In My Library Tote: Mom and Toddler Book Picks

Here's this month's round-up of what Jona and I have been reading lately. I hope you get some inspiration for what to read next!

{recent reads for mom}

If you're in the mood for...

{I Know What You Did Last Summer meets My Best Friend's Wedding} In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware. Nora is surprised when she's invited to an old friend's hen party, but reluctantly she agrees to attend. The location, a cabin alone in the middle of the woods, is creepy enough, but when Nora wakes up in a hospital bed, she knows something must have gone terribly awry. She struggles to regain her memory of what happened, but is haunted by the feeling that she is to blame. The premise for this book sounded intriguing, however, I just couldn't get into it. 
     Worth the read? No, I'd say skip it. 

{practical self-improvement advice} Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin. Rubin takes an in-depth look at habits; how they're formed, strategies to start good ones (or stop bad ones), and roadblocks to their successful adoption. Instead of claiming that there's a one size fits all formula, she writes about how habit formation depends heavily on personality type. She categorizes people into four Tendencies, and examines how each one is helped and hindered in habit formation. If that sounds a bit dry, trust me that it's due to my writing ability rather than Rubin's. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it both useful and fascinating. 
     Worth the read? Yes, especially if you have any habits you'd like to commit to this year. This was my favorite of the month. 

{beautiful writing} Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. At the heart of Fates and Furies is the story of a marriage, but the multiple layers that Groff weaves in make it so much more than that. I think it's rare, even in fiction, to get such a complete snapshot of two peoples' lives, but Groff does that with Lotto and Mathilde. She shares the broad view of their pasts as well as the intimate details of their daily struggles and joys, and also reveals their secrets and their effects as well. 
     Worth the read? Yes, this is a complex, beautiful novel. However, for me it required my full attention. It wasn't one I could read a couple pages of here and there throughout the day... when I sat down to read it I really had to focus. Do you know what I mean? 

{a happier ending} After You by Jojo Moyes. If you've read Me Before You and need some closure, this is for you. (And if you haven't, go read that book! Also, stop here if you don't want to know what happens in the first book.) After You picks up where Me Before You left off, with Louisa Clark trying to live again after losing Will. While I appreciate the closure that Moyes was trying to provide (Me Before You does leave quite a gaping wound), it didn't grasp me the same way the first novel did. Far from it, in fact. It was a good story and an enjoyable read, but it wasn't nearly as emotionally powerful as its precursor. 
     Worth the read? Sure. While I didn't love it, I'm glad I read it. 

{recent reads for the toddler}

If you're in the mood for... 

{an interactive book for your energetic little} Press Here by Herve Tullet. This unique book encourages your child to be an active participant--pressing on dots, shaking the book, and even blowing on it to "help" change each picture. 
     Toddler approved? Oh yes, we read this one every night! This one was Jona's favorite this month. 

{a short and sweet bedtime story} Good Night, Good Dog by Mary Lyn Ray. A little dog thinks about his day and the words he knows, like "good night" and "good dog." He insists he's not tired, but decides to just curl up in his bed for just a little bit... 
     Toddler approved? Yes. While Jona is only moderately interested in dogs in real life, he loves dogs in books. Go figure. 

{an easy-to-understand lesson on friendship} Yes We Can! by Sam McBratney. Three friends decide to make a big pile of leaves, but their fun soon ends when they all find reasons to laugh at each other. Even a little one can understand the point of this book: that making fun of others is not nice, and it's not what friends do. 
     Toddler approved? Surprisingly yes, very much. I picked this up at a library book sale and Jona loves it. 

{pure silliness and clever illustrations} There Is a Bird on Your Head! by Mo Willems. Elephant is shocked and not amused to find that birds are taking up residence on his head. Piggie, on the other hand, loves that a little family is being built on her friend. 
     Toddler approved? We've read a couple of Elephant and Piggie books before, and they're always hits. This one, with it's adorable illustrations and funny expressions, makes Jona laugh out loud. 

What have you (and your kids) been reading lately? I'd love any recommendations! 

1 comment:

  1. I give Press Here and the other one Mix It Up as gifts regularly! And I am glad to hear your take on Rubin's new book, Fates & Furies and JoJo's sequel. All interesting to me!


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