Books books books. You can’t have an English Degree with a twelve year career in librarianship and be writer and not love books. It’s one of the the things we have always instilled in Little Miss who has been reading books with Papa Bear since she was three months old. And so we have followed suit with Little Bean who has a fascination with grabbing at the book and is turning the pages with a little help from Momma Bear now that she is hitting six months old. But then there’s me who invested in a kindle years ago only for it to have been transformed into a white noise machine and now a paperweight. The scale of who owns the most books in our house now leans towards the kids but thats not a bad thing. But I’ve started to change that and with my blogger friends becoming accomplished novelists and writers in the past year I’m picking up more books than I ever did. So lately it’s been one for me and one for the kids.
I have a few book recommendations all lined up for you as I pre-empt a Christmas Panic, after all it is less than 60 days before the best time of year! Some for the kids and some for Momma Bear (sorry Papa, I’ll get around to you some day). And you know me, I love to promote and support anything new and homegrown. We have so much talent on our little island!
For the Littlies
Say hello to Johnny Magory, a character that has brought me right back to the simplicity of childhood. There are times when I’ve picked up a book and felt that the educational push has been overplayed with too much going on. Motor skills, colours, numbers, textures, sounds all in one book for one tiny little mind to try and comprehend. Sensory overload! Some of A’s favourite books have been the ones that conjure up her imagination, stories and ideas that play on her mind all day long so that, at some stage during the day, she can be found in her tent acting out and embellishing on the story that grabbed her attention.
Johnny Magory is from a new Irish children’s author, Emma-Jane Leeson, who tells the story of the proverbial “divil”, Johnny, who abandons everything for his in depth imagination. There are currently three titles in the series, Johnny Magory and the Wild Water Race, Johnny Magory in the Magical Wild, and Johnny Magory and the Game of Rounders. Emma is a mum to three and while managing her family life and a full time career in HR, she also dedicated herself to Johnny and his magical adventures. With illustratror, Kim Shaw, The Advenuteres of Johnny Magory are beautifully done. The stories are laid out with a cute and quirky beat as the magic unfolds and plenty of “Irishisms” will pop out at you as you notice Brennan’s bread playing a lead role!
The imagination of Johnny is what makes these books wonderfully magical. It brings us back to a time before technology truly took over, when a rock, a stream, or a rabbits burrow, was more than it seemed. When adventures took over and being late for dinner was because you were too engrossed in your imagination to remember what time it is.
Use this promo code to save 20% off your book at www.JohnnyMagory.com “ADVENTURE”
For Momma Bear
Sadly, Momma Bear does not have a lot of time to read these days. And any time she does have is caught up in exhaustion so the words on the page dance into an illogical mess. But I am determined to change that since I absolutely miss having a book in my hand. First up, I want to throw a shout out to three amazing Irish bloggers, who have their books on shelves in Eason and Hodges and Figgis! (I’m not jealous at all!). These three books are on my Christmas wish list. I’d have had them sooner but B was desperate to know what to buy me for Christmas so I popped these on the list before he went into a meltdown from scrolling through amazon for inspiration!
Andrea Mara of Office Mum has a spine tingling, mystery, thriller which I can’t wait to get my teeth into! As you know thrillers are my thing so, The Other Side of the Wall, which is set in Dublin, will keep me gripped to the end as there is something not right about the neighbours. It will be a suspenseful night in with hot coffee for Momma Bear and hopefully I get no interruptions because I’ve heard this book is Un-Put-Downable!
Nicola Cassidy of Lady Nicci has also launched her debut novel, December Girl to rave reviews. If you enjoy Downton Abbey then this is one for you. Set just a few minutes up the road from me, in with a landscape I’m familiar with, the setting will be forever engrained on my mind so I can’t wait to read this story about family, relationships, fear and loss.
Jen Hogan of Mama-Tude is the epitomy of motherhood as Momma Bear to seven little dotes. Seven! Jen, I salute you! She has recently published the most perfect Mums Manual, The Real Mums Guide To (Surviving) Motherhood. If there is something about parenthood that you wondered about, Jen has more than likely been there and gladly passes on her knowledge to us in a candid and honest way. This book is perfect for those Mums, like me, who are winging it and hoping we’re getting it right. While Jens book is on my wish list, I’ll admit to standing in Eason reading bits and pieces whenever I got the chance! I’ll save the rest for over Christmas!
And finally, this one I have. Maia Dunphys, The M Word which I had the pleasure of sharing some of my blog posts on, has been transformed into a hardback book for “women who happen to be parents.” When I first got this book, it sat on my bedside locker for two weeks before I had the chance, and the will power to keep my eyes open, to read it. When I finally caught a quiet few minutes to myself to have a flick through, I felt like an imposter because sitting down at 5pm in a tidy and quiet sitting room was unheard of. Of course, I only managed to get to page ten before Little Bean woke up and Little Miss asked for her fifth beaker of water for the day. And that is what The M Word is about – dipping “in and out of it distractedly like a Lidl catalogue.” But I have found the time amongst the tiredness, the mess and urged an IDGAF (google it) attitude so that I can grab five minutes here and there to read something I want to read. Something more than just a news headline. I’ve always enjoyed Maia’s honesty about being a mum to two year old Tom since she started The M Word. It’s fricking tough, it’s lonely, it’s confusing and she manages to uphold an ordinary level of truth that any new mum would say, “goddammit, I’m so glad it’s not just me”. Her humour, quirky drawings, and simplicity make this a fun read. There may not be any larger than life revelations, but hey knowing others are struggling and gaining momentum all at the same time in this madhouse of parenting, is worth something!
*disclaimer: I was sent a copy of The M Word and The Adventures of Johnny Magory for review. All opinions are honest and my own*