Fave Reads Friday #14 – Fiction, Comedy, and a Bit of Reality

Do you ever forget to hit the publish button on your blog? That’s what happened to me on Wednesday, but I’m not letting hit happen today! It’s been over two months since I last posted a Fave Reads Friday; and almost as long since I wrote about what I was reading. There’s been a few different directions my reading has taken me, so let’s jump right in to the list!
The levity effect : why it pays to lighten up (2008) by Gostick, Adrian Robert 

This is a book that I started, but didn’t actually finish. I was looking for something to help me….lighten up a bit. However, what I found is that this book is more about business and less about life in general. It talks a lot about the workplace and not as much about home life. Although, it was interesting to read that some people are more fun at work than they are at home. I find, that for me, it isn’t about home or work where I find my easy going nature….it’s about the relationship. I have several relationships in my world which make it hard for me to be more relaxed. I’m sure we all do. I wish I could give those people the best of me, but I don’t. I think it has a lot more to do with trust than choice in some ways.

The heart of parenting : how to raise an emotionally intelligent child (1997) by Gottman, John Mordechai 

I’ve read A LOT of parenting books over the years. For one thing, my husband is a therapist and used to teach parenting classes…..the kind that are mandated. I read all he had for me and then I went in search of something more. I feel like the current mood of our culture is calling on parents to create kids that have more heart, empathy, and compassion for their fellow humans. This is totally up a yogi’s line of work! I didn’t finish this book because, after reading a bit of it, I realized I’d already read something of the same nature before. I also already use a lot of the techniques in this book on emotional coaching. I actually TALK to my kids instead of just barking orders at them. I allow them to cry and try to help them identify the emotion. I don’t let them just wallow and I don’t let them manipulate me, but I do let them feel.

Not all that long ago my oldest told me that life wasn’t fair because his brother (a kindergartener) didn’t have as hard of work as he does at school. I explained that I was sorry he felt that way, but then went on to explain that fair isn’t about everyone having equal; it’s about everyone’s needs being met where they are. His brother is 5 and therefore not always able to handle the larger works that an almost 8 year old could tackle. Now, I’m not going to lie to you…..there’s a little bit of lieing in that statement because I know my kids and my 5 year old is almost always up for the same challenge as my almost 8 year old. However, in the general sense of my statement…..it’s the truth. But, I’m not a perfect parent.

This is not the story you think it is– : a season of unlikely happiness (2010) by Munson, Laura 

This was the story I thought it would be because I’d already read a review before I picked it up……but, it also wasn’t. This book was a pretty good one if you want to see how well it works to detach from anger and not let emotion get the better of you. It’s a great book if you want to not feel bad about not always succeeding at this either. It was a lot more religious than I anticipated it would be. As a person who was raised Catholic, but doesn’t practice, I always feel uncomfortable reading about other’s religion. I feel like spirituality (no matter how deep or shallow) is a very personal experience and it’s hard for me to share that or share in that with others.

I am curious as to if Munson will have a follow-up to this novel. I praise her and her husband for being so open and honest about their experience. It helped me to connect to their struggle and my own eternal struggle with emotions. When is it okay to be angry and when do you need to pull back and be supportive in a relationship? It’s a fine line. It’s also about reflection on being yourself and allowing the happiness to come from within….such a yogi thing to say!

The giver (1993) by Lowry, Lois 

Have you seen this movie? I had seen the movie awhile back without realizing it was based on a book. I usually read the book first and then see the movie….hence the reason I still haven’t seen A Wrinkle in Time. Oh the book was sooooo good! I love finding a fiction novel from time to time to immerse myself in. A secret world that I’m living in and no one else around me is aware of. However, the problem with having seen the movie first is that I kept picturing the characters from the movie instead of creating them myself.

The giraffe and the pelly and me (2009) and Danny the champion of the world (2002) by Dahl, Roald

These were two that my kiddos and I tackled at bed time. We’re currently working on Pinnochio and I’m learning a great deal about how “children’s tales” can be quite gruesome in some senses. These both had some hilarious moments in them that kept us all rolling. We’ve read a great deal by Roald Dahl including James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, George’s Marvelous Medicine, The Enormous Crocodile, and one more that you’ll see later in this list. The boys LOVE his writing and it’s another chance for me to escape into that magical world….but with some company.

The iron giant : a story in five nights (1999) by Hughes, Ted

I never saw this movie as a child, but after I finished reading this one to my kids we watched the short film version. It was a little different than the story, but how many films are EXACTLY like the book? I’ve been choosing lots of bed time books from a list in the back of The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. I wrote about this book in a post in September 2014 when my blog was still getting started. It has helped me encourage reading as my kids grow. This was a leap of faith book, but I can usually encourage odd choices with the promise of watching the movie after.

The Minpins (1991) by Dahl, Roald and Littles and the Big Storm by Peterson, John

These two books were about small people living extraordinary lives. My kids do this great thing where every time they see a little reflection of light show up in the prism of colors they exclaim loudly that there are fairy footprints! This started when my oldest was probably 3 and that was the story I told him about all the little rainbow pieces he saw on his grandparents’ floor one morning. It was simply light coming through a uniquely shaped window and shining on the hardwood floors, but to him…..magical fairies had been afoot! I hadn’t heard about fairy footprints from the two of them in awhile, but after reading these two books we’ve noticed them more and more.

The Littles was also a cartoon when I was growing up. Apparently Peterson has written a whole series of books about the Little Family, but our library only had the one. My oldest told me on several nights that he wished I could just keep reading the story because he really wanted to know what would happen next! I’m hoping to get him a few more of the books for Christmas this year to keep his interest in the magical Little Family going.

Sh*t my dad says (2010) by Halpern, Justin

And finally (although I’ve got a new stack already started), I picked up this book at random at a different branch of our public library one afternoon after the hurricane. Our branch had trees down and was still closed. The smaller branch we went to was full of books I’d not seen yet and so much easier to find since the selection was small. When I opened up this book I had the hardest time putting it down. And I laughed out loud soooooooo much during a hard week that I thought the smile would never leave my face. It did, but that’s okay too. I was reading this book on my birthday and came across a portion of the book where Halpern writes:

On Shopping for Presents for His Birthday

“If it’s not bourbon or sweatpants, it’s going in the garbage….No, don’t get creative. Now is not a creative time. Now is a bourbon and sweatpants time.”

I told my best friend Sarrah that a lot of what his dad says reminds me of her if she were a man parenting in the 1980’s. I didn’t know, but they tried to turn his story into a tv show featuring William Shatner at one point. I don’t imagine the dad that way after reading this book. Halpern also has a Twitter account that started his path to this book, although it hasn’t been updated since 2017. I always seem to be behind a little by checking books out at the library, but I don’t mind.

Well, that’s all for this Friday. I hope I’ve inspired you to try out a few new titles, get lost in your own world, find the yoga way along the way, and in general….HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

Which books are inspiring you right now?

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