Wednesday, March 18, 2015

dropping some books





It's a bright, sunny (a bit chilly) day in the middle of our the kids' week of Spring Break.  (Let's be real here, I'm still working and the peeps are off for a week- other than the absence of lunches- this is no break)  I haven't been doing any projects this week, and the upstairs is moving at a snail's pace (for my frenetic mind) so I thought today would be a perfect time to share some of my favourite reads with you.  Spring break should be a perfect time to pick up a book and read for a bit- hopefully while basking in the sun (now I could be basking in the sun, but I'd be buried beneath a blanket or two at the same time)

I'm a reader, always have been.  As a kid, I looooved the Babysitter's Club books.  My best friend and I used to collect them- I remember her huge shelf of them- I was so jealous, she had way more than I did.  I used to get so excited whenever I'd get a bit of money and my mom would take me down to the bookstore and I could buy another book.  I totally wanted to be Stacey- she was so cool.


Oh and don't get me started on the Super Specials- loved them.


(People you can still buy these- I cannot wait to read them again with my girl)

If you know me, you know that my outside the one house job is at our local library.  I've been there 12 years this year- it doesn't seem like that long, but seems like an eternity at the same time.  Go figure.  A big part of my job is reading (shocking!)  Lots of people ask for recommendations, and I'm someone who likes to share things I loved reading

If you don't like reading, I'm sorry.  Next post, I'll have a project or an update- but books are a part of my life, and like I said, I like to share.  Now with my job, I try to be as well rounded in my reading as I can.  I'm not perfect, but I try.  In my mind, life is WAY to short to read something you don't like.  I do read a cross section of Adult, Young Adult and kids books (picture books too, but that's for another time maybe)  so this list is a little here and a little there.  You'd be surprised at the great reads you can find looking in the kids area.

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister




This is one of my favourite books of all time.  I have recommended it a pile of times.  It's about 8 people who take a weekly cooking class and how their lives are transformed by the food,  the students and Chef Lillian, the instructor.  It's so beautifully written.  I feel like I can smell the food and see the scenery.  It's just a lovely book and sometimes that's just what you need.  I love all of Ms. Bauermeister's books, but this is my favourite.

The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay




Another of my favourites- I read this back in high school and it still is right at the top of my list.  Set in South Africa in the 1930's-50's, it's a coming of age story of a young boy at the birth of Apartheid. He befriends 2 men, one black and one white and they both teach him how to dream, how to succeed and how to triumph.  It's really long, but it is worth every single second.


Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt




This book is considered a Young Adult book, so that's the section you'll find it in at your local library or bookseller.  Set in 1987, this story is about 14 year old June who looses her favourite uncle to AIDS.  Finn was the only person who understood her and she now feels totally alone. In her grief, she connects with Finn's friend Toby, whom she comes to realize was his partner.  It's heartbreakingly beautiful.  Definite must read.

The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay




Canadian author(!) Ami McKay's story is set in Manhattan in the late 1800's.  A young girl, Moth, ends up in the Bowery and meets up with Miss Everett, owner of a brothel specializing in young girls and catering the myth of "The virgin cure"- the belief that deflowering a young virgin will heal the incurable and tainted.  A historical read that will hook you in.  She has another title, The Birth House, that's on my to read list.

Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich


Now sometimes you just need something funny.  Like, laugh out loud funny.  This series fits the bill. The earlier ones in the series are the funniest, but new ones keep coming out and I keep reading them. Grandma Mazar is one of the funniest characters that I have ever come across.  It's ridiculous antics, crazy goofy mysteries, but it's a great light read.  (don't judge these by the movie- I HATED the movie, what a disappointment that was)


The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart


This is a kids pick but I LOVED it.  If it doesn't come across, I like quirky.  And I really dig quirky books.  This is one.  As a kid, and still as an adult, I loved Roald Dahl.  They were just silly enough, just wacky enough, just weird enough to always hook me in.  This book to me is very reminiscent of Roald Dahl.  Different, but it has that quirkiness - and I was hooked.  "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?"  Four children are successfully recruited by the mysterious Mr Benedict and are sent undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.  This is a great read for kids 8 and up- it's an intimidating size (over 400 pages) but the story moves very quickly.  There are two other books in the series, I highly recommend all three.  


Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer



Another kids' pick.  This is a great series about a 12 year old evil genius Artemis Fowl.  He's rich, he's brilliant and he's a criminal mastermind.  In the first book in the series, Artemis kidnaps a fairy- these fairies aren't the Tinkerbell kind.  These fairies are armed and dangerous.  This series is a ton of fun, it delves into all sorts of mythical creatures good and bad alike.  Boys and girls, and moms and dads will like these ones.

Harry Potter series by JK Rowling



I know, I know, not very original, am I?  But I love these books.  I have since the moment I read the first one.  My mom and I  (nerds that we are) waited in line for the midnight release of one of these.... we were both full grown adults... and I stayed up the rest of the night to read it.  I loved all of these characters- I cried when we lost one, I cheered when they won battles.  I am not a Potter Head (I do not have a wand, a Griffindor scarf or a sorting hat) but I am a big fan.

I hope I've given you a title or two to think about picking up.  Use your local library, it's a great FREE resource. 

I do realize that sometimes you just want to buy a book- I reread things, so I totally get that (I'm going to order The Power of One to add to my collection)- all of the links on here are back to Chapters Indigo, I'm not paid or sponsored in any way, but they are one of my favourite places to online shop.  I love their stores too.  

BUT- if you have a local bookstore- GO!!!  Go- support them, keep them in business.  They are true gems- especially when you're 10 years old and you want to get the next book in your favourite series. You walk in and smell that book smell.  Go on, breathe it in. You head back to your section of the store and see all the copies lined up. In order.  Pristine.  Just waiting for you to crack the spine. 


If you enjoyed this post, let me know.  I'd love to share some more of my favourites with you!

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