Sunday, December 8, 2013

Book Suggestions For Everyone on Your Christmas List

"Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures..." 
- Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)


The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 
-Robert Louis Stevenson

And Then There Were None
-Agatha Christie


-Jane Austen

Anna Karenina
-Leo Tolstoy


A History of the World in 6 Glasses
-Tom Standage

The Inklings
- Humphrey Carpenter


Life of Pi
-Yann Martel


Surprised by Joy
- C.S. Lewis

Homilies on the First Epistle of John


In Defense of Food
- Michael Pollan

Science Fiction:

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
-Jules Verne

Pre-School Children:

- Andrew Zuckerman
(Incredible photographs of animals in this book!)

The Adventures of Danny Meadow Mouse
-Thornton Burgess

Learning to Read
(1st-3rd read themselves):

Amelia Bedelia
- Peggy Parish

The Boxcar Children
- Gertrude Chandler Warner


Peter Pan (not Disney, but the ACTUAL book)
- J.M. Barrie

The Secret Garden
- Frances Hodgson Burnett

Charlotte's Web
E.B. White

Pre-Teen (9-12):

A Wrinkle in Time
- Madeleine L'Engle

Little Women
-Louisa May Alcott

The Hobbit
J.R.R. Tolkien
(The second movie will be in theaters this Christmas!)


- George Orwell

-Bram Stoker

The Picture of Dorian Gray
- Oscar Wilde

What about the person on my list who hates reading??

Buy them the book of one of their favorites movies. They may really enjoy reading it!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Why You Should Read this Book at Age 8 and 50

I recently read The Wind in the Willows, a story I have not encountered since it was read aloud to me as a child, and I will join the many admirers who say that this is a book that should be read at age 8 and 50... and perhaps a few times in between. Through the homely and lovable characters of Mole, Water Rat, Badger, and Mr. Toad, Kenneth Graham (who was Scottish by the way) illuminates simple pleasures and simple challenges that adults far too often complicate. Never underestimate the enjoyment of a warm fire over a shared beer or the true kindness of a friend, and beware the destructive power of your own vanity and misguided boasts. These are merely some of the essential lessons that we much teach children and that we must re-learn ourselves from time to time. 

But in case you don't take my word for it, this tale has inspired everyone from the author of Winnie the Pooh to Pink Floyd. Theodore Roosevelt wrote to the author heartily acknowledging his pleasure in his reading and re-reading the tale. A.A. Milne (author of Winnie the Pooh) wrote an introduction in which he describes the book as "...a test of character. We can't criticize it, because it is criticizing us." He goes on to comment, "It is a Household Book; a book which everybody in the household loves, and quotes continually; a book which is read aloud to every new guest and is regarded as the touchstone of his worth."

Our society has done us great harm in telling us that books about animals are for children only. After all, C.S. Lewis reminds us that "A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest!" I like to think that this is one of the books that he had in mind when he so famously stated, "No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally - and often far more - worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond."