Somehow, the more books I read, the more books I add to my “to read” list.
OK, I have a quick confession to make. I have technically broken my New Year’s resolution not to buy any books. I am not calling it a full-on break because the book I bought is definitely not for pleasure.
So, I don’t feel totally guilty about this purchase because A.) I need it to bone up on some work-related stuff. B.) I bought a used copy. And, C.) I am making myself work through it a little every day so it won’t sit gathering dust on the shelf.
Whew! Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll fill you in on some of the more enjoyable reading I’ve been doing.
This book was on my radar, but when The Kiddo started reading it at school and felt the need to fill me in on bits and pieces, I had to move it to the top of my list or risk an unwanted trip to Spoiler City.
The story centers on a teenage boy’s adventures as he travels to visit the Welsh island where his grandfather grew up. The author sprinkles his narrative with vintage photos that depict the various “peculiar children” and their special abilities, adding another dimension to the storytelling. With supernatural and mystery elements, this was a thrilling read.
The Kiddo and I read some of this book together and raced each other to read the rest. When it was over, I really missed being wrapped up in the unusual world the author created. Happily, it seems Riggs is working on a sequel.
There was some “salty” language in this book, especially for a fourth grader. But it is about a teenage boy, so that’s pretty much to be expected. The Kiddo was so caught up by the story, I think the language took a back seat, although it didn’t go unnoticed. Anyway, it hasn’t seemed to have a negative impact on his vocabulary. But, for parents concerned about such things, you might want to give it a read yourself before passing it on to your own youngsters.
A good friend of mine gave me this book for a birthday present. It’s a collection of essays about the life of the author and covers a good range of experiences including motherhood, the curse of being helpful, and the unique trials of being forever labeled “a former child actor.”
I really enjoyed this book. Cummings is relatable, entertaining, and insightful. I especially like her technique for handling chronic complaining from her young daughter.
It breaks down like this: If something is truly painful, the kid has free reign to complain. If it’s only uncomfortable, or has already been complained about, she must present her complaint in “an entertaining fashion.” And she can’t use the same complaint twice. Now that’s the kind of parenting tip I like!
The Kiddo and I are reading Blue Baillett’s “Chasing Vermeer.” This is the first book in her series about a trio of incredibly unique and interesting Chicago tweens who have a penchant for falling into mysteries and uncovering schemes.
Baillett peppers her stories with references to other books, discussions about art, codes to break, and the possibilities that arise when coincidences are taken seriously.
These are the kinds of stories that leave you with a list of new things to explore. We already have plans to make a set of pentominoes and a hold request in for a collection of Charles Fort’s work, and we’re only a quarter of the way through the book!
Meanwhile, I am finally planning to hunker down and read “Ascending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey.” I’ve long been a fan of this darkly humorous author, and have meant to read this book for ages.
Gorey keeps popping up in other things I’ve read — a quick cameo in a Patti Smith book, a discussion of his relationship with Frank O’Hara in a collection of poems I was perusing, even a Google Doodle salute the other day. I’m looking forward to the opportunity get to know Gorey better.