The Master and Commander Series by Patrick O'Brian. I believe he's on book five now. The Russell Crowe movie is primarily based on book ten. They've got him fantasizing about sailing around the world. Maybe let's start with the San Juan Islands first, okay?
The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley. This was a completely engrossing look at education around the world. I was particularly fascinated to learn that Canada ranks so, so much higher globally than the United States. Since my parents are Canadian, I had to pick their brains about why this is the case. Some of things we came up with: greater respect/training for teachers, less emphasis on athletics, and property taxes not being tied to education funding.
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. We've been reading this aloud together before bed. With some hot cocoa and shortbread, it's absolutely the best cozy winter activity. We're planning to completely immerse ourselves in the Brideshead world by watching the miniseries afterwards. If only we could also take a trip to England to complete the process!
My First Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Claire is enchanted by this series, illustrated excerpts from Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie. She always asks to read the stories about Laura and Mary before bed. I can't wait to share the chapter books with her in a few years.
Baby Loves by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I found this gem at Goodwill, my favorite source for picture books. Just yesterday afternoon, I spent $11 for 12 titles, classics like The Polar Express, Caps for Sale, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, etc. This is the first non-board book Maggie has enjoyed. It's paintings by Mary Cassatt accompanied with very simple text - baby kisses, baby cuddles, baby loves, and so on. My favorite part is watching her do the actions along with the story, clapping when you read "baby claps" for example.
While we're on the subject of reading, here's a video of Claire "reading" Sandra Boynton's "Are You A Cow?" to her little sister.