1. Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt: Gillian and I are in the very exciting place where her school reading list is starting to overlap considerably with my great love of children's literature. In fact, she studied Tuck Everlasting during the second trimester of EEE (our gifted program) in a focused literature minor that was built on that book alone. So when she was done with the class, I borrowed the book! I wish I could say that I loved it....but honestly I didn't enjoy it all that much. I do understand thematically why it has the type of acclaim it does, but I really felt like it didn't come close to the brilliance of the many, many children's books on my bookshelves. It was quick and easy...and ultimately forgettable.
2. The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt: A Books On The Nightstand recommendation! This book is what I would describe as a comedic Western about a pair of brothers who are famous outlaws. I absolutely loved reading it! deWitt managed to perfectly capture the voice of the younger brother, who narrates, to the point that I could 'hear' him speak. The situations the brothers get in range from typical Western to so outlandish you just have to laugh, and the arc of the narrative tracks a perfect path. It's not a deep book by any means, but if you want some fun that's more than just fluff, this is the book for you!
3. Call The Midwife, Jennifer Worth: I became entranced with the PBS series based on Jennifer Worth's memoirs at the end of the last season, and so when it started back up again a month or so ago it became appointment tv for me. After a little behind the scenes snippet about the real life friendships being portrayed, I decided to track down the memoirs. I am so very glad I did. Worth writes with a personal, engaging touch....and the subject is clearly dear to her heart, and written of with deep compassion. Many of the stories are directly represented in the tv series (sometimes with minor changes, sometimes with larger changes so that the social issue can be more fully explored). I highly recommend Worth's books.
4. Shadows of the Workhouse, Jennifer Worth: The second book. It's a tad different because Worth goes into greater detail of the lives of a specific few she knew who had direct experience with the old British Workhouse system.
5. Farewell to the East End, Jennifer Worth: A return to the shorter stores of the first book, but with additional chapters that explore the social issues behind the individual tales. Worth also tells what happens to her friends after their midwifery days come to an end.
6. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald: Ahem. I'd never read it. Whoops. With the movie coming out soon (and for as much as I"m not a movie person, I do love Baz Luhrmann) I thought I should fix that. Fortunately, Heather Ordover of Craftlit did a 'Just the benefits' version of her show as a subscriber benefit. I downloaded the audio from my library, and used her show to help dig in. Now I can go see the movie with my dignity intact.