Here's some of our favorite children's books! Mekayla Trout, who has done some book reviews for us before, is also contributing to the post today!
Julie- I’m not quite as old as Uncle Morty, but I’m digging back into my childhood for recommendations. I am going to recommend Frog and Toad and Winnie the Pooh. All of our readers already know my brain is spring-besotted and flower-obsessed, and both these book series put me in mind of gardens, forests, rain on the roof, tea shared with friends. In fact, I think if you could take a tiny peek into the real estate of my brain, you would find a good portion taken up by the Hundred Acre Wood. It’s bordered by the River where Frog and Toad swim. Toad’s flower garden is there too, the one he agonizes over until the first seedlings sprout.
Not only are these books part of my inner gardenscape, both series focus on the importance of deep abiding friendships, even when your friends are as grumpy as Toad, as sad as Eeyore, as scatterbrained as Pooh, or as frightened as Piglet. I know that there are lots of new, great book series out there for kids, but these books are still close to my heart, and they haunt my gardens, a lovely, hovering dream.
Jarad- The books I loved as a child were classic fantasy: great, burgeoning quests, witches, wizards, dragons were mostly what I read, and any book with those themes I immediately devoured. I made it my mission to read all those that I could find in both the school and the public library (consequently, Halloween will always be my favorite holiday). I'm located in the South, and I know a lot of people who were restricted in their reading as a child, and I'm lucky that those ridiculous rules were never imposed on me. The Hobbit, Harry Potter, and the Lost Years of Merlin series come to mind. As a result, I was often lost in my head most of the time (and sometimes still am). I was also always reading under the table during math class because who needs adding or division when you have book? My teacher, unfortunately, did not see it that way. Apparently, math is essential or something.
If you're a person who reads regularly, then you know the feeling of getting into a slump. You may be in one right now, especially if you've had a busy Holiday season. Here are some of the ways we get back into reading when we've been slacking!
Julie – If I’m in a slump, it usually because I’m busy and my mind is whirring about other things. I find that this is not the time to attempt the medieval works, Faulkner (I started blogging about why I couldn’t read As I Lay Dying before, but I couldn’t make myself read enough of it to make it work, and if you like the guy…fine…he just can’t find much of a resting place in my brain…I’m willing to blame myself) or Moby Dick for the hundredth time. Page five of MD and I skip to the end. So, if I’m stuck in a rut, unable to concentrate, I go to my comfort zone and hang out with old friends in familiar places. I can dive in, relax for a few minutes and then return to whatever soul sucking mess I have going on in the real world.
I stick to old favorites, sometimes going all the way back to children’s literature. The Mary Russell series is favorite, Jane Austen, and Poe if I’m feeling up to being an adult. But sometimes, I just pick up Alice in Wonderland, or Winnie-the-Pooh or The Princess and the Goblin. In crazy times, I tend to go for a setting where I’m happy, Regency England, the Hundred Acre Wood, or even the creepy bridal suite in Ligeia. But as the Wise Man said in Labyrinth, “Sometimes the way forward is the way back.” There’s no shame in a wise retreat.
Uncle Morty and the rest of the Sacred Chickens team would like to share their reading resolutions for 2019. We hope you're making your own literary resolutions and Happy New Year!
Your Uncle Morty has no specific books in mind. However, he does plan to read a good number of biographies in the coming year to help him contemplate his upcoming project: Mortimer After, A Deathography. So if you have any memoirs or biographies to recommend, please feel free to make suggestions here or on the FaceBook page.
Merry Christmas Eve! Since it is that time of year, the entire team at Sacred Chickens would like to share with you some books that put us in the holiday mood! Enjoy your eggnog and happy reading!
This Christmas, Julie's reading.......
Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
By Louisa May Alcott
If I’m trying to get into the Christmas spirit, I always find myself slipping backwards into my childhood, and for me that means diving back into old favorites, since I spent a great percentage of my childhood deep inside the pages of books. For me the spirit of Christmas is wrapped up in two books, Louisa May Alcott’s Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom. Each of these books has a Christmas scene that has somehow wrapped itself around my brain to form a pattern of what Christmas should look like with stockings in the morning and a dance in the evening. Of course, no real Christmas could match up to such expectations, but I enjoyed Rose’s Christmas vicariously.
There are, as with any books of a certain age, problematic portions of the books where a younger reader would benefit from discussion and knowledge of historical context, but as I reread the books now, I find Alcott’s thought processes even more interesting. At the time of publication, the book Eight Cousins scandalized many parents because Rose’s Uncle Alec taught her anatomy and forbid her from wearing corsets. Like Little Women, the two books display Alcott’s unconventional wisdom about how women should behave. So each time I read the books, I not only get a Christmas feeling, I get to think about how grateful I am that things have changed and I’m not wearing a corset while opening gifts around the tree.
Here are some of the books Sacred Chickens wants you to read this week!
The Knife Thrower by Steven Millhauser
What? A collection of eerie dreams that take the form of short stories where a place as ordinary as a department store becomes a fantastical world of its own.
Why? Because Millhauser sees the world the same way as your old Uncle Morty does, thin spots here and there in the walls between reality and fantasy, haunted by the flesh-covered who imagine themselves mundane instead of the extraordinary accidents they actually are.
Happy Halloween! Jarad, Julie, and Morty all have some great horror recommendations to share with you today! Also, one of our more recent contributors, Mekayla Trout, decided to recommend a novel as well!
Cabin in the Woods
What is it? Five College friends rent a cabin in the woods that quickly turns into a horror story. Little do they know they’re just pawns in a cosmic game. Someone needs them to die.
Why watch it? It’s meta horror that brings in everything from Slasher movies to a little bit of Scooby Doo. The stakes are high, the horror is real, but so is the very dark comedy. It’s a little bit closer to Uncle Morty’s understanding of Metaphysics than he’s comfortable with…but it’s a great way to enjoy an evening in your pjs during Halloween week.
Here are some of the literary related things that Sacred Chickens thinks you should check out this week!
Erik Larson In the Garden of the Beasts
What is it? A book which chronicles Hitler’s first year in power, 1933, through the eyes of the American ambassador, William E. Dodd and Martha, his twenty-four-year-old daughter. The book takes place as Hitler begins to seize power and illuminates how the horrors slowly ramped up without waking much of the German populace or the rest of the world.
Why Read it? For the history certainly, but Uncle Morty thinks it might give you perspective on current events as well. Like a good horror story? You’ll realize you might be living in one. Think how much money you’ll save on books and movies!
Here are some things that Sacred Chickens wants you to check out this week!
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell- by Susanna Clarke-
What is it? An epic story centered around to powerful magicians in England during the 19th century. The novel is hard to describe due to scope, but it centers around the two men and how their lives intersect, mostly through their competitiveness. It's very long but worth every second.
Hello! Here's a few blogs that Sacred Chickens thinks you should be reading! All of them are great and worth your time! Happy reading!
Offering a wide variety of articles on book related news, as well as social and political commentary.
If you cant seem to find a book you want to read, the variety of reviews offered at Brain pickings will surely have something to your taste, as well as being thought provoking and insightful.
The books section of the Bustle website is the place to go if you're looking for current, up to date information about the book world. There's also posts that cover a wide variety of topics, including fanfiction, Harry Potter fan theories, and more.