book reviews / brown paper packages / LIVING WELL

a few good reads for you, for me

reunited

A good family friend, Sarah, has just started blogging in the last few months as she courageously (and with a lot of spunk and style) battles breast cancer. Yesterday, I was catching up on her blog and I read a post about how good it felt for her to do "normal" things. She was just starting to feel better after a recent treatment and was so excited to be able to vacuum and change sheets on the bed. Reading that post was the reminder I needed this week. Here I am dragging my feet and grumbling through my "normal" day’s activities but reading Sarah’s blog entry quickly brought everything into perspective for me. It was a much needed little kick in the pants, slap in the face. Thank you, Sarah.
************
When Dan and I moved from Wisconsin to the farm apartment, we only brought the necessities. We were putting our house on the market weeks before everything fell apart and we blindly thought we would be reunited with our stuff in just a matter of months after the house sold. Hahaha!!! So here we are, two years later and the reunion has just begun. (though not because we’ve sold the house!) But one of the things we didn’t intend on leaving behind were several large boxes of children’s books. It wasn’t until we started unpacking and saying, "Where are all the girls’ books???" that we realized we’d forgotten them. So this week, Dan has been bringing over a box or two in the evenings for the girls to dig through. Oh, it’s so much fun!

Since my pre-mommy days were spent as an elementary school teacher, I have quite the collection of books and I’m finding many multiple copies as I dig through boxes. So, as I come across them, I figure I’ll share some of those extra copies here with all of you. The two I found in the first box, ironically, are about the same topic–Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition whose goal was to cross the Antarctic continent on foot. If you don’t know this story, you must read a book on it. It is an amazing story of willpower and strength and courage and leadership and adventure. Dan and I have this book which you should definitely check out, if only for the amazing photography.

51jek73mwzl_ss500_

But moving on, I have two children’s books about this story to share today. The first is called, "Trapped in the Ice", which you can read about here. It is an easier read, soft cover picture book.
4125tm9h82l_sl500_bo2204203200_pisi

The second is called, "Shipwreck At The Bottom of The World". It is also a soft cover book, but definitely more in the young adult category or maybe a read aloud. Read about it here. It has some of the amazing photography that you’ll find in the book Dan and I have.

So if  you’re interested in one of these books let me know in the comments. If there are more than one or two of you, I’ll just draw a name again.

Now do me a favor…I looking for a good book to read. What are you reading these days? Any suggestions?

reunited

A good family friend, Sarah, has just started blogging in the last few months as she courageously (and with a lot of spunk and style) battles breast cancer. Yesterday, I was catching up on her blog and I read a post about how good it felt for her to do "normal" things. She was just starting to feel better after a recent treatment and was so excited to be able to vacuum and change sheets on the bed. Reading that post was the reminder I needed this week. Here I am dragging my feet and grumbling through my "normal" day’s activities but reading Sarah’s blog entry quickly brought everything into perspective for me. It was a much needed little kick in the pants, slap in the face. Thank you, Sarah.
************
When Dan and I moved from Wisconsin to the farm apartment, we only brought the necessities. We were putting our house on the market weeks before everything fell apart and we blindly thought we would be reunited with our stuff in just a matter of months after the house sold. Hahaha!!! So here we are, two years later and the reunion has just begun. (though not because we’ve sold the house!) But one of the things we didn’t intend on leaving behind were several large boxes of children’s books. It wasn’t until we started unpacking and saying, "Where are all the girls’ books???" that we realized we’d forgotten them. So this week, Dan has been bringing over a box or two in the evenings for the girls to dig through. Oh, it’s so much fun!

Since my pre-mommy days were spent as an elementary school teacher, I have quite the collection of books and I’m finding many multiple copies as I dig through boxes. So, as I come across them, I figure I’ll share some of those extra copies here with all of you. The two I found in the first box, ironically, are about the same topic–Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition whose goal was to cross the Antarctic continent on foot. If you don’t know this story, you must read a book on it. It is an amazing story of willpower and strength and courage and leadership and adventure. Dan and I have this book which you should definitely check out, if only for the amazing photography.

51jek73mwzl_ss500_

But moving on, I have two children’s books about this story to share today. The first is called, "Trapped in the Ice", which you can read about here. It is an easier read, soft cover picture book.
4125tm9h82l_sl500_bo2204203200_pisi

The second is called, "Shipwreck At The Bottom of The World". It is also a soft cover book, but definitely more in the young adult category or maybe a read aloud. Read about it here. It has some of the amazing photography that you’ll find in the book Dan and I have.

So if  you’re interested in one of these books let me know in the comments. If there are more than one or two of you, I’ll just draw a name again.

Now do me a favor…I looking for a good book to read. What are you reading these days? Any suggestions?

31 comments on “a few good reads for you, for me”

  1. Hi there, what a nice thing to do, sharing books. I’d love the older kid version of the Shackleton adventure. I’d also be willing to reimburse shipping or swap something with you if you are interested in that.

    Love your new banner, reeks of spring!

  2. I’m interested! Pick me, pick me!

    Are you wondering about books to read for mama, or for the girls? I haven’t read any great mama books lately, but I’m ever-so-picky. Kids’ books … well, we are heavily into chapter books at our house, and we are *really* enjoying The Wind in the Willows right now.

  3. My favorite quote to get me through all the mundane things I have to do is “the simple things we do everyday are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity suggests”. Doing the dishes is good for the soul! Author-can’t remember Put my name in for a book; I can’t keep enough around for my 7-year old. I just read Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray, which was a fun, light read. And, now I’m attempting to read The Origins of the English Imagination by Peter Ackroyd, which is a heavy read…I might be too tired to get through it.

  4. We would love to learn more about this trek. My son is very intrigue by the artic regions. I am currently reading Monique and the Mango Rains, which I find very interesting and would recommend. I also would suggest Animal, vEgetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

  5. Both of those books look interesting. My boys are young right now but they do love looking at pictures in some of the other exploration books I have on the shelf.

    I just finished The Death Of Vishnu by Manil Suri and enjoyed it quite a bit. I don’t usually read novels but found this one to be engaging.

    The boys and I have been frequently looking at Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots by Sharon Lovejoy. An excellent book on gardening for and with children that has wonderful illustration throughout. And the paper makes me really happy. 🙂

  6. oops…forgot to tell you what I am reading. It’s a little old, but I am reading “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter.” I just watched a made for TV movie about it and the movie made me think the book must be fabulous. So I am about 1/4 the way through and am enjoying it.

  7. i bet its like christmas over there! RE-finding all those treausures you packed away so long ago! we just loaded up a small portable storage unit and put our house on the market (staying local, though). i have no idea how long it will take to get re-aquainted with our stuff…but…if we don’t miss it too bad, we might do another big purge! ;)loves!!

  8. books, my favorite thing to talk about! the secret history by donna tartt is amazing, really beautiful language and makes you wish you are a greek scholar at a small new england school. well it made me feel that way. right now, blindness by jose saramago and the lost garden by helen humphreys are at the top of my stack.

  9. Hi! I don’t usually write in, but seeing as you wanted reading recommendations, I couldn’t resist. I’m a childrens’ fiction addict, and recently I’ve read (and loved):

    The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (fun mystery adventure for a middle elementary crowd)

    Half Magic by Edward Eager (a classic)

    Airman by Eoin Colfer (the guy who wrote Artemis Fowl, though this may be for a slightly older set)

    Alex and the Ironic Gentelman (reminded me of a fun adventure/crazy tale like Phantom Tollbooth)

    Nicolas on Vacation by Goscinny and Sempe (all the Nicolas books are fantastic, for very young readers)

    Runemarks by Joanne Harris (for the high school set, highly entertaining and original satirical fantasy)

    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (for the middle-school aged crowd, does contain a lot of vulgarity)

    Click by 10 authors (really intriguing to see how 10 authors can write a cohesive book in sections, for the older middle school or high school crowd – contains some serious / mature content)

    I could go on, but really, that would be giving away JUST how much time I’ve spent reading in the last 6 months. Yikes.

    Meredith

  10. Hi Molly-

    My book club is reading WHAT IS THE WHAT. It’s a story based on one of the “lost boys of Sudan”. It’s really good, but also appalling and sad. You know the kind of book, you just have to get through one page and then you are faced with another issue that is overwhelming…

    We also read A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS and we all liked it- a fast read, but a great story.

    I also just recently read THE PAINTED VEIL and totally enjoyed it too…oh, the options are endless :). Happy reading!

  11. What a treasure trove, Molly! We are really loving history/real life adventure books at the moment. We just read “The Journey that Saved Curious George” by Louise Borden and have another of her books, “The Greatest Skating Race” on the night stand.

    Our state has a children’s book award that is voted on by the children of Kansas each year, so we’re working our way through last year and this year’s William Allen White Award nominees.

  12. I don’t need the books, but…Wow! What a great idea! We just moved and I have a whole section dedicated to “When I Go Back to Teaching”. I have a severe addiction to books…and I’m SURE that I have double (maybe even TRIPLE) copies of books! First, I’ll get myself back into the habit of blogging! Here I go…

  13. You know, I am going to give the Shackleton expedition topic another try w/ my son who is seven.These books look interesting and the illustrations are pretty amazing too.

  14. I think this summer we are going to “learn” about different regions of the world. I have to remember about Shackleton when we get to the Antarctica.

  15. Did you read Water for Elephants when it came out a couple of years ago? I just recently read it– it was a relatively quick and very interesting read. I also always recommend Haven Kimmel’s second novel, Something Rising (Light and Swift)– it’s just beautiful.

  16. I’ve been on a sort of improve your mind, improve your soul, improve your body kick lately. I read Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, which I loved; then his Eater’s Manifesto, which I liked but not as well; now I’m reading Eat, Pray, Love. I was curious as I saw everyone and her sister reading it on the subway. So far, I really like it. I want to spend 3 months eating my way through Rome, like she does. 🙂

    To the previous commenter, I’ve read the Secret History! I’m a history professor at a small New England college, though when I read it I was a grad student. It’s a lot of fun.

  17. I have 3 favorite books. My number one read it over and over and over book is A Prayer For Owen Meany. #2 would be To Kill a Mockingbird and #3 The Lonely Bones.

  18. What a lovely thing to do – a dose of Shackleton tales sounds right up Mark’s street!

    And great books I’ve read recently? On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan and The Home Maker by Dorothy Canfield-Fisher.

  19. Oh, I’ve never heard of these, but collect arctic/antarctic exploration books passionately. If you like Shackleton, you might like Huntsford’s Last Place on Earth, about the Scott/Amundsen race to the pole. Or if you’re interested in the Arctic, Discovery of Strangers is lovely.

    I’ve just finished both the Kingsolver and Pollan books people referenced and liked them all. I’m also knee-deep in ‘What’s Going on In there?” which is about brain development from 0-5 (I have an 20 month old and it’s helping me understand the all sunshine or all rain stage we seem to be in …)

    Terrible of me to delurk just to babble about books, but you really sparked a reaction with those wonderful books!

  20. The most beautiful books I have read lately are ‘Traveler’ and ‘The Memory of Running’ by Ron McLarty (the latter often being hilarious) and ‘Plainsong’ by Kent Haruf. Rarely have I found a book so beautifully written.

  21. I just read “Beneath a Marble Sky” which was the story of the Taj Mahal being built, royal intrigue, a love story etc. It was actually really enjoyable.

  22. Hello! I am a school librarian but I’ve never heard of these 2 books, I’d love to have a change at winning one of them and can swap if you’d like.I just finished Eat, Pray, Love and REALLY liked it! I’m reading Twlight by Stephanie Myers now (it’s a Young Adult book and a very quick and fun read about a girl who dates a vampire, there are 3 in the series). I’m also reading Your Child’s Self Esteem by Dorthy Briggs and The Writing Life by Annie Dillard. Have fun unpacking and rediscovering!

  23. Andrew Revkin’s The North Pole was here is an interesting kids’ read…I second the recommendation of What is the What. Recently enjoyed both The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao…I think something that you mentioned in Mixtape made me think of The Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris, but you’ve probably already read that one. Hmmm, maybe also Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas, Do You Think I’m Beautiful by Angela Thomas, and Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner. Happy bookishness!

  24. I just finished a wonderful book. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. It was my book club for April. When I read the cover I thought I wouldn’t like it. It is one of my favorite books.

  25. Books, my favorite subject!

    Good reads lately- and always:

    The Geography of Childhood by Gary NahbanThe Windup Bird Chronicle by Murikami (sp)The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay by ChabonAlberquerque by AnayaSo Far From God by Castillo

  26. wow! regardless of who gets your books I’m so glad you posted these b/c Endurance is one of my favorite books and my son always wants me to read it to him but it’s far too adult for an almost five year old. these will be great!

  27. I wish I’d found your blog sooner! What a great idea, giving away your extra books. I had never read the first one you mentioned, but the second one is really good!

    I just got my degree for elementary ed, and I’ve been trying to build up a collection of books so I don’t have to do it all at once. 🙂 And kids really love nonfiction!

  28. Oh, and I forgot a book suggestion. The last ‘grown-up’ book I read was Atonement, by Ian McEwan. One of those books that really sticks with you.

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