So, I’m a bit loath to admit that I recently started reading romance. I thought I’d never go there but when I got the Epstein Barr Virus, my brain fog was so bad that I had trouble comprehending books. No joke! And I still wanted to read so I kept reading YA which wasn’t too taxing and tried out some free romance on Kindle. It’s lovely fluff for the brain and occupied my days when I was at my worst. So there you go. Now I can say I’ve read every genre but westerns. I love fantasy best of all but also go through phases of nonfiction, realistic, historical, and romance.
Also, I love my Kindle. There’s just something about it that makes me want to read more . . . Do you use one?
Okay, here’s what I’m reading or have read that I think you’ll enjoy as well.
The Weekday Brides series by Catherine Bybee
These romances are free to borrow if you have Kindle Select. I found them totally enjoyable and liked the little bit of mystery.
Summerhill series by Kate Perry
Set in London, these stories each are about one of the Summerhill sisters finding love. I got a bit burned out by the 7th book still thought the rest was lovely and fluffy entertainment — perfect for a vacation.
Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown
And now for something completely different . . . If you love YA and sci-fi / fantasy like me, you MUST read these books. It’s Hunger Games on steroids and as much as I loved The Hunger Games, these books are better!
Book Club Reads
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
I didn’t want to read another WWII historical fiction book but after the first paragraph, I couldn’t put it down. If you’ve read any of Kristin Hannah’s other books, you’ll know that her writing is beautiful and mesmerizing.
Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos Montalvan and Bret Wittler
We just rescued a dog, our first dog ever, and this book caught my attention when I read it’s companion picture book. It’s a powerful memoir of a former soldier with injuries including PSTD whose service dog became his way back into the living. Amazing. I recommend this book to everyone. My 13-year old read it and agreed it was “powerful.”
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
I read this last summer when it was a free download on Kindle. It blew me away. It’s one of those books that the characters become so known to you that they seem to be part of your life. It’s historical fiction and one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Brainstorm by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.
I ordered this when I bought The Teenage Brain. The two books are quite different so I was happy to have them both. This became a bit of therapy for me, to be honest. The author dives into attachment, which teens need to be secure. I used his models to look back at my own disorganized attachment model and how I disassociated and became fragmented as an adult. He then addresses how to make sense of your life when that has happened. As I looked at my own emotional journey, his questions helped me reflect on the new legacy I’m leaving for my children. There’s much more to this book but that’s what really stuck out for me.
The Teenage Brain by Frances E. Jensen, M.D. with Amy Ellis Nutt
If you didn’t hear the NPR interview with Dr. Jensen, it’s worth listening to or reading the transcript. It made me by the book. (Can you tell I have a new teenager in the house?) I’m only part way through this book but already have learned so much! During the teen years, the brain is “more powerful and more vulnerable than at virtually any other time” in life. That is to say that the learning potential is huge but so is the opportunity for damage with drugs and alcohol. It’s also interesting to understand the science behind why teenagers make poor decisions (mostly has to do with myelin in the frontal lobe which is still developing.) If you have a teenager or teach them, I recommend reading this book.
The Soul of Discipline: The Simplicity Parenting Approach to Warm, Firm, and Calm Guidance — From Toddlers to Teens by Kim John Payne, M.Ed.
I’ll probably devote an entire blog post to this book, it’s that good. I already loved the author’s first book, Simplicity Parenting, so I eagerly read this one as well. To start with, his philosophy is that kids aren’t disobedient but disoriented. Their behavior indicates the “pinging principle” that just like a submarine orients itself, so also do kids with their challenging behaviors. Payne shares how discipline should be seen as parental guidance of our core values (this is emphasized a lot – so you really have to define your core values) and not punishments or consequences. The three stages of childhood he says require three types of parenting — the governor for the early years, the gardener for the middle years and the guide for the teen years. This felt spot on to me and his wisdom about how to handle each stage fit perfectly for me — he calls it DADD (Disapprove – Affirm – Discover — DoOver) which you’ll learn more about when you read the book. I love that he asks us as parents to be very self-reflective. For example, what are we telling ourselves (that might not be true) about our kids’ behaviors? It’s an excellent book and my new favorite parenting book EVER.
Do you have any book recommendations for me?
Which of these books do you think you’ll pick to read first?