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December Titles // 2017

 a late December sunrise on the Ft Langley bridge

In the frenzy leading up to Christmas, I had planned quite a few field trips for the kids in the month of December so we could 'go easy' on the academics, but still put some school-hours in. I imagine I'm not alone in saying margin-time is slim to none. Over Christmas break, however, the kids and I finished 2 read-alouds, and I read 3 books, and I still have one week left. One was a short 70-page poetry book, but whatever. I'm also *nearly* done with two other books, which will just have to wait until January. Here's what I read in December:

Devotions by Mary Oliver - I'd been waiting on this ever since I heard about it via IG. Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets and this was a large anthology spanning nearly 6 decades of work. I loved it. Devotions is aptly named as so many of these poems are like prayers thanking God for nature. If you love soft, quiet poetry, that leans towards the natural world, you will love Oliver's body of work. 

The Joy of Christmas by Amy Newmark - Some people watch the Hallmark channel during the holidays, and this is essentially the book version. The Joy of Christmas is a Chicken Soup for the Soul series book, and the stories range from 2-4 pages each. It's cutesy, sure, but with it being very light reading and about Christmas memories, I was all over it for this season where I felt I just needed to downshift but was finding it hard to do so. 

The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin - Rubin's work has formed from journal-entry-book-style to researching, interviewing and writing about habits. I much prefer her later work about habits. Her writing from Better Than Before, and this book, is engaging, relevant, and I find myself still thinking about this as it relates to my family. The four tendencies are Upholder, Questioner, Rebel, and Obliger, and this book goes into detail on what that means, how to communicate with each group, and the habits of each personality type. I have used her 'how to communicate with a _____" multiple times with the two boys in my house and I can attest it has worked SO WELL. Guess you'll just have to read it to know what I'm talking about!

Frequent, Small Loads of Laundry by Rhonda Ganz - This is a local (BC) poet that I happened to find at my library the other day and picked up on a whim. I liked the title and some of the poems are dark and funny. It was a solid 'good'. 

Read Alouds

Letters from Father Christmas by JRR Tolkein - I think I found this book via Read Aloud Revival Christmas list, and since I love JRR Tolkein, was surprised I had never heard of it. The book is full of letters and colored pictures of actual letters from Santa and his helpers to the Tolkein family over a period of nearly 20 years. Some are quite funny and creative. Reading this book at this time, though, sometimes felt like a chore. We don't do Santa (I want credit for the awesome gifts, thankyouverymuch) but that didn't kill the 'magic'. What killed it was simultaneously reading aloud the other book my kids far prefer, which was the one below. 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling - This book is number 3 in the series, and it's really where the tide changes on both the depth of the HP story, character development, and intrigue into the group of people who followed the Dark Lord. I love this book, it's one of my favorites of the series, and Ani + Lukka have both liked every book better than the last one!


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