By: Charise Jewell


*Originally posted on


What are your favorite books? Leave your answers in the comment section below!


I love books. My kids love books. We also love to share the books we’re crushing on to spread the love around. Here are our top picks from the past month.


The Happiness ProjectThe Happiness Project
A very nice woman at Ernie’s work recommended this one and even lent us her copy. It was published in 2009 and became a bestseller about a second later. I was in new baby fog for most of 2009, so obviously I’d never heard of it. It’s a mom’s memoir/experiment after realizing that despite her awesome life she wasn’t as happy as she could be. Hmmmm… I think I know a mom or twenty who can relate. She set off on a year-long quest to achieve happiness, but unlike Eat, Pray, Love (which I also enjoyed) she didn’t travel/run away/put the rest of her life on hold. Some of the suggestions seem a little hokey (I love me some decluttering but an empty shelf… um, no), some seem significant (go to sleep earlier… yes), and they all seem doable.


The Value of Believing in Yourself: The Story of Louis PasteurThe Value of Believing in Yourself
Did you guys have the Value Tales when you were kids? We scored Ernie’s childhood collection and if you’ve read any then you know just how sweet that is. Each book describes a desirable characteristic that some historical superstar had, and tells a story about how it helped him/her succeed. Alex goes through phases of loving the books and then forgetting about them for a few months, and lately he’s back on the wagon. His favourite is always Louis Pasteur. Captivating story (Alex and Jack REALLY don’t like that the little boy teases the dog!) and fantastic teachable (ignoring the critics and believing in yourself).


I Stink!
Jack chose this fromI Stink! our local library in the summer along with its cousin: I’m Dirty! Then he chose this one again on his school library day. And when he brought it home, Alex eagerly read it to him and reminisced about when HE took it out of the school library back in JK. Bold, colourful animation and a noisy garbage truck that honks and burps… no wonder it’s a hit! Personally I think the truck’s kinda mean (“Did I wake you? Too bad!”), but they think he’s hilarious and love reading/sounding out the words, so it’s all good.


The Potty Book for GirlsThe Potty Book
We’ve started “toilet awareness” with Lola. At seventeen months, she’s too young based on my experience, but I’ve been told it’s easier with girls. I have ZERO desire to potty train right now (SO much easier in the summer!), and I wouldn’t have pulled this book out if it weren’t for HER taking the lead. She’s started patting her diaper in a highly expressive way when it’s wet. Or maybe it’s when she’s pooed. Or maybe it’s dry and she thinks she has to go. Or maybe it’s for my reaction. Clearly I have no idea where we’re at, so I figured we should start talking about it. She likes the book and we have a sweet cuddle reading it so, ya know, no pressure.


It might come as a surprise that Ernie’s not a big reading for pleasure kind of guy… opposites attract, right? But I didn’t want to exclude him from this list of our faves, so here’s what he’s been enjoying lately in his spare time:


Boardwalk Empire


I don’t love it, but then he doesn’t love Margaret Atwood either.