Sunday, November 29, 2015

Books I Read in September, October, and (most of) November

I fell behind in updating my What I Read List. There were a few weeks when I don't think I read anything other than what I was reading the kids (I feel like I should be keeping better track of this) and what I have been required to read for BSF. I am looking forward to mid-December when most of our  activities, other than some therapies,  stop for a couple of weeks.  I also am taking a break from Facebook over Advent, which means some time to use my time more wisely.

Here's what I read this fall, in no particular order.

  • Uniquely Human: a different way to see autism by Barry Prizant. I remember wanting to underline a lot in this book, but I didn't since it was a library book. Sadly, I don't remember what was so good about it, so I will need to check it out again and take some notes. 
  • Nobody's Cuter Than You by Melanie Shankle - A fun and funny memoir on friendship. I have read Melanie's other two books and found them okay as far as memoirs go, but this one I enjoyed much more. It made me remember friendships past as well as lifelong friendships, and it made me laugh quite a bit. 
  • In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume - I have read most of Judy Blume's books for children and adolescents. I read Just As Long As We're Together the year my family was falling apart, and it remains one of my favorite books, though I was criticised by my children's lit professor in front of my class for liking Judy Blume. Unlikely Event is a book for adults, and Ms. Blume did not disappoint me with her characters. As usual, they were easy to relate with and the storyline was based on actual events of plane crashes in New Jersey in the 1950s. Looking for an easy enough read over the holidays - pick this one - unless you, like my lit professor, think poorly of Judy Blume. (I happen to read some liberal feminist writers even though I am not one. Gasp!)
  • Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease - Speaking of children's lit professors, she obviously dropped the ball on this one. Apparently all education majors everywhere read this in their program. I only heard of it recently. It has been updated, and I think it would be a helpful read for any classroom teacher. He didn't speak kindly of the Tea Party at one point in his book (which annoyed me) but he was also NCLB and Race to the Top (which encouraged me).  Honestly the people (parents and teachers) who probably most need to read this book will not. It was not entirely helpful to me as a homeschooler with kids who love books, but I'm glad I took the time to read it. 
  • Rules by Cynthia Lord - This is a children's novel about a girl and her brother who has autism. It was a quick read, and I liked it because it gave me some insight into how Bubby might feel (now or someday) as the neurotypical sibling. The characters were likable, but I needed a little more from the author. 
  • For the Love by Jen Hatmaker. Jen Hatmaker cracks me up. Especially on Twitter during the Olympics. Jen Hatmaker sometimes annoys me - especially on Facebook when her politics and theology seem a bit fuzzy. I read Seven a few years ago and felt challenge. I read For the Love this week and laughed quite a bit. Jen is easy to read and has a good sense of humor. Her chapters on parenting and friendship and marriage were great. I really enjoyed her chapters on boundaries and on Sunday Night Church - which was actually about not having Sunday Night Church. I did not enjoy her chapter on women in ministry. As the (most likely) only woman at my reformed SBC church, one would think I would have liked this chapter. But I felt it was her poorest written chapter in the book in terms of theology and delivery. All that said, if you want an overall light hearted and encouraging book, I would recommend For the Love. 
  • Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee - I am still sorting my feelings out about this book, but I think I loved it. No, I did not love everything in this book. There were characters and dialogues and circumstances that I did not like - but that is what made me like the book. Th complexity of growing up and disillusionment and coming home again. Jean Louise aka Scout was such a character with whom to relate and struggle in this book. And there was a quote near the end from Atticus to Jean Louise that I think every daughter wants to hear from her father. It is something I have never heard nor will I ever hear from mine. 
  • Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me by Lorilee Croker - The boys and I just finished LM Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables on audiobook, and we all loved it. As an Anne-fan, I knew I would need to check out this book when I saw the title. The author is adopted daughter, has an adopted daughter, and weaves some of her story into the stories we know of Anne Shirley as well as some of Lucy Maud Montgomery's story. The writing felt a little forced to me at times, and there was one small section that made me say, "Really?" But it was a good read for me at this time, and the second half of the book  more engaging to me than the first. 
I have three books I hope to finish this week, and I'm not sure what I'll get from the library over the holidays. Suggestions?

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