Friday, January 2, 2015

Friday Focus- Books

For the last couple of weeks I have been reading an eclectic variety of books. Everything from Amish homespun wisdom and 19th century letters to wild romp into a Parisian family's past. When I am writing I tend to read non-fiction or out of my genre fiction, right now I am looking for a book on hot air balloons and dirigibles. Here is what was on my shelf this week:

1.  Traces of Wisdom: Amish Women and the Pursuit of Life's Simple Pleasures by Louise Stoltzfus

While the book was a refreshing look at the small joys in everyday life, I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had been interviews with the women themselves, rather than a commentary by a former member of the community.

2. Hidden America ; From Coal Miners to Cowboys, an Extraordinary Exploration of the Unseen People Who Make This County Work by Jeanne Marie Laskas

The book was at turns raw and introspective, giving a reader a glimpse into the private lives of some of the people who do some of the jobs the rest of us would rather not think about.  I learned more about the people than the work they do, but I think that was the point-- to make the reader see people rather than positions.

3. Women's Letters: America from the Revolutionary War to the Present Edited by Lisa Grunwald and Stephen J. Adler

I am still only in the first section 1775-1779. Ladies back then wrote very long letters, but the perspective is well worth the antiquated English. I am enjoying this walk through history very much. Already I have learned things about the Revolutionary War that were not taught in school! Since this is a library book it will definitely be renewed.

4. Stella!: A Treasury by Marie-Louise Gay

I can't decide who is enjoying this collection of stories about a fiesty big sister and her little brother more; the Bumper or I.  Charming and imaginative this collection has found a welcome place in our bedtime routine. The title character has fun and inventive ways of answering her younger brother's steam of seemingly endless questions. I have even borrowed a few!

5. A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay

This story about a middle aged Frenchman coming to terms with his mother's death and uncovering family secrets along the way was one that captivated me from the start. I found my self at turns sympathetic and repulsed by the main character. It is not a book I would have read if a friend had not loaned it to me, but I think I have discovered an author I will read again.

What have you been reading this week?

Happy Reading and Have a Good Weekend



  1. Thanks for sharing these, Kim! I think I may have to check out Stella! with my kiddos :-)

    1. Mine really likes the stories, and always wants me to read "just one more",