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November Titles // 2016

via NPR

*The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh - This debut novel from Diffenbaugh was one I heard recommended over and over again on my favorite podcast, What Should I Read Next? by Anne Bogel. When it became a book that my book club was going to read together, I jumped on it because I knew it'd be interesting. The main character has an uncanny gift with flowers and the meanings behind the bouquets she creates. This is a story about a little magic, and a little redemption. It was cute.

*Taproot Magazine: Preserve - I always include these because they are ad-free and over 100 pages and I read them cover to cover. This issue was all about preservation, from the story The Jelly Maker to how to care for a cast-iron pan. I always find this magazine incredibly beautiful from the illustrations, photographs, and words, and I don't get too many magazines anymore, but this is worth every penny of the $40 that comes 4X a year.

*Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White by Melissa Sweet - This gorgeous children's biography was about Charlotte's Web author, E.B. White, and it was as expected from Sweet's work-practically perfect in every way.  Sweet's collage work is exquisite, and the story that follows White's childhood through the woods and the lake, then his adulthood at the farm, is just as I expected it to be from his detail of the Zuckerman's farm. I would hesitate to give this book to a young child, aside from just the expectation of perusing the pictures, because it is a fairly long biography. Her picture books are average size, around 30 pages, and easy for kids to understand. This one is a whopping 80+ page biography. My kids weren't interested in sitting down and listening to me read it aloud, and they weren't interested enough to read it themselves, though they did enjoy the pictures. I, however, would buy this for myself!

*Let's Pray Scripture! by Laurel Lafout - This book is written by a friend who goes to our church, who is a licensed chaplain, and has worked in mental health. It's a book that is half about prayer and praying, and half scriptural prayers written by her arranged by topic in alphabetical order. Each prayer that she has created for the reader has between 5-10 scripture references for deeper connection, and I've already used a few of the prayers as devotionals in group settings. Great work, Laurel! I can't wait to read your next book, and know this will be a useful reference on my shelf!

*Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate - This young adult novel is aimed at upper elementary, lower junior high readers, and I have a bit of an affinity for well-written YA novels. This sweet book, about a boy who is teetering on the edge of homelessness with his family, and how an imaginary friend who 'returns' to him to help him through this time, is both interesting, nostalgic, and encouraging. Although my two children never had imaginary friends, I will get this on audio for both my kids to listen to, as I think they'll not only enjoy the story, but get to hop inside someone else's shoes and develop a little empathy and perspective for something they've never gone through.

Read Aloud to Kids

Surprisingly, I didn't finish any novels this month, but I am thick in the middle of Mathematicians are People, Too (Vol 2), and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C.S. Lewis. Both will be completed in December. We've read a lot of great picture books this month, though!

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