to keep her well stocked with reading material. As her eyesight continued to diminish, she got pickier and pickier about what she would read; it had to be worth the effort, and she knew she only had so many more books left that she’d get to.

    Harry Potter made the cut, and we would both anxiously await the newest volume. I bought very few new books, especially fiction, but made an exception for Harry. There was no way we’d be able to wait to get a copy from the library!

    I think I was more upset than my grandmother when book 6Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6), was too heavy for her to hold, and so remained unread. She died before the final bookHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) - one of my most memorable books was ever published.

    I still love Harry Potter not just for the great story, but because it reminds me of my adored grandmother and how much she enjoyed it. And what a kick she got out of reading those “kids books.”

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