This Autumn has been full of good books. Here are those I can remember that I’ve read. Remember to BUY LOCAL when shopping for Holiday presents this season.
Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot: Family, science, race, and history make this book a fascinating and occasionally upsetting examination of the consequences of the success of the first human cells to survive and replicate outside of the body. I read it for hours over a couple of days. Thanks to Randi R. for the recommendation.
Habibi by Craig Thompson: Beautiful, stunning masterpiece from product of Traverse City, Wisconsin, and Portland among other places, Craig Thompson. If you ever read any graphic novel, this should be the one. I saw Thompson when he came into town. He’s thoughtful and honest about how hard great work can be to produce.
Mastiff by Tamora Pierce: A satisfying conclusion to Pierce’s most recent trilogy, Mastiff provides the strong female protagonist, Beka Cooper, we come to expect in Pierce’s books.
This is Us by David Marin: Marin was a single white guy who wanted to start a family by adopting children. This is Us is the story of how absurdly difficult, yet vastly important it can be to adopt children in our country, especially if you’re male and a different skin color from the children you want to be a part of your family. Marin successfully weaves tales of bureaucracy with joyous tales of his family. This book struck a chord with me because my family fostered a black baby, but could not adopt him because we are white.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: Ness digs in deep to the pain of a child losing his mother to cancer. In this book, he’s figured out how to make death a subject that can be talked about, once the courage is found. I recommend it for any young adult dealing with loss or mature enough for a very good tale. It made me cry at the end, but not my 16 year old brother.
18 Minutes by Peter Bregman: This time management book takes a much broader look at your life than most. Bregman’s basic argument is if you don’t look at how you are deciding to spend your time, then your time will never be well spent. He walks readers through the process of prioritizing goals and time drains and then, once the work has been done, gives those tools so often found in other books. I have already implemented those tips that resonated with me and am much more productive.
The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier: Brockmeier makes the ordinary pain of day to day life seem like poetry with his prose. If you want something that’s well-written and has an unexpected plot, Brief History’s the way to go.
The Outcasts by John Flanagan: This is the first book in the Brotherband Chronicles, thenew series spun off from Rangers Apprentice. I enjoyed it. It’s a good adventure with another wonderful set of characters. I might even like this boy who doesn’t quite fit in better than Will from Rangers Apprentice. I look forward to book 2.
Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson: Absolutely charming new picture book that comes out in January. The illustrations and story are classic. A bear who lives in a book goes on adventures when no one is watching. This will be my go to gift for friends who have small children.