On the nightstand.

The past week or so, I’ve managed to be awake each night well past eleven.  I blame my children.  It is harder and harder to put them to bed before nine with how light it is in the evenings.  Then I’m forced to make the rounds and check on them a few times after we’ve tucked them in, because the sneaky devils insist on using flashlights to read in bed, even though I said, “Everyone one needs to go to sleep right away, because Mommy needs some freaking alone time!”

Then, without fail, one or more of my sneaky offspring hide themselves in the bathroom or closet after I’ve taken away their flashlights and continue to read.  So I have to make a literary bust several times a night, until I’ve accumulated a large pile of confiscated books and gotten my grouchy-pants on.

Finally, close to ten o’clock, everyone succumbs to the lure of the pillow and falls asleep and my serious work of decompressing from the day’s events can begin.

Who taught my kids to like reading so much anyway?  Oh wait.  That was me.

Besides trolling Netflix for things to watch on t.v., one of my favorite ways to relax is to read a good book.  Here’s what I’ve been reading lately.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt.  Set in 1987 at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, this coming of age novel talks about losing the people we love to illness, death, anger, and misunderstandings, but eventually finding them again.  Emotional, poignant, and capably written, this book kept me awake far into the night, when I probably should have been sleeping.  Kleenex alert:  parts of this novel are devastating and heartbreaking.  Crying is a distinct possibility.

The Real Boy, by Anne Ursu.  This is a fantasy novel aimed at middle graders, but that shouldn’t turn you away from this gem.  I adore Anne Ursu with all the fibers of my literary heart.  She writes beautifully and effortlessly.  Ms. Ursu is extremely talented in taking traditional fairytales, turning them inside out while keeping the essence, but making it something uniquely hers.  Let me be honest here, The Real Boy is good, but if you want to read her best work, trying reading Breadcrumbs– it’s absolutely gorgeous.

Unspoken, by Sarah Rees Brennan.  This YA fantasy/magical realism novel was a big hit with me.  I fell in love with Kami Glass, the main character, and her sharp wit and large vocabulary.  Oftentimes in YA the banter between characters moves at such a fast pace that it can go overboard and get a bit out of control.  Happily, Unspoken finds a great balance between cleverness and restraint.  The plot moves quickly (sorcery, mental telepathy, teen angst, oh my) and I have only one complaint:  the dreaded love triangle.  Seriously, I am over love triangles.  Let’s find a new plot device, authors everywhere, shall we?  All in all, this was a very entertaining read and I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book in the series.

There you have it,  Gentle Reader.  These books (and my determined and stubborn children) are what’s been keeping me awake these nights.  have ou read any good books lately that you want to share?  Let me know.


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4 Responses to On the nightstand.

  1. Robin Kramer says:

    Ami, I love your book recommendations. I am *finally* at the point when I am no longer spending my evenings reading and grading student essays, and I’m delighted that I can read for the sheer pleasure of it. I’m going to jot down these titles. Library trip — woot!

    • Reading for the sheer pleasure of it is one of my favorite things to do. I’m glad you have the summer to spend time doing this. If you let me know what kind of books you like best, I can get you some more books recommendations.

  2. Kristin says:

    I don’t have any good fiction that I’ve been reading lately, but I did pick up a book recommended by my sister (she’s an OT) and my son’s OT (occupational therapist) and it is eye-opening, and has brought me pure joy because “IT” is my son completely! It’s called The Out-of-Sync-Child. Holy cow, I love it not just because it helps me understand my son and what he struggles with but how Sensory processing is a big part in all of our lives, young and old and how so many kids can have a hard time with sensory issues. It is a very well written “plain english” book about Sensory processing disorders and how to help kids who have these disorders. My son was diagnosed with ADD (inattentive type) but from the moment the Dr. told me that, I knew it was a wrong diagnosis and then I picked up this book and said to myself “This is what he has” and I guess it is common for kids who have SPD to be wrongly diagnosis with ADD. It’s very interesting even if you don’t have a child with SPD because it opens your eyes to how all of us use our nervouse system and senses to process the world around us. That is all I have for ya 🙂 I picked up it’s sister book called Sensational Kids and also The Whole-Brain Child but have’t read them yet so I can’t say either way if they are good. But they are my next two reads. I always love your recomendations.

  3. Pingback: My favorite books in 2014. | bunkers down.

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