Wednesday, February 9, 2011

{book}worm wednesday :: Freaks, Prayer, and Relatives

I hear my boy's voice coming from the door that sits ajar to the bedroom, reading steadily and with increasing ease through a small stack of books he has deemed "learning books" that now sit on his desk. He has recently re-organized it, taking away whatever he think makes it look too juvenile and trying to give it more an appearance "like Daddy's desk." Which apparently means important looking books.

Watching the transformation of a little boy from memorizing these strange looking characters called the alphabet, into an avid and excited reader has to be one of the more understated and exhilirating experiences in life. It is like watching them crack open a door into a parallel universe, and do it without you narrating the way. It's a bit unnerving too though, as you notice your new transparency now that everything is fair game... notes on the fridge, on the table, words on the computer, on signs, in a letter. Everything beckons to be discovered, uncoded, read. A small price to pay, this transparency. The world awaits you my son!

On to the list. And as always, I love to hear what you are reading these days as well!

What He's Reading:
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
It may be one of the more interesting ways to read about economics, which is really "the study of choices people make to satisfy their needs and wants." All I know is, this man sits and reads this book like it's the latest crime novel or something, so it must be interesting. It is perhaps similar to Malcolm Gladwell's style of using the data to explain all sorts of everyday phenomenon.

What I'm Reading:
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Still working on it... and I have to say it gets better the further on I get. A certain "too small" sweater I was itching to finish sort of got in the way of my evening reading these last few days, so I'm anxious to get back on track.

A Praying Life by Paul Miller
From the perspective of a person who has struggled to really pray, to believe in and not become cynical about prayer, I think this book is an excellent help and antidote to those struggles. I am walking a hopeful journey in this area and I found Paul Miller's belief in the reality of prayer (and particularly in a loving and able God who listens to our prayers) coupled with his honest grappling through the doubts and questions and practical struggles we face as people to be refreshing, insightful, and hard hitting in a Life building kind of way.

What the Kids are Reading:
Tsunami! by Kimiko Kajikawa
This author has a poetic way of retelling Japanese folklore. This story is a bit dark in its subject matter, but ultimately it is the story of how an old man named Ojisan saves his village from the disaster of a looming Tsunami. The illustrations are abstract and interesting, and the story compelling.

The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant (Caldecott Honor Book)
A charming story of a large family coming together for a summer reunion. The illustrations are fabulous... quirky and fun and hilarious. My kids looked at each one for ages, and we would each pick out our favorite character on each page. It's a theme that hits close to home too... a long journey to visit the relatives and all the "breathing together" in a tight space in the middle of a hot summer. Delightful, if not a little early as far as seasons go.

Snow by Uri Shulevitz
It's very likely I have posted this book before, but I do love me some Uri Shulevitz and unlike the Relatives book, it is a perfect story for this season... even if we are somewhat snowless for most of the winter. I love to read it with my best Russian accent, and the little ones love finding the snowflakes on each page. Simple, sweet, mesmerizing tale.


  1. Ha! I did a 'what-we're-reading' post yesterday too :-)

  2. Oh man...we love The Relatives Came. Hilarious little book. :)
    And I love the new blog header. So pretty.