Our April Bookshelf

Our April Bookshelf

Here is a list of some of our favorite recent reads. A few from me, although I am still on an Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers mystery novel kick so I didn’t list those. A few more from my teenage son, and a few from our homeschool reading list. 

My son and I both read A Wrinkle in Time, since there is a movie coming out next year. I only read book one, but he continued on with the whole series.

The Hogwarts Library and Doctor Who books were some of the items I added to his birthday boxes. You know those themed Loot Crates? I made my own for his birthday with the themes of Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Harry Potter. I’ll write about them next week!

From Mom

Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline
What does history look like? How do you draw time? Cartographies of Time is the first history of the timeline, written engagingly and with incredible visuals. The authors, both accomplished writers and historians, sketch the shifting field of graphic representations of history from the beginning of the print age through the present. They shed light on western views of history and on the complex relationship between general ideas about the course of events and the technical efforts to record and connect dates and names in the past. In addition to telling a rich, forgotten story, this book serves as a kind of grammar of historical representation, uncovering the ways in which time has been structured in thought and in images, in the Western tradition. Written for both the academically curious and the general reader, Cartographies of Time provides a set of tools for understanding the evolution and the significance of graphic representations of time both in history and in contemporary culture.

America’s Hidden History: Untold Tales of the First Pilgrims, Fighting Women, and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation
Kenneth C. Davis, author of the phenomenal New York Times bestseller Don’t Know Much About History, presents a collection of extraordinary stories, each detailing an overlooked episode that shaped the nation’s destiny and character. Davis’s dramatic narratives set the record straight, busting myths and bringing to light little-known but fascinating facts from a time when the nation’s fate hung in the balance. Spanning a period from the Spanish arrival in America to George Washington’s inauguration in 1789, America’s Hidden History is an iconoclastic look at America’s past, connecting some of the dots between history and today’s headlines, and proving why Davis is truly America’s teacher.

The Girl from Everywhere  and its sequel The Ship Beyond Time 
These books blend fantasy, history, and modern sensibility. As the daughter of a time traveler, Nix has spent sixteen years sweeping across the globe and through the centuries aboard her father’s ship. Modern-day New York City, nineteenth-century Hawaii, other lands seen only in myth and legend—Nix has been to them all. But when her father gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. If there is a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship to any place and any time. But now that he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, the year before Nix’s mother died in childbirth—Nix’s life, her entire existence, is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures.

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From the teenager

A Wrinkle in Time
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. “Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.” A tesseract is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

Hogwarts Library
Inside readers will find books treasured by users of the great library at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Newt Scamander’s master work on magical creatures; Quidditch Through the Ages, a comprehensive history of the game and its rules; and The Tales of Beedle the Bard, with an introduction and illustrations by J.K. Rowling and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore. This boxed set is an essential addition to the collection of any Harry Potter fan, and a beautiful gift to cherish.

Hatchet
This award-winning contemporary classic is the survival story with which all others are compared—and a page-turning, heart-stopping adventure, recipient of the Newbery Honor. Brian Robertson, sole passenger on a Cessna 406, is on his way to visit his father when the tiny bush plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness. With nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present, Brian finds himself completely alone.

The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make: A Guide for Teens
From Sean Covey, the author of the international bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, this bestselling follow-up book builds upon the legacy of the 7 Habits and shows teens how to make smart choices about the six most crucial choices they’ll face during these turbulent years. The challenges teens face today are tougher than at any time in history: academic stress, parent communication, media bombardment, dating drama, abuse, bullying, addictions, depression, and peer pressure, just to name a few. And, like it or not, the choices teens make while navigating these challenges can make or break their futures.

Doctor Who: Official Guide on How to be a Time Lord and Doctor Who: A History of Humankind: The Doctor’s Official Guide 
This is the definitive guide on how to be a Time Lord written by the ancient Time Lords but hilariously improved/sabotaged by the Eleventh Doctor as a gift for his successor, the Twelfth Doctor. Throughout the factual Time Lord sections, the Doctor has crossed things out, added funny scribbles, silly doodles and post-it notes. The central section has been ripped out by an impatient Doctor and replaced with far more important/interesting stuff such as how to correctly wear a fez or dip a fish finger into custard, and other crucial things about how to be a time-travelling hero just like him.

Over billions of years of time travel, the Doctor has run into his fair share of important people – and he’s formed opinions on most of them too. Now the Twelfth Doctor has got hold of a history textbook from Coal Hill School, and he’s decided to improve it with notes of his own. From Nefertiti to Robin Hood, this essential Doctor’s guide gives us his unique take on Earth’s most famous historical figures. Through annotations, scribblings and his trademark snarky humour, the Doctor has plenty to say about the pudding-brained humans he’s met on his travels. It’s history . . . but perhaps not quite as you know it!

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For the homeschool

The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey
Tells the story of a boy who becomes shipwrecked on an unfamiliar island after being swept out to sea in a storm. Having previously lived in a relatively free society, in this new strange land he experiences culture shock as he learns learns of bewildering laws and traditions of the islands inhabitants. The story highlights the absurdities of the laws, the controls imposed on people’s lives, and the economic drawbacks of these laws. The laws highlighted are recognizable as common to many countries throughout the world. As the story unfolds, the part individuals in society play in political decision-making and personal responsibility is introduced for discussion. The book is a delight to read! This book has won numerous awards and has been endorsed by Steve Forbes, Walter Williams, John Stossel, Mark Skousen, and Austrian-School economists and educators throughout the world.

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments 
Have you read (or stumbled into) one too many irrational online debates? Ali Almossawi certainly had, so he wrote An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments! This handy guide is here to bring the internet age a much-needed dose of old-school logic (really old-school, a la Aristotle). Here are cogent explanations of the straw man fallacy, the slippery slope argument, the ad hominem attack, and other common attempts at reasoning that actually fall short—plus a beautifully drawn menagerie of animals who (adorably) commit every logical faux pas. Rabbit thinks a strange light in the sky must be a UFO because no one can prove otherwise (the appeal to ignorance). And Lion doesn’t believe that gas emissions harm the planet because, if that were true, he wouldn’t like the result (the argument from consequences).

How to Read Literature Like a Professor
New York Times bestselling author and professor Thomas C. Foster gives tweens the tools they need to become thoughtful readers. With funny insights and a conversational style, he explains the way writers use symbol, metaphor, characterization, setting, plot and other key techniques to make a story come to life. From that very first middle school book report to that first college course, kids need to be able to understand the layers of meaning in literature. Foster makes learning this important skill fun and exciting by using examples from How the Grinch Stole Christmas to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, from short stories and poems to movie scripts. This go-to guide unlocks all the hidden secrets to reading, making it entertaining and satisfying.

The Pearl
Like his father and grandfather before him, Kino is a poor diver, gathering pearls from the gulf beds that once brought great wealth to the Kings of Spain and now provide Kino, Juana, and their infant son with meager subsistence. Then, on a day like any other, Kino emerges from the sea with a pearl as large as a sea gull’s egg, as “perfect as the moon.” With the pearl comes hope, the promise of comfort and of security.

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