Monday, December 2, 2013

Some Of My Family's Favorite Books

As you may know, our family's tradition is to give books on the first night of Chanukah (we call it our Literary Holiday). We love reading and there's something truly wonderful about sitting together as a family, basking in the light of the menorah, reading. Giving books also keeps the cost down since we celebrate Christmas as well. I mean how many presents do kids really need?

So here are my reviews (with input from my family) on some of the books we received during the Festival Of Lights as well as other books we've acquired throughout the year:

  • Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O'Dea – Usually my family is suggesting cookbooks for me, since I'm infamous for lacking skills in the kitchen. At Thanksgiving, I not only burned the sweet potatoes, but had to throw out the pan since that was destroyed as well. When my husband walked in the house he said he knew he was home because he just followed the aroma of charred food. Lately, I've been embracing my crockpot since I can throw together a meal in the morning and it's done and remains warm no matter what time family members get home. I'd seen this book at Barnes & Noble, copied down one of the recipes, and loved the simplicity of the instructions and the comments O'Dea makes after the dish, attesting to how much her kids did or did not like it. I now have it and I'll be making recipes from this book at least once a week.
  • The Big Book Of Scrabble-Brand Games – I spend a lot of time in the car waiting for kids. Sometimes I don't want to use my phone to occupy myself. Each Scrabblegram puzzle includes four sets of seven jumbled letters, the same kind you find on a rack of Scrabble tiles. You time yourself to reshuffle the letters to spell words and try to earn the highest point score. If you like word games, it's a great book to keep in the car.
  • Taste Of Home's Backyard Grilling – This is hubby's book. He was never a Master Of The Grill until he bought a Weber from Amazon and put it together. He has now enthusiastically embraced his primitive man-use-fire side and chose this tome. The recipes are amazing and fairly easy. My favorite is the Barbeque Hot Wings that uses hot sauce and Italian dressing.
  • America Bible Society's Read & Learn Bible – We carefully purchased this book, which contains stories from the Old and New Testaments, for my daughter . It's just perfect for a 2nd or 3rd grader with lots of pictures, yet it isn't too baby-ish for her. She can read it and better yet, wants to read it. Great for home Sunday-schooling.
  • If I Ran The School by Bruce Lansky – My daughter and I read this last night as part of her family “required” reading; turns out, she did not want to put it down. The book consists of 24 funny school-themed poems selected by Mr. Lansky. Included is one by Jack Prelutsky and if you haven't heard of Mr. Prelutsky, run, do not walk, down to your library and find works by him!  He is probably the funniest kid's poet, outside of Dr. Seuss. This paperback book is a delightful read and great to listen to as well.
  • 365 Foods Kids Love To Eat by Sheila Ellison & Judith Gray – I bought this book hoping my son, who did not touch a fruit or vegetable for the first ten years of his life, would pick out dishes he'd like me to cook. It didn't work with him, but my daughter likes some of the recipes in here. She can read them and helps me make them. PS – Mr. “I Hate Fruits And Veggies” now eats salad, broccoli, and spinach, although the mere thought of fruit still upsets him. The kid won't even hold a bowl containing fruit salad...when he does, I'll know that girls have entered the picture.
  • My Book About Me by Dr. Seuss – Buy this one as a keepsake and have your little one fill it out. It contains questions about what the child looks like, foods they enjoy, their hobbies, etc. I love the sections entitled “Interesting Things I Know” which asks the kid to fill in sentences like “It is __ steps from my door to the first tree and the one called “My Clothes” which asks for things like “I own exactly ___ buttons.” A great rainy-day book, it'll keep your kid busy for hours.
  • Enchanting Classics For Children (Dalmation Press)– I'm a big fan of story books because a child can choose which story to read and you're not picking up a whole pile of books from the floor. This particular tome contains classics like “The Three Musketeers,” “The Legend Of Robin Hood,” “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea,” and more. It's a wonderful introduction to timeless stories and has lots of cool pictures, too.
  • All's Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque – I had to include at least one book that the teen is voluntarily reading. He's was heavily into Tom Clancy books but asked for this one because he enjoys classics and finds stories of war fascinating. In only a a day, he's halfway through it. When I asked why he recommends it, in typical teen fashion, he rolled his eyes and said,” 'Cause it's good.” I'm just loving these teen years...NOT!

So what do we do with books after we're done with them? We donate some and I find other uses for the rest. In fact, please check back in with me for a few suggestions on what you can do with leftover books.  

Based on the number of hits I'm seeing, I'm actually starting to generate some attention with this blog. You know about me, but I'd love to know who is reading this (apparently my husband is not and I don't have that many friends). Who are you?  Please comment!

1 comment:

  1. Love the cookbook ideas! I can't cook either. And my name is Cat, I'm a PA from Florida. Your blog is very cool!


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