As I am writing this my county is on lockdown. I know many people across the world are living under similar orders, whether they are official or not.
We are dealing with empty grocery stores. Worrying for the first time in our lives, if we will be able to get milk for our babies. We are not allowed to leave our homes, except for groceries, medicine and daily outside exercise. We must maintain a social distance and not spend time with anyone outside our household.
It is a real-life nightmare.
A Twitter friend asked me to find gentle reads for her kids and I thought I should do the same for adults. I am limiting my entertainment to light comedies as much as possible right now and I figure lots of other people are doing the same.
Here are some options from a variety of genres that will hopefully help you relax.
I have included a summary excerpt from Goodreads followed by my thoughts on the books.
No Spoiler Book Review
Let’s go back to Valentine’s Day for a minute.
After doing my best to just ignore Valentine’s Day this year, I reluctantly got into the spirit. I was not planning on doing any Valentine’s posts at all. Then I ended up doing a guest post for UpcycledAdulting.com, entitled Romance Books to Make You Believe in True Love. The post was meant to get other people excited to read romance, but ended up back firing! Honestly, how could anyone resist those charming book summaries? Especially Flatshare!
Please use this post and companion Pinterest Board as a way to find free and low cost learning and activity websites. I have included resources to help you access free ebooks and e-audiobooks, homeschooling resources, tutorials and classes for adults, exercise videos, and online tours of famous zoos, aquariums and museums. I have also included reliable drama free news sources to help you stay up to date in this unprecedented time.
If you are an educator and would like to add resources please click “Join” on the Pinterest Board and I will approve you to add new content. If you are a blogger and have ideas for indoor activities you would like to add please join the board as well. Let’s all turn this crisis into an opportunity to learn and grow!
Here are some ideas to get you started:
New Release Books
After wading through hundreds of upcoming titles, I have narrowed the list of April New Release Books to these eight exciting titles. I flipped through book review catalogs, book blogs and library chat forums to ensure that I found the most interesting and original new books. I try to include a variety of Fiction, Non-Fiction and even Young Adult books. This month’s selections lean toward Romance and Historical Fiction, but also includes a disturbing Horror story. I exclude sequels and anything that will not have broad appeal. Starred titles have been added to my personal to be read list.
You know how everyone gives new grads a copy of, Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr Seuss? It’s hopeful and sweet, and everyone cries (in a good way). After the Fall by Dan Santat is what you give to someone who just got laid-off for the first time, or is getting a divorce, or recovering from a serious illness. It’s understanding and accepting, and everyone cries (in a good way).
After the Fall, is a children’s picture book that takes maybe three minutes to read. It will probably take you more time to read this post, than to read the book. The pictures are charming and the story is exactly what you need if you are going through a rough patch. Let's be honest, we're all going through a rough patch.
No Spoiler Book RevieW
Do you have Perfection?
This is the question asked again and again in this speculative fiction. Do you have Perfection? A life changing app that seeks to control who you are from the outside-in. How many people do you know that seek magazine beauty and social admiration? It’s not zero. Don’t we all covet perfection at least sometimes?
Speculative fiction is one of my favorite genres. I love pondering big “what if” questions. Not only does Sudden Appearance of Hope tackle sinister technology, but it also poses a lot of important questions. The main character, Hope, is utterly and literally forgettable. She is the embodiment of “out of sight, out of mind”, as soon as you are not with her, you forget her. She can’t form relationships, and she certainly can’t get a job. How does someone with that condition survive? What is justifiable when you are forced to live outside of society? What would you do to overcome?
Volunteer Appreciation Week 2020 is April 19-25.
I have one job during Volunteer Appreciation Week. Make the volunteers feel appreciated. Obviously.
Over the years of managing volunteers I have experimented with my tiny volunteer appreciation budget to find the best low cost and free gifts.
Not only does the gift need to be inexpensive, but it also needs to appeal to all of my volunteers. I have an eighty year old man and a fifteen year old girl, what one thing can I get for both of them?
Best Books about Witches
What’s Up Witches!?!
I don’t know about you, but I cannot resist the lure of a good book about witches!
Anything from a historical fiction set in Salem to modern magical realism. The real life stories of witch hunts are fascinating and disturbing. I love that they teach us to be wary of group-think and religious fanaticism. Witch Fantasies push the boundaries of imagination and are full of powerful characters. There are just limitless possibilities.
Here are a few of the best books about witches:
No Spoiler Book RevieW
Apparently, my book club and I need to up our game! We’ve been meeting for over six months and we haven’t slain one vampire. We’re a disappointment!
I requested this book, based on nothing more than the cover and the title. I knew that I just couldn’t go wrong. This book could have been tongue-in-cheek or seriously scary and I would have been happy.
As it turns out the “Guide” is traditional horror. There were parts that were disgustingly graphic and cringe worthy. I was constantly pulling up the blankets in a subconscious attempt to hide from this book. I kept telling myself I wasn’t scared and then I kept having nightmares, so one of us was wrong.
The “Book Club” is set in the ‘90s and features a small group of stay-at-home-moms. They are all looking for a break and a chance to connect to other women in their town. So when it comes to selecting novels they opt for paperback true-crimes with lots of pictures. They may not be traditional book club selections, but they keep the Book Club turning pages and talking about books!
When children start dying and disappearing, one of the book club members suspects her new neighbor. He certainly fits the bill of the murderers in the books they read. As the situation deteriorates, you start to question if the real villain is the vampire or the condescending and contemptuous husbands. They all dismiss and demean their wives, blaming book club for their “overactive imaginations”. Meanwhile, the Vampire gains trust by showering the families with opportunities, endearing himself to the husbands. This book is full of disturbing domestic and supernatural horror.
Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is a good choice for most fans of vampire fiction. The only vamp fans that won’t like this are readers that stick to vampire romance. To be clear, there is nothing romantic about this book. The story is dark and disturbing and would be a great option for readers of horror and paranormal mystery. If you like Stephen King you will like Grady Hendrix.
If you need me, I’ll be reading a romance and trying to re-convince myself that vampires are sparkling gentlemanly creatures.
You may also like this list of Scientifically Proven Absolute Best Novels by Stephen King.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers of this book for allowing me advance access in exchange for this honest review.