Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck

Reading Walkable City was a bit out of my reading comfort zone as I've never read a book about city planning before. So I learned a lot and didn't understand other things, but overall, this was an okay book to read, and it definitely encouraged me to walk to the places that I can walk to.

PS: Here's a neat website to check out: Walk Score. It will let you know how walkable your neighborhood is.

Monday, February 8, 2016

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Miranda is a sixth grader living in New York City. Her mom is preparing to compete on The $20,000 Pyramid. Her friend gets punched for no reason and then stops talking to Miranda. Miranda receives a mysterious letter. What is going on?

A short, but sweet Young Adult book, this novel is unlike any that I've read because of the characters, the plot, and.....the time travel. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Sh!t No One Tells You About Toddlers: A Guide to Surviving the Toddler Years by Dawn Dais

I really liked Dawn's book, The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby's First Year. She is funny and thoughtful. She also doesn't claim to know all of the answers. For suggestions, she relies on fellow moms and mental health professionals.

In this book, she delves into the toddler years with chapters like "You're too old for this" and "You suck at this" and "Your judging of other parents comes back to haunt you." Part memoir and part parenting guide, this book will surely normalize any parent's experience of living with and caring for a toddler.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

Stevenson is a lawyer who seeks to right the wrongs in the justice system, one case at a time. He writes about how he became involved in this work and he describes many of his cases. He includes so many cases though that it becomes a bit overwhelming at times. I needed to read this book very slowly and take many breaks because the content was painful and hard to read at times.

If you are looking for a lighthearted read, avoid reading Just Mercy. However, if you are willing to sit a little bit outside of your comfort zone and learn more about our justice system, I would recommend slowly reading Just Mercy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

In 1793, Philadelphia was hit with a yellow fever epidemic which eventually killed 10% of its population. Fever 1793 is narrated by 14-year-old Mattie Cook as the fever takes over the city and sickens the loved ones around her.

This reminds me of a book that I would have read in the 5th grade. It's historical fiction and it is definitely appropriate for the upper-elementary crowd. It would be a great book for kids to read when they study this time period in US History. As for my adult readers out there, this may not be up your alley, but it may make great reading for your niece.

An exciting note: I just discovered a Little Free Library in my neighborhood as I was walking around last week. I am excited to leave this book there for another reader to pick up!

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Ove is a grumpy widower who just wants to kill himself and end it all. However, his suicide attempts are conveniently (or, inconveniently, if you ask Ove) interrupted by the noisy family who just moved in next door.

Translated from Swedish, this book is a delightful read about finding life after loss and creating family in a community. Sweet, funny, and hopeful.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Ah, it's been awhile since I've read some Shakespeare. I picked up Hamlet because I was reading the play titled Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. I've read Hamlet before, but this time around, I learned a couple more things about reading Hamlet. 1) It's not a great play to read before going to bed. 2) It's sad.