The Doctor's Sweetheart and Other Stories by L.M. Montgomery is a compilation of 14 short stories written by Montgomery throughout her career.
In generThe Doctor's Sweetheart and Other Stories by L.M. Montgomery is a compilation of 14 short stories written by Montgomery throughout her career.
In general, I am not a fan of short stories. I feel like I'm just getting to know the characters and the story ends. It's just not as satisfactory as a good 200 pages of experiencing the life of a character.
However, my reading is done in short spurts these days so I wasn't sure if I could handle a real novel. When Carrie at Reading to Know recommended The Doctor's Sweetheart I decided to give short stories another try.
After reading "Kismet" I began to doubt my decision. This story is just 5 short pages. The characters don't even have names. They are simply referred to as "a man" and "a woman." The story takes place during the duration of a couple of horse races. While I enjoyed the brief exchange between the couple, the story left me wanting to know more. Why had they separated? Did their reconciliation last? Would they find happiness with one another?
By the time the book was over I was glad I had given short stories another try. As you progress through the book the stories get longer. You also receive more detail about the lives of the characters. I ended the book wishing there was more.
The themes of all the stories (as best I recall) in The Doctor's Sweetheart is pride and reconciliation. Over and over the various characters make decisions that are ultimately rooted in pride. They live for years with less than fulfilling lives as a result. Most are able to put their pride aside by the end of the story and reconcile with someone they care about.
This kind of story is bittersweet to me. I'm thrilled at the reconciliation but saddened by so many years (and lives) wasted because of pride. But isn't that like real life?
How many relationships (friendships) are ruined because someone is too proud to admit they need help? Or unwilling to overlook petty differences? Or refuses to forgive deep wounds?...more
If You Give a Pig a Party by Laura Numeroff is currently one of my two year old's favorite books.
It was a Christmas present this year from Grammy (whoIf You Give a Pig a Party by Laura Numeroff is currently one of my two year old's favorite books.
It was a Christmas present this year from Grammy (who had the joy of reading it to Ellie MANY times during her week-long visit after Christmas).
I'm not surprised she likes it so much, it is another in the "Cookie Book" series. She drags our "Cookie" compilation book around a lot so it stands to reason that she would like this one also.
I enjoy these creative books just as much as Ellie and my boys do! The story stimulates the reader's imagination, which is something I value in a children's book. The illustrations by Felicia Bond are simple and colorful. Definitely some of my favorites.
Anyone looking for an imaginative and simple picture book is sure to fall in love with this series. We have at our house! ...more
This book includes: Go Dogs Go!, It's Not Easy Being a Bunny, Are You My Mother?, Put Me in the Zoo, The Best Nest, and A Fly Went By.
Usually I don'tThis book includes: Go Dogs Go!, It's Not Easy Being a Bunny, Are You My Mother?, Put Me in the Zoo, The Best Nest, and A Fly Went By.
Usually I don't like compilation books but this was about $5 more than we would have paid for ONE of those titles by itself. I LOVE me a bargain!
All of my kids are enjoying these stories. Ellie walks around with the book and calls it her "Bible." (We think God understands the mind of a 2 year old and won't strike her for her blasphemy.) She and Will (5 years) both like to sit and "read" the book.
Actually, William could read the book if he put some effort into it. It's a beginning reader book and he definitely qualifies for that. Ellie's version of reading the book is to say the parts she remembers us reading. It won't be long and she'll have the while thing memorized.
I have enjoyed reading some of the lesser known Dr. Seuss stories. There is the typical Seussian rhyme, silly antics by the characters and bright illustrations. Two of the stories (It's Not Easy Being a Bunny, The Best Nest) even have morals (be yourself and be content).
If you are looking for a beginning reader or a rhyming book other than Cat in the Hat, I highly recommend this book. ...more
The Kingfisher First Encyclopedia has quickly become my 5 year old's favorite book.
I can see why. It answers lots and lots of the questions a curiousThe Kingfisher First Encyclopedia has quickly become my 5 year old's favorite book.
I can see why. It answers lots and lots of the questions a curious five year old asks. Covering subjects from Africa to the Zoo in just 155 pages it's hard to think of a general topic that isn't mentioned.
He sits with this book daily. He pours over it and "reads" the pages intently. He is in the beginning stages of reading so most of the words are beyond his ability right now. However, the photographs and illustrations are so well done reading isn't required to understand most topics.
One of his favorites is "Planets." This two page layout describes planets, Earth, the Sun and moons. It also includes a picture (that covers both pages) of our Solar System with each planet named. Because we have read this page to him repeatedly, he can name some of the planets.
I heartily recommend this book to anyone with a curious child (especially if you home school). Just be warned that it will create even more questions for you to answer! :)...more
When I picked up I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou I knew two things:
1. The author is friends with Oprah and the Clintons. 2. The book isWhen I picked up I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou I knew two things:
1. The author is friends with Oprah and the Clintons. 2. The book is considered a classic.
The book is mostly set in the tiny town of Stamps, Arkansas. I lived much of my childhood within an hour's drive of Stamps so I found that detail very interesting.
The account of life as a Negro (the term Ms. Angelou uses) in rural Arkansas was fascinating. Some of it brought to mind memories of my own childhood (though I am "lily white"). Ms. Angelou's detailed description of food left my mouth watering. Barbecue. Mmm! Fried chicken. Oh, yeah! Where can I get some of that?!
I felt outrage at the shoddy treatment Maya and other Negoes in her community received at the hands of Whites. I sympathized with the fear of lynchings (which I confess I've never learned much about). And I admired their ability to feel proud and strong under oppressive circumstances.
That's what I liked about the book.
I did NOT appreciate the explicit descriptions of Maya's rape at age 8 by her mother's boyfriend. Or those of her 11 year old brother "playing family" in a tent in the backyard. Or of her emotionless experience with a teenage neighbor which leaves Maya pregnant.
These accounts left me feeling sick to my stomach and in need of some way to cleanse my mind. I realize that these acts were horrendous but it seemed that Ms. Angelou went out of her way to make them as vulgar and disgusting as possible, which wasn't necessary to get her point across.
It is outrageous to me is that this book is used in 9th and 10th grade English classrooms. This book is NOT appropriate for teenagers! I won't quote you the explicit details Ms. Angelou uses. Trust me, I've read trashy romance novels that had less detail than this book.
So, because of the explicit portions of the book, I cannot recommend it to anyone. Not adult. Definitely NOT teenager.
Edited October 2014:
About once a year I come to this review and read all of the comments that people have left. The older I get (now 40 yrs old) and the older my kids get (currently 6-11 yrs old) the more I stand by my review.
This book is disturbing. The descriptions of sexual abuse are graphic. The thing about words and images is they burn themselves into our minds. They influence our thinking and our decision-making, often without us realizing it. If they didn't influence us then there would be no purpose for their existence. That's why we must be careful about what we expose ourselves to!
I am saddened that the overwhelming argument in the comments FOR tweens/teens reading this book is that it's no worse than what they are exposed to in their interactions with friends, or what they view on TV/movies. Just because they've already learned about rape doesn't make that knowledge healthy or good for them!
That's called 'desensitization.' When you are exposed to something over and over it eventually loses it's power to influence you; it impacts your emotions and thoughts differently than when you were first exposed. Eventually you lose the sense of shock, horror, and outrage. You become numb or calloused.
I do not want to ever become numb or calloused to the horror of sexual abuse. To do so would dishonor my real life friends who endured sexual abuse. It would belittle the 8 yr old victim of the level two child molester living in my neighborhood (that I learned about today).
The other argument for this book is to educate about the terribleness of sexual abuse. Education of this nature should always have a purpose.
Knowledge just for the sake of knowledge is only good if you are a contestant on a game show.
Reading this book influenced me in two ways: it made me more committed to choose age-appropriate materials for my children AND to empower my children to handle inappropriate situations.
We talk a lot about how private parts of your body are ONLY for you and if anyone asks to see them or touches them you tell your parents. We discuss NOT going somewhere alone with an adult. We also explain that some movies/TV shows are not appropriate for them at their current ages.
We make these choices for our children because an education of this graphic level would have no purpose. It would only horrify and frighten them. Eventually we will educate our children about the proliferation of child pornography, about child sexual abuse, about the sex slave trade that is alive in well in our country and around the world. We won't need to go into graphic detail because the horror of such activities is natural.
After they are educated we will offer them outlets for their outrage. We will provide a list of organizations that fight these atrocities that we can support with our time and money. We will teach them to write letters to government officials on behalf of good legislation.
In other words we will give them the means to DO something with their horror; to act on their education. Which ought to be the purpose of all education.
Okay, so you read the book. You are now 'educated.' What are you going to DO with that education? How has this education changed you, your thinking, motivated your actions? How does this knowledge influence you?...more
"When all that is good falls apart, what can good people do?' The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord sits on his throne in heaven." - Psalm 11:3-4.
""When all that is good falls apart, what can good people do?' The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord sits on his throne in heaven." - Psalm 11:3-4.
"Isn't David's question ours? When all that is good falls apart, what can good people do? When illness invades, marriages fail, children suffer, and death strikes, what are we to do?" - For The Tough Times: Reaching Toward Heaven for Hope by Max Lucado.
Don't we all ask those questions at times? I know I have. When my Grandma died after battling cancer. When we left a church after 7 years. When I endured a miscarriage at 8 weeks.
I find great comfort in knowing God is sitting on his throne!
In this small book Lucado does an excellent job of reminding us that God has a plan for each life. Not even Satan can derail the plan of God. In fact, Satan is often an unwilling participant in God's plan.
This small (only 83 pages long) book would make an excellent book for someone going through a difficult time. Or as a Gift Book for an introduction to Lucado's books.
It's a quick read. Not terribly meaty or deep but it will make you think about God, prayer and Heaven....more