snow season and winter reading


It finally feels like Winter in the Midwest. We have snow.

Ella and Roone are more than thrilled. Yesterday they were out sledding. I had them so bundled that after they came in and took of their snow gear they were literally steaming. 

We were given more inches today so tomorrow after music lessons, time in the snow has once again been promised. Good exercise, no? and the since snow accumulation has been few and far between this year, we'll take advantage of the moment.

This time of year is perfect for having a stack (or two or three stacks) of books at the ready.
I thought I'd share what we have been enjoying individually and together as a family.

Rachel's Stack

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell - PBS produced a miniseries of this book a few years ago, which is where I first came in touch with this story and quaint little town. The miniseries is one that has enough interesting story lines and character development to enjoy watching again and again. My eleven-year-old daughter even enjoyed it! Knowing the series was based off Gaskell's novel of the same name, I recently picked it up from the library and have been enjoying it. The format of the books differs from the series, but the characters and all their quirkiness are much the same.
The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien - My husband is credited with our family enjoying Tolkien's stories. While I haven't braved The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I have enjoyed The Hobbit, and picked up The Children of Hurin from the bookstore last month. Tolkiens stories are set in Middle Earth, so if one book doesn't reference the same characters and time period of another book the locations are so interwoven and the battle of dark and light is so overarching that it's as if the reader is being educated about the other stories she has read while learning about new characters and events. This is an incredibly sad tale, but an interesting read at the same time.
Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendollsen - an anthology of homemaking. My work as a homemaker can only improve upon reading sections of this book. At over six hundred pages I probably won't read it cover to cover before returning to the library!
The Godson by Leo Tolstoy - I began reading Russian literature in college, and haven't kept up with it. This little book caught my eye at the library, and I thought it would be nice to read a book in that genre again.

Children's Stacks

How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell - who knew there were 11 books (and one on the way!) for the children to enjoy.
Redwall series - currently High Rhulain and Rakkety Tam by Brian Jacques 

Family Stack

Wild Trek by Jim Kjelgaard - My husband also received the credit for bringing Jim Kjelgaard to our attention, which I think I've previously mentioned. This book is about one man's search for two other men lost in the Canadian wilderness. The searchers only companion is his dog, Chiri. Our family loved this book and read multiple chapters each evening just to get to the ending sooner! 
Redwall by Brian Jacques - As we await the next book listed, Wolf Brother, to arrive at the library we are reading the first Redwall book as a family. My daughter is the resident Redwall expert, so it's fun to have her insights as we enjoy this book together. 
Wolf Brother by Jim Kjelgaard - My son is more than ready for this book to arrive, but has been told Redwall must be finished before we move on! Oh the pains of patience!

Our time to read as a family is after dinner when the children are already dressed for bed. Doing this only works this time of year when the sun sets early. In the summer if the sun is up we are enjoying the outside and once the sun sets we come in, get clean, and drop into bed. Since I know that season will be here soon, this family reading time will be enjoyed to the fullest!