It’s been awhile since I’ve done a book recap and it’s long overdue. I try to ping-pong back and forth between fiction and non-fiction, just to break up my intake. The year started off impressively with All The Light We Cannot See and you can add me to the long list of people who loved this book. If you haven’t read it yet, you can believe the hype.
Scanning the list of books below, you might gather that my non-fiction reading has been hijacked by parenting topics. Maybe this is what happens when one’s child is leaving the cozy nest of elementary school and about to enter the wilds of middle school. It’s my first time, so don’t laugh too hard.
Since we’re traveling to Amsterdam, Berlin and Iceland this summer, I added Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and Iceland: Land of the Sagas by David Roberts & Jon Krakauer to my reading list. After finishing Anne Frank, I passed it along to our daughter to read and will be very interested in her thoughts on it. She knows how the story ends already — I felt like I need to tell her that from the get-go.
- This is Where I Leave You by Jonathon Tropper. (Darkly funny, dysfunctional family, death + divorce, made into a movie)
- All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer. (WWII historical fiction, told through two characters, a German soldier and a blind French girl)
- The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. (foster care system, a flower whisperer and the chance to heal old wounds)
- The Teenage Brain by Frances Jensen (what kids do during these years has a lasting impact on their brains, i.e. alcohol, drugs, technology habits and sports concussions)
- The Myth of the Spoiled Child by Alfie Kohn. (Are modern parenting practices really making a generation of spoiled kids? The evidence says NO.)
- Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight in Our Busy Lives by Wayne Muller. (Great book for setting boundaries around digital creep. Excellent reminder and strategies for carving out time for renewal. Spiritual/Religious but not overly so.)
- Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. (Powerful and incredibly well-written.)
- The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato. (Armchair travel to Venice with semi-interesting love story + historic intrigue)
- Iceland: Land of the Sagas by David Roberts. (A younger John Krakauer supplies the photography for this book. Part history, part travelogue. Just so-so)
- Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. (10 years on this book seems very relevant to today’s news. Perfect for music lovers. A slow burn.)
- The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous and Smart with Money by Ron Lieber. (Excellent book with thoughtful ideas on how to help kids navigate money, responsibility and sense of self in the broader world.)
My favorites of all of these was All the Light We Cannot See, The Opposite of Spoiled, and Sabbath. The rest were plain good, except for The Glassblower of Murano. That one just didn’t do it for me at all.
Lastly, if you have any recommendations (books, sights, restaurants) for Amsterdam, Berlin, and/or Iceland, please let me know! I would love to hear them.