Books I Love

In honor of Valentine's Day: Books I Love. Many of these I couldn't put down. Some I've read more than once. I hope you love some of them too or will soon!

I have four blogs that I haven't finished in the last few weeks. It just occurred to me that this one will be easy to complete. In honor of Valentine's Day: Books I Love. I will finish the other blogs too but have just had a serious case of winter blahs.

A list of books I love has to start with books I loved as a child. Love is not too strong an emotion for books that were read to you or sparked your imagination growing up. Of course this list could be endless. I have always appreciated that my mother was the type who always said yes to buying books. She also valued award winning books like Caldecott and Newberry award winners.

The first one I “love” is one I hope you'll read to a child. Burt Dow Deep Water Man. Burt Dow goes out for an ordinary day of fishing in his beat up old boat and ends up as a whale's lunch. The way he gets out of the whale's tummy is colorful, funny and exciting. On top of that he plays nursemaid to a school of whales in the sweetest way. Wonderful story and illustrations.

Robert McCloskey wrote Burt Dow, along with Make Way For Ducklings, Blueberries For Sal etc. I LOVE his books.

As some of you know, Brian and I have a 20 year old and 23 year old. We have both loved reading many children's books that have come out in the years after our two were young. Skippy Jon etc. Spend some time reading children's books if you haven't in a while. You will love it.

Last week I reread Charlotte's Web. I loved it. I highly recommend rereading Charlotte's Web. It won't take long but it will be such a fun read.

Because I enjoyed that so much I'm going to reread a few others that I loved growing up and also loved reading with my kids. From The Mixed Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is great for age 9-12 readers. Harriet The Spy and My Side Of The Mountain.

One of the ways I know I'm on to something good to recommend is when our daughter Meg likes it too. She is finishing up an English Degree at UW Madison and will be Teaching For America next fall. She reads a lot. She has excellent taste in books. I'm happy we've shared some favorites.

One young adult novel that came out recently was Endangered by Elliot Shefrer. I was so glad Meg liked it as much as I did. It's an excellent example of a young adult book that's just as compelling for adults. Set in the Congo, it is a super exciting account of a girl escaping rebels with a beloved Bonobo from a refuge. I highly recommend this book for any adult, young adult and some middle schoolers.

Meghan also loved Khaled Hossieni's books, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns just as I did. I am thrilled that he has a new novel coming out May 21st, And The Mountains Echoed. I will sit down as soon as we open the box and read that book.

Meg agreed with 2 non fiction books that I love. And The Band Played On , a history of the AIDs crisis and Columbine. It seems strange to say I loved a book about Columbine but I did. I loved it because Dave Cullen wrote such an in depth account of all the people involved. It took him 10 years to research and finish. He was on the scene on the horrible day at Columbine High School.

I don't remember why I picked this book up last fall. It was before Newtown and wasn't in relation to any one school shooting. I do know that when I heard of this book, many booksellers said they had loved reading it too. It is a good read about lives affected by a horrible tragedy. It dispels some myths about trench coat mafias etc and answers some questions while leaving others for the reader to ponder.

Before I steer away from non fiction I have to mention a book I loved two weeks ago. I read late in to the night. Many people in Hudson are familiar with Audrey Edmunds story because she grew up in Hudson. Audrey did an excellent job telling her story and I highly recommend her book, It Happened To Audrey.

Do you remember Ann Romney cheering at the RNC this summer “We Love Our Women!”. I'm a Democrat but like to think I'm open minded and fair. I thought the criticism of that statement was petty. Don't get me started on the broader women's issues that were in play but I have to say with the same enthusiasm Mrs. Romney showed:

WE LOVE OUR LOCALS! Brian and I truly love getting to know local authors, reading their books and helping promote them. I should write a whole blog about how much we love Gary Porter and Duffy, The Tale Of A Terrier. Gary and Melissa have been such good friends to the store and we love Duffy's tale. It is a great read for all age levels.

I'd like to list all the other locals we love but I'm getting that music that plays you off the stage.....

Dan Woll, Will Savage, Jeannie Roberts, William Kent Krueger, Michael Norman, Sylvia Grubb, Sarah Warren, Colleen Baldrica, Diane Dettman......arrggghhh I have so many others.

I can't leave the stage until I mention fiction I've read recently that I love. I really loved reading Where'd You Go Bernadette. It is funny and heartwarming with a bit of mystery. The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry. A sweet, thought provoking story about honoring someone from your past. In Caddis Wood, written by Twin Cities author Mary Rockcastle, set in part in Wisconsin. And two Southern novels, The Peachkeeper and Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale. All of these would make fantastic book club books. I loved all of them.

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