May was CRaaaaaZY for our family. I started off the month with two mini trips away from my family. I had a great time visiting some extended family and then going on my annual moms and daughters weekend in the Twin Cities. We had so much fun and ate some amazing food. But, as soon as I got back it was full speed ahead. Subbing every day, concerts, meetings, and track meets at night. Our weekends were full of graduation parties (hey, at least I didn’t have to cook), and all the usual household stuff to keep up with. On top of all this, our son made it to STATE TRACK! We were so proud of him. You can see more about it HERE and HERE.
If you can imagine, I barely had any time to read this last month. Subbing at the elementary level doesn’t leave much free time during the class day and my evenings were also busy. I can’t wait to get back to regular reading this summer. Last week a dear friend of mine died suddenly and it has rattled not only me, but our whole community. She was special to so many people that everyone I know is still in a state of shock.
The kids and I leave in 4 days to travel to Washington DC and New York City with our high school band and choirs. I know it’ll be an exhausting 7 days, but it’ll be so much fun! I’ll be sure to share photos next month.
Currently Reading: THE GARDEN OF SMALL BEGINNINGS
Currently Listening: WHERE THE LIGHT GETS IN
Still Reading: WHERE ARE THEY BURIED
Up next: STARS OVER CLEAR LAKE
If you would like to purchase any of the books below, clicking the photo of the book will take you directly to Amazon. If you choose to purchase the book I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting me.
By: Kwame Alexander
Published: February 14, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
I reviewed this one already this month, HERE. I highly recommend it. I read it to the kindergarten class I was subbing in and they loved it. We had a great discussion about the need for protecting these animals so they don’t disappear.
A howling wolf, a stalking tiger, a playful panda, a dancing bird – pairing the stunning photography of National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore with the delicate poetry of Newbery award-winning author Kwame Alexander, this lush picture book celebrates the beauty, diversity, and fragility of the animal world.
Featuring more than 40 unique animal portraits, the pages invite kids to explore each creature’s markings, textures, and attributes in stunning detail, while calling on all of us to help protect each and every one. Three picture-packed gatefolds inside showcase even more familiar and exotic species. These images are part of Sartore’s lifelong project to photograph every animal in the world, with special attention given to disappearing and endangered species.
ORGANIZE YOUR WAY
Simple Strategies for Every Personality
By: Katie McMenamin
Published: March 14, 2017
I am curious about this approach to organizing related to your personality type. I am planning to read it this summer in preparation for the school year and hoping it helps me get our kids to be more organized.
Stressing over the mess? Discover YOUR personal organizing style—and stay organized forever!
Organization isn’t one-size-fits-all. Different people need different solutions. Fortunately, Katie and Kelly McMenamin—the organizing gurus behind PixiesDidIt!®—have found the key to making organization stick, with strategies that work for every personality.
Whether you’re OCD or a little less fastidious, Katie and Kelly will help you discover your organizational style, using unconventional approaches or sticking to what already works. Along with personality-based solutions for every space in your home, they offer advice on solving strife between different “PixieTypes.” So you can keep the stuff you love . . . and the peace!
Inside OR-1 with One of America’s Top Pediatric Heart Surgeons
By: Mark Oristano
Published: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Authority Publishing
I love medical memoirs.
The story of pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Kristine Guleserian, her life and her career fixing the tiny hearts of tiny kids. The book follows “Dr. G” from Harvard, to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, to the pitcher’s mound at Fenway Park for a World Series game with one of her patients.
THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER
By: Jenny Colgan
Published: September 20, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow
I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile, so when it became a Kindle deal I snagged it.
Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.
Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.
From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.
WHERE THE LIGHT GETS IN
Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again
By: Kimberly Williams-Paisley
Published: April 11, 2017
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Format: Audio Book
I heard the author speak about this book on a podcast. I had been thinking about reading it, but after hearing her talk about it I knew right away I needed to read it. I thankfully haven’t had anyone that struggled with dementia in my family, but I had numerous patients during my social work years that suffered from it. I was able to get the audio book as a free download from my library and am really enjoying the listen.
Many know Kimberly Williams-Paisley as the bride in the popular Steve Martin remakes of the Father of the Bride movies, the calculating Peggy Kenter on Nashville, or the wife of country music artist, Brad Paisley. But behind the scenes, Kim was dealing with a tragic secret: her mother, Linda, was suffering from a rare form of dementia that slowly crippled her ability to talk, write and eventually recognize people in her own family.
Where the Light Gets In tells the full story of Linda’s illness—called primary progressive aphasia—from her early-onset diagnosis at the age of 62 through the present day. Kim draws a candid picture of the ways her family reacted for better and worse, and how she, her father and two siblings educated themselves, tried to let go of shame and secrecy, made mistakes, and found unexpected humor and grace in the midst of suffering.
Ultimately the bonds of family were strengthened, and Kim learned ways to love and accept the woman her mother became. With a moving foreword by actor and advocate Michael J. Fox, Where the Light Gets In is a heartwarming tribute to the often fragile yet unbreakable relationships we have with our mothers.