Sunday, September 07, 2008

Early Morning Reading Update

I'm up early - I can't remember what woke me, but when I went to check on the kids (as I do almost every time I wake up in the night - is that neurotic?) I found that the leak in my son's ceiling had spilled over the strategically placed washtub. I put a towel under the washtub and found another washtub and strategically placed that one too - and by then I was wide, wide awake. It's raining and raining, and has been for hours, apparently, judging by the amount in the previously mentioned washtub.

So anyway, it's been a while since I posted a reading update.

Book #43 was Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope, by the Van Ryn and Cerak families. Remember this story from the news? There was a huge accident involving students from Taylor University, and the one survivor was misidentified - the wrong family sat by her bedside for five weeks before they figured out what was going on. Very interesting book, terribly sad, but also full of hope.

Book #44 was Your Child's Strengths:Discover Them, Develop Them, Use Them, by Jenifer Fox. Fox believes that the prevailing educational system is based on weakness, not strength, and that we need to be encouraging kids to find their areas of strength. She makes a good case and I have used some of her material with my students already. I found that this book influenced the way I think about students. And I loved the item from the workbook where she suggests talking to kids about how they would handle it if the power were off at their house (among many other discussion items). Power off? Would they even notice?

Book #45 was Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, by Kiran Desai. I picked this book up because I loved Desai's later book The Inheritance of Loss. This one wasn't as good - same breezy style, similar eccentric characters, but not nearly as poignant and believable. Still, I guess it shows that Desai is getting better!

Book #46 was C. S. Lewis' book Miracles, which I read because my friend Janet posted this amazing quote from it. Lewis doesn't disappoint. Reading him always makes me feel as though I've been doing brain calisthenics. I loved this book. Janet writes way more coherently about it, in the post I already linked and a couple of others.

Books #47 and #48 were Nobody's Princess and Nobody's Prize, by Esther Friesner. These books are terrific fun. They are about Helen of Troy as a young girl, before she was Helen of Troy. In most retellings of the Iliad she comes across as completely insipid. Not in these books! She has as much adventure as it's possible to fit into a book, and she's a thoroughly memorable character, surrounded by other thoroughly memorable characters, many of whom happen to be folk you've read about in myths all your life. It's delightful to see Friesner's take on many of these.

The internet connection has gone in and out while I have been writing this post, and the power has gone off, and a child has arrived in my bed, and through it all the rain has pounded steadily on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm always amazed at how much and how quickly you read!

'Mistaken Identity' looks interesting. I read another review of it awhile back. And I agree with what you said about Lewis; he does inspire "brain calisthenics." (Thanks for saying I sounded coherent...:)

I check on my kids every time I wake in the night, too.

Rain, rain, go away...