Recent Reads: Recommended Books for Mom and Toddler

A branch of our local library is conveniently located between my work and Jona's daycare, so I make trips there pretty regularly to freshen up our bookshelves. Over the past month a lot of the books I was in a long holds queue for were finally ready for check-out... all at the same time. So I've been trying to read like a maniac so that I don't have to turn them in unread and get back in line. Here are a few that I've read, plus some favorites I've picked up for Jona too.

Recommended reads: for mom

Recommended reads, mom edition |

If you want... 

{to know what the fuss is about} The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. This much-hyped page-turner tells the story of daily train commuter Rachel, who witnesses something from the train that could help investigators with a missing persons case. However, Rachel is an alcoholic and has a hard time both remembering events clearly and telling the truth. I liked, but didn't love, this one. 

{to visit a far-off land} The Rocks by Peter Nichols. In Mallorca, off the coast of Spain, something happens on a couple's honeymoon that drives them apart and keeps them that way for the rest of their lives, despite both living on the small island. Not only does the setting make for a unique tale, but also the fact that the story is told at the end of both their lives and works its way backwards in time. While I never felt connected to any of the characters, this book was a nice escape from the real world. 

{a ghost story} Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.  I wrote a little about this one in my post here, and found it to be hard to put down, yet it was equally hard to get over its strangeness. If you like stories that are a little eerie, yet more fiction than science-fiction, this is one I'd recommend. 

{a zombie-free post-apocalypse} Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. If you read one of these only, make it this one. After a flu pandemic wipes out nearly every person worldwide, civilization as we know it collapses. Although this sounds like the beginning of countless books and movies, this one is different for a number of reasons. I'm not sure my description could do it justice; just pick this one up if you get a chance and see for yourself. 

{a fast-paced literary thriller} The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker. Harry Quebert is a famous, award-winning author who is suddenly arrested when new evidence is found that links him to the 30-year disappearance of then 16 year-old Nola Kellergan. Marcus Goldman, also an author, goes to visit Harry, and risks his own career to support his mentor and friend. His quest for the truth leads him to write a book about the case, which will be sure to both skyrocket his career and put his decades-long friendship in jeopardy. If you like any sort of mystery, crime, or thriller-type novel, pick this one up for sure. It was excellent. 

Recommended reads: for tot

Recommended reads, toddler edition |

If you want...

{something clever} The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. This one proved to be a little long for Jona, who just turned two, but it was such a fun one. It's a collection of letters to a child, written from the perspective of his crayons. I enjoyed the clever writing, and Jona loved the colorful, familiar pictures. 

{repetition and vibrant images} Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton. Night after night when I asked him to choose a story, Jona would grab this one and say "We have plan!" Kids love repetition in reading, and he could easily "read" along with me as we followed the hunters whose plan was continually foiled by a colorful bird. This one had few words, but they managed to tell a big story. 

{a silly tongue twister} Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss. This was a childhood favorite of mine, and I think I drove my mom crazy (and made her tongue very numb) with frequent requests to hear it. I'm thrilled that Jona seems to love it as much as I did, and I've been having such a good time navigating Suess's nonsensical tongue-twisters. 

{fun for the imagination} This is a Moose by Richard T. Morris. A movie director attempts to document a moose in his natural habitat, but he gets much more than he bargained for when the moose insists he wants to be an astronaut. He's joined by his grandmother who dreamed of being a lacrosse goalie, and a giraffe who wants to be a doctor. I loved reading this one just about as much as Jona loved listening to it. It went back to the library a few weeks ago and he's still quoting it: "We can't take 5! The moose is in outer-space!" 

What are you reading right now? What are you reading your kids (or what was your favorite book as a kid)? 

Linking with Oh, Hey Girl!

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