Searching for something new for dinner? Try this delicious recipe for Fairy-ring Mushroon, Prosciutto, and Leek Pizza-- created by Girlichef and inspired by Little Island, selected as a "Top Read," summer 2014 by Concord Monitor's Livewell Magazine.
"[Little Island] is the perfect book for those who love Jodi Picoult, Kristin Hannah and Elin Hilderbrand." (Literally Jen)
Katharine's Book Recommendations:
Someone, by Alice McDermott. McDermott shows us how few words are needed to tell a complete story. If you choose the right words. Her family saga gives us birth, death, love, loss, grief, joy, faith, family bonds... through several generations. All in a mere 240 pages.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley. Everything you want in a murder mystery: a 1950s setting, a crumbling Victorian manor, sparring sisters, magic, stamp collecting, and a murder in the cucumber patch. All narrated by precocious eleven-year old sleuth, Flavia de Luce, who has a prediliction for poison.
Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. "An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity." Read my review on the New York Journal of Books
For Middle Grade readers:
Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head, by Lauren Oliver & H.C. Chester. Curiosity House serves up a Dime Museum filled with oddities, numerous murders, four “gifted” children, and one shrunken head. The pace is peppy and the premise clear: Find the shrunken head and save the museum. - Read more of my review at New York Journal of Books.
The Little Witch, by Otto Preussler. The Little Witch was first published in 1957, and it reads like a good, old-fashioned fairytale. Our protagonist, a witch, short of stature and a mere 127 years of age (young by witch standards, according to Preussler) is too young to participate in Walpurgis Night: the witch’s convention on Brocken Mountain. At this annual event witches dance all night, fly around a huge bonfire on their broomsticks and generally raise a ruckus. Read more of my review at New York Journal of Books.
Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate. “Imaginary friends are like books. We’re created, we’re enjoyed, we’re dog-eared and creased, and then we’re tucked away until we’re needed again.”
Fifth-grader Jackson has a problem. He is once again being visited by Crenshaw, a very large, bubble bath taking, surfboarding, umbrella-toting cat, who likes purple jellybeans. They’re Jackson’s favorite, too, but this cat simply cannot be in his life. Jackson is an aspiring scientist. He likes facts. Fact: Cats do not take bubble baths. Read more of my review at New York Journal of Books.
Fuzzy Mud, by Louis Sacher. Sacher serves up a gripping tale, replete with missing children, mysterious fuzz-covered mud puddles, and an exponentially increasing army of mutant “ergonyms.” - Read more at: New York Journal of Books
Goodbye Stranger, by Rebecca Stead. While Goodbye Stranger might not win the hearts of some Rebecca Stead fans, it will get them thinking. - See more at: New York Journal of Books
Flora & Ulysses,by Kate DeCamillo. A clever, entertaining, thoughtful, and wonderfully illustrated children's story about a girl with a very round head and a squirrel with superpowers. May there be a sequel.
The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Kathering Paterson. A moving story about a foster girl who wants to reconnect with her birth mother. If this seems like a story you've read numerous times, think again. Paterson delivers a deep moral lesson in The Great Gilly Hopkins, while telling an engaging coming-of-age story in a wholly unexpected way.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare. A classic. This Newbury Award-winning work of historical fiction set in 1687, in the colony of Connecticut, features a plucky, outspoken heroine, political intrigue, and a dash of romance. Speare shows how fear of the unknown, brought about by narrow-mindedness and group think, can have potentially dire consequences. A timeless message.
For Young Adult readers:
Seriously Wicked, by Tina Connolly contains all the classic elements of a good commercial novel: a plucky protagonist with a quantifiable goal, friends in peril, an able ally, an antagonist who knows too much, complications aplenty, high stakes, and a ticking clock. This one also has at least one seriously evil witch and a really sympathetic dragon named Moonfire. Read more.
Praise for Little Island
“Acutely rendered details of a beloved natural landscape and
[a] wise understanding of complex human hearts. The tale is
touched with heartbreak but leavened with humor.”
— Reeve Lindbergh, author of Under a Wing and Forward From Here
Click here to learn more about Little Island
Click here to view the trailer for Little Island