It’s the first Monday of the month… and time to announce the April 2015 book for our virtual book club, Mom’s Book Nook. While we all still love to read, as most moms will identify, post kids, those lazy Sunday afternoons we spent drinking wine, eating cheese, catching up with our friends and bantering about great books, have likely ceased to exist. Mom’s Book Nook hopes to fill the gap, allowing for at least the great books and banter, albeit virtually! So please join us – read along, leave us your commentary in the comments below, as well as any great recommendations for next month’s book.
Mom’s Book Nook
Last month, I selected Wonderby RJ Palacio as the book for March. I chose the book in support of our city’s One City, One Story initiative. Sponsored by the City of Milford and our local library, they selected Wonder for this Spring’s book. It is an incredibly moving story, about a young boy, August, born severely disfigured due to a genetic mutation. He has been homeschooled his whole life due to countless surgeries, and the story begins as he enters school for the first time in 5th grade. The story is told in segments by August, his sister, Via, and other children who feature in his life. This is a great book to read aloud as a family, particularly for older elementary and middle school aged children, and teaches an awesome message of kindness and empathy.
I will admit to sobbing through much of it – without giving anything away… I cried when Via tells the story of losing her grandmother; I sobbed for August on Halloween; I cried through Miranda’s story; and I bawled my eyes out through pretty much the entirety of the Director’s graduation speech. It may be a touch of preggo hormones at play, but it is also the heartbreak of human cruelty, especially through early adolescence, as well as the inspiration of the bravery and altruistic hearts of children. It was also a great reminder how certain educators can be truly life altering, teaching lessons far beyond those required in the classroom. And lastly, it is an important reminder that our children learn how to treat others from their first teachers – us, their parents!
A few of my favorite excerpts from the graduation speech:
“…if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.”
“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion to greatness.”
“Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right using of strength… He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own”
If you haven’t read Wonder, I highly encourage you to put it on your reading list – it conveys a great message for adults and adolescents alike. #ChooseKind
April 2015 Book
Multiple of my fellow readers, whose book opinions I respect the most, have recommended this month’s selection. Add to that the fact that one of my favorite actresses, Julianne Moore, won the Oscar for her portrayal of the title role in the film version of the novel this year, so I now have to see the movie. And since the book is always better than the movie, I must read the book first! This month’s book is Still Alice by Lisa Genova.
In this New York Times bestselling novel, Genova, a neuroscientist, tells the story of Alice Howland, a professor diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
About the Book
Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life—and her relationship with her family and the world—forever.
At once beautiful and terrifying, Still Alice is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease that is as compelling as A Beautiful Mind and as unforgettable as Ordinary People. Still Alice has spent over 40 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. It won the 2008 Bronte Prize and the 2011 Bexley Book of the Year, and it was nominated for the 2010 Indies Choice Debut Book of the Year by the American Booksellers Association. It was the #6 Top Book Group Favorite of 2009 by Reading Group Choices, a 2009 Barnes & Noble Discover Pick, a 2009 Indie Next pick, a 2009 Borders Book Club Pick, and a 2009 Target Book Club pick. There are over 2.1 million copies in print, and it has been translated into 31 languages. It was chosen as one of the thirty titles for World Book Night 2013. Still Alice is now a major motion picture from Sony Pictures Classics.
About the Author
Lisa Genova graduated valedictorian, summa cum laude from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels Still Alice, Left Neglected, and Love Anthony.
Lisa travels worldwide, speaking about Alzheimer’s Disease, traumatic brain injury, and autism. She has appeared on the Dr. Oz Show, the Diane Rehm Show, CNN, Chronicle, Fox News, and Canada AM and was featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary film, TO NOT FADE AWAY.
Lisa’s fourth novel, Inside The O’Briens, is about a family living with Huntington’s Disease. She lives with her family on Cape Cod.
Welcome back to Mom’s Book Nook. I hope you’ll join me this month for another great read, and I can’t wait to read your comments on the book below! Don’t forget to leave us a few recommendations for next month as well…