Snow Day Books

It’s been storm after storm in the Northeast.  I’ve read a few books.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. The post- traumatic stress story of a young boy and a famous work of art.  I read this on my e-reader intermittently with other hard cover books. I had a long plane ride last week and finally finished it. Though I felt it started to drag a bit by the last 200 pages, I was compelled to see how it ended. We witness the boy become a man, and watch how his philosophy about the role of art in the world evolves.  Not as strong as her other novels.

Another art-based novel is Fugitive Colors by Lisa Barr that tells the story of an artist’s revenge after witnessing the theft and destruction of art in World War II. Good read. I’m sure I picked it from the library’s new books shelf based on the cover. 51OTJXlbpOL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_

Sue Monk Kidd’s Invention of Wings is based on the true story of  Sarah and Angelina Grimke,  Charleston, SC sisters who become abolitionists.  Unknown Kidd creates  a friendship between Sarah and her maid, Hetty, who had been given to her as a present from her parents on her 11th birthday.  Chapters alternate between Sarah and Hetty, revealing the struggles of the time- one for others’ freedom and one for her own. This joins a crowded field of books addressing slavery and abolitionists; I’d have liked to read more about Sarah’s work.

For non-fiction, I couldn’t put down The Man he Became: How FDR Defied Polio to Win the Presidency by James Tobin.  51ZV+81RcRL._SL160_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-dp,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU01_AA160_ My father suggested it and I could immediately see why he did. We learn how FDR contracted polio, how a combination of misdiagnosis and treatments lead to the disease’s progression, and how FDR chose his opportunity to lead the nation over committing time and energy to trying to walk again.  A comeback story like no other.

What have you read to beat the winter blues?


About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. ( I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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11 Responses to Snow Day Books

  1. Always love your book reviews, Lisa! Wish I was doing more reading… I’m in a lazy reading phase. Too busy reading blogs!


  2. Drjcwash says:

    Thanks for the suggestions.


  3. Huffygirl says:

    I was going to buy “The Goldfinch” – now based on your review I’m not sure. The FDR book sounds compelling, even though I usually favor getting lost in fiction over truth. I’m currently reading “Proof of Heaven” a true story of a doctor’s near-death experience. Not very far in to it but it is good so far.


  4. Had the same response to Goldfinch and its draggy ending, kept saying to myself “alright already…” But it was well worth the read. And just as I was going to type this, a goldfinch appeared on my windowsill, pecking below the snow!


  5. Nice. Amazing how little touches of nature can brighten our day. What are you reading now? email me.


  6. Gwen Tuinman says:

    I would be very interested to read more about the Grimke sisters. The Quakers believed in human rights and equality. Their tie to the abolitionist movement is know by many but it is interesting that it goes hand in hand with the women’s rights movement as well. So glad you wrote about this book.


  7. I’m reading “Book of Ages,”by Jill Lapore, the story of Benjamin Franklin’s younger sister and The Goldfinch. The question I would like to know is, “What are you reading or have you read that you loved? I am not loving either of these books.


  8. Believe it or not, I picked up Tangerine Tango and read it again! 🙂


  9. Now that’s a great book!!


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