Kate’s second instalment of book recommendations are perfect for this spooky season. (Read her first instalment of recommendations here).
I love the arrival of fall. It means colourful leaves, pumpkin-spiced everything, cozy sweaters, and, hopefully, some rainy afternoons with a good book in hand. With the weather turning and Halloween approaching, I always find my literature choices veer to the darker end of the spectrum. Suspense, thrillers, mysteries; they’re all fair game for me now. Here are some of my all-time favourites to help jump start your fall reading.
While Ray Bradbury is better known for his adult fiction (his works such as Fahrenheit 451 are very popular in English Lit classes) his kid’s books are just as delightful. My particular favourite is The Halloween Tree. The story opens on Halloween, with a band of friends gathering, eager to run amok. When they discover a member of their group is missing, they must turn to a mysterious stranger for help. Only by travelling through time and space to learn the true meaning of Halloween can the boys hope to save their lost friend. This fabulous book offers a bit of everything; it’s spooky, educational, funny, and emotional and appeals to a wide range of readers. Plus, it’s not that long, making it a perfect family read.
It dawned on me that despite enjoying the beautiful summer weather, having a toddler to chase around, and taking many pregnancy naps, I have managed to fit in a large amount of Netflix time over the past few months (with Joe by my side). I often hope that we are not the only ones who have been sucked into the world of extreme streaming and that it’s many couples’ dirty little secret. We like to refer to Netflix as the glue that holds our relationship together (along with watching The Bachelor, of course).
In case you aren’t as extreme as us and need a few recommendations …
I realized the other day that I tell my son quite a few lies in a day. I actually call them “lovely” lies because I’ve convinced myself that they aren’t full-blown lies. My “lovely” lies are things I say in tenuous times that could possibly be true. The thing is, I don’t know if they are actually true in the moment I’m saying them.
When my son asks me if we will see a digger while we are out I always respond with a yes. Truthfully, I never have a clue whether we will or not, but I say yes because (a) he loses it if I say no and, (b) given enough time, there is a good chance we will see one. Most times we manage to see a digger on our travels and I feel relieved knowing it’s been crossed off the list. In the off chance we don’t see a digger, I will excitedly tell him how something else is pretty much the same thing as a digger. If we see a shovel, I explain that this is a smaller, more convenient version of a digger. In more desperate times, I simply show him how his hands can act as a digger.
When I’m tired, I will sometimes bribe my son to get him into his stroller. Oftentimes, I find myself empty-handed on the bribe front, so I make the promise of a treat that I know doesn’t exist. Even though I have no treats to speak of (i.e. raisins, goldfish, etc.), I find myself dealing with the situation by using a rogue cheerio left at the bottom of his pushchair or a dandelion picked from the grass. With enough enthusiasm, I can convince him that the stale piece of cereal or ubiquitous flower he’s been bestowed is both an honour and a treat.
My friend Kate is one of the most voracious readers I know, and she’s been recommending books to me since we first learned to read together in Kindergarten and Grade 1. Charlotte’s Web and Bunnicula certainly did not disappoint.
Kate loves fiction (often with a gothic/medieval leaning), whereas I gravitate towards nonfiction, so she often recommends books that I would never even consider reading. Here are a few of her recent book suggestions, followed by some nonfiction reads I’m looking forward to making my way through this summer…