Wednesday, August 18, 2010

{book}worm wednesday :: going west, east, and the final frontier

Reading can go in waves, can't it. Sometimes you just want a novel. Sometimes you want something to challenge you, to make you think. Sometimes you want fluff and feel good. Sometimes you want to be knocked off your feet. Sometimes you need to just read for the sake of letting any or all those things happen to you regardless if you want them or not. Sometimes you need voices from other times to help you see clearer in your own. Sometimes you need the voices of the present to help shed light on the past.

 I remember watching Reading Rainbow as a kid, and sometimes I wish I still could, all those magical journeys through the books other children were reading. This list is just a small glimpse into one person's tunneling through the world's and pathways that a good book takes you. I wish you wonderful wanderings in wherever yours are leading as well.

what I'm reading
The Art of the Commonplace by Wendell Berry
I kind of went on and on about it here, so I won't do that to you again (right now anyway), but I am still reading and still soaking in these words like a field all furrowed and seeded, ready for the drenching rain to soak it full and heavy, and make it grow. You know I must describe it that way... they are agrarian essays after all.

Upgrade: 10 Secrets to the Best Education for Your Child by Kevin Swanson
I appreciate this book, thought it is not quite as groundbreaking as the title suggests. It's a simple, helpful look at the things that any parent can and should do to educate their child in their whole being: Character, One on One instruction, Protection, Relationships, Life Integration, the Love of Learning, and more are just a few of the ideas he builds on. It hasn't changed my life, but it has challenged me in several ways.

Velma Still Cooks in Leeway by Vinita Hampton Wright
I'm intrigued and interested to read this simple story about a woman in a small town, cooking and caring for her neighbors and friends but dealing with the burdens of the deeper things of life. From the jacket cover, "Velma seeks to be lightened from the heaviness of her past and to find hope that her life has meaning beyond the ordinariness of her existence." Ha. Don't we all. Even if we don't have a deep and dark past, we all have a past, and they are all broken in some way. I have read Wright's book about the writing life and am looking forward to her novel, which just arrived yesterday from my mom in a package by the way, so I'll let you know!

the husband list
Children of God by Mary Doria Russell
The first book in this series was deeply moving and thought provoking, which I mentioned a couple months ago. The premise is challenging: the author sharing that she wrote these stories in light of much of the modern day berating we do towards the early explorers and the damage they did and lack of cultural sensitivity they had. So she has crafted this story to ask the question, if we were confronted with a similar situation now (which could only happen on another planet at this point), would we really do it any differently? In this second book, she dives further in. 

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
I don't know much about this book except that it is a little crazy, in a good way. Its the telling of family, of land, of people, and all from the unique and delightful mind of a boy who was born the very night of India's independence on August 15, 1947.

The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring the Sabbath by Mark Buchanan
In today's world, busyness is one of the top ten words on most people's lips. And yet it seems to be doing little to improve our lives. This book is about the rest and reverence of setting apart mind and body and soul not in a removal of all things good, but in a truly restful and worshipful way, in a way we were created to. I've seen it challenge the reader and cause him to ponder a changing of ways, of habits, and spur him on to an adding of things that restore instead of just removing things that deplete.

the kid list
James Herriots Treasury for Children
Another package goody! We dove into this right away last night and again this afternoon and already I am smitten (I think they are too, but I should probably ask). Simple but interesting and as the title says "warm and joyful" tales from an old Yorkshire country veterinarian. The illustrations are wonderful. And it's about farms and animals. What is not to love?

Wagon Wheels by Barbara Brenner
A beginning reader book, and one that my boy is taking great pride in earmarking and reading on his own just like a grown up. The story is unbelievable really, three young boys from Kentucky head west with their father to settle on new land. The challenges they face and overcome are hard for this mama to imagine. And it is a true story.

On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
There seem to be things I mention almost neurotically, and the Ingalls family appears to be one of them. So, yes I think this was on the list last time and yes, we are still reading it. I don't ever remember crying about these things as a child reading the story, but Laura having to give her precious Charlotte away to that mean little toddler and Ma not understanding? My heart broke. And then the grasshopper crazy cloud that ate their ENTIRE wheat harvest in one sitting? I get depressed and irritated when the internet stops working for crying out loud (now that is an issue in and of itself). Pa walking hundreds of miles for work, Ma living for months with no news of him, Laura and Mary hauling the entire woodpile indoors when a blizzard arrives unexpectedly. I'm just so stinkin proud of them all! The fortitude, the motivation, the ability to see life for what it is and to accept it... it astounds me. And the way you are feeling right now, looking cockeyed at your computer like, "settle down lady" is precisely the way two little bobbing heads look at me every night as I wipe tears and snot from my face and try to get through another chapter.

board books, oh my.
That would be all the board books I am reading to my dear little lady who has taken such an interest in them, it is nearly to the point of madness. How many times can a monkey jump off the bed before it will get the point?? How many belly buttons and dinosaurs, I do love a good Sandra Boynton standby though. They still make me laugh the five gazillionth time through. 

Thank you for reading! As always I love to hear what is on your nightstand or coffee table or living room floor, too!

And here is a little sneak preview of something that is coming up tomorrow...

1 comment:

  1. I'm reading Three Cups of Tea, which is about this guy who builds schools in the mountains of Pakistan. It's a true story.

    Abigail is reading tons of board books like Sadie and we also especially enjoy the ones by Sandra Boyton (Doggies might be our favorite!)