Here are some good books I’ve read recently. First, books I read for myself.
- Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson, 2018. It’s speculative fiction, and I liked it! It’s about Chinese and American politics, and still I liked it! It’s also about citizens traveling back and forth between the earth and moon, which is a neat concept. And it stars three really great characters, especially when they are together: Ta Shu – an old poet/cloud show host/feng shui expert, Qi Chan – a pregnant Chinese young woman who is a symbol for the billions of Chinese people, Fred – a shy, nerdy American quantum communications expert who has the misfortune to get caught up in a murder on the moon.
- How to Find Selfless Joy in a Me-First World by Leslie Vernick, 2003. Leslie Vernick is the author who most seems to understand my situation. I like all books by her. This book is interesting because it isn’t like other Christian living books. It’s very Biblical, practical, and encouraging.
Now, books I’ve read aloud to the kids.
- Blue Balliett books: Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3, and The Calder Game. Wow. Why haven’t I read these before? They are great. Adventure, art history, art adventure, detective work, passion for art, passion for learning, puzzle-solving, close friendships, parent-child relationships, cool illustrations, pentominoes, a girl who loves to write… these books were made for me. We’re actually in the middle of The Wright 3 now. (It’s about Frank Lloyd Wright, not the Wright Brothers.) We read them out of order. So far, The Calder Game is my favorite. Chasing Vermeer is just a little bit weird because of the references to Charles Fort, who was this (real-life) wacky guy who believed in weird supernatural stuff. But still… any book that inspires me to pull out my book of Vermeer’s paintings… it’s got to be good.
- Gloria Whelan books: Angel on the Square and A Time to be Silent. Two very different books, but well worth it. We read A Time to be Silent in one day (it was a Sunday, and we had lots of time to read, and yes, my voice was hoarse by the end). Angel on the Square is about the Romanovs and the Russian Revolution, and it’s super interesting. A Time to be Silent is about a teenage girl who chooses not to talk, and her preacher-dad takes her along on his mission work in the North Woods (of Wisconsin, maybe?). Good stuff.
- Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, 1916. This was a special request by all three children. I believe it is the fourth time I’ve read it aloud. It’s still wonderful.
A few picture books we’ve enjoyed recently.
- William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night by Bruce Coville, 2003. Shakespeare’s sticky situations can be so funny and complicated!
- Pilgrim Cat by Carol Antoinette Peacock, 2004. Cats and Thanksgiving! Perfect combo.
- Fiona’s Lace by Patricia Polacco, 2014. I get to practice my Irish lilt:)
- Because of Thursday by Patricia Polacco, 2016. Cats and food! Another perfect combo.
- The Water Hole by Graeme Base, 2001. Search for all the hidden animals. We check this one out often.