We are not on Spring Break, here at Bunkersdown. We took our break in February when we escaped to Florida for a few days. However, everyone else in Indianapolis is on their Spring Break this week and a good number of them keep knocking on our door to see if the kids can play.
I am not a slave-master (contrary to what my children believe), and when the sun shines we should spend more time outside, so this week we are giving our math and history books a lick and a promise and slowing down our school schedule in order for a little more socializing.
As a result I’ve had more time than usual to read this week and I’ve taken incredible advantage of it. Here are some of the better reads I’ve enjoyed lately.
The Giver (Lois Lowry) How on earth did I manage to miss out on reading this novel for the past twenty years? I have no clue. None.
If you are person who is even more behind on reading the Young Adult classics than I am and you’ve never experienced this book let me tell you now: Get on it. Read this thing. Read it now.
I read this book with my two oldest children and it was a fabulous experience. We discussed topics such as the cost of love, the power of choice, the safety of obedience. We had conversations about utopias and dystopias and the many opias in between the two extremes. To me, it was the best novel we shared together all year and so many things were learned- especially by me.
Texts From Jane Eyre (Mallory Ortberg) This is a spoofy novel that is made for people who love literature. Mallory Ortberg creatively and hilariously writes text messages between various literary characters and authors. Read in one complete sitting, this book grows a little tiresome, so I suggest savoring the sections bit by bit at night in your bed like fine chocolates, just try not to laugh so loud that you wake up your spouse.
My favorite parts of this book are the Edgar Allen Poe texts, the Medea texts, and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock texts (I love that poem and its messages were utterly sublime.)
While being familiar with the various authors and books mentioned is helpful, it is not absolutely necessary. I have never read Daisy Miller, but those sections were still incredibly funny to me.
There is some salty language (I mean seriously, Lord Byron has to be creepy and use the f-word a lot, right?) so if these things really offend you, this might not be the book for you.
How Your Body Works: The Ultimate Guide (Thomas Canavan) This is, by far, the best children’s nonfiction book I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Not only is the narration clear, concise, and accurate, it is written perfectly for younger people. The pages are arranged attractively with excellent illustrations and photographs. Besides the well written text there are random fact bubbles throughout the book, that my son particularly enjoyed. Each chapter also suggests easy, at home labs you and your child can do to further understand the information presented.
My favorite thing about this book is that the photographs include people of all ages and colors, accurately portraying the human race as the diverse group of people it is.
How Your Body Works: The Ultimate Guide is a book that every library (be it family, school, or public) should have. I will definitely be purchasing my own copy as soon as possible.
Wishful Thinking (Kamy Wicoff) What is Spring Break without a little fluff? And believe me, Gentle Reader, Wishful Thinking is superior fluff.
The novel starts out as a typical single mother, how-does-she-do-it-all story, but then things get interesting in a hurry. The book takes on science fiction tones when the main character receives a telephone app that enables her to be in two places at one time, enabling her to be the overworked employee that her boss requires while being the mother that her children need. Throw in a potential love interest, conflicts with her ex-husband, an interesting best friend, and a competitive co-worker and Wishful Thinking becomes more than just ordinary chick-lit, it becomes chick-lit on steroids.
(Random aside: I hate the term “chick-lit” because I feel in my literary heart it’s derogatory, but I have no other term to use for this style of book. Somebody help me.)
The book does have its flaws. Like many other books in this genre, I found the entire plot to be overly predictable. There was never any doubt in my mind how this storyline was going to end. However, despite knowing where the final destination was, I had a fun time getting there. Which, is really, all you can ask from a fun, fluffy piece of fiction while enjoying what is not Spring Break.
So that’s what I’ve been reading over here at Bunkersdown. What have you been reading lately?
(In the interest of full disclosure: I occasionally receive advanced reader copies from Netgalley in exchange for my honest and sincere review.)