Jennifer's books

Goodbye, Vitamin
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
Mrs. Hemingway
Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir
The Princess Diarist
Watch Me Disappear
Hello, Sunshine
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
A Man Called Ove
The Heirs
Our Souls at Night
White Fur
Confessions of a Domestic Failure
The Map That Leads to You
The Little French Bistro
Love the Wine You're With
Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
The Party
New Boy

Jennifer Curry's favorite books »

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Book Review: Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstances

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstances by Ruth Emmie Lang

Get ready. I am about to tell you about a book that you will want to savor in small pieces because it is so so good. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang is the book you need in your life right now.

Lately, more of my friends are looking for books they can escape into. Books that offer respite from the issues we are facing today. And, books like Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance give us a world we can disappear into between the pages.

This is a fictional novel with some doses of magical realism with characters you will not soon forget. The premise sounds crazy, but please hear me out. The author makes it work. Basically, this is a story about a boy who grew up with wolves after his human parents died. Upon being discovered, he is sent to a foster home where his unique and magical qualities turn the family upside down. But, his journey doesn’t stop there.

The story centers around this character (Weylyn) and all the people his gifts (such as controlling the weather and making things grow) impact over the years. Readers are introduced to the various people who have been flummoxed by his special abilities, as well as those who love him completely for all that he is. If you saw the movie Powder, it reminded me of it.

I know it sounds bizarre – as I was explaining it to my husband I realized it did not sound like the normal stuff I read. But, it was beautiful and moving and hopeful – and the perfect antidote for a time when the world seems to be in a great state of upheaval. We all need some magic and you might find it in a character like Weylyn.

For example, here’s a quote that I think sums up Weylyn:
“Weylyn’s expression shifted gears. I could tell, even before he spoke, that he had drained his mind of his own sadness and replaced it with empathy for mine. ‘I’m really sorry,’ he said and meant it.”

And there is this hint at how others see Weylyn:
“I wasn’t doing magic, but I was in it, surrounded on all sides by incredible, beautiful things. It made me feel like a wizard even though I wasn’t one, even though I could never be one.”

I just need you all to trust me on this one – Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is a book you need to read. It comes out on November 7th and people are going to be talking about this one for a while.

*I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
*You can pre-order this book on Amazon here or by clicking the picture.

Friday, October 20, 2017

More Proof I Am Raising Weird Kids

Those who know our family know we are nerds. We go all in for the things we love – superheroes, books, and Broadway. So, it should come as no surprise that our kids are a little bit weird. It is a weirdness we’ve nurtured and a weirdness we love.

But, there are days when we wonder if we have just totally screwed up our kids. I think every parent worries about this at some point. Rather than focusing on these big picture “am I totally ruining my kid” or “will they need years of therapy” type of concerns, I’d like to tell you some of the more funny times my husband and I have thought, “Uh-oh.”

Here are my costumed children doing the "Thriller" dance

A few weeks ago, my six-year-old son came to me all concerned about scorpions. The conversation follows:

Son: Why are scorpions so bad?
Me: Well, they are dangerous.
Son: But, why are they so dangerous?
Me: Because they can hurt you and they are scary.
Son: Is that why people don’t like them?
Me: Yes.
Son: But, are they really evil guys?
Me: What?
Son: Are they really evil guys?
Me: What are you talking about?
Son: The guys that the other guys with the car are racing in that singing movie – The Scorpions!
Me: Oh, you were talking about the movie Grease and not the creature.

My six-year-old son did not know scorpions were real creatures. He only thought scorpions were the bad guys in the movie Grease. Is this a #momwin or #momfail? We’ll have to wait a few years to see how he turns out.

On top of this musical gaffe, our kids are also clueless about sports. CLUELESS. My husband was an all-star athlete. He was phenomenal. Seriously. If only he didn’t have stupid knees… 

However, we have not pushed the whole kids play sports thing. We are more of the “if they show interest, then sure” mindset. So far, little to no interest in sports.

Which is why the following had us falling all over each other laughing after the kids went to bed.

Son: We took a stroll at kids church through the cemetery and the bull pit today. But, there weren’t any bulls. Where do they keep the bulls at church mom?
Me: What? Bulls?
Son: You know for the bull pit. There aren’t any bulls there now. But where would they be?
Me: Knox, there are no bulls at the church. There is no bull pit.
Son: Yes, there is. I saw it. The grass is overgrown and there is some dirt and there is a fence to keep the bulls in.
Me: Knox, there is not a bull pit. There is a baseball field, so you might have heard ball pit. There is also a bullpen, but that doesn’t mean bulls, it is something to do with baseball.
Son: No. It is for bulls. There is only one bench. For sports games, you have to have a lot of benches.
Me: I give up.
Son: I ran all around shouting "Ole!"

He’s a smart kid in a very unique way. Bless his heart.

But, I have no doubt that his interesting way of looking at the world will take him far. And, I am just thrilled to be along for the ride.