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Whatcha Readin’?

On my recent reader feedback poll, someone asked for an occasional post about what I’m reading, and giving you all the chance to share when you are reading.

Done and done.

I’m linking books on Amazon, but I highly encourage you to check out your library first.  Because libraries are freaking awesome, and one of the best features of our society.  They’re also whoa-fully underutilized.

Physical and e-books

  • The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd:  This was recommended to me when I was at an industry fair last month.  We had a lot of downtime, and spent a good 30 minutes discussing books, favorite authors, and recommendations.  This book tells the story of a slave and the family who owns her, in Charleston in the early 1800’s, and how their lives are intertwined by fate and society.
  • Herbie’s Game by Timothy Hallinan:  I’ve written about Timothy Hallinan’s Junior Bender series before, and how much I love the previous three books (Crashed, Little Elvises, and The Fame Thief).  Junior Bender is a thief in Los Angeles who somehow keeps getting mixed up in solving mysteries.  The premise sounds a bit silly, but the stories are fascinating, and the writing is whip smart.  LOVE this series in a way I haven’t loved a series in a very long time.
  • Smart but Scattered: the Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential.  This book breaks down the executive skills a person can possess, and how to focus on the skills we’re strong at, and how to develop the ones where we lack strength.  If you end up buying this book, do not buy the Kindle or e-reader version.  There are lots of tests you take throughout, and it’s helpful to be able to flip back to see your results.   You take a test on your kid’s abilities, as well as your own.  I never had Troy take the test, but I have a strong feeling of where his strengths and challenges lie.  Jack and I are strong in most of the exact same executive skills, which is why certain activities we do are so easy for the two of us.  We have very different weaknesses, and that explains why there are things my kid does that drives me up the wall (his weakness is the opposite of my strength, so something that comes easily to me but not to Jack is hard to relate to).
  • Living With Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and the Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults: I would say this book was somewhat helpful in how to react to Jack’s seemingly premenstrual mood swings, but mostly the book was a huge snooze fest.
  • The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison.  Jonathan is a Puget Sound author and writes about our region.  This is the fictional story of a down on his luck good-hearted loser who takes a course on caregiving because he is broke as a joke.  He starts taking care of an early 20’s  gentlemen who has disease I can’t remember the name of, and they end up going on a roadtrip with loads of issues, crapfests, and laughs.
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  This is the story of the run up to World War II from the viewpoint of multiple people, including a few kids in their teens.  It’s hard to explain, but the story is good.

Audiobooks (I have well over an hour commute, and I get pretty much unlimited free downloads on to my old ipod from the library)

  • I started the Harry Potter Series last summer, and it took me until just this last month to finish them.  I can’t believe my nerd ass never read these before.  I loved them!  And finally understood a bit more of what my dorky friend Anne was always talking about.
  • Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (who is really J.K. Rowling).  This is the story of a veteran in London who becomes a private investigator, and takes on a case examining a model’s suicide.  If you like character-driven stories, this is a good one.  It’s a bit slow, but it all is for a purpose.
  • The Silkworm, also by Robert Galbraith.  This book focuses on the same detective investigating the disappearance of an author in the UK.  It was recommended by Nancy Pearl, the former head of the Seattle Library who makes book recommendations around lunchtime every week on our local NPR station.  And I dutifully write down every thing she says because that bookworm knows her stuff.
  • World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstier.  The story of a small town in upstate New York after peak oil has occurred, and basically the world has gone to crap.
  • The Witch of Hebron by James Howard Kunstier. This is the second book in the World Made by Hand series, and it is a total snoozefest compared with the first book.  I’m still going to check out the third book, because I wear a hair shirt when it comes to punishing myself with finishing up a series.

 How about you?  What are you reading these days?

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12 comments on “Whatcha Readin’?”

  1. Thank you for the library shout-out! I’m such a library lover I became a Children’s Librarian! Currently reading The Age of Shiva by Manil Suri and Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan and listening to The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb.