I read out loud (aloud? Which one is it my lovely word-nerds?) to Newt a lot. Even though she is definitely old enough, and capable enough, to read most things on her own, I refuse to give it up. And why should I? Sharing great books are one of the best parts of our day. However, I wonder if I might have overdone it yesterday. I walked into the living room, picked up my book and began to read. It took me at least three or four minutes to realize that I was alone in the house and reading aloud to myself. Oops.
What I’ve Been Reading
After all those weeks of same, same, sameness, I was hungry for some new stories. I filled that craving with two new, not terribly deep, but good nonetheless books.
What Alice Forgot
Alice wakes up on the floor of a gym after fainting in spin class and hitting her head. She’s a 39 year old, well-to-do mother of three children who is currently going through a nasty divorce. The trouble is, she doesn’t remember any of that. Her last memories are of being a 29 year old, poor young wife who is head over heels in love with her husband and thrilled to be expecting her first child. Poor Alice has no idea what has happened to her over the last 10 years, nor what kind of person she has become. And the more she learns the less she likes.
Alice’s story is told from her own perspective, through her grandma’s letters to a long-lost friend and her sister’s therapy journal. I really enjoyed this read. It got me thinking a lot about who I was 10 years ago and what she might think of my life now. This would be a great book club read.
Note: there is a bit more swearing in this book than I care for.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Jacob grew up listening to his grandfather tell fantastic tales about an old house on an island and the peculiar children who lived there. A girl who could fly, an invisible boy, and other “talented” children, all watched over (and protected from the monsters) by a pipe-smoking bird. When Jacob is 16, tragedy cuts across his life. As a result, Jacob sets off on a journey where he learns that his grandfather’s stories may have not have been fairy tales at all.
This book was like Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always meets X-Men crossed with a bit of Nanny McFee, but with really cool photographs. Miss Peregrine’s is unique in that the story revolves around a series of strange antique photographs, like the one pictured on the cover:
Amazingly, the pictures are all real, found at flea markets and thrift stores by collectors. They have not been retouched or photoshopped in order to better fit the story, yet they fit it perfectly all the same.
The eerie combination made for a delightfully creepy YA read, perfect for this time of year.
What I’ve Been Reading to Newt
We are almost finished with The Magician’s Nephew and I have our next book all ready to go, but you’ll have to wait until next week to hear about it.
What Newt Has Been Reading
Newt has become very interested in birds lately. She has been perusing our shelves looking for guides and information. Her favorites are the Litte Golden Nature Guides, which we have several volumes of. She has been poring over Birds of North America as she sits by the window, binoculars in had. The great thing about these little guides is that they are well, little, so they fit nicely in hand on our walks, too. I love that she is teaching me things, like the difference between a raven and a crow and what the name is of that yellow and black bird we see every once in awhile. I could use the lessons, too. The only think I know about birds is how many piggies they’ll knock over if launched just right from a giant sling shot.