March in Books

March in Books

The Penderwicks

At the risk of being that girl who always writes about books, I have decided to do a monthly recap of books I’ve read, sharing the good, the bad and the ugly with you. I hope that you will comment on this and subsequent posts of this kind to let me know what you’re reading, and what I should read next. Here, without further ado, is March’s mixed bag:

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall.

Recently, I have begun a beautiful journey into the world of audio books. Now, the evening doesn’t seem complete without my bedtime story, and car rides seem hollow without some sort of plot. This is fast becoming an addiction! This is how I met the Penderwicks, a family of four girls who became my fast friends. When I was younger (even now, who am I kidding) I would read books which were a little bit older but filled with good, and sometimes fantastic, fun. I’m thinking of the works of Edgar Eager (especially Half Magic and the Time Garden) and the countless works of historical fiction I inhaled between the ages of 10 and 12. This book, while not being old itself, held some of that magic. There was little to date the story, which gave it a timeless quality. If you’re a fan of children’s fiction at all, I would recommend this one.

The Year of Yes by Maria Dahvana Headley.

Let me start off by saying that I don’t actually recommend this one. This disclaimer is to keep all of you who religiously read everything on this list from suing me when you are offended. This book was offensive, however, it was funny and thought-provoking as well. It’s a memoir about a woman who decided to say yes to everyone who asked her out for a year. (Funny side note: when I explained the plot to a friend, she said: “I’m not sure that would make any difference in my life.” Good point.)

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

This was a beautiful (if disturbing at times) look at an English-language paper in Rome from the perspective of the main players. Not only do you see the relationship each has with the paper, but you also see how their personal lives fit into each other, and the life of the paper.

How To Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden

This is a graphic novel memoir dealing with the author’s Jewish birthright trip to the Holy Land. She has strong views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is brought face to face with both sides, and with herself. I didn’t agree with all of it, but I figure that’s okay since it’s a memoir. It definitely made me think.

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennet

This is a novella, the work of an afternoon, and well worth it. It’s about what happens when the queen of England starts to read. This book is at once incredibly funny, painfully true and very subversive. I loved every bit.

The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket

This is a rich, beautiful book, a memoir of sorts, written by a British woman who has chosen the rather unpopular path of being a domestic artist and using her creativity to bring joy to her family and beauty to her home. It’s a treasure in many ways, not the least because it reads like a covert manifesto at times.

As always, please give me suggestions for what to read next! I’m always looking for another great book, it’s an addiction.