Book Review: The Accidental Tourist

It seems like just a second ago that I received the email congratulating me on a parent-writer fellowship for the Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing’s annual conference. I don’t say this just to brag. Along with the email were some very nice words about my writing. Along with the nice words was a comparison…

Book Review: Deadliest Enemy

I assigned two books as alternative reading for my Pandemic Book Club, for May. One of them was Deadliest Enemy. It was the one book that was holding my attention, for most of the month, but I kept sticking it on the back burner because there were always more books that I “had” to read…

Book Review: The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street

I can’t decide whether or not I like The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser. I have such opposite reactions to different aspects of it. When it comes down to it, I would recommend it for its merits, but I spent the first third of the book wanting to put it down because…

Book Review: Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind

April, which means we are on the fourth book for our Pandemic Book Club, that book club where we try to find mental health amidst over a year of stress, fear, isolation, strife, etc. After a couple religious books and a book about the science and biology of stress, we have now read Don’t Feed…

Book Review: Treat Your Own Back

Treat Your Own Back by Robin McKenzie is a book that my doctor recommended to me years ago, during my first big back failure. I have a genetically “bad disc” in my lumbar region, and right after I had my second child, I found myself face-down in the mud of my driveway, unable to move…

Book Review: The House of Sixty Fathers

One of my favorite books in elementary school was The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong. For my review of that book, see HERE. When my co-op, language arts class of middle schoolers arrived at The House of Sixty Fathers, I was excited to read something else by DeJong. And though it is from…

Book Review: The Dog Owner’s Manual

I have shared before that I have two main, strong, stress response behaviors: shopping and reading. This is how I cope. Turns out, when I have real, deep grief with shock, I don’t do either. I also don’t eat, which is something that has never failed me in my entire life. It’s been a week…

Book Review: Till We Have Faces

Every once in a while, I pull an old favorite off the shelf and give it a read so that I can review it, fresh, for you. Till We Have Faces is one of my favorite books. Never heard of it? I’m sure you’ve heard of C. S. Lewis, the Christian apologist who also wrote…

Book Review: Mañanaland

I would give this one a 3.5 to 4 stars. I’m going back and forth. The idea behind Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan piqued my interest and then when I started reading it, I was a bit like “yawn” and then by the end I liked it again. What happened? I think the main thing…

Book Review: Northanger Abbey

It seems obvious that I would have read all of Jane Austen’s books. In reality, I’m not entirely sure I’ve read any of her books except Emma, at least until this week. (I am a fan of many of the movies, including the Sense and Sensibility from the 90s: one of my all-time favorites.) Now…

Book Review: Knowing God

For the record, I would give this book 4.5 stars, but Goodreads makes me stick to one or the other, so… Also for the record, it remains difficult to rate certain books, because they might be important or edifying, even though literarily they might not rank at the top end. I have found myself in…

Book Review: New Kid

Well. It’s cute. It’s relevant. It might even be important. It didn’t shine like a beacon, for me. It has a few issues. It also has a few awards. The “new kid” of the graphic novel New Kid by Jerry Craft is Jordan, and he’s not new to his neighborhood or his house: he has…

Book Review: The Well-Centered Home

Well, I assigned The Well-Centered Home: Simple Steps to Increase Mindfulness, Self-Awareness, and Happiness Where You Live by William Hirsch AIA (I think that has something to do with architecture) to my Pandemic Book Club, as the alternative book for February. (The main book—which I’ll review soon—is about stress and health.) I thought that since…

Book Review: Oliver Twist

It is only February, but the first book that put me behind schedule to read 102 books this year was Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. It’s a classic. I had always intended on reading it. And when Lyddie referenced it over and over in my middle grades Language Arts class, I decided to embrace the…