Taking a step away from the picture book world to share what I'm reading. Typically, I have about three books going at once: something non-fiction—to educate, something spiritual—to inspire, and something fiction—mind candy. What I read depend on what mood I'm in or what is particularly great.
First, I just finished What to Expect When No One's Expecting: America's Coming Demographic Disaster which was brilliant and fresh and highly educational. I thought it would largely be a piece of pro-natalist propaganda (yes, it happens on both sides!) but was surprised to find the author's points compelling, well thought out and scientifically backed up. I highly recommend this book.
Second, I'm about half-way through a birthday gift that was given to me this year: Sigrid Undset's biography of Catherine of Siena. This reads like a piece of fiction because Undset is a great storyteller (I first fell in love with her over the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy) and I'm loving learning more than the abstract version of this very popular saint.
In Adoration I can currently be found with with Abandonment to Divine Providence tucked under my arm. It's not exactly heavy reading... but it is theologically dense and I have to take it slowly because so much goodness is packed into so few words at a time. Fr. Jean Pierre de Caussade was deeply influenced by St. Francis de Sales and St. John of the Cross so you can imagine how this book packs a spiritual punch.
Lastly, I recently finished the first of the Eliot Family Trilogy by Elizabeth Gouge which has been out of print and unaffordable for so long! They have just re-released the books and I immediately bought The Bird in the Tree. It is beautifully written... and the themes are refreshing and timeless: love, duty, family, nobility, honor, legend. I am happy to have read it and am looking forward to reading Pilgrim's Inn next. (But why do they have to ruin a good story with a modern photo on the cover! That man is NOT how I envisioned David to look and I always feel a little bit crushed at these photographic invasions of my imagination. Artist sketches don't bother me since they are a bit more subjective but a photo implies an unbending reality! This is one reason I NEVER buy books that have the new movie characters on the covers—e.g. The Chronicles of Narnia, or Lord of the Rings— let the kids put together their own faces of the characters without being told that Frodo looks like Elijah Wood!)
So there you have it. Ellie's current reads for herself. You'll get this every now and again I suspect...