Tag Archives: family

Funny Books

Just for the fun of it, I’m declaring March to be Comedy Month. Well, right here on my website, anyway. So here’s a list of books I found to be amusing. (Some of them have made it on other lists.)

Children’s Comedy

The Skippy-Jon Jones series, by Judy Schachner

Pigeon series, by Mo Willems

Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp Monster, by Mercer Mayer (if you can read it with an accent, it’s a great touch)

Juvenile Comedy

The Great Brain series, by John D. Fitzgerald (based on true stories, no less…)

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson

Pippi Longstocking series, by Astrid Lindgren

Ramona series & Henry Huggins series, by Beverly Cleary

The Case of the Mistaken Identity, by Mac Barnett

The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex (so, so much better than the movie)

Teen Comedy (the line between Juvenile & Teen can be iffy, so feel free to pull from both categories)

Goldfish, by Nat Luursema

Chickens in the Headlights, by Matthew Buckley (also based on true stories)

Homer Price series, by Robert McCloskey

Howl’s Moving Castle series, by Diana Wynn Jones

The Girl Who Invented Romance, and Hit the Road, by Caroline B. Cooney

Romeo and Juliet–Together (and Alive!) at Last, by Avi

Janette Rallison

Enthusiasm, by Polly Shulman

Adult Comedy

The List, by Melanie Jacobson

Phule’s Company series, by Robert Asprin (content warning: adult content)

A Night of Blacker Darkness, by Dan Wells

The Donkey’s Gift, by Thomas M. Coffey

And Then You’re Dead: What Really Happens If You Get Swallowed by a Whale, Are Shot from a Cannon, or Go Barreling Over Niagara, by Cody Cassidy

Enchanted, Inc series, by Shanna Swendson

 

What books have made you laugh hard enough to cry?
Marty C. Lee

Favorite Parenting & Family Books

Here are some of my favorite books about marriage, parenting, and family. Each category is in random order.

Normal Marriage

Romancing Your Better Half: Keeping Intimacy Alive in Your Marriage, by Rick Johnson

Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage, by Gary Chapman

Twelve Traps in Today’s Marriage and How to Avoid Them, by Brent A Barlow

Love that Lasts: Fourteen Secrets to a More Joyful, Passionate, and Fulfilling Marriage, by Gary B. Lundberg

Spousonomics: Using Economics to Master Love, Marriage, and Dirty Dishes, by Paula Szuchman

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert, by John M Gottman

Love is a Choice: Making Your Marriage and Family Stronger, by Lynn G. Robbins

Normal Parenting

Parents and Adolescents Living Together, by Marion S. Forgatch

Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement, by Kay Wills Wyma

Your Child’s Strengths: Discover Them, Develop Them, Use Them, by Jennifer Fox

10 Secrets Wise Parents Know: Tried and True Things You Can Do to Raise Faithful, Confident, Responsible Children, by Bruce A Chadwick

Between Parent and Child, by Haim G. Ginott

What a Difference a Daddy Makes: The Lasting Imprint a Dad Leaves on His Daughter’s Life, by Kevin Leman

What a Difference a Mom Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Mom Leaves on Her Son’s Life, by Kevin Leman

25 Mistakes LDS Parents Make and How to Avoid Them, by Randal A. Wright

Real Moms: Making It Up As We Go, by Lisa Valentine Clark

Growing Up

Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps, by Kelly Williams Brown (if I remember correctly, it does have some bad language)

Choose Your Own Adulthood: A Small Book about the Small Choices that Make the Biggest Difference, by Hal Edward Runkel

Life Skills for Kids: Equipping Your Child for the Real World, by Christine M Field

Parenting Teens with Love and Logic: Preparing Adolescents for Responsible Adulthood, by Foster W. Kline

Teaching Your Children Responsibility, by Linda Eyre

Dealing With Serious Issues

Parenting Your Powerful Child: Bringing an End to the Everyday Battles, by Kevin Leman

When Bad Things Happen to Good Marriages: How to Stay Together When Life Pulls You Apart, by Les Parrott III

The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child: With No Pills, No Therapy, No Contest of Wills, by Alan E Kazdin

Yes, Your Teen is Crazy, by Michael J. Bradley

The Time-Starved Family, by DeAnne Flynn

Your Defiant Teen: 10 Steps to Resolve Conflict and Rebuild Your Relationship, by Russell A Barkley

ADHD

Teenagers with ADD and ADHD, by Chris A Ziegler Dendy

Superparenting for ADD: An Innovative Approach to Raising Your Distracted Child, by Edward M. Hallowell

ADHD: What Every Parent Needs to Know, by the American Academy of Pediatrics

Darrendrakar Genetics

A fan asked me how Darrendrakar genetics work. Well, it’s more complicated than *I* can understand completely, but let me at least tell you a few things.

If you’ve read my young adult Unexpected Heroes fantasy series, set on the world of Kaiatan, you’ll know that the shapeshifters in the country of Darrendra have one alternate form that is as natural to them as their two-legger form. (You can’t call them human. “Human” is a Terran species, and “humans” can’t change shape, sorry. Darrendrakar do go by “man, woman, or person,” though.)

In book one, Wind of Choice, the shapeshifter we get to know the most is Ludik. His alternate form is a black jaguar. (Trivia: any of the big cats, when black, can be called panthers.) He comes from the kindred (tribe) of cats, called Felid. Furthermore, he comes from the sub-group of “big” cats, which includes lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, and the makarodonts that include such lovely specimens as sabre-tooth tigers (although the Darrendrakar call them something else).

In Darrendra, any of the big cats are cross-fertile, as is evident from Ludik’s mother being a tiger and his father being a lion. This is different from Terra (our Earth), where you almost never get that sort of thing, except for mules. (But sometimes…  http://ligerworld.com/shasta-the-first-ever-liger-in-America.html ) On the rare occasion you get a cross on Earth, the child is not fertile. In Darrendra, they are. In fact, you can get all sorts of results, depending on what genes run in the family. The Darrendrakar don’t have “mixed” children, like ligers. The genes will fall out on one side or the other, or select from other ancestral genes. Ludik has two brothers that are lions, a brother and sister that are tigers (one orange, one golden), and a sister that is a jaguar (but spotted instead of black).

Oddly, Ludik’s identical-as-two-legger brother is a lion (not a jaguar) when he changes shape. Why they look so similar as people and so different as cats is one of the mysteries of Darrendran biology that I can’t explain. And if you ask a Darrendrakar, he’ll just shrug and ask why not.

What you DON’T get in Darrendra is the big cats crossing with the small cats (not housecats, but cheetahs, mountain lions, ocelots, etc). Well, they could mate, but they either wouldn’t have children (most likely), or their children would be sterile. (Within the small cats, they are cross-fertile between types, just as the big cats are within their own group.)

The same difficulty works across Darrendrakar kindreds. Sure, a Felid and a Canid could marry, but they wouldn’t have children. Add in the typical uneasy peace between kindreds, and an interkindred marriage would be pretty difficult. Even without being “forbidden,” that kind of reality tends to discourage most interkindred romances.

This is also why you hardly ever see marriages between the four different peoples on Kaiatan. The winged Iojif, the shapechanging Darrendrakar, the gilled Nokai, and the solar-powered Iskri almost always marry someone from their own kind. And you never, never see an avian with gills or a solar-powered shapeshifter. The genes do not mix that way.

So, what did I leave out that you want to know? Leave a question in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer it!

Kinship

I write about different fictional cultures, and I like that. I do use some ideas from real (Terran) life, as well as some ideas that I make up (or don’t realize come from real life). And I do research lots and lots of things. I find it fun, most of the time.

One of my story characters, Nia, comes from a culture with pretty loose family rules and infrequent marriage. She led me down a path of kinship research that was highly entertaining, except when I couldn’t find the right term for a kinship relationship. (After trying several exotic terms, I finally settled on the simpler “near-sibling” and “far-sibling” terms for some of her brothers and sisters.)

If you like dabbling in anthropology, here are some fun kinship articles for you.

An explanation of kinship terminology, and a glimpse at several different systems (how families are set up and who is considered related): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinship_terminology

Kinship terms (what relatives are called) in different languages. Click on each language to explore: http://www.omniglot.com/language/kinship/index.htm

The particular character I was telling you about has a highly complicated family due to her culture, so I had to draw a genogram to keep track of her family. It isn’t a standard genogram, because I didn’t bother with dotted lines, and I had to break some rules in order to get everything down. (If you can do better, let me know how, & I’ll adjust.) It does, however, allow me to know who’s who and how they’re related, as well as random facts I threw in for my own writing convenience.

But before you look at her family tree, here’s an explanation of genograms in general: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genogram

And a look at the rules used to create them: https://www.genopro.com/genogram/rules/

And now you can scroll back up to my current best attempt at Nia’s scrambled family tree. 🙂