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.

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Excavate! Dinosaurs by Jon Tennant

Excavate! Dinosaurs by Jon Tennant (Storey Publishing, October 2014) is a crafty book in which the facts of the first half supplement the dinosaur bones cut outs of the second half.Kids read about 12 different kinds of dinosaurs and then must put them together. The catch, however, is that the dinosaur bones are not labeled, so like a paleontologist, the young reader must figure out how it all fits together by trial, error, and a bit of understanding about the animals in the first place.

I really liked this book. In the first half, it provides a lot of fun facts, but it is not too long for the text-weary child. I love how it gives background for archaeology in general by talking about layers of the earth and dinosaur eras. With the hands on puzzles, it is sure to be a hit with a dinosaur fan.

In fact, I decided to get this for my son for the holidays. I can’t wait to see what my son thinks of it on Christmas morning!

Note: I received a digital copy of this book for review consideration. I decided to then buy it for my son!

Women and the Priesthood by Sheri Dew

I know not all the readers of my blog care about all the subjects that interest me, but as I continue to write about my reading, I love the ability to reflect back on what I’ve read in the past in the context of when I read it. This review is of a book that probably most readers are not interested in. I read it as I took a much needed break from the demanding duties of motherhood for a days. It was a time of much reflection for me as I realized how much I miss being home with my little ones: but it was also wonderful to be able to sit and read a book without much distraction in the course of a few days!

Women and the Priesthood by Sheri Dew (Deseret Book, 2013) is a simple book containing one woman’s testimony of what the priesthood means in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although the title seems all encompassing, it is a deeply personal book.

Sister Dew shares her testimony, including words from prophets and apostles and scriptures to share what she believes. I have always enjoyed Sheri Dew’s frank way of putting things, and I think she has a unique perspective to add, given that she is a single middle-aged woman who has served closely with many of the general authorities. How, then does this powerful woman truly feel about the priesthood in her life?

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Centaur Rising by Jane Yolen

I love Jane Yolen’s talent for writing extends from children’s picture books and poetry to middle grade and older books! Her books almost always seem to delight or intrigue me, and her recent contribution to the middle grade bookshelf is no exception.

Centaur Rising by Jane Yolen (Macmilian Children’s Publishing Group, October 2014) is a fantasy novel about a centaur being born to a simple but kind rural farm family in the 1960s. Arianne narrates the story from her perspective, sharing how Kai’s birth bridges the family and helps her severely physically handicapped brother find confidence.Continue Reading