Lately, I’ve been loving hibernating with a good read while the snow falls.
Luckily, there are books from my TBR list scattered all over the house, so I have quite the stockpile at the ready.
Here are some of the books I’ve been reading lately:
One Day in December
This is the perfect book for fans of Love Actually and One Day to curl up with this holiday season. I spent a completely delightful afternoon on the couch devouring this one as I sipped hot chocolate. A lovely escape.
“Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.
Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.
What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.”
Jane Austen at Home: A Biography
by Lucy Worsley
Have you read Pride and Prejudice over and over? Own a prized copy of Persuasion? Jane Austen At Home is a must read. I love books about books and this one does not disappoint. Lucy Worsley’s writing is engaging and this book was full of surprising, inspiring details about Jane’s home life and writing career that make me adore Jane Austen even more.
“Take a trip back to Jane Austen’s world and the many places she lived as historian Lucy Worsley visits Austen’s childhood home, her schools, her holiday accommodations, the houses–both grand and small–of the relations upon whom she was dependent, and the home she shared with her mother and sister towards the end of her life. In places like Steventon Parsonage, Godmersham Park, Chawton House and a small rented house in Winchester, Worsley discovers a Jane Austen very different from the one who famously lived a ‘life without incident’.
Worsley examines the rooms, spaces and possessions which mattered to her, and the varying ways in which homes are used in her novels as both places of pleasure and as prisons. She shows readers a passionate Jane Austen who fought for her freedom, a woman who had at least five marriage prospects, but–in the end–a woman who refused to settle for anything less than Mr. Darcy.”
Girl, Wash Your Face
by Rachel Hollis
If you’re looking for some tough love to start chasing down New Year’s resolutions, Girl Wash Your Face fits the bill. I recently started listening to Rachel Hollis’s Rise podcast and following her on social media. I found some of the chapters more helpful than others, but there are definitely useful insights and it’s an interesting peek behind the scenes at this online personality. To preview some of the book, you can listen to Hollis read chapters on several episodes of the podcast.
“As the founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore.
With painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be.”
The Perfect Score
by Rob Buyea
Rob Buyea is the master of the middle grade school story. I can’t count the number of times his Because of Mr. Terupt books were devoured by eager readers in my elementary school library! I recently picked up The Perfect Score and Buyea is definitely at it again, capturing the daily life at school and the dynamics between children, teachers, and parents so well. Next up for me is the recently published sequel, The Perfect Secret.
“No one likes or wants to take the statewide assessment tests. Not the students in Mrs. Woods’s sixth-grade class. Not even Mrs. Woods. It’s not as if the kids don’t already have things to worry about. . . .
Under pressure to be the top gymnast her mother expects her to be, RANDI starts to wonder what her destiny truly holds. Football-crazy GAVIN has always struggled with reading and feels as dumb as his high school–dropout father. TREVOR acts tough and mean, but as much as he hates school, he hates being home even more. SCOTT’s got a big brain and an even bigger heart, especially when it comes to his grandfather, but his good intentions always backfire in spectacular ways. NATALIE, know-it-all and aspiring lawyer, loves to follow the rules—only this year, she’s about to break them all.
The whole school is in a frenzy with test time approaching—kids, teachers, the administration. Everyone is anxious. When one of the kids has a big idea for acing the tests, they’re all in. But things get ugly before they get better, and in the end, the real meaning of the perfect score surprises them all.”
by Mike Kerr, Illustrated by Renata Liwska
I’ve been loving reading this book to my toddler. Crafty Llama has such a sweet, cozy feel (perfect for this time of year) and I really like the message about the joy of “making”.
“Llama loves to make things. It doesn’t matter what, really–something special, something lovely. Beaver loves to make things, too. But he likes things to be useful. On this lovely day, Llama is inspired. She is having fun making things, like gifts for her friends. And soon many of her friends are inspired right along with her. But Beaver needs to think about what Llama and the other animals are making. What useful thing can he do with this day?”
by Jenni Desmond
I am such a big fan of Jenni Desmond’s nonfiction picture books. The Blue Whale, is one of the most engaging books I’ve read aloud to kids and full of facts that I still remember several years later! The Elephant continues in that vein with a book brimming with surprising bits of knowledge (For example an elephant produces 300 pounds of dung a day and their tusks measure the length of 8 feet, or two seven-year-old children toe to toe.) The illustrations are useful to kids and beautiful. Highly recommend as a class read aloud to spark more research or discussion.
“In this, Jenni Desmond’s third nonfiction children’s book about one of the large, endangered animals of Earth, we join a young boy as he learns about The Elephant.
From Africa to Asia, the elephant makes its home. Light on their feet, despite their great weight, these magnificent creatures appear light and graceful because they’re always walking on their tip-toes. They have excellent hearing and can detect the rumblings of other elephants from six miles away.”
There’s still time to wrap up read alouds you already own for your little ones! A Christmas Wish and Fa La La Tra-la-la are two of our favorite books from the Bookish Advent Calendar I made for my little one. Check out that post for all the details.
Laura Szaro Kopinski
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