Saturday, December 31, 2011

good books of 2011

Each year I read about 60 books for grown ups and who knows how many books for children. Here are some of the more interesting ones I read or liked in 2010.

Betrayal in Paris by Doris Elaine Fell is a suspense filled novel our book club read back in April. Adrienne Winters is in search of something to help her understand her dead brother's past. Her search takes her to places and situations she would never have imagined being part of.
Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas is the book our book club read in June. It is set in Colorado in the 1930's. Eighty six year old Hennie Comfort is the main character. She has a sign outside her house that says Prayers for Sale, which brings young Nit Spindle to her door. It is a great story of friendship. Quilting is part of the story, as Hennie works on quilting to pass the time with Nit and others.
I picked up The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin because of it's title. My grandma's name was Agnes, and it talked about prayer. I read it around the same time I read Prayers for Sale, and it was much different, but thought provoking. Agnes is an extremely overweight woman who prays for the townspeople when they need it. The people in Bright's Pond are convinced God answers Agnes' prayers more than others.
The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno was a book that made me think. Bruno decided to live for one year with just 100 personal possesions. It is something almost anyone COULD do, but there are so many thing that I like, I am not sure I would WANT to do it.
Other novels that I have already written about on my blog and would put on my list of favorites for the year would be Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock.

For children's books, I discovered the poem book Falling Down the Pages: A Book of List Poems collected by Georgia Heard. It is a different style of poetry than I am accustomed to, but it made me think more about writing some of my own poetry. Some of my students really enjoyed it as well.
Other children's books I discovered this year and really like are A is for Autumn by Robert Maass, Guyku by Bob Raczka, and Ling and Ting by Grace Lin.
Did you read anything noteworthy in 2011?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

False Pretenses

False Pretenses by Kathy Herman is the book my book club is reading for January. It is a suspenseful story that tells about Zoe Broussard. Zoe is living a life she enjoys but has lots of secrets from her past. She begins getting mysterious notes that make her worry her whole life is going to collapse around her. There are characters from Herman's Sophie Trace trilogy in the story, which I didn't know until after reading this book. If you like inspirational suspense novels, you would enjoy this book. I am also looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas is Here

Christmas is Here is my pick of the year for children's Christmas books. The text is taken from Luke 2:8-14 of the King James Bible. Illustrations are by Lauren Castillo. Castillo has done an excellent job with the artwork in the book. I will be looking for more books that she has illustrated. Have you found any new children's Christmas books you would recommend?

Friday, December 16, 2011

another quilt

I finished this quilt on Sunday night. It is a lap size quilt I gave away as a special birthday present. The picture doesn't show the quilt colors as well as I like, but I guess lighting and the camera can make a big difference. The pattern for the star block I got from my sister's blog and can be found here. I like how putting blocks together without sashing makes another pattern. It makes me want to try doing that again (maybe with a different block pattern).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Charlotte's Web

I reread Charlotte's Web by E.B. White over the weekend. My nephew was reading it on Thanksgiving, which made me pick up my copy and reread it. A good story that doesn't disappoint. It goes without saying that it is way better than the movie. Do you have any favorite classics?