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What We’re Reading at My House This Week

September 7th, 2009 · No Comments · Author! Author!, Currently reading

A better question would be: What are we not reading at my house this week? The list might be shorter. I have always been in the habit of reading between three to five books at a time. If I find a book that I really love, I read it straight through and ignore the other books, picking them up again once I’m through with that particular book. Since I’ve started working in a library, though, you can find me reading between seven and TEN books at a time. I like to know what my students are reading — or not reading, as the case may be.

My children and husband all have the same habit and read several books at a time. My daughter just re-read the entire Harry Potter series, because she liked it so much the first time through. There are lots of little details you don’t catch the first go-round that you do the second. (And a private note to those of you who say you’ve read the whole series — then later on I find out you actually only read the first book, “But I’ve seen the movies!” To you I say: It is not the same. Read the books. The books are a whole different animal than the movies. And we have plenty of copies of HP on the shelves.) (My personal favorites are five, six and seven. Yours might be different volumes — you’ll have to see.)

(Looking forward to seeing everyone this week, by the way…)

And now, for The List. Some of these are grown-up books your parents might enjoy:

  1. What Have You Lost? by Naomi Shihab Nye
  2. The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
  3. Life as We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  4. Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  5. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor
  6. Becoming Naomi Leon, by Pam Munoz Ryan
  7. any cookbook we can get our hands on, including The Joy of Cooking, by Marion Rombauer, and Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child, et al.
  8. Sensible Hare and the Case of the Carrots, by Daren King
  9. Where the Lilies Bloom, by Vera and Bill Cleaver
  10. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Kongisburg
  11. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: The Diary of Bess Brennan, The Perkins School for the Blind (part of the Dear America series), by Barry Denenberg

See? I told you that list was crazy. There are even a few titles I’m forgetting as I type this up. I will link to lots and lots of different types of websites from this blog: radio interviews, author websites, study guides, Wikipedia entries… there is so much out there to learn about books and their authors. Have fun exploring. Please remember — there is no one book that is right for everyone. We all have our different tastes and interests. If something doesn’t move you, move along and find a different title.

If you can’t find these on our bookshelves, you or your parents can reserve them from Multnomah County Library, or save your money and buy copies at the bookstore. I like hand-me-down books just as well as brand-new — find a friend to swap with! Or buy used, either at a secondhand bookstore or online. Make sure you ask your parents’ or guardians’ permission first, please, before you start shopping.

I cannot say that I can recommend reading books the way my family does. It’s too easy that way to not give a book a chance. Some books start out slowly and build, some books are not what they appear to be, and then again, there is one of my favorite expressions: You can’t judge a book by its cover.

However, since I read and review books for a living, it’s a little different for me. I guess my family has just picked up on my habits. Or perhaps it’s in the blood — my mom and sister are usually reading at least three or four titles at once. All of my grandparents loved to read. So happy reading, yes? I wish you Happy Reading, always!


Ms. Nancy