Book Reviews

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I’m sure some of you will be wondering what makes me recommend the books that I do. Why do I feel they are worthy of recommending? Here’s a little on where I’m coming from…

I follow the principles of Charlotte Mason on what she deems are “living books” and combine this with my gut on what I feel is a “good quality” book.

There is a lot of  “fluff” or “twaddle” out there.
These are the sort of books I want my children to avoid, or spend very limited time reading, such as:

  • Books that have low quality writing in them, often revolving around licensed characters.
  • Books that are churned out in large numbers on a regular basis
  • Books with very little depth to the characters and plots
  • Books that tend to use simple words as opposed to the complex
  • Books that focus on cultural “norms” and values which our family doesn’t agree with, such as being disrespectful to adults or mean to other children.

Life is so short as it is…And there are many more high quality books than we could possibly read in our lifetimes.

I would prefer that my children and I fill our time reading what I feel are high quality reading.
These are books that I want my children filling their heads and hearts with, such as:

  • Books that send a strong positive message that I agree with
  • Books that have 3 dimensional characters where you really get a feel for who they are and what they are struggling with, vs the flat paper doll-like characters of some books, where everyone always gets along and children always behave like angels. (*rolling eyes*)
  • Books that have characters that just seem really REAL and you find yourself genuinely liking them or even hating them!
  • Books that really evoke your emotions (both negative and positive).
  • Books that make my children and I just dive in and devour them. “Read MORE!!” is always a good indication of this sort of book!
  • Books that have complex and deep, even convoluted plots in which to lose ourselves.
  • Books that have a rich vocabulary of words that enable us to experience complex words in context, and hence allow for great comprehension and retention of this more complex language.

This should give you an idea of where I’m coming from, and why I choose the books that I do.

All that said, I do believe there’s room in everyone’s lives for a little twaddle, so I do allow my daughter to read all the “Rainbow Magic Fairies” and “The Boxcar Children” books she desires. Usually she’s done w/each in under an hour, but there are hundreds of these suckers! But she loves them and as long as she’s also reading (and listening to me read her) the good quality books as well, then I am ok with her having a little twaddle in her life. 🙂

Unless otherwise noted, any of the books that you find me recommending will be of a high quality, by my standards as stated above. Luckily there’s tons of classics to read and even some classics in the making that are newer books that are just excellent as well. Just as there’s no small amount of wonderful music in the world, there’s no small amount of good quality reading, and I encourage everyone to dig into as many as they can!

Enjoy!

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