Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Read-at-Home Mom Report: February 2024 Wrap-Up

February Favorites

These were some of my five-star reads in February: 

Silas Marner by George Eliot
I read this with the episodes from the Literary Life podcast, and they were very illuminating. I never would have recognized the Rumpelstiltskin references without help. I also loved the writing and found the story very satisfying. 

Lunar New Year Love Story by Gene Luen Yang and LeUyen Pham
I don't read many graphic novels, but I love this author and illustrator, and I couldn't pass up a graphic novel YA romance! There are some wonderfully authentic Catholic details in this book (which I expected, since Yang taught at a Catholic school) as well as lots of fun information about the lion dance and really interesting, layered characters, including adults. This will probably make my favorites list at the end of the year.

Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley
This is a delight for anyone who loves books. I enjoyed the humor and love story as well as all the bookish commentary.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
I expected this to be brutal, but it was actually quite hopeful despite the bleak setting and circumstances. The writing is also beautiful. 

The Funeral Ladies of Ellerie County by Claire Swinarski
This is a novel immersed in Catholicism, and I absolutely loved it. There is a little bit of language I wouldn't have included if I were the author, but otherwise great writing and wonderful characters.

A Swarm in May by William Mayne
This vintage UK middle grade book about a boys' choir school was an excellent read-aloud. I loved all the details about beekeeping and the way the boys teased each other and their teachers.

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis 
I know I missed a lot in this book because it makes so many literary references, and it felt a bit slow for  me, but it was so clever and such a fun concept. I know I'll want to read it again someday.

Read-Aloud and Homeschool Books

  • Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper (5 stars)
  • Poem-Making: Ways to Begin Writing Poetry by Myra Cohn Livingston (4 stars)
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (5 stars)
  • Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce (5 stars)

Sequels and Series Books

  • Date with Malice (The Dales Detective Series Book 2) by Julia Chapman (5 stars)
  • The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope Book 1) by Ann Cleeves (3 stars)
  • Kissing for Keeps (Sheppards in Love Book 1) by Martha Keyes (3 stars)
  • Per My Last Email (Wells Family Book 1) by Juliana Smith (4 stars)
  • The Dark is Rising (The Dark is Rising Book 2) by Susan Cooper (5 stars)
  • Holmes, Marple & Poe (Holmes, Margaret & Poe Book 1) by James Patterson (4 stars) 

Stand-Alone Books

  • The Eyes and the Impossible by Dave Eggers (5 stars)
  • Elf Dog and Owl Head by M.T.Anderson (5 stars)
  • A Saint Squad for Teachers: 45 Heavenly Friends to Carry You through the School Year by Amy J. Cattapan (4 stars)
  • Do You Mind If I Cancel? by Gary Janetti (4 stars)
  • Start Without Me by Gary Janetti (4 stars)
  • 1000 Words: A Writer's Guide to Staying Creative, Focused, and Productive All Year Round by Jami Attenberg (5 stars)
  • If Morning Ever Comes by Anne Tyler (3 stars)
  • Little Moments of Love by Catana Chetwynd (4 stars)
  • 1776 by David McCullough (4 stars)
  • Love, Unscripted by Denise Hunter (4 stars)


  • The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett

Family Reading Lists 

M. (girl, 10 years, 3 months)

  • The Five Brothers: The Story of the Mahabharata by Elizabeth Seeger 
  • Tales of the Chinese Grandmother by Frances Carpenter 
  • The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs
  • The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
  • The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring by John Bellairs

C. (girl, 8 years, 5 months)

  • Catherine the Great by Katharine Scherman
  • The Secret Diary of Jeb & Abigail by Jean Fritz

E. (girl, 6 years, 4 months)

  • Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse by Ursula Moray Williams
  • Jason and the Bees by Brom Hoban

R. (boy, 3 years, 11 months)
A. (girl, 3 years, 11 months) 

  • Eloise Wilkin Treasury (A.)
  • More More More said the Baby by Vera Williams (A.)
  • Hope is a Hop by Katrina Moore (A.)
  • Sleepy Time Tales (R. and A.)
  • Animal Tales (R. and A.)
  • Mr. Putter and Tabby series by Cynthia Rylant (R. and A.)
  • Owl Moon by Jane Yolen (R. and A.)
  • My Big Book of Outdoors by Tim Hopgood (A.) 
  • Sheep in a Jeep series by Nancy Shaw (R.)
  • Sweet Dreams: 5-Minute Bedtime Stories (R. and A.)
  • Nini Lost and Found by Anita Lobel(A.)
  • Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina (R.)

My husband 

  • The Ramayana by Elizabeth Seeger (with M.)
  • Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley 
  • Fancy Free by Betty Cavanna
  • At the Hot Gates: An Account of the Battle of Thermopylae by Donald Sampson (read aloud)

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