Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Truly Madly Guilty

Today is the day!  Liane Moriarty's new book, Truly Madly Guilty is finally available for download or purchase.  Click here to read what I've posted about her other books.

Happy reading,

Monday, July 25, 2016

American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers

Let me start by saying how I am going to end, or rather, how I am not going to end.  I am not going to end with my predictable closing, "Happy Reading."  That is because, American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Life of Teenagers, by Nancy Jo Sales is anything but happy reading.  It is, at times, disturbing.
A close friend who is a wonderful mom and a social worker with a Master's degree from Columbia University, gave me the book and warned me about its contents.  After reading it, I told her it was the scariest parenting book I've ever read.  How did we go from parenting books about toilet training and bed time routines to this?  Scariest of all, is the thought that although this book was published this year, given the speed with which social media evolves, there are definitely new ways that young people are being exploited, cyberbullied, and in extreme cases, endangered, that parents don't even know about.  
The book covers the teen years 13-19, but also addresses issues 'tweens face.  It even cites a 2014 study at UCLA in which sixth-graders who went just five days without looking at a smart phone were significantly better at interpreting emotions and body language in face-to-face communication than sixth-graders in the same school who continued to use smart phones.  (pp 135-136)  While the studies cited in this book are interesting, the really gripping part of the book is the stories shared by teens from all over the country.  Remarkably, they are almost always stories of the same experience across geographic regions and socioeconomic differences.  A young girl in the south Bronx who feared leaving her grandma's apartment because people were passed out in the hallway with needles in their arms, describes nearly the same online experiences as girls in Boca Raton, FL and The Hamptons, New York.
This is an eye-opening read for any parent or any professional who works with young people.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Leaving Time

I just finished Leaving Time, by Jodi Picoult.  What a suspenseful mystery filled with foreshadowing and plot twists that I should have seen coming.  It's a quick read read with chapters from different characters' points of view, as well as beautiful descriptions of elephant behavior in the wild and in sanctuaries.  (As if I wasn't emotional enough reading dog books)  Here is a link to The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, mentioned in the book.  Enjoy the videos of the elephants living peacefully, but definitely read the book.

Happy reading,

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Jennifer Aniston

Here is an interesting opinion on The Huffington Post by Jennifer Aniston.  No wonder she is America's favorite friend.

Happy reading,

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Shining Sea

Loved Shining Sea, by Mimi Cross.  I was so excited when it was released, but now that summer is in full swing, I just want to reread it.  If you like the Twilight series and love the beach and the sea, this is a perfect summer read.  Mimi's writing will draw you in like a siren's song.

Happy reading,

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Greek Gods

The July issue of National Geographic has a piece on lesser-known deities and cults in ancient Greece.  If you teach social studies or are planning on teaching any of the Percy Jackson novels next year, you might want to check it  out.

Happy reading,

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th!
For those of us who can only dream of getting Hamilton tickets, the New York Public Library has a Hamilton Exhibitand here is a video of a number from the show:

Happy reading,

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Little Paris Bookshop

I would have loved The Little Paris Bookshop even if Nina George hadn't crafted such a beautiful work.  That is because the book was a gift from one of my  children who picked it out knowing it was exactly the kind of sentimental story a sentimental mom would love.  It is about a bookseller who prescribes the right book for the right reader to help them overcome whatever difficulties they are facing in life.  More than a book about bibliotherapy, it is about friendship and love.  Ms. George's descriptions of the French countryside are enhanced by the inclusion of recipes at the back of the book. (Each recipe features the flavors of Provence.)
If you are looking for an enchanting summer read, try The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George.

Happy  reading,