Notes on Books

These notes on books include the posts to Lost in a Story, a blog I had solely for book reviews. Since mid-2011, all reviews have appeared on this Idea of Home blog.

*An American Childhood (Annie Dillard) (memoir, childhood, Pittsburgh, 1950s, nature, neighbourhood)
*Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (Amy Chua) (memoir, parenting)
*Composing a Life (Mary Catherine Bateson) (memoir, feminism)
*Don't Kill the Birthday Girl (Sandra Beasley) (memoir, allergies)
*Kith: The riddle of the childscape (Jay Griffiths) (childhood, parenting, romanticism)
*Local Wonders (Ted Kooser) (memoir, landscape, neighbourhood, belonging)
*Riding the Bus with my Sister (Rachel Simon) (memoir, illness)
*Take the Cannoli (Sarah Vowell) (memoir, America, growing up, culture, family, history, humour)
*The Passion of the Hausfrau (Natalie Chaison) (motherhood, laugh out loud humour, self-knowledge)
*The 100-Mile Diet (Alisa Smith & JB MacKinnon) (local food, justice, geography)
*Unpolished Gem (Alice Pung) (memoir, migration, Cambodia, childhood)

Other Nonfiction
*Dakota (Kathleen Norris) (spiritual geography, location, self-knowledge, prayer)
*Deer Hunting with Jesus (Joe Bageant) (America, politics, working class)
*Dibs: In Search of Self (Virginia Axline) (children, play therapy)
*Eat Pray Love (Elizabeth Gilbert) (travel, self-discovery, prayer)
*Gardens for Pleasure (Brodee Myers-Cooke) (gardens, whimsy)
*The Idle Parent (Tom Hodgkinson) (parenting)
*Michael McCoy's Garden (Michael McCoy) (gardens)
*On Guerilla Gardening (Richard Reynolds) (gardening, public space, neighbourhood, public action)
*One Magic Square (Lolo Houbein) (gardening, sustainability)
*Parlour Games for Modern Families (Myfanwy Jones, Spiri Tsintziras) (all those games you used to play on rainy holidays and have half forgotten - well, here they are!)
*Play. How it shapes the brain, opens the imagination, and invigorates the soul (Stuart Brown) (play, pop sci)
*Street Reclaiming: Creating Livable Streets and Vibrant Communities (David Engwicht) (neighbourhood, traffic, pedestrians, community action)
*The Divided Heart (Rachel Power) (motherhood, art, juggling act)
*The Quotidian Mysteries (Kathleen Norris) (daily life, housework, spirituality, spiritual disciplines, ritual, prayer)
*The Supper of the Lamb and also briefly here (Robert Farrar Capon) (cooking, ritual, celebration)
*What Women Want Next (Susan Maushart) (feminism, gender inequality, wellbeing)
*Wifework (Susan Maushart) (feminism, marriage, gender discrepancies)

*A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Dave Eggers) (fiction, loss, grief, parenthood, memoir)
*Cobweb (Neal Stephenson) (fiction, America, terrorism, intelligence agencies, cornfields)
*Cocaine Blues (Kerry Greenwood) (fiction, mystery, Melbourne, 1920's)
*Dead Man's Chest (Kerry Greenwood) (fiction, mystery, Queenscliff, 1920's)
*Divine Inspiration (Jane Langton) (fiction, mystery, pipe organs, churches, Boston)
*Gilead (Marilynne Robinson) (aging, death, hope, joy, belonging, location, prayer, devotion)
*Her Fearful Symmetry (Audrey Niffenegger) (a total bomb, death, twins, London, gothic)
*Lavinia (Ursula LeGuin) (fiction, Graeco-Roman mythology, paganism, feminism)
*Little Bee (Chris Cleave) (fiction, asylum seekers, child-adult relationships) *Master and Commander (Patrick O'Brian) (fiction, sailing ships, captains, physicians, adventure, warfare)
*Mr g (Alan Lightman) (creation, universe, god)
*Sick Puppy (Carl Hiaasen) (fiction, mystery, environmental destruction, corruption, ecoterrorism, swamps, Florida)
*Special Topics in Calamity Physics (Marisha Peissl) (fiction, adolescence, belonging, mystery, literature)
*The Baroque Cycle (Neal Stephenson) (Quicksilver, The Confusion, The System of the World) (fiction, history, piracy, Royal Society, modern science, financial markets, royalty, mudlarks, and everything else)
*The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Muriel Barbery) (fiction, philosophy, misfits, friendship, love)
*The Secret River (Kate Grenville) (fiction, Australian, colonialism, genocide)
*The Summer Book (Tove Jansson) (fiction, children, old age, Finland)
*The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (David Mitchell) (fiction, Japanese history, Dutch history, colonialism)
*The Time Traveller's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger) (love, aging, time travel, loss)
*The Tortoise and the Hare (Elizabeth Jenkins) (marriage, divorce, betrayal, power)
*Zero History (William Gibson) (fiction, fashion, corporatism)

Junior Fiction (chapter books for 7 to 12 year olds)
*A Few Fair Days (Jane Gardam) (childhood, daily life, small things, landscape)
*Arabel and Mortimer (Joan Aiken) (children, ravens, mischief)
*Greenwitch (Susan Cooper) (Celtic mythology, landscape, Cornwall)
*Moonshine in the Mustard Pot (Joan Aiken) (aging, death, loss, grief, children, keeping on, heritage, inheritance)
*Ratbags and Rascals (Robin Klein) (short stories, children)
*The Boggart / The Boggart and the Monster (Susan Cooper) (Celtic mythology, loss, longing, adventure)
*The Chewing Gum Rescue / The Great Piratical Rumbustification / The Downhill Crocodile Whizz (Margaret Mahy) (adventure, poignance, pirates)
*The Gift Giving (Joan Aiken) (death, children, loss, redemption, gifts)
*Tuck Everlasting (Natalie Babbitt) (mortality) *Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L'Engle) (maths, physics, SF, love)

Kids' Books
*An Advent List - a good dozen books briefly discussed here
*A Lion in the Night (Pamela Allen) (rollicking adventure for a baby, lion, king, queen)
*Fire on the Mountain (Jane Kurtz) (Ethiopia, folk tale)
*How Little Lori Visited Times Square (Amos Vogel; illustrated by Maurice Sendak) (cities, surreal humour)
*I Love my Hair (Natasha Anastasia Tarpley) (African hair, pride)
*In the Small, Small Night (Jane Kurtz) (Ghana, folk tale, displacement, migration)
*Love You Forever (Robert Munsch) (loss, aging, love)
*Mortimer (Robert Munsch) (kids who won't sleep, families)
*Owl Moon (Jane Yolen) (owls, night time, quiet)
*Rose Meets Mr Wintergarten (Bob Graham) (children, neighbourhood, golden rule)
*The Mousehole Cat (Antonia Barber) (self-sacrifice, folk tale, Cornwall, fishing, Christmas traditions)
*Waiting for Mummy (Korea, working mother, patient child)

*The Blizzard Voices (Ted Kooser) (blizzard, loss, hope, pioneers)
*The Taste of River Water (Cate Kennedy) (pregnancy, loss, rural life)

*Oliver's Travels (DVD, adventure, romance, whimsy, old jokes, homage, cryptic crossword puzzles)
*The Guardian Weekly (newspaper) (written for people like me!)

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