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Micro review: Genius Noses: A Curious Animal Compendium by Lena Anlauf
Notes From the Reading Nook: September 12
It’s my birthday today (of course I am a Virgo), and I feel unbelievably lucky for, well, basically everything. I wake up feeling this way many — maybe even most — days, so it’s not an out-of-the-ordinary morning, necessarily, but perhaps I’m feeling it more deeply because along with turning 41, and my awareness of how abundant my life is and how fortunate I am to be getting older (and how much I enjoy it, actually and truly love it), this week brings another kind of anniversary.
Thursday marks the third year of a lost baby in our lives. He was not our baby in any sense of the word, but his death was deeply traumatic for our family. I don’t go very many days at all without thinking of him and his parents. (And I also don’t go into details when I mention it here because it’s sensitive content, and I want to offer a trigger warning about infant loss for anyone who needs it, before clicking through.)
This experience inspired me to write a special issue in May 2021 that remains, to me, the most important work I’ve done in this newsletter: my Spotlight On: Loss, Death, and Grief. I’ve taken to sharing it every year during this week and often more frequently — it will always remain public and free, no matter what, so anyone needing books to address these difficult topics can access it at any time. Please read it if it might be helpful or useful to you now or in the future, and/or pass it on to someone else, if that feels right. (Thank you.)
📚 Entirely unrelated: I created two new booklists last week, thanks to a new paid subscriber asking for recommendations:
I also added a ton of new titles to a current list, great poetry books for kids, because not only did I recently order 33 children’s poetry books from Thriftbooks (all at once, in an unprecedented and joyous celebration of finishing, on a deranged self-imposed deadline, a huge amount of work for this newsletter), but I went to a library sale last weekend and absolutely cleaned out the children’s poetry section.
For those of you who like visual peeks into my life (and maybe also the candid reality, which includes the top of my washing machine, where I clean my used books before shelving them): here are my post-library sale bags, followed by most (but not all) of it in a stack.
Meet Danitra Brown by Nikki Grimes (this is our current poetry at breakfast)
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (this is our current read-aloud at bedtime)
Awful Ogre’s Awful Day by Jack Prelutsky (this is our current poetry at bedtime and I highly recommend it — my kids beg for more)
Genius Noses — A Curious Animal Compendium by Lena Anlauf, illustrated by Vitali Konstantinov, translated from German by Marshall Yarbrough (2023)
I am trying something new today, as you can see, with a short video review (it’s 2:50).
If you like the format — please let me know by taking the poll below — and want more, I’ll figure out how to include captions for my next review.
If you have any other feedback, please hit reply and let me know! I’ve said a million times that I use what you tell me to make decisions for this newsletter, and that’s just as true as ever.
Thanks for always being game when I experiment 💚
On this week in the past…
Read good books and take good care 😘
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