Media in Review: October 2020

Though, as of today, we have officially moved into the next “season,” Thanksgiving and (let’s be honest) Christmas, we put Halloween to bed until next year. Most of these reviews, however, are for Halloween-themed stuff because I really wallow in it in October. It’ll make a better reference in 2021, the year when the holidays…

Computers for Writers

Tech doesn’t usually interest me. In fact, it frustrates and disgusts me more than interests or amazes me. I still have fantasies in which I am sitting in my front window in the chair and I am reading and sipping tea and contemplating my evening and whether I will paint or embroider and the TV…

Book Review: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

A couple months in to school, and this is the third book I am assigning for my middle grades Language Arts class which is also studying Modern History. The first two books were a moderate win, so I thought it would be too much to hope for another success, and yet… This book was even…

Media in Review: September 2020

Well, I am behind on my posts, which can be attributed to a trip that I took to St. Louis to see a friend married and also the demise of my current laptop. To be clear, that laptop—an ancient and cheap HP—was headed out the door for years. It took minutes to do anything, even…

Let the Holidays Begin: October

I haven’t addressed the holidays in a few years. And when I have addressed the holidays, I have been limited by my own experiences, which is fine by me, because part of the charm of the holidays is tradition. However, you might want to branch out beyond Elf and Frankenstein, and I might want to…

Book Review: In the Reign of Terror

I have been really enjoying history, lately. Perhaps it’s my age showing. Perhaps it’s my way of dealing with the overwhelming amount of “history” that’s happening to us right now. It makes me feel like I have more perspective and I also feel like I relate to the people on the pages of history more…

Book Review: Amal Unbound

My twelve-year-old son joined a book club this year. Okay, that’s a bit of a laugh. I forced my son into a book club. Yes, I am the dentist with the kids with bad teeth, or more literally: the writer with a son who can’t stand the sight of the printed word. He is too…

Movie Review: Tolkien

I may be a little under the weather. You hate to admit such a thing in a pandemic, because not only is it panic-inducing for you and your loved ones, but it also comes with a certain amount of ostracizing. Rest assured, my children and I—who are very mildly ill (probably a cold)—have cancelled all…

Book Review: Sit, Walk, Stand

Heads up: this book is meant for Christians. It pertains to that particular faith in an intimate way. You have been warned. Technically Sit, Walk, Stand is not on my working list of best books, but the author, Watchman Nee, is. I read this book because my pastor preached from it this summer and gave…

Movie Review: How to Build a Girl

Once again, I must begin by explaining that I veer regularly toward all things British. I have some YA Brit comedies in my cupboard, ala Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging. So when How to Build a Girl showed up in my previews, I immediately put it on my to-watch list. Though it is based on…

Media in Review: August 2020

FORREST GUMP I forgot this one, last month. I believe we chose it because it was literally the first title on the Best Movies and Shows list. Also, my daughter had already seen it and wanted to watch it again. We have it in the house, too. So we stuck it in and watched. If…

Movie Review: The Wife

This movie was a little reluctantly recommended to us at a writing group meeting, maybe a year ago. It’s been on my to-watch list, and during a recent temporary subscription to Starz, I noticed it was on there and took advantage of an evening by myself. (What?!? Oh, the few up-sides of pandemic life.) At…

Book Review: The Indian in the Cupboard

Sometimes themes just happen. Native American-colonist relations in the 1750s in middle grades literature is a theme that just happened to me, hardcore. As you can see, my last two reviews were Calico Captive and The Sign of the Beaver, and now I am about to review Lynne Reid Banks’ Indian in the Cupboard. I…

Book Review: The Sign of the Beaver

If this were an adult fiction book, it would be considered a novella. At 132 pages formatted for a middle grades reader, this is a very slim novel. Perhaps that is one of the many reasons it is one of my son’s favorite books. Not that anything is missing in this novel. It’s all there:…

Book Review: Calico Captive

This is my second year teaching Literature/Language to a home school co-op class of middle schoolers. Of course, last year was rudely interrupted in March by a pandemic, and this year we are going to begin on Zoom. Anticipating that I will be teaching this for three years total, I have decided to step up…

Book Review: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

I read this book because my mother-in-law recommended it after she read it in a book club and then my uncle bought it for me off of my birthday wishlist. There are reasons why this book would jump out at me, anyhow: it’s about books, essentially. It is peopled with writers, authors, bookstore owners, booksellers,…