Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer Reading 2014!!

It's time for summer reading! Thanks to a prolonged bout of (dong-sucking) pneumonia this Spring, I actually started reading books again! Lots of them! And now I've nearly exhausted all my new books and I want to read more so I'd love to get your recommendations, both on books for me and also for my kids.

I'll get started! Currently, I'm reading two kinds of books:
  • Books written by bloggers
  • Young Adult fiction that I'm screening for my rising 6th grader. Also, ((deep breath here)) I love YA fiction for just me, myself and I and I'm not ashamed. Also, please take a moment to appreciate the sweet De La Soul click thru. 
So let's start with YA:

We Were Liars by E Lockhart
A GREAT, fast-paced summer read about a group of 4 teenagers who spend their summers together in a fancy private island near Martha's Vineyard. The protagonist has lost her memory following a traumatic head injury and is trying to put things back together. You will read this whole book in a matter of hours and if anyone tries to talk to you during the last 50 pages you will be like: "Go ask your father and if you interrupt me again I will scream obscenities at you." Also this was Amazon's book of the month in May. And the author is my Twitter friend so I think that makes us real friends, like I am with the Property Brothers. If you know me in real life, I bought 2 copies so I could loan them out so we could geek out over it together.

Is it good for 10-12 year olds? I think so, but the end may freak them out a little. If they can handle watching scary movies then this book should be fine. Probably read it yourself first anyway because it's freaking awesome.

Wonder by RJ Palacio
This book is GREAT for tweens. In fact, I'm going to encourage my 9 year old son to read it. It's about a 10 year old boy who was born with medical problems that make his face hard to look at, and this has kept him from going to a regular school. The story chronicles what it's like for him to go to middle school.

IT IS JUST SO GOOD. Everyone in the whole wide world should read it. It has an an amazing message about kindness and acceptance without being preachy. It might be a little sad in spots for some younger kids but it's worth it. It's just awesome.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children) by Ransom Riggs

OK, I'm only 3/4 of the way through this but I already love it. It's quirky and interesting and has amazing photos and artwork interspersed with the prose. It's about a 16 year old boy from Florida who, after his grandfather's death, goes to an island off the coast of Wales to the orphanage where his grandfather spent time as a boy. It's creepy and awesome and a little scary.

It's also not a good fit for my 11 year old daughter. Here's how I know. First chapter I come across this bit of dialogue between two teenage boys:
Boy 1: "What are you, my mom?" 
Boy 2: "Do I look like I blow truckers for food stamps?"
Now let me be clear - I ADORE THAT LAST SENTENCE. I plan to work it into conversation as often as possible. But… This book is more for teenagers than tweens, in my opinion.

Next on my list is The Fault in Our Stars , which I have seen no less than 10 parents reading at various sporting events and practices. Probably because we know we can all use an egg timer to count how long it will be before out children begin begging us to see the movie.

Now on to books by bloggers.

Suburban Haiku: Poetic Dispatches from Behind the Picket Fence by Peyton Price
I literally carried this book around with me for a week after I read it so I could share various poems with my friends. It's pointed and painfully honest at times, but never mean because she is one of us. It's fantastic and if you're looking for a great gift for a friend, or a teacher who has kids, or a housewarming gift for your hipster friends who just had a baby and moved to the 'burbs - this is it.

Here's maybe my favorite in the whole book:
It's perfect weather
for sending the kids outside
and watching TV.

Her blog and her Twitter are the shit, too.

I Heart My Little A-Holes: A bunch of holy-crap moments no one ever told you about parenting by Karen Alpert
Karen Alpert writes the wildly popular blog Baby Sideburns and I just met her last weekend and she was really nice to me even though I got a little fangirl on her.

Also, she really needs to stop being so f*&king awesome and funny because some people (me) who write humor blogs might read her stuff and then get discouraged by how effortlessly awesome and funny her writing is.

I Just Want to Be Alonehttp://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/098840804X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=211189&creative=373493&creativeASIN=098840804X&link_code=am3&tag=rantsfrommomm-20 by lots of bloggers you already love
This is the sequel to I Just Want to Pee Alone, a book I was in. Some of the best and funniest women on the internet contributed to this book and it's only about $4 for the Kindle version. I met a bunch of them last weekend and they were so great that I wanted to slow dance with them. I haven't read it yet, but it's happening right after The Fault in Our Stars (only because my daughter is pestering me about that one - so urgency). If it's anything like the last one, compiled by the amazing and hilarious Jen of People I Want to Punch in the Throat, it's going to be great.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
This came out last year but you guys. Oh my GOD. You will read this book and never stop laughing. You will laugh so hard that you will need your inhaler and if you don't require an inhaler, then you will need some Always pads with wings. My kids and I have even read through some of the chapters together (beware of curse words) and they loved it so much that they started begging me to read them chapters as bedtime stories.

Allie also writes about her depression and about her dogs. She does both perfectly. I swear I have bought at least 4 copies of this book because I keep giving them away. Not even kidding.

Also! Dear Allie Brosh (who will never see this), Please consider writing a children's book. My kids love your book so much and it's like you don't even get how much they get it and how much they love it. It could just be stories about your dogs and from when you were a kid. I would buy all the copies. Love, Lydia

The Cookie Jar Parable by Stephanie Giese
Stephanie writes the blog Binkies and Briefcases and was one of the contributors to "I Just Want to Pee Alone". This children's book is designed to help children and parents deal with loss. In the story, a little boy copes with the loss of his Grandfather. The parable of the cookie jar helps him to work through it. It's good to know about these books like this just in case you ever need one, or if you want to offer one as a gift to a friend whose family is grieving. Definitely add this one to the list.

Now I need your recommendations! I need specific help with some specific categories of books but you guys should of course feel free to suggest whatever you want:
  • New and recentish books for grown ups
  • Chapter books that younger boys (grades 2-5) will love. This has been a huge challenge so PLEASE HELP MOI.
  • Great books for tween girls (that aren't all about boys and popularity and sexy, sextime).
  • Best book for early readers (like just learning to read/sounding out words)
Thank you so much! I can't wait to see what you recommend!

(c) Mommyland Blogs 2014

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