An Open Book: May 2018

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An Open Book CatholicMom.com

Welcome to the May 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.

From a Certain Point of View (40 Stories Celebrating 40 Years of Star Wars) is a short story collection that depicts familiar Star Wars events from different points of view. Stories include ones told from the perspective of rebels left behind on Yavin and even from the monster in the trash compactor! It’s a clever idea and includes authors of some Star Wars novels, including Chuck Wendig and Delilah S. Dawson, as well as actor/writer Wil Wheaton. My husband has been listening to this on audiobook in the car, and while, for the most part, he finds the stories interesting, he is disappointed that, like the franchise as a whole, it can no longer be considered what we’d call traditionally “family-friendly.”

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to read a book by Kara Isaac, but I finally downloaded Then There Was You. First off, I love the cover, which captures the locale and the tone of the book quite well! It’s a charming, witty Christian romance set mainly in Australia. Sassy but suffering Paige McAllister is a worthy match for celebrity Christian bandleader Josh Tyler, whose family founded what sounds like the megachurch of all megachurches. This won’t be the last book I read by Kara Isaac.

In anticipation of May’s Sabbath Rest Book Talk, I’m listening to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, read by Nick Offerman. I only read this classic for the first time as an adult, and I’m immensely enjoying the audiobook version – both because of  Twain’s prose and Offerman’s interpretation. I look forward to running errands in the car, just so I can listen.

My son’s humanities class is not reading The Odyssey by Homer, but they spent time discussing its plot. Intrigued by the story, my son has decided to read it on his own, and is enjoying it more than he expected. (Old does not equal dull.) This is a classic that, along with Homer’s The Iliad, I’d like to re-read myself.

My fourth grader enjoyed The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall so much that she’s reading the next book in the series, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street. From the book description, “Mr. Penderwick’s sister has decided it’s time for him to start dating—and the girls know that can only mean one thing: disaster. Enter the Save-Daddy Plan—a plot so brilliant, so bold, so funny, that only the Penderwick girls could have come up with it.”

For an enrichment project at school, my daughter is writing some book reviews for the newspaper they are creating. (Book reviews? Where do kids come up with this stuff?!) She’s chosen to feature several books that the school librarian informed her were not being checked out often. One of those is The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks, which I read to her when she was young. And of which she has no memory.  Now that she’s read it herself, she loves the book! She assured me that if she were to have a little live Indian, cowboy, horses, et al, in her care, she would not part with them willingly.

The Mitten, illustrated by Jan Brett, has long been a favorite of my children. Each of the four have loved it, but in recent years, it’s been a particularly fun bedtime read for the kids since the introduction of some printable fun. As each increasingly large animal climbs into the boy’s lost mitten, the children take turns adding the paper animals to the paper mitten until the bear’s sneeze forces them to fly out in all directions. Beautifully illustrated!

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown was recommended reading in my daughter’s 4H project book. In the story, a city devoid of all plant life is revitalized by a little boy who cultivates a tiny garden on an abandoned railway. I read the story to the younger children, who were very interested in the illustrations that start out dingy and dull and become lively and vibrant as the story progresses. It’s a charming story of how given just the littlest bit of soil and the right conditions, nature finds a way. It reminded me of a hike my husband and I did years ago, which he and my oldest son (and a bunch of Boy Scouts) recently completed. Not far from the Appalachian trail stand some remnants of a forgotten town, including a steam shovel, left where it was last parked. A tree has grown up inside of it!

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Copyright 2018 Carolyn Astfalk

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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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