April 30, 2017

Best Books of April

I’m going to read 100 books this year and I’m not saying that as sort of a self-visualization, positive vibes thing.  I’m at 42 books for the year!  That’s…like…more than eight times what i read last year!  I’ve been keeping a nice, ten books a month pace and I have a lot of great titles on my hold list, so I think it’s going to be a successful reading year.

My favorite book from this past month was The Originals by Adam M. Grant.  The book looks at why people who think and achieve differently manage to think and achieve differently.  He looks at things like birth order, proliferation of ideas, how people cultivate their ideas and how you can try and force yourself into creating more, good original ideas.   I admit that I probably highlighted and saved 1/4 of the book to Evernote.  So much of it resonated with me, not just about myself, but about Big Daddy and how we could better how we react with our kids.    The book has actively changed how I talk to the kids.

April was an unusual reading month for me.  I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but three of my four top reads this month were non-fiction.  Part of that, is that I’m reading from “best of” lists, which means I’m curating less and just adding and trying books.  I keep my hundred page* rule.

My second favorite book this month was In the Great Green Room by Amy Gary about the life of Margaret Wise Brown.  It was so interesting to delve into the life of a woman whose book I know by heart.  She was so dynamic and far more prolific than I had ever guessed.  She was a pioneer in her industry, really, involved in not just the writing and marketing of children’s books, but in changing the attitude and culture revolving around them.

I also read, and loved, The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander.  Alexander is a poet and the book often read like a beautiful piece of free verse.  Elizabeth’s husband,  Ficre, dies suddenly just after his fiftieth birthday.  This book is a love story, a history, an imagining.  It’ lovely.  Over the course of the past decade, books about grief have come to me at just the right time and that is true of this book as well.

My mother-in-law’s last night on earth, a fox crossed our path in Brandford, Connecticut, as we left the hospice.  We knew somehow that it was her, as I now know the ravenous hawk came to take Ficre.  Do I belive that?  yes, I do.  Poetic logic is my logic.  I do not believe she was a fox.  But I believe that fox was a harbinger.  I believe that it was a strange enough occurrence that it should be headed.”

My only fiction pick this month was The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens.   I would recomend this book for mature teens and young adults.  There is some violence and some sexual overtones that may make less mature readers uncomfortable, but the story is fast paced, adventurous and well worth the time it takes to read it.  In the story, a young man recounts a tragedy on the mountain that changed his life.   Wolf is 18 and plans to commit suicide on a mountain top following a life-changing accident.  He meets three women who have come to the mountain for their own reasons and then all hell break loose.  Wolf is telling the story of the mountain to his child.  There’s a ton of great action and a few good plot twists.

It was a successful month.  I can’t wait to see what May brings!

*If I don’t like a book in 100 pages, I’m allowed to quit reading with no guilt

**I have included Amazon links, but I don’t do the affiliate thing.


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