What books the Bowenclan have read these past two months …

Mindfulness is a goal of ours for 2018. And we can’t think of a more enjoyable way of being mindful than cracking open a book. Last year, I did a lot better than the rest of the family in reading. (It helps that it’s part of my nightly bedtime routine.)

For this year, we will plan on talking about the books we’re reading bi-monthly. That way, our son, “G” (as he’s affectionally known here), may actually sneak one in.

We keep pushing books in front of him, because for most kids — and us, too, really — they’re drawn to the instant gratification of a digital device. Fortunately, we’ve seen an uptick in reading interest from our daughter, “D”.

Anyway, here’s the January/February 2018 book list:

Becca’s Books

All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda – I set this aside for almost a year. And I wished I hadn’t. I finally finished the book. It was entertaining the way it works backwards. It starts present day and then each chapter is the day before. It’s kind of a cool concept.

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure – This book is really good. It’s about an architect during World War II who becomes a reluctant hero to the Jews. This was a recommendation from my mom whom I’m convinced only reads books about WWII. Case in point, the next book she let me borrow is The Lilac Girls.

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris – This book is about how deceiving appearances can be. The couple in the book seems to be happy and in love, but are they really?

Book I’m reading right now is The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey. I think I pick the “Girl” books out subconsciously, but now that Brent has brought it to everyone’s attention — I think it should remain a common theme.

(He: So … Becca has graduated from trains to WWII. Ironically, when I visited the WWII museum in New Orleans, the first thing they do is put you on a train. Still with the girls, though.)

Brent’s Books

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – This gem had been sitting in Brent’s “to be read” pile for several years. The movie’s forthcoming release forced the issue, and he devoured the book over the course of a week. Watch for his page to screen review at KC Geeks in April. Here’s to hoping Steven Spielberg does the book justice.

The Secrets of Story by Matt Bird – 2018 is the year Brent swears he gets back into writing fiction. He saw that author (and former speculative fiction book editor) Lou Anders highly recommended this book on craft, so he picked it up. What intrigued Brent about this book is that it’s audience-focused, which appeals to his marketing background. A popular writing adage is to write for yourself. This book approaches that concept and turns it on its head.

Owl and The Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish – Brent’s mother beat him to the punch in reading his former Adventure in Scifi Publishing co-host’s book. So sad. So he set aside everything else to enjoy this book chock full of supernatural fun. The podcast has been on hiatus for almost two years, which also makes Brent sad. But he appreciates Kristi and her sense of humor — which is certainly on display in the Owl series.

D’s Books

Powerless by Matthew Cody – When we asked “D” about whether she liked the book, she said,“yes.” When we asked what, she said, “everything.” She told me the plot reveals itself like a mystery, which she enjoyed.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – D’s class is reading the classic at school in English class. She’s excited to see the onscreen adaptation (as are we).

G’s Books

Basketball (and Other Things): A Collection of Questions Asked. Answered. Illustrated by Shea Serrano  (Author),‎ Arturo Torres (Illustrator) — Such a cool book. It would have been the perfect teenage triple threat had it more hip hop music in it.

(He: Where’s the Migos Stir Fry when you need it.)

Lord of the Flies by William Golding — “G’s” interest piqued on this book only after Brent told him the kids started going all Hunger Games on each other.

Forthcoming Books

As we mentioned, most of us in the house love books … though we have a certain teenage son whom we’ve lost to video games and girls. Here’s what’s on our list for March:

  • Becca: Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides – This is a story mainly about Kit Carson and how the West was really won. Brent’s parents live in New Mexico. When we visited a cool bookstore in Taos, I asked the clerk about a good book about the region. He handed me Blood and Thunder.

    (He: What?! No girls, trains or WWII. I’m sure two of the three will be found in this book. 😉

  • Brent: The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman. Brent’s a huge fan of The Dark Materials Trilogy, counting The Golden Compass as one of his favorite all-time books. Never in his lifetime did he expect another book set in this world.

    He: Sadly, the book has been collecting dust in the TBR stack.

  • G: TBD … He’ll probably just play Fortnite.
  • D: Super by Matthew Cody. She loved Powerless so much, she’s on to book two.



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