Sunday, November 2, 2014

October Reading

Children's Books

Pepetuna by Denise Whitmore is one of the most delightful educational children's books I've seen in a very long time. In fact I think it's the best I've ever read, but it's a long time since I regularly read children's books so I may have forgotten some. The review on Fishpond says, "From the time a tiny puriri moth's egg falls onto the forest floor, this book follows the life cycle of that moth - Pepetuna. For five years Pepetuna hides in the puriri tree, eating and sleeping until the time is right. Then one warm spring evening, he pushes a hole through the door of his home. He crawls out with his strong new legs and breathes the fresh air. Then he stretches out his beautiful new wings, ready to fly up into the moonlight ...for just one night. Through the clever use of illustrations showing the first five years of a young child's life, the reader can experience the concept of time and how long it takes for Pepetuna to grow and be ready for that single night."

It's gorgeous. Pepetuna's story is told in words illustrated in multimedia colour, while the human story is black and white drawings and without words.

I bought a copy and sent it to my friend who is a children's librarian in Alaska. I think I'm going to have to buy another copy just for me.

Non-fiction

The Secret Life of the Grown Up Brain by Barbara Strauch. The best part of the book is, that by her definition I am still (just) middle-aged! Or maybe the best bit is being told that forgetting names, and why I went into the kitchen isn't necessarily a sign of dementia of some kind. But essentially, a long version of the magazine articles that tell you to exercise, eat right, and keep your mind busy.


Novels

The Wife's Tale by Lori Lansens
A story of a woman whose husband doesn't come home, and her search for him which turns into a search for herself. Interesting, quite enjoyable, but I felt it just didn't explore some promising issues deeply enough to satisfy me.

The Wedding Bees: a novel of honey, love and manners by Sarah-Kate Lynch
Light-hearted, warm look at love and life, and how they are affected by the past. A bit shallow, and the idea of bees having a conciousness that allows them to become attached to humans, and that they might act to help an individual is just plain irritating to a beekeeper!

Someone Else's Wedding by Tamar Cohen
A story set in the 36 hours before, during and after a wedding. Narrated by a woman who has two daughters but is still grieving for her late life baby, who died. Can't say too much about it, because it would spoil the psychological twists and turns, but I highly recommend it.


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