Friday, January 3, 2014

Reading Ideas for 2014

You can order these books from The Easton Press.

Isn't it true that as you get older, you learn to really love some of the things that you just liked when you were younger?  For example, when I was a kid I enjoyed reading.  It was something that I did when I had spare time or when I was bored and I liked spending  my time that way. Now, I can't read enough and I'm sure that's because I spent a lot of time as a child reading!  I can get lost in a story, learn how to do something new or understand the life of someone who lived before me.  Who doesn't want to do that?

When my kids were small we read a lot in our home and I think that helped them to really enjoy reading as well.  In fact, when your kids have trouble reading, I believe it is important to encourage them to read anything that interests them. "Just read!"  That is what my mother-in-law says and she is right!  Let them read comic books, encourage them to read labels in the grocery store when you are shopping, have them read pamphlets to you when you are in a waiting room or just let them read to you.   Every opportunity they get to read makes them more comfortable with reading and they will grow to love it too.

Little Free Libraries are located all over the country.  Click on this link to find a location near you.

Most of our books were from the public library but if my kids had a favorite book, we would encourage them to earn the money to buy it or purchase them for a birthday or for Christmas. A new option for reading books without having to buy them is  Little Free Library.  There are over 300 locations all over the country and they are a great option for borrowing books.  They are very small but if you want to be reading without the expense of buying, driving to the library or paying late fees, these community libraries are great.

So today I am going to share with you some of our favorites that we have loved as a family, some that I loved reading and a few that I am hoping to read this year.


My Book House by Olive Beaupre Miller
The newer version of these books are still in print and can be ordered on  Amazon.

Olive Beaupre Miller first published the My Book House books in 1919 to meet her standards of printing popular children's literature.  She believed:
  • "First, To be well equipped for life, to have ideas and the ability to express them, the child needs a broad background of familiarity with the best in literature.
  • "Second, His stories and rhymes must be selected with care that he may absorb no distorted view of life and its actual values, but may grow up to be mentally clear about values and emotionally impelled to seek what is truly desirable and worthwhile in human living.
  • "Third, The stories and rhymes selected must be graded to the child's understanding at different periods of his growth, graded as to vocabulary, as to subject matter and as to complexity of structure and plot."
I have the original series published in 1937 but they are still in publication and available.  These are great books for teaching everything from nursery rhymes to the classics

The Velveteen Rabbit by Alfred A. Knopf
This book can be found anywhere.

A stuffed rabbit sewn from velveteen is given as a Christmas present to a small boy, but is neglected for toys of higher quality or function, which shun him in response.  The rabbit is informed of magically becoming Real by the wisest and oldest toy in the nursery as a result of extreme adoration and love from children, and he is awed by this concept; however, his chances of achieving this wish are slight.

When the toy rabbit's owner contracts scarlet fever, he is prescribed a trip to the seashore and is pacified upon receiving a stuffed rabbit of higher quality than the Velveteen Rabbit, which will be burned alongside all other playthings due to the potential bacteria.  The Velveteen Rabbit is distraught over his impending demise but is eventually greeted by the Nursery Fairy who transforms him into a living rabbit to spare him from an agonizing fate.

101 Joke Books, various authors
This is a series of joke books for kids and they can be found on

This is a series of small books that kids can carry around in their pocket.  They have great jokes (some pretty corny) but little kids love them.  If you have a boy or girl between the ages of 7 - 10, they will entertain you for hours with jokes from these books.  There are several topics so if your child has an interest in something, I'm sure there is a joke book on the topic!

Beverly Cleary Series of Books by Beverly Cleary
These books are available at most book retailers but there is also a fun website found at Beverly

Beverly Cleary is an american author who wrote more than 30 books for young adults and children.  Some of her most notable characters were Henry Huggins, Beatric ("Beezus") Quimby, Ribsy, Ramona Quimby and Ralph S. Mouse.  These are classic books that have been around for years.

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
These books are available everywhere.

I don't think I really need to say much about these books because they are obviously a favorite in many homes.  I loved reading these with my kids and even though some of them would now say they didn't like the books as well as I thought they did, they heard every word of these great books.  Even my boys!  The great thing about these books though is that they take you back to a time when our great grandparents and great-great grandparents lived and the stories that are told help us to understand their life experience a little bit better.

The Children's Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett
This book can be found here on Amazon.

This is a classic book filled with beautiful lessons on, "good character:  Courage, Perseverance, Responsibility, Work, Self-discipline, Compassion, Faith, Honesty, Loyalty, and Friendship."  If you are looking for a book with beautiful illustrations that will teach your children these principles in a fun way, this is it!  


A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott
Go to Amazon to pick up this book.

A Long Fatal Love Chase is a suspense novel by Louisa May Alcott.  She wrote it in 1866, two years before the publication of Little Women (1868) finally established her literary reputation and began to resolve her financial problems.  The manuscript was not published until 1995.

Rosamond Vivian is the main character in this book about obsessional love and romance without being inappropriate.  My sister-in-law shared this book with me years ago and it has become one of my favorites. It is an easy read and you can read it over a long weekend.  Nice!

The Treasure of a Friend by John C. Maxwell
Also found here on Amazon.

This is a sweet little book with descriptions of all the different types of friends you may have in your life.  This book was given to me by a dear friend when she moved away and I have turned to it now and then to draw inspiration from it's pages on friendship.  It really is a great book that helps you to realize and appreciate all the different types of people that can and do touch your life every day, sometimes without you even being aware.

The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers by Amy Hollingsworth
Click here for this book.

Mr. Rogers was one of my favorite tv shows when I was a little girl and I think it was because he had such a calm and loving presence about him and it was a comforting place to go.  In the blurb on the back of this book it says, "He was their neighbor, their friend.  And for over 30 years, Fred Rogers visited so quietly with the children of America that nobody dreamed he was a Presbyterian minister.  Using puppets instead of a pulpit, this icon of children's television shared with America's youngsters the basic principles of the Christian faith--forgiveness, kindness, compassion, respect--and made those values real for his audience."  It doesn't matter what faith you are, this book is for everyone.  Loved it!


Standing for Something by Gordon B. Hinckley
This book can be found  here on Amazon.

I read this book several years ago but I want to read it again this year.  It is filled with such great insights on values that will help heal us and lead our families in the right direction.  On the back flap of the cover it says, "Standing for Something is an inspiring blueprint for what we can all do--as individuals, as a nation, and as a world community--to rediscover the values and virtues that have historically made us strong."  We certainly could use some of this common sense and positive reinforcement in our world today.  I am excited to read it again!

Things That Matter by Charles Krauthammer
This book can be found pretty much anyway.  Here is the link for this book at Barnes and Noble.

One of the things my husband and I have in common is we like to talk politics.  Our kids hate it, but we enjoy it!  I bought this book for my husband for Christmas because we both like to hear Krauthammer's perspective on pretty much anything. And score for me, I get the chance to read it when he is done!  It is currently # 1 on the New York Times Best Seller List.

"A national thought leader known for his uncompromising honesty, Krauthammer has for decades dazzled readers with his keen insight into politics and government. Now, finally, the best of Krauthammer's intelligence, erudition and wit are collected in this one volume."

David & Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
This book is also found everywhere but here is the Amazon link.

Right now this book is # 3 on the New York Times Best Seller List and has gotten great reviews.  I am looking forward to reading this book because I think that we all have times in our lives when we feel like we are down trodden, discriminated against or have physical disabilities that are holding us back.  I want to read how to combat these issues so that I can be like David!

"In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks."

So what are you planning on curling up with this year?  If you have some favorites or books that you are hoping to read in 2014, please let us know so that we can read along with you!

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