March 4, 2014
The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller. I loved this book. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world where most of the world's population is wiped out by disease. It's different, it's poetic, it's moving. It made me want to go camping, climb into the mountains, sleep outside, stare up in the night sky and wonder what it's all about. I wish he used quotation marks (seriously that's just annoying), but that is really my only criticism. It will make you think about what you'd do to survive, and what you'd need in order to want to survive.
The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I liked this book. It's well-written, and it's thoughtful. The main character is an orphan - your heart will break for her, and she will break your heart. I was pulled in by the writing, the pace, the story...but I wasn't completely convinced by the characters.
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. I'm not big into self-help or psychology books. I have always trusted my friends and family with my questions and problems. That said, I found this book to be extremely valuable. I bought it a year or so ago, because I was getting super frustrated by the boys' lack of listening. I was yelling too much. I have always felt that time outs were an ineffective discipline tool, but I didn't know what else to do. So I picked up a couple books to get some different ideas. This one doesn't have any easy answers (I didn't really expect any), but I learned a lot about the language that I should use with my kids. It talks about discipline, but also praise, how not to pigeonhole your kids into specific roles (shy, stubborn, smart, etc.), how to get them to open up more... I wish it contained more summary pages, but I think this is a book that I will keep on my nightstand and pick up often to remind myself of the way I want to communicate with my boys.