Z is for . . .

For the last day of the A to Z Challenge, I am really struggling.  I have recorded in LibraryThing that I have read exactly three books that start with Z.

I don’t feel like I remember any of them well enough to write a regular-format post.

I remember reading Zel by Donna Jo Napoli in 2001.  I always found the fairy tale “Rapunzel” just absolutely fascinating when I was a little girl.    I remember loving this this book while reading it during a break at the library I working at in 2001.  I have vague memories of Zel hiking to get food.  That’s ALL I remember.  I think I should re-read this book soon and see when I think now.

In 2008, I read through a very simple book about Zac Effron (People in the News) by Terri Dougherty.  It was just okay.

In 2009, I read a memoir by Zubin Mehta, the conductor, entitled Zubin Mehta: The Score of My Life.  I remember parts of it, but again, not enough to really discuss it properly.  I remember being in the bathtub on day while reading it.  It may have still been the early days of being pregnant with my second son.  I remember feeling nauseous.  (It was a 24-hour thing for 16+ weeks straight.)  At the time, I gave this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Y is for Your Baby’s Best Shot

Title:  Your Baby’s Best Shot: Why Vaccines are Safe and Save Lives
Authors: Herlihy and Hagood
Original Publication Date: 2012
Date I First Read: February 2013
Basic Category: Nonfiction
Basic Summary:  This well-written book outlines well all of the reasons parents should give their babies vaccines (and addresses most arguments against.)  It includes an extensive reference bibliography. 
What I Remember About the Book:  I was really nervous about my son following the standard vaccination schedule after reading a different book about vaccines four years ago (one that took quite a different stance.)  However, he was fine, and I am so happy now that we did.  I remember that this book actually gave me the assurance that we made the right decision. 
What I Took Away From the Book:  Get the vaccines . . . and that I should make sure my vaccinations are up to date!
Rating (1-5 stars):  4

X is for Xavier’s Fantastic Discovery

Title:  Xavier’s Fantastic Discovery
Pictures by Lucinda McQueen with “Special thanks to Roger and Susanne Schlaifer for bringing the legend to life.”
Original Publication Date: 1984     
Date I First Read: 1984

Basic Category:  Picture Book / Children’s Fiction

Basic Summary:  Xavier Roberts and BunnyBee search for the garden where the Cabbage Patch Kids are grown. 

What I Remember About the Book: Sybil Sadie, a Kid who didn’t want to be friends with Xavier right away.
Quote: ‘ “Well, said Tyler Bo, “You’ll sure learn fast enough around here.  I don’t reckon you’ve had time to notice, but this valley is just about filled up with Cabbage Patch Kids.   Our friend, Colonel Casey the stork, tries to find homes for us, but it’s hard work.”’  (Book is unpaginated!)
What I Took Away From the Book: Colonel Casey the stork is the reason I became a Cabbage Patch Kid mom . . . that, and my Grandma, who tried her hardest to get me one when they were extremely popular. 
Rating (1-5 stars):  3

W is for Where the Sidewalk Ends

Title:  Where the Sidewalk Ends                
Author:  Shel Silverstein
Original Publication Date: 1974
Date I First Read: 1981
Basic Category: Poetry
Basic Summary: A collection of poetry, mainly intended for kids. 
What I Remember About the Book:
 The poems!  Some of my favorites were, back when I was around seven years old,
“Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Did Not Take the Garbage Out” and “Sick”.  These were the longest poems in the book, and at some point I set out to memorize them.
My first grade teacher, Mrs. Hall, introduced this book to our class.  She read us the poems first.  My aunt Sue gave me my very own copy of this book the next Christmas. It is still a prized book in my collection.

Quote: “I cannot go to school today / said little Peggy Ann McKay. / I have the measles, the mumps, a gash, rash, and purple bumps.”
What I Took Away From the Book:  Poetry is fun!  And that awful things could happen if you don’t take out the garbage!

(And April is National Poetry Month.)

Rating (1-5 stars):  5

V is for Veil of Roses

TitleVeil of Roses  
Author: Laura Fitzgerald
Original Publication Date: 2006
Date I First Read: 2007
Basic Category: Fiction
Basic Summary: A young Persian/Iranian woman named Tami gets a three-month visa to visit her married sister in Tucson, Arizona.   Part of the point of her visit is to find her a husband so that she can stay through marriage in the United States and not have to go back to Iran. She also takes an English class, and gets involved with her classmates’ lives. 
What I Remember About the Book:  I read this book first a year or so before we found out we would be moving out to Tucson for at least four years.   It was on the new book shelf at library where I worked at the time.  I loved the cover, and my husband is of Persian ancestry . . . so I thought the book would be interesting.  It was.  I liked reading about the food and traditions.   I liked that Tami got involved with a non-Persian guy.
I finally met the author, who lives in Tucson, last year.  She is a nice and friendly person!
What I Took Away From the Book:  Love your spouse.  Love your family and friends.  Don’t take your freedom for granted. 
Rating (1-5 stars):  4.7

U is for The Undutchables

Title:  The Undutchables: An Observation of the Netherlands, Its Culture and Its Inhabitants
Author: Colin White and Laurie Bouke
Original Publication Date: 1991
Date I First Read: 2005
Basic Category: Nonfiction / Culture
Basic Summary: The author present inhabitants of the Netherlands, and how they live life.
What I Remember About the Book:
I read a used copy of this book, which I fell in love with.  The authors attempted to be humorous, and were successful part of the time.  I picked it up because some day I want to go there . . . half of my ancestors were originally the Netherlands.   I remember most the section on the Dutch being reluctant to pick up the phone when it was ringing.  It struck such a chord with me!  Maybe that’s way both my dad and me freak out about a ringing phone . . . and panic a little bit every time.  It’s inherited phone anxiety!
What I Took Away From the Book:  I still would like to visit the Netherlands someday. 
Rating (1-5 stars):  5

T is for These Happy Golden Years

Title: These Happy Golden Years
Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Original Publication Date: 1943
Year I First Read:  1984
Category: Fiction, Juvenile Fiction, Teen/YA Fiction, Historical Fiction

Basic Summary:  In the beginning of the story, Laura is on the way to her first teaching job, which is away from home.  Every week in the cold and snow, Almanzo comes to pick Laura up and take her home to her family.  Later, Laura returns to going to school in town, and many more events take place until the end of the book when she marries Almanzo.
What I remember:  This is hard to say I have re-read this book so often since then.  I was nine-ish when I first read it, though, after I had read the rest of the Little Series over the previous two years or so.  Several things made the biggest impression on me when I first read it, though.   One is when May came home from college in Iowa to visit. Another is the chapter with the tornado with three funnels that kills a boy and two donkeys.   Another is when Laura and Ma are preparing Laura’s clothes for her wedding.   
What I Took Away From the Book:  Don’t go riding out in the country in a buggy when there might be a tornado.  Your true love might show up at the door with wild horses to be broken.  If you are teaching school for the first time, don’t stay in a house with knives.  And finally, life can be difficult, but it gets better. 
Rating (1-5 Stars): 5 Stars (Then and now.)