"When it's done well, it can feel as real as sunshine on your face. It can taste like mint on your tongue. It can sound like thunder or the scream of someone you love dearly. It wouldn't be a good story if we, the writers, didn't totally believe in it, would it, now?"
-- Finding Serendipity, Angelica Banks --
Sometimes, you just need to read a good "kid" story.
This seventh book in the #yearof50books, Finding Serendipity, by Angelica Banks, is an excellent kid story! I won't try to explain it much because it's more fun and makes more sense when you just read it, but the story follows the adventures of Tuesday McGillycuddy as she and her faithful dog, Baxterr, go on a quest to find her missing mother, Serendipity Smith.
I picked this book up during the school book fair this spring, and I wanted to read it so I would be able to recommend to some of my intermediate age students (3rd-5th graders) who might enjoy it. It really pushes the importance of imagination and would definitely help kids understand the magic that can happen when you write a story!
As with most books I find interesting, I loved the quirkiness of the characters. Plus, Tuesday's biggest battle with the villain is a battle of rhyming couplets..what beats that?! How wonderful. :)
Book #8 is selected and in progress. It's a bigger non-fiction read than I've previously taken on, so we'll see how it goes!
Thank you for checking in on this journey with me and staying interested, even though it's been half a year and I'm not even one-fifth through my goal yet. Oy. Life lessons!
"Sometimes the story we're telling the world isn't half as endearing as the one that lives inside us."
-- Donald Miller, Scary Close --
It's hard to know ourselves.
It should be really simple, but we're all so good at putting on fronts for different reasons that we sometimes get lost in them...and then, just like that, we don't even know our own true selves.
I like talking to people and socializing; I always have. However, as I've gotten older, I don't feel as comfortable socializing as I used to. I always feel like I don't know what to say or do, and that small talk is boring, but people seem uncomfortable with real talk (or maybe I'm uncomfortable with real talk?). I say that I value relationships and people, and I truly mean that, but it's sometimes difficult for me to live that out.
Reading this sixth book in the #yearof50books gave me some excellent food for thought as I think about my relationships. This book is Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy by Donald Miller. I've read one of his other books, Blue Like Jazz, and have another of his on my list to read, but this particular book has intrigued me for a long time. I appreciate his conversational writing style: he just seems to be talking with you, not at you, which doesn't seem to be the style of all non-fiction authors.
Miller gets real in this book about his own issues with relationships and how he dealt with them. He's read several other books on the topic and references them, as well as information from counselors and his friends, to give readers their own opportunity to develop stronger and healthier relationships and really get to know people.
I highlighted many sections and sentences while reading because I know this is a book I will revisit and I want to remember those key concepts and words that stuck out to me. One thing he said touched on something that I've been working through in my head a lot lately, about the kind of life I want to live. He said, "...I'm starting to wonder if that's not the whole point of life, to be thankful for it and to live in such a way others are thankful for theirs as well." Isn't that the kind of life we all want to live? The tricky part, though, is remembering that and putting it into practice.
I don't want to keep giving things away, but his list of "New Freedoms" for himself are freedoms I want for myself -- the freedom to be human. What a wonderful thing!
Remember, if you're interested in learning more about any of the books I share, I'm keeping track of what I've read (and what I hope to read) on the Books page! Clicking on a title will link you to Goodreads. If you're on Goodreads, look me up! I'd love to be book friends! :)
Book #7 is coming along nicely! This fictional read is one that I think some of my intermediate students would be interested in, so I'm reading to make sure I can recommend it to them. I look forward to sharing it with you soon!
"People have to tell their stories, Elsa. Or they suffocate."
-- Fredrik Backman, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry --
This read is one I was looking forward to for a LONG time.
I first saw it in the book section at Target (a.k.a. my financial nemesis) and was immediately intrigued by the title. A title so involved certainly requires a deeper look! After reading the back of the book and the first couple of pages, it was automatically added to my list of future reads.
This fifth book in the #yearof50books, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry, by Fredrik Backman, a Swedish author, is an adventurous and heart-warming story told through the eyes of Elsa, a seven-year-old girl who thinks about and sees things a little differently. The close relationship she has with her crazy grandmother sets the tone (and the plot) of the story.
I can't say too much, for fear of giving some things away about the story, but let me just say this: although not quite what I initially expected, this is a book that I am keeping and intend to read again someday. I loved the characters and could just picture the whole story as a movie while I read it. Elsa's character was especially sweet, because seeing things through the eyes of a child always helps me think in a more simplistic way--adults make things way too complicated.
If you're looking for a book to get swept up in, I recommend this one, without a doubt. I intend to read some of his other books, as well: A Man Called Ove, Britt-Marie Was Here, and And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer.
How wonderful to be reading so many good books. Look for a post about book #6 soon!