Reach & Read: Book Review Round Up for September 2017

Here is a snapshot of books consumed during the month of September.  Lots of audiobooks as I had some drive time to fill for work. We have been reading on average four to six books per bedtime routine, none of which are highlighted below. Lots of Good Night Construction Site, Quick as a Cricket and Where’s the Poop (its a horrid book).

Euphoria by Lily King

Romantic, malarial, vivid description of various slices of human, set in the 1930s. Features brave or careless (or something in between) anthropologists, exploring the Amazon.  Check out this NY Times article for more background on historical basis for King’s literary work. Her style of writing, cadence and words transports the reader and left me wanting to read more of her books and learn more about Margaret Mead.

Space at the Table: Conversations Between an Evangelical Theologian and His Gay Son by Brad Harper and Drew Stafford Harper

I listened to the audio version of this nonfiction book. It came up as a recommendation or related reading based on another book (below) checked out my local library. It certainly offered an opportunity to learn about two viewpoints that I do not currently have experience with: conservative/evangelicalism nor raising a gay/LGQTBI child. Just as one should hope and expect from books, I was moved by the powerful story, lessons and experience of the father and son. The overarching perspective about always keeping ‘space at the table’ is one that can be applied in so many situations. Do not shy away from this book, regardless of your vantage point or thoughts on Evangelicals or LGQTBI. It is not meant to convert you but presents one family’s experience to keeping space at their table.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carla Brunt

This is a fictional story set in late 80s when AIDs was intensely feared, reviled by many and grossly understood, those suffering often shut out to die. However, at its core, it is a coming of age story about being a little different finding your place in life, power of family and how we define it. It is not young adult per se, but certainly would resonate with that audience.

How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz

Author describes this book as ‘wild, sad, funny story of twenty years in the friendship of three very different women’. These fifteen words sum the framework of the book up quite nicely, but know that each of these women’s lives and selves are well developed, really pulling in the reader. It not a happy go lucky everything coming up roses type of book, but real life, raw in many ways, but still enjoyable to read.

Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites by Kate Christensen

Another audio book, with the common thread of food throughout life’s experiences (you know I love these!). Kate Christensen’s autobiography is entertaining, engaging and not about foodie foodie at all times. Her life is well-lived, complicated, not storybook perfect but her ability to reflect on the journey, the people and the food pulls together an engaging read.

Penguin the Magpie by Cameron Bloom

A short nonfiction audiobook, about, yes, you guessed it, a Magpie named Penguin but also, perhaps more importantly, the story of the Bloom Family’s journey forward after a devastating accident paralyzed their mother/wife. You can follow Magpie on Facebook, her own website and find yourself inspired too. Hope to see a movie soon!

The Wise Animal Handbook Oregon by Kate B. Jerome

Review excerpt: My favorite picture in this book features a cricket, appearing to shrug its shoulders stating “Admit when you don’t know.”

Big and Little are Best Friends by Michael Garland

Review excerpt: My toddler asked me to read it three times in a row the first time we read it, so I call it a win.

Reach & Read: Rettie and the Ragamuffin Parade-A Thanksgiving Parade

Reach & Read: Missile Toe A Very Confused Christmas


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