I broadened my horizons this month. From farming to science fiction to elder care I was all over the map. All of these picks were recommendations.
- The Dirty Life was recommend in another book I’m still in the process of reading, “The Self-Driven Child.”
- 1984 was read to fulfill another component of The Great American Read.
- My Not So Perfect Life was recommended on my library overdrive account.
- Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? was suggested as a book to fulfill the prompt for “a book with a question in the title.”
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is probably recommended on every reading list for kids everywhere, but I haven’t checked them all.
The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love
by Kristin Kimball
“He was the healthiest creature I’d ever laid eyes on. Some people wish for world peace or an end to homelessness. I wish every woman could have as a lover at some point in her life a man who never smoked or drank too much or became jaded from kissing too many girls or looking at porn, someone with the gracious muscles that come from honest work and not from the gym, someone unashamed of the animal side of human nature.”
I loved this book! If you have ever glamorized the farm life and wondered what it would be like to pitch the big city life and live off the land, this book is for you! Filled with hilarious antidotes this book is a rich ticket to experience farm life without losing your boots in the mud or rising at 4:30 AM to milk the cows. The author was a writer prior to reinventing herself as a farmer’s wife and you can tell! The word choices are superb. She clearly has a love for language and that makes the entire novel an enjoyable experience. I didn’t want this one to end. The book is organized by seasons of life and seasons of the year as opposed to chapters and I would have gladly gone another few seasons with her. Highly recommend!
1984 by George Orwell
“Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.”
I read this book as part of NPR’s “The Great American Read.” There are a lot of great moments and it’s enlightening to realize where so many of our cultural references to government originate: “big brother” and “2 + 2 = 5” . I really got bogged down in the nitty gritty of the inner workings of The Brotherhood and it’s opposing party. Honestly, if you aren’t required to read this book for school, pick up “Ready Player One!” It’s way more fun 🙂
My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
“Because it’s human nature to hope for impossible things.”
What a delight! This was the perfect pallet cleanser after having survived reading 1984 at bedtime for days on end. This is the first book I’ve ever read by Sophie Kinsella. It was listed on the front page of my overdrive account with the library and sounded interesting. Boom! Twenty four hours later and I’m a huge Sophie Kinsella fan. She’s a new author to me, thus checking off another one of my “book challenge prompts” for the new year. I’m delighted to discover that she has several novels many of which are far more well known than this one. With laugh out loud moments, lovable characters, and relatable “it could happen” moments this book was like hanging out with a good friend. Highly recommend for those looking for a laid back enjoyable read!
Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chastnull
It’s no accident that most ads are pitched to people in their 20s and 30s. Not only are they so much cuter than their elders…but they are less likely to have gone through the transformative process of cleaning out their deceased parents’ stuff. Once you go through that, you can never look at your stuff in the same way. You start to look at your stuff a little postmortemistically. If you’ve lived more than two decades as an adult consumer, you probably have quite the accumulation, even if you’re not a hoarder…I’m not saying I never buy stuff, because I absolutely do. Maybe I’m less naive about the joys of accumulation.
This book is not like any other book I’ve ever read in my life. It’s a comic book with plenty of humor, but also so much pain. It’s one of the most human books I’ve ever read. I loved this book and would gladly read more from this author. She’s a well known cartoonist who has made the most of a difficult childhood and a challenging journey of caring for her aging parents. It’s absolutely worth the read, but since it is so heavily pictured get a copy of the real McCoy, preferably the hardcover. Pass on the kindle version. I grabbed my copy from the library. It’s a 2014 National Book Award Finalist, so there’s a great chance they’ll have it.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand a word you say, but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather, C. S. Lewis.
The dedication on this book moves me so much! The story is enchanting. This was one of our family read alouds this month. Both of my older children (ages 6 and 5) were hooked from the beginning. They asked for more of the story everyday and begged to read just one more chapter every night. The adults enjoyed the story as well. We did try to read the next book in the chronological series, “The Horse and His Boy”, but decided that the wording was a little too advanced for my youngsters. We’ll try again with the whole series in a few years.
New On the Shelf
- The Immortalists by Chloe Benjami
- The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
- How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry
What’s on your shelf? Anything good?