Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category.
I’ll admit it, I have a secret reading addiction—I still love to read children’s books. And not the trendy teen titles like Divergent and the Hunger Games (although I like those too!). When I’m stressed out, or just want to relax (especially at this time of year), I go back and re-read some of my favorite books from when I was small— The Four-Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright, the Moffat books by Eleanor Estes, or the All-of-a-Kind Family books by Sydney Taylor.
One book I read every December is The Little Silver House by Jennie Lindquist– this is a beautiful children’s book from the 1950s about a little girl who goes to stay with her Swedish grandparents over Christmas. The description of the month-long celebration and all the holiday traditions always make me feel in the holiday spirit!
Are there any children’s books you read over and over again?
One of my favorite books of all time (holiday or not) is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. The fact that it can be found in the Children’s Room doesn’t matter at all. This story is hilarious! Anyone who has spent time in an elementary school (which is most of us) or working on a committee at church (which is many of us) will appreciate Barbara Robinson’s ability to entertain by telling the truth from a kid’s perspective. I loved reading this book aloud to my high school English classes for many years.
Here is a list of 50 more great holiday books. http://www.stylist.co.uk/books/50-best-christmas-books#
They are mostly older “classics.” Usually, it’s good to recommend something new; however, around the holidays, people enjoy traditions, which should include reading well-known and well-loved books.
I wanted to tell you about a couple of books I read lately that I enjoyed very much, in different ways. Both these books capture very well (almost too well!) the awkward moments of high school and college, although one is very funny and one is more serious.
The funny book is Penelope, by Rebecca Harrington. Penelope is off to college in the fall, which is great, except for she has a dread of people, parties, and pretty much anything else her mother wants her to do. This book follows Penelope as she attempts to navigate her first year away from home. I found it hilarious, and it would be a good beach read, too!
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell also very much captures the awkwardness of being a teenager, but is more serious. It tells the story of Eleanor, who shares a bedroom with her four brothers and sisters, and tries to keep out of the way of her horrendous stepfather, and how she makes friends with Park, a cute, cool kid. Kirkus Reviews called it “funny, hopeful, foulmouthed, sexy and tear-jerking.”
Give one a try and let us know what you think! Are there any other books about teenagers that you love?
Summertime is known for “beach reads” and few books add more intrigue to a week on vacation than an exciting spy thriller. Daniel Silva’s latest Gabriel Allon book The English Girl comes out next week. Late last year, Stella Rimington, former director of Great Britain’s Mi5, released another book in the Liz Carlyle series called The Geneva Trap. Each of these authors offers intelligent main characters with a conscience. Ben Coes also writes a spy series, and his latest is Eye for an Eye: A Dewey Andreas Novel. By the way, www.fantasticfiction.com is a great website for discovering the chronological order of a book series.
NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly recently released her first novel titled Anonymous Sources. Another spy novel debut is Terror Red by Colonel David Hunt and Christine Hunsinger. Both of these books have earned excellent reviews in the industry.
Finally, in honor of James Bond’s 50th Anniversary this year, you could always try a classic Ian Fleming novel!