Nightstand Reading {March 2014}

It's time to share our reading for the month with What's on Your Nightstand with 5 Minutes for Books.  I join the others in linking up to the book party every fourth Tuesday of the month.  I really enjoy taking the time each month to consider what I read and recommend to you all.

The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar, by Robert Alexander.  This was by far my favorite book of the month and will likely be a favorite of the year.   Thank you, Carrie, for the recommendation.  (Linked to her complete review.)  Even as my first book on Russian history, it captivated me.  In this historical fiction, Alexander used real letters to base his story of the last days of former Tsar Nicholas Romanov through the eyes of a servant and friend...the kitchen boy.  Brilliant and captivating.  The only thing that could improve it would be an introduction of historical background.  I say this because I am, um, fairly clueless about Russian history.  (This title has a small amount of language.)

The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodson Burnett.  I thought I had read classic this as a child, but not one bit of it was familiar to me.  I wonder if I tried to read it as a fourth or fifth grader (because I really thought I had read it), but possibly the dialect was too difficult for me to understand at age.  Enjoying the book as much as I did was a pleasant surprise.  An unloved and unlovable child learns to love and be loved within a secret garden.

Read Alouds
I finally finished Betsy-Tacy Go Downtown, part of the Betsy-Tacy Treasury which I think every girl should own.  (My five year old son enjoyed it, too.)  We read this in the van as we waited for the school bus each morning.  It takes a long time to read books when you read for just five minutes a day.  I'm rather sad to take a break from the Betsy-Tacy series, but I feel the next books in the series are best for older children since the characters are teens.  I'll reevaluate when Big Sister is nine or ten.  In the meantime, Big Sister, age 7, will read the tales in the treasury on her own.  (Betsy-Tacy was her very first "real" chapter book!)  Full of old-fashioned fun and innocence (and somewhat biographical), these books chronicle the adventures of three friends living in Deep Valley, Minnesota in the early 1900's.

Did Not Finish
The Secret Keeper, by Kate Morton.  (Audio) After enjoying The Forgotten Garden so much, I tried another Morton book on CD.  It was okay, but I didn't love it.  After listening to seven CD's, I realized I had ten more to finish... I stopped, deciding the time already invested was not worth it.

I thought I would read The Little White Horse (with a unicorn on the cover?) for the Reading to Know Book Club.  I even borrowed it from the library.  However, I was never motivated to crack the first page.

What do you recommend this month? 

~ Annette W. {This Simple Mom}

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  1. You're a day early! :)

    I still want to read The Kitchen Boy. I love Russian history. I took an undergraduate history class on 20th century history and really enjoyed it, and then I taught high school world history and fell in love with it a little more.

    I agree on Betsy-Tacy--a must-read!

    I read one of Kate Morton's books and both enjoyed it and was creeped out by it. I doubt I'll read another one.

  2. Carrie's review caught me interest, too. I don't know when I'll ever get to them.

    I read one Kate Morton book and thought her writing was gorgeous, and there was not much bad language, but the one main instance was a word that's a deal-breaker for me.

  3. I've been hearing so much about The Kitchen Boy lately, I'm going to have to see if my library has it!

    My boys are all with their Nana, so I'm hoping I can start(and finish) The Little White Horse tonight. :)

  4. Oh, I am SO glad that you liked The Kitchen Boy. I can think of few who wouldn't. I just love it! Not so much the second in the series but definitely the third. You CAN skip the second and not miss anything although it does shed light on a different aspect of the Romanov family.

    Well, if you don't crack open Little White Horse I, personally, wouldn't feel that you are missing very much. :)

  5. Oh yeah! Re: The Secret Keeper. I've always wondered about that title. You are making me think it's a "pass."


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