Tinkerlab Art Starts: 52 Projects for Open-Ended Exploration

This book is a great aid for anyone who is looking for open-ended art projects for children. It covers all kinds of materials: crayons, paint, charcoal, paper scraps, felt, beads and building materials like toothpicks and blocks. My favorite was a painting project that uses cups and paper towel rolls to make circular designs. I enjoyed this quote from an educator: “Children need what we rarely give them in school: time for messing about.” Rachelle Doorley offers simple but satisfying prompts to encourage creativity and imagination.

The Broken Circle: a Memoir of Escaping Afghanistan

Enjeela Ahmadi-Miller has written a moving story of her family’s escape from Kabul, Afghanistan in 1979. Russia had invaded the country and murdered the democratic president, Daoud Khan and 17 members of his family, including his baby granddaughter, installing a new communist president in his place. Enjeela’s mother left for India with her two sisters, for a heart operation, and her father hires a guide to lead his four remaining children out of the country as well. Enjeela’s description of her travels is very poignant; much of the trip was spent on foot, and it was a very harrowing journey. The family is eventually re-united, so there is a happy ending to her story.

A Paris All Your Own

For anyone who wants to compare notes on Paris, this is a book you can’t miss. Eighteen of the best selling women writers offer a glimpse into their experiences in the city of light. They include Cara Black, Lauren Willig, M.J.Rose, Paula McLain and Michelle Gable, to name some of my favorites. At the end of each story, the writer chooses a favorite and least favorite Paris moment, recommends places you must visit and activities not to be missed, as well as strangest must-have travel item. They also include their contact details and reasons for writing about Paris. I thoroughly enjoyed this, hope you will too.

When Harry Met Minnie: A True Story of Love and Friendship

When I first saw this title, I thought it would be a happy-go-lucky tale of two canine friends. Well, spoiler alert: It contains a lot of sadness as well. It’s a new memoir by Martha Teichner, a New York City dweller and a correspondent for CBS’s Sunday Morning, who happens to also be a bull terrier owner and lover. It’s well worth reading if you are a dog person, and I did enjoy it, but there were tears involved…

Limitless: The Power of Hope and Resilience To Overcome Circumstances

Mallory Weggemann never expected that she would become a paraplegic after a series of routine epidural injections to help her cope with nerve pain. In 2008, she was a high school senior and co-captain of the swim team, a sport she loved, and planning on going away to college. As a result of the third injection, her legs became paralyzed. But with the help of her family and friends, Mallory struggles through the challenges she faces to become a two-time champion swimmer in the Paralympic Games. This is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read, if not the most inspiring. Mallory is a true champion, even when she severely injures one of her arms, she continues competing, and was planning on being in her third Paralympics, until the covid virus struck in 2019. Mallory’s philosophy is to use any unforeseen challenge to propel ourselves forward… I highly recommend reading her story…