Friday, February 5, 2016

recommended reading

free desktop wallpaper: Oana Befort
i have used desktop calendars from Oana Befort and Geninne Zlatkis for years now. one of the things i don't really like about the calendar style wallpaper is that i feel like i have to change it each month. so, you can imagine my excitement when oana released this floral -non calendar- wallpaper. love it.
hopes for this summer...
pull out the rest of that overgrown laurel... and build a new chicken coop behind that pear tree.

now on to the reading...
i didn't do a lot of reading last year.
i just didn't make it a priority i guess. i did have a few really good reads that i would recommend and they are the snow childthe nesting place, paper to petal, all issues of taproot magazine, and mink river. that is my sad list of recommended reads from 2015.
this year will be different though. it is only february and i am off to a good start. 
my list:
  • "how to catch a frog" by Heather Ross. i love this book. it has me completely captivated. instead of sharing my own review though, i am going to share this review by anna maria horner. which is the one that put this book on my reading list. 
  • "shooting with soul" by Alessandra Cave. i have only just begun this book, but i already feel inspired by it. it is mostly full of photography prompts that encourage you to find your artistic voice.
  • "my rag doll" by Corinne Crasbercu. obviously, this is a sewing book. it has one doll body pattern and then many different hair and face styles, and many different clothing, shoe, and accessory patterns. i find it adorable and inspiring. i have not found any time for doll sewing just yet, but when i do... i am very excited to give these patterns a try.
  • "playful learning" by Mariah Bruehl. this is a re-read for me. i love this book. lots of ideas and activities for encouraging learning at home. my favorite section in this book is "build it and they will come" which gives multiple ideas for creating learning spaces in your home. areas where the children will have access to materials so that they can create and learn on their own at any time.
  • taproot magazine. i have read every issue of taproot and i am a huge fan.
 i plan to read these books to my older children over the next couple months. they are historical fiction novels and i read both of them as a kid and both of them made quite an impression on me. "johnny tremain" by Eshter Forbes takes place in boston at the start of the american revolution. johnny ends up working at the boston observer, participates in the boston tea party, and many other exciting historical events. i'll share more about this classic after we actually read it... it's been a long time. "the silver sword" by ian seraillier (and later went by the title "escape from warsaw") takes place during world war 2. after their parents arrest, three children must take care of each other and hide from the nazis amidst the rubble of their destroyed city. then they learn that their father is alive and has escaped. so they travel across the battlefields of europe to find their parents.
 some of our favorites for the younger crowd:
  • "if you lived here: houses of the world" by Giles Laroche. we love this book. beautiful art and information on different houses from all over the world and throughout history. 
  • "the blue hill meadows" by Cynthia Rylant. four seasonal stories about a wonderful family living out in the country. 
  • "the little house" by Virginia Lee Burton. a sweet book about a little house that loves it's life out in the country. then slowly the city begins to move in around it and everything changes... but don't worry there is a very happy ending.
  • "chrysanthemum" and "lilly's purple plastic purse" by Kevin Henkes. we LOVE these stories. i especially have a sweet spot for chrysanthemum. each of these girls goes through a bit of a hard spot in the story but both have adorable endings.
  • "miss rumphius" by Barbara Cooney. this book is so special. it was my favorite as a little girl. if you haven't read it, you must! if only everyone did something to make the world more beautiful.
  • "flotsam" by David Weisner. this is a book without words. the incredible illustrations tell a story of an underwater camera that is found by a boy on the beach, and oh! the things that camera has seen!

have you read any of these books?
do you have any recommendations for me?


  1. Hello dear Jenny, what a great reading pile!
    You are the second one to recommend "How to catch a frog"... I may have to add it to my book list after I finish my ten chosen one.
    Great pile for the kiddos as well. You have one of our favorites there : Miss Rumphius... Lupins are some of our favorite flowers here. :-)
    If I can recommend some of our favorte books for the little ones :
    Anything by Jon J. Muth :

    Zen Shorts
    Zen Ghosts (great read for Halloween)
    Zen Ties
    Zen Socks
    Hi, Koo (great book of seasonal poetry)
    Stone Soup
    The Three Questions

    The art work is amazing, you won't regret any of them... Happy reading!

  2. love all the recommendations! i added playful learning and shoot with soul to my wish list, for me. i think i will add the two older kid historical fiction books to quinn's list, too. we also loved flotsam, the same author wrote the red book (i believe) and we have a copy of that one, also wordless and completely amazing how it pulls you into the story. some of our favorite picture books are in the list of the previous commenter- we love jon muth. i just finished "tiny beautiful things" by cheryl strayed, and it was fabulous. and i read a book of travel essays by tim cahill recently called "pass the butterworms" which was hilariously entertaining and very well-written. just before that was elizabeth gilbert's "the signature of all things" which is BIG and took me a long time to read, but was worth savoring very slowly. i think i was reading it for maybe 4 months lol.

  3. I like all those books mentioned. I remember that we had a couple of those books back from the time our kids were little ones. Nothing like having a great book in hand. Thank you for sharing this!

  4. Did you love the Snow Child???? I may have to reread that one this year........ How to Catch a Frog is on my list- it looks so good! I too loved Playful Learning. (for mama books I have a post today with a photo of my current overly ambitious library stack...) Have you read The Dirty Life? I bet you'd like it.

    The Little House and Miss Rumphius are big hits around here, as is anything by Robert McCloskey. Other Claire favorites are The Seven Silly Eaters, The Year at Maple Hill Farm, James Herriot stories, Little House (Laura Ingalls) books (of course), The Ox Cart Man, and ever so many more.....

    And oh yes- LOVE Jon J. Muth's books- we are most familiar with Zen Shorts but have read one to two other sat the library before. So good, and such sweet illustrations.

  5. oooh!! so excited to check out your recommendations!! (especially the grown up ones!) we do have zen shorts and the little house series... absolutely love both! i haven't read the others from jon muth though... and with this many shining recommendations i will certainly by seeking them out :)

  6. I REALLY WANT TO GET MY HANDS ON A COPY OF PLAYFUL LEARNING I really want to get my hands on a copy of playful learning. I'm in a bit of a slump. I need some inspiration.

  7. I wanted to let you know I am your follower!! Have a wonderful day!!!

  8. thank you angela :) i look forward to getting to know you better.


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