Tired of "summer read" lists being 101 books long? You look at all the beautiful covers seeing a few you recognize, most you don't and say to yourself, "I should get that one...or that one..."
In general I am thankful to anyone who puts a book review together and if you're the type who can list 1000+ books to read before you die...that's great. I live in a world where I can handle 3 choices (sometimes 2). If you're in my camp – here is my reading list to you. There are 3. One I've finished, one I'm in the middle of and one that is next on my list.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children:
LOVE this "juvenile lit" book. A boy is handed photos and corresponding stories by his dying grandfather. Stories that seem "out of this world." Stumbling upon his grandfather before he takes his final breath, he received a mission. Find the "bird."
A page turner. 2 days max. Age appropriate for just about any reader. Has pictures which is sort of fun. Has a sequel. I LOVE books in series.
Read this one TODAY!
My Family and other Animals:
A classic Biography about the early childhood of Gerald Durrell a renowned zoologist and animal advocate. This book is so beautiful I find myself savoring each adjective and dreaming about the beautiful landscapes and creatures he gathers. The descriptions of his family, acquaintences and pets are both hilarious and heart-warming. I can't believe I'm just reading this now.
Read this one with your book club, with your children, on your porch. THere are more books to follow in this "series" as well. WOW.
This is the book NEXT on my list. It comes as a recommendation from one of my book club friends. By my favorite Minnesota author – William Kent Krueger – I can't wait to see what else he can do besides describe the adventures of his most famous literary character Cork O'Connor.
This from WKK's website:
"New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were selling out at the soda counter of Halderson's Drugstore, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a grim summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder."
There you have it. Read these book in July, by the Lake or during the extended daylight hours.
Eating Ice Cream for Breakfast,
Some days I have to tap into my "special skills" to navigate life with two mini-men. It's on the long weekends when Jahred is working that survival isn't guaranteed and it occurs to me how different life might be if I were lugging two princesses around the metro.
Are you a boy mom? Have a few skills on your own resume? Perhaps we have a few in common.
1. BOY MOMS CAN - Tell the difference between a real burp and a fake one. This skill is crucial when deciding what to punish for. A case of the sillies is one thing. Bad manners is another entirely.
2. BOY MOMS KNOW - Unlike the refs in the major leagues, boy moms can referee a fight from a different room or even a different floor of the house. We use two things: prior knowledge of the teams tactics and our ears.
3. BOY MOMS GIVE ADVICE - We know how to aim a penis without even having one. Hips forward, belly back, hands placed...appropriately, FOCUS on the target!
4. BOY MOMS ARE BRILLIANT - Memorization of Lego "maps" (aka directions) in the event of another boys annihilating an entire fleet of spaceships.
5. BOY MOMS CAN COOK - We know the bulk it can take to feed an army...of 2.
6. BOY MOMS CAN ACT - We can fake interest in space ships, "what-if's," ridiculous inventions and "This is what I'd do if I ever met a T-Rex."
7. BOY MOMS HAVE PATIENCE - We know what it means to watch the SAME MOVIE EVERY DAY.
8. BOY MOMS ADMIT - We are powerless without a transportation device with STRAPS. (Preferably a 5-point harness.)
9. BOY MOMS HAVE LESS - We know what breakable things we can truly live without.
10. BOY MOMS HAVE MORE HEART - It's our responsibility to teach a mini-man to be a loving father, partner, friend or whatever he chooses to be in life. Whether it's letting your son play with dolls (which sometimes become involved in wrestling matches) or telling your son, "Yes, we can save these shoes for your kids." It's all about soul with little boys and not breaking their spirit.
(Of course when it comes to their dreams of living in a nudist colony and pooping only in your yard...those dreams need to be squashed like bug on a windshield...no mercy.)
Happy Boy Summer.
Happy Girl Summer too.
I know, I know – I'm a terrible blog to follow. Inconsistency has been plaguing me – honestly – since Oliver was born. As I look back I had a few successful runs, "Thirty Thursday," when we first moved to the metro...there have been times when this space has been filled with adventure. In general, however, it's been a daily reminder of how much I want to write, how little time I have to do it and how frustrated that makes me.
Summer is on it's crash course at our house. I don't even want next week to come. 4th of July is literally the end of the "summer honeymoon period" and suddenly we're on the down-slide towards "Back to School" and fall wardrobe planning. I can't have that yet. My skin is just beginning to bronze and Oliver is only beginning to gain confidence on the playground. I am 2 months away from both of my kids playing and me reading a book on the park bench...ok...maybe I'm fantasizing.
As our amazing garden grows like a weed (and the weeds grow like they're on crack) I am thankful for the anticipation of each bud, each climbing pumpkin vine and all the people who have split their perennials for me this year. I'm maximizing the sun in my yard and the "DEER FREE" zone I've acquired with a skillfully built garden fence.
Did you make it through those first three paragraphs? Here is what I meant to talk to you about today. I'm hiding it below some stuff you may not read because I'm a little embarrassed to have not shared it earlier. I don't have a book coming out in June. Memoir not happening. Publisher left in the dust. Lesson learned. Anticipation over. I have so much to share about this experience.
Here's my first advice to you. If you are holding a manuscript on your computer. If you have one in your head. Stick with me through July and I'll share my gained experience over the course of the next few posts. Don't click submit until you hear what I've got to say.
Sorry to have left you hanging. I was busy growing in every way but this. I leave you with Axel's success.
I have had this post completely ready since Friday morning after dropping Axel off for his last day of Kindergarten. The pictures were loaded and my in-the-moment sentiments were recorded – all I needed to do was hit "Publish Live."
3 days later, after deciding that Oliver must be potty trained ASAP, I'm deleting the sappy feelings I had on Friday because they no longer feel accurate.
Tears – kindergarten is over. Juxtaposition – I'm scrubbing shit out of upholstery and just got peed on...like on my actual person.
Such is motherhood. Just when you think you've hit an important milestone you are re-grounded in the fact that day after day you are powerless against your children and survival is the only objective.
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