An Open Book: April 2018

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An Open Book CatholicMom.com

Welcome to the April 2018 edition of An Open Book, now hosted both at My Scribbler’s Heart AND Catholicmom.com!

An Open Book is all about what my family is reading this month, from the adults down to the little kids. Share what you’re reading by linking up your blog post below. Simply write about what you’re reading. You can make it personal or, as I do, extend it to the whole family. Your post can be as simple as a few lines about the book or as in-depth as a 700-word review. That’s entirely up to you. You can even forego writing all together and record a video or simply post cover photos.

No blog? No problem. Please share what you’re reading in the comments.

De-escalate: How to Calm an Angry Person in 90 Seconds or Less  by Douglas E. Noll provides the reader (or, in my husband’s case, listener) with practical tips for dealing with angry family members, co-workers, etc., by being the peacemaker.  My husband’s only at the beginning, so he hasn’t formed an opinion about the book, but he’s hoping that it will help him understand angry emotions, both in himself and in others.

I recently downloaded Quenby Olson’s The Bride Price, a Regency romance. I’ve “met” the author through 10 Minute Novelists, but she also lives locally. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every book I’ve read by her, and she’s a skilled and talented author. (I’m also impressed by her productivity given the craziness of motherhood and family life.) I purposely haven’t read the book blurb so that I can enjoy this story as it unfolds with no expectations, confident that I’m in the hands of a capable author.

I’ve also been reading a series of young adult books by Glenn Haggerty. Run is the second in the Intense series. (A prequel novella, Escape, precedes it.) The central character, Tyler Higgins, is learning to navigate friendships and bullies amidst adventure that keeps him in peril. I like that through his (very normal) mistakes and flaws, Tyler persists, finding courage and growing in wisdom and grace. Run is Christian YA (not heavy-handed) alive with action, and probably best enjoyed by pre-teen and teen boys.

I picked up the final book in the Michael Vey series, Michael Vey 7: The Final Spark by Richard Paul Evans from our local library. My son zipped through the book in a couple of days. (I think it’s easy reading compared to his school-required selections.) My son is glad to have completed the series but remarked that some of the plot seemed contrived. “Too convenient,” is what I think he said.

He’s also read and is studying Medea by Euripedes, another in the line of Greek tragedies he’s been reading. The bloodshed in Medea centers upon revenge as Medea kills her own children to punish her husband. Fun stuff, the classics.

The Riddle of Penncroft Farm by Dorothea Jensen is one of my daughter’s new favorites.  This, too, is set in her favorite time period: the Revolutionary War era. The book takes place in and around Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and includes a bit of mystery and a ghost story as well as history. I’m thinking we’ll have to make a trip to Valley Forge this summer since she was too young to remember our previous visit.

Still working through the Lois Lenski collection at the library, my fourth grader is also reading Judy’s Journey. The story follows a family of migrant farmers up and down the East Coast of the United States as they look for work. As you can imagine, that kind of lifestyle would be difficult for a child moving from school to school.

Fresh off school celebrations held for Dr. Seuss Week, my kindergartener has been reading (and reading and re-reading) There’s a Wocket in My Pocket. I don’t consider myself much of a Dr. Seuss fan, but this is one of my favorites. (I wouldn’t mind a few nupboards in my cupboards, provided they keep it clean.)

In time for Easter, my youngest daughter picked up The Berenstain Bears’ Easter Sunday from the back of church.  This is part of the Christian line of Berenstain Bears books written by Mike Berenstain and published by ZonderKidz. (I prefer the older books by his parents, Stan and Jan Berenstain.) While there’s nothing here my kids don’t know, it would be a good introduction to Easter for a child with only a secular understanding of Easter or one who has not attended church. And I actually did learn something. Apparently there are people who don’t believe we should celebrate Easter with chocolate and candy. What!?! (N.B.: That’s not what the Bear family believes. )

I’m also reading The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by DuBose Heyward and Marjorie Flack to my youngest children. I can hardly believe that I haven’t included this book somewhere in a blog post before. This tattered softcover book was among the books my husband brought from his parents’ house years ago. Inspiring to moms everywhere, this country bunny has her industrious charges so well-disciplined that eventually the little bunnies can handily run the household. This frees the mother bunny to take on Easter bunny duties. And wouldn’t you know that all those years of mothering made her a particularly compassionate, determined Easter bunny.

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Copyright 2018 Carolyn Astfalk
This article contains Amazon affiliate links; your purchases through these links benefit the author.

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About Author

Carolyn Astfalk is a wife, mother of four young children, and a writer. Her contemporary inspirational romances Stay With Me, Ornamental Graces, and Rightfully Ours are available at Amazon.com. She blogs at My Scribbler’s Heart. Visit carolynastfalk.com.

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