Lately, I've been having trouble getting into the fiction books I've been picking up - I find my mind wandering and I can't quite keep track of the plot and all the characters. When this happens, as it does from time to time, I find that taking a break and reading non-fiction seems to help. Here are a few I've picked up lately to try to get myself back on track:
Monday, March 11, 2019
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
I often feel like I go through phases in my reading - times when I can't seem to find anything that I want to finish, and other times when I'm just reading one fantastic story after another. Often I think perhaps it has to do with my mood at the time, and very much with my ability to focus. Here are a few books that I read on vacation or times when I feel like I had a bit more ability to real. I enjoyed them all - and recommend them - with the caveat that perhaps I was just in the right mood when I read them!
Friday, January 4, 2019
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen: This book was written in 1986, but I never read it or even heard of it as a kid. As an adult, many people recommended it to me - or suggested that my 7-year-old son read it. It's the story of a young boy named Brian whose parents have recently separated. He lives with his mother, who puts him on a prop plane to go visit his father for the summer. She also provides him with a hatchet, which he initially finds oddly juvenile. The plane crashes and Brian is the lone survivor. The book follows his 50+ days surviving in the wilderness - building shelter, finding and hunting for food, repeatedly failing and learning from his mistakes. There were some basic aspects of this book that I feel make it not quite appropriate for my 7-year-old - namely the reason for Brian's parents' divorce, which centers around an affair that Brian is aware of but keeping secret from his father. It is a small but recurring part of the story, and not something that Brian himself fully understands, and I think was presented strangely for a reader younger than about ten or so (not that younger readers haven't themselves been children of divorce or can't understand what it means for parents to separate - I just felt the way in which the subject matter was presented was better suited to an older audience). But, Brian's adventures and the psychological and physical struggles he endures and overcomes are inspiring - especially for my own children who have zero wilderness survival skills, I'd be interested in seeing how they react to this book in the near future. I was recently in a bookstore and saw a five-book series by Paulsen that follows Brian after this adventure. These seem like they could be fun - but also a bit scary - I'm keeping them on my son's to-read list perhaps for this coming summer!
Thursday, January 3, 2019
I have a thing for books in a series. When the characters and story are wonderful, of course, it's nice to be able to keep going. But, even when they aren't that great, it's really hard for me to just let go - though I was very proud of myself for just saying no to the third book in the Fifty Shades of Grey series. So, here are a few that brought back some familiar characters and a little comfort - some much more than others: