Friday, November 23, 2012


I've discovered several things recently:

1) Money does not make life easier—just more complicated.
2) Thanksgiving dinner is awesome when you buy your pies from Costco.
3) I am going to have to play Ketchup occasionally on this blog if I'm going to stick to my weekly schedule.

So, for today...

I'm going to post about my favorite book ever for young adults/grown-ups. I think I say that a lot, so perhaps I should say one of my favorite books ever, but I know I've never posted about it on this blog, and if you haven't read it, you must, and I think I am going to go read it right now, for I've been having a hard time getting completely swept up into a book lately, and it is time for that to happen.

This book is why I have a character in one of my books named Asher, and why I tried (and failed) to convince Sam to let me name one of our sons Asher.

My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. Talk about falling in love with a character. Talk about stepping into someone else's shoes. This book made me want to have a passion, a drive, a gift. I think everyone has special gifts given to us by God, but I think they sometimes get buried. Asher's gift is obvious, but this book that documents Asher's discovery of his gift and his struggles and triumphs as a result, makes me want to dig in and discover my own less obvious gifts and help my children find theirs. It is such a wonderful book.

And for yesterday's post....

A new book for younger girls (1st through 3rd grade) plus a reminder of the best author ever for older girls:

Lulu and the Duck in the Park by Hilary McKay, who is the best author on the planet. In my humble opinion. Lulu is real and darling and not too sugar-coated. McKay introduces you to the characters in this book in such an upfront way, so different from the way most books are written now. She tells you straight off what Lulu is like. She tells you all about her friends. She doesn't set up a problem right away. She doesn't try to grip you with a fantastic, I-must-keep-reading plot. She has faith in her reader, that they will want to know and understand Lulu before the story begins. And in my opinion, it works, beautifully. I never want to put Hilary McKay books down.

And if you haven't read any of McKay's other books, please go and read Permanent Rose right now. Or The Exiles. Or Dog Friday. Or Wishing for Tomorrow (an authorized sequel to The Little Princess). Just do it and float away into the language of an author who has more than just a story to tell, she has characters she wants to introduce you to, people she wants you to meet and sympathize with and relate to, and laugh at. People she wants you to fall in love with. People like Lulu.

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