best books

Double Down or Recharge

Whether you’re worried about your daughter-in-law who treats Covid-19 patients in a NYC hospital (like I am), trying to double as a home-school teacher while tele-working, or scrambling to find health insurance when you’re newly unemployed, you’re probably dealing with a lot more stress today than you were a month ago. Even people in fairly stable situations are more anxious and isolated than normal.

In such times, it’s tempting to turn to books for a different perspective. Here are suggestions in case you want to double down and immerse yourself… Continue reading

Kindred Spirits

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I spent yesterday on my back porch rereading Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. My Uncle Harry gave me my copy ages ago, and tucked between the pages was a note regarding my sister Laura visiting the school nurse in 1980, so I can assume I loaned her my copy then. I appreciate this evidence that I was a generous sister, and it’s nice to have a book with some history to it.  

To be quite honest, I never thought the… Continue reading

Where to Turn Next

IMG_6631If you seek understanding, comfort, or inspiration, slip into someone else’s shoes as Scout did in To Kill a Mockingbird. Here’s a list of 10 recent books that take me deep into the human heart where we bank our love and hope like embers.

When I Was The Greatest by Jason Reynolds

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Out of my… Continue reading

The North Texas Teen Book Festival Was Fabulous!

Nearly 8,000 readers came by the busload to Irving, TX for the NTTBF16. Photo credit: Jennifer Mathieu

Nearly 8,000 readers came by the busload to Irving, TX for the NTTBF16. Photo credit: Jennifer Mathieu

Every time I think about my trip to the North Texas Teen Book Festival, I grin. You would not believe how amazing it was. Middle Grade and Young Adult readers came by the busload for a day of panels with their favorite writers on Saturday, April 23rd, and I tell you, the energy was off the charts. I had the best time!

Here are a few photos from the day.

What YA Novel Should Our Book Group Read?

13262783One of my friends recently asked me to suggest a YA novel for our book group, and I relished the chance.  The women in our group are avid readers with thoughtful, perceptive observations, and they help me discover new books—fiction and nonfiction—that I’d never find on my own.  Of different generations and backgrounds, they bring unique, nuanced perspectives, and I appreciate the moments we disagree in our interpretations of a novel as much as I do the times when we agree.

17564519I came up with… Continue reading

Why Do We Stay Up Late Reading?

To sleep or read, that is the question.

To sleep or read, that is the question.

The other night, I was reading Andy Weir’s The Martian, and once I hit midnight, I deliberately quit checking my watch because I didn’t want to stop reading. When I finally stumbled to bed around 2 a.m., with half the book still to go, I was exhausted but gleeful. Stealing time from my sleep is frankly irresponsible, but that doesn’t stop me. In a way, it adds to my pleasure because it’s a minor rebellion.  

Loving a book enough… Continue reading