I Am Malala by Malala Yousafsai

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafsai (Little, Brown and Company, 2013) is a powerful story of a girl’s courage to stand up against wrong and demand an education in the Taliban-controlled regions of Pakistan. The work done by Malala, who still is a teenager, is so remarkable that she became the youngest receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. Her first-person account of her life is an engaging and inspiring read for all who desire courage to stand for what they know to be right.Continue Reading

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir by Michael Hicks

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir by Michael Hicks (University of Illinois Press, March 2015) is a biography of the choir itself. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I’ve grown up with the choir: songs during the biannual general conferences, recordings in my home. Because of my background, I was interested in learning more about the history of the choir.

I found the book to be an interesting read, although I felt a bit overwhelmed and lost at times. I don’t know why. The book clearly followed the choir chronologically from its founding to its current status. Maybe it was a lack of personality in the narrative as it covered the historical events and changing patterns of the choir. Maybe it was simply my frame of mind as I read it. I cannot say that this book was a favorite, but I feel I have a little bit better understanding of the role and significance of the choir to the Church. I am glad that I read the book.

Note: I received a digital copy of the book for review consideration.

Kid Presidents by David Stabler

Kid Presidents by David Stabler and illustrated by Doogie Horner (Quirk Books, October 2014) is a delightful picture book with stories of the presidents as kids. But it is not a typical presidential childhood book. Rather than following the presidents in chronological order, Mr Stabler has focused on the presidents’s childhood hobbies, trouble-making, and childhood jobs. The actual categories are “After-School Activities,” “Fantastic Journeys,” and “It’s Not Easy Growing Up.”Continue Reading

Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl

You know how sometimes a book reaches you at just the right time?

Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl was truly just what I needed this Thanksgiving season. It’s a memoir of growing up but it is also about food in all the little events that make up a childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood.

I was able to take a trip away from home and away from my two young kids (and my husband) for the first time, essentially, since I became a mother seven years ago. It was a much needed break.

But in the midst of the turkey and pie, I also read this gem of a book and it hit me in all the right spots. Family relationships: I can’t ruin my kids too badly. Cooking: I’m not as hopeless as I feel. Life in general: It’s a mix of all the moments, and the joys of simple memories will probably win out in the end.

Continue Reading