It’s hot out. And very muggy.
We haven’t been going a lot lately. Sadie and Ruby have been doing a lot of this:
The rest of us have been doing a lot of reading.
Caleb just finished Roots by Alex Haley.
I remember watching the miniseries on TV when I was 12. I had never read the book before though, so when I saw it at a yard sale in the neighborhood for .25, I snatched it up. It was something I planned on assigning to Caleb in the next year or two, so I decided to read it first. I was surprised when he picked it up off the shelf and began diving in on his own initiative.
Now he’s reading Swiss Family Robinson, unabridged version – for the sixth time (it’s his favorite book).
Zoe is reading King Matt the First.
This is one of those books that everyone raves about as so wonderful but that I didn’t enjoy. I wanted to love it, since the backstory of author Janusz Korczak is so cool. I attempted it as a read aloud and got about halfway through it. But, it never grabbed me and nobody complained when I didn’t finish it (and they will if they’re interested in the story). She seems to be enjoying it, so maybe it’s better as a silent read.
He’s not a huge reader, but he enjoys books on tape and hearing me read aloud. He’s been listening to The Secret Garden at night before bed.
Ilana just finished the Hunger Games Trilogy.
Now she’s working on Well Wished, a book about a town with a wishing well that will grant one wish per lifetime – which turns out to be a nightmare for some of the residents.
Sadie has read a ton of picture books lately, too many to name. She’s also listening to The Secret Garden on audio while she falls asleep, as well as Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.
Of course, Mama has been putting her feet up to read quite a bit too.
I actually read this book a couple of months ago and never mentioned it: The Year of Learning Dangerously: Adventures in Homeschooling. (To be released in August.)
The author of this book is Quinn Cummings, who starred as precocious Lucy in The Goodbye Girl, one of my Mom’s favorite movies. Quinn was funny then, and she’s hilarious now. I don’t remember ever laughing so hard at a book! Her description of the various types of homeschoolers and her struggle to find a fit amongst them had tears rolling down my cheeks.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn sat in my bookcase for a couple of years. I grabbed it on clearance for $2 at Barnes and Noble one day and it gathered dust until a couple of weekends ago when I was desperate for something to read and had nothing else around. I regret having waited so long to read this because I really enjoyed it.
It’s been a habit of mine to read books about midwives during the final weeks of my pregnancies. Amish midwives, fictional midwives, hippie midwives of the Farm, Black granny midwives in the deep South, I love all of it. Especially memoirs. Reading a lot about birth gets my mind in the right place. The nausea has started up again and I’m feeling gross… reading about birth and babies reminds me that Oh yeah, there is a point to all this misery and it will end soon.
I spotted it at my last prenatal appointment. My midwife keeps a lending library and this one grabbed my attention: Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s. Being a huge Anglophile I was drawn to the setting, and the fact that it’s the true story of Jennifer Worth made it even better.
One of the things I love about this book and others like it is how obvious it is that home birth with a qualified midwife is every bit as safe as hospital birth, perhaps more so, more normal healthy mothers.
Turns out that Worth’s memoirs were made into a TV series. My midwife even had DVDs of the first 6 episodes of the BBC’s Call the Midwife. Squee! I’ve fallen in love with it. Can’t wait to read the second and third book in the series and watch more of the show, if I could only figure out how to obtain the remaining episodes! The only ones I can find for purchase aren’t compatible with American DVD players.
One of the goals I have in the next couple of years is to attack more of the classics. For one, because Caleb is entering high school in the fall and will be reading on this level. I want to be able to discuss these books with him… and keep up!
Secondly, I recently began re-reading The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had. Even though I’ve always been an avid reader, I haven’t read nearly as many classics as I should have. I want to change that now, with TWEM as my guidebook.
I started with A Tale of Two Cities.
I’m about 6 chapters in and enjoying it a lot. It does take more grappling than my usual reading material, but I’m hoping I can grow my reading muscles over the next few years.
A couple of other books that have graced my library card and Kindle app: Willpower (loved it, learned a lot) and What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, reviewed here.
What have you been reading lately?