Last week was a dud for reading. I started three books and wandered away from each one. Sigh. Sometimes you just strike out. Luckily, the library is holding three more books for me as I type. I’ve decided there are far too many good books out there to waste your time on the sour ones. So, if a book doesn’t grab me in the first 100 pages or so, I toss it and try another. I used to feel guilty about this but now, it’s par for the course and quite liberating.
On my way to the library now! La la la!
Zita the Spacegirl
Adored this YA graphic novel. Adored. I’d peg it for kids around 2nd grade or so. There is action, mystery, friendship, aliens, robots and a cute mouse all rolled into one sweet little novel. This collection tells the origin story of Zita, a girl from Earth who gets sucked through a portal to an alien inhabited universe. It leaves off with a nice open ending. I’m hoping there is more of this good stuff to come. After reading a copy from the library, I promptly went out and bought two more copies: one for our house and one for Leina’s classroom library. I highly recommend you do the same.
What an adorable novel! Miss. Buncle’s Book by D.E. Stevenson. This one was not easy to find as it is rather old but oh so sweet! It is set in a small English town full of characters where nothing ever happens until one of its residents decides to write a book. Of course, she changes everyone’s names but her characters are drawn straight for life and are easily recognizable. Not everyone appreciates what they see written on the page and the people of the town attempt to ferret out who exactly wrote the book under the name “John Smith.” A sweet, funny, delightful novel. Just right for a rainy day and a cup of tea and few oatmeal raisin cookies. (Or perhaps, more than a few but who’s counting!)
And trust me, there has been plenty of rain. So far, we have had 21 days of rain and today looks like day 22. This has put a rather soggy damper on our Spring Break plans. Usually, we get out into the yard for the start of the season and bring in the first load of flowers. Instead, we have hung out on the sofa watching far too much t.v. and playing computer games for hours on end. Ah well. I guess that’s what I get for living in Oregon.
Our Exciting Spring Break Activity.....Nothing!
Yet another memoir type book. Am I on a role or what? This book, Everyday Matters by Danny Gregory, falls into one of my favorite categories. The sketch journal. I love these little peeks into someone’s daily epiphanies and adventures. These are books to pick up and admire a bit at a time. Filled with odd thoughts and simple sketches, these books inspire me to keep a simple, scribbled journal of my own full of awful sketches and favorite quotes. Mr. Gregory’s journal is set in New York and is full of city sketches of utilitarian objects around him. Not a trained artist but a determined sketcher, this is a sweet little book to pick up and thumb through to inspire your own creative thoughts.
And, to celebrate the start of Spring Break here in Sherwood, I give you a picture of J-Dog in all her glory. Please note the shaved spot on her leg where she received her IV drip after deciding to eat a rope. Yup. A rope. Don’t worry, after a nice long day at the vet, she emerged right as rain. For a “free” dog, she sure is good at racking up a vet bill.
Jada The Rope Eater
The Dirty Life
I seem to be on a memoir kick right now. Sometimes “real life” can be just as interesting as fiction. One of my favorite memoir genres is the farm story. It usually involves a city person who one day wakes up and realizes they need to get back to the land. So, with great ambition but little real idea of what lies before them, they pack up their old life and head to the hills. Usually, there are chickens involved and that is an added bonus. This book, The Dirty Life by Kristen Kimball, falls squarely into this category. Ms. Kimball is swept off her feet by a man with a plan that involves farming, animals, and getting back to the earth. She is a city girl so it’s all a great mystery full of hard work, anxiety, and love. Mostly, it’s about her developing faith. Faith in herself, in her community, her marriage – all the big ticket items really. It doesn’t romanticize the experience though. After finishing this book, I realized I had no desire to farm 80 acres or slaughter pigs or walk behind plow horses. Chicken, however, I could still go for chickens!
The Glass Castle
This month, our book group is reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. It’s a memoir about growing up in a seriously crazy family. I mean, crazy. The book consists of short stories or remembrances and is very hard to believe. It’s as if the parents had read a parenting book and then applied all the principles in exactly the opposite fashion. I have a feeling it will lead to very interesting discussion among my group of moms.
I have read several life stories where the parents were pretty much absent from the scene and so the kids had to become the providers. They learned to take care of themselves and their siblings. They became independent, inventive and smart because they had to in order to survive their childhood. So does that mean the parents were doing right? Do we keep our kids sheltered in childhood too long? Is some level of neglect needed to help a child reach their full potential? Deep thoughts for a Monday. Good thing I have a few more weeks before ponder…..