Monday, January 6, 2014

Children's Delight Quilt Block and What's on Your Nightstand?

Children's Delight Quilt Block

I'm participating in the monthly feature, What's on Your Nightstand?  Participants post what they've been reading the past month as well as what they're planning to read in the future.  This should have been posted in December.  I'm a bit late due to a busy Christmas full of family!

Baby Board Books:
I am thrilled to say that I read many baby board books over Christmas to a wonderful grandchild.  He can now turn the pages, which is so much fun.  His all time favorites are:

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by the fabulous Eric Carle

Picture Books:

The Great American Dust Bowl written and illustrated by Don Brown
Nonfiction, written in graphic novel form

"A speck of dust is a tiny thing. In fact, five of them could fit into the period at the end of this sentence.  On a clear, warm Sunday, April 14, 1935, a wild wind whipped up millions upon millions of these specks of dust to form a duster—a savage storm—on America's high southern plains.  The sky turned black, sand-filled winds scoured the paint off houses and cars, trains derailed, and electricity coursed through the air. Sand and dirt fell like snow—people got lost in the gloom and suffocated . . . and that was just the beginning.  Don Brown brings the Dirty Thirties to life with kinetic, highly saturated, and lively artwork in this graphic novel of one of America's most catastrophic natural events: the Dust Bowl."  from the cover

I highly recommend it!

The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy, pictures by Jerry Pinkney
Realistic Fiction

A wonderful book about three generations working on a quilt.

The Tree Lady: the True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by H. Joseph Hopkins, illustrated by Jill McElmurry
Biography of Mary Kate Sessions

"In 1892, Kate made a deal with city leaders to use land in City Park (present-day Balboa Park in San Diego) for a plant nursery.  In exchange, she promised to plant one hundred trees in the park every year and give the city three hundred more trees for planting in other places.  People loved Kate's trees, and by the early 1900's, one in four trees growing in San Diego came from her nursery." 

My oldest son used to live in San Diego, and whenever I visited him, I always want to go to Balboa Park.  I love the gigantic Moreton Bay fig tree with its amazing, visible roots that's there.  When I read a review about this book, I knew I had to read it because of my love for Balboa Park and its trees.  I wasn't disappointed!

Middle Grade/Young Adult Books:
Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Jennifer Choldenko
Historical Fiction set on Alcatraz Island in 1935
This is the second book in the series.  I read Al Capone Does My Shirts earlier and really enjoyed it.  This one did not disappoint.  I can't wait to read the next one, Al Capone Does My Homework.  The author has a wonderful website.

Book Club Books:
The Christmas Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
This was the December selection for the online Quilters' Book Club.  It's a quick, fun read by a well-known author of quilt fiction and is part of her Elm Creek Quilts series.  If you're interested in being part of this group, check us out here

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
We invited a former drama teacher to read this to us for the December meeting of the Raspberry Mountain Readers.  She did a wonderful job.  Most of us only associate Truman Capote with In Cold Blood.  This story was so very different and a very personal story from his childhood.  I highly recommend it!  You can download it for free here (11 pages long)

Audio Books:
Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles
Historical Fiction set in Missouri during the Civil War

"Adair Randolph Colley is the 18-year-old daughter of an Ozarks schoolmaster during the Civil War.  When the Union militia penetrate to the backwoods where she lives, they burn her family's house, steal her family's possessions, and arrest her father; what is more, Adair is denounced as a Confederate spy.  She is imprisoned, but finds an ethical Union soldier, Major William Neumann.  He is moved by Adair's beauty and spirit, and asks her for some useful bit of information so that she can be released.  Instead, she writes the story of her life, and Neumann falls in love with her.  They make plans to escape and meet after the war, but their journeys are fraught with peril.  This novel is stark, unsentimental, but touching."  from the back of the audio book

Just for Fun:
I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High by Tony Danza
Autobiography set in Philadelphia during the 2009-2010 school year

At age 59, actor Tony Danza (of Taxi and Who's the Boss fame) decides to spend a year teaching 10th grade English at Northeast High, Philadelphia's largest high school.  This was an easy read and of great interest to me as a teacher. 

What's on your nightstand?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Answer in the comment section below for a chance to win a hardcover copy of Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas.  If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others. 

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post Morning Quilt Block and a Song for Sunday.


  1. I am STILL reading "The Sacred Balance" by David Suzuki. It is a hard read for me. It is very thought-provoking and includes tons of quotes from other writers. I am more than half-way through by now but this has taken a very long time and last night I fell asleep reading and woke up at 3 with the light still on and my thumb in the page.
    I am also about 73 pages into "The Healing Quilt"...just getting interesting. I like all your recommendations. Wish I lived near a library with books in English!

  2. Our book club is currently reading The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier. It is about a young Quaker women who comes to America, marries, and becomes involved sheltering runaway slaves near Oberlin Ohio. Quilts and quilting are a major part of the story.

  3. I am humbled by the small number of books I've finished so far this winter, Your website and book recommendations have inspired me to spend less time responding to posts on Facebook and more time enjoying the writing of others. I am a quilter and a writer, and now a quilt shop owner, and will enjoy many of the stories you have introduced me to here. Thank you so very much.


I love hearing from readers. Your comments make my day!