Sunday, October 28, 2007

Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater and Florence Atwater

Have you been day dreaming lately? Do you want to be somewhere else? Have you seen all the places you wanted to before you got married, had children and went to work everyday? If you answered yes to any of those questions then this is the book you can relate too.
I read this book to my second child and the 1st child took it and finished it way before us. It is a very silly book about a man that wants to explore the poles. He gets a penguin and the next thing you know he has 12! They have some adventures and travel all over the USA. In the end this ordinary guy, Mr. Popper, has his wishes come true. Almost made me cry...just kidding the book is too funny for tears!

Great read out loud...Whole BOOK.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

This is a book about a crazy women that hates the wallpaper in the room she is "forced" to stay in. Okay it is about a bit more then that but not that she actually leaves the room...but the wallpaper is like an allegory of her life. She is feeling coddled and belittled by her husband and other Doctors and professionals. She feels caged in as her life gets so boring she starts hallucinating. She goes completely crazy in the end. The wallpaper peels and fades and gets ripped...

It takes place in the 19Th century when women were just supposed to fit stereo types of the good housekeeper, wife and mother and do WHATEVER their husbands want them to do without question. The lady in the book couldn't even be herself around the person that was supposed to be her best friend, her husband. She got tired of always faking the happy face when she wasn't really happy. I thought it was a pretty weird book but I am glad I read it despite the unhappy ending...actually the ending leaves you a bit hanging...I hate that. Gilman is a total feminist...I might read more of her short stories sometime, I hear they are interesting too.
The Afterward was also stimulating reading as it explained a bit more about the author and her mind. The afterward was almost longer then the actual story.
VERY BROKEN BOOK I think on the border of HEALING if you add the afterward which was by Elaine Hedges.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

a Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf

This was a nice short read, okay so I skimmed the first three chapters but I read the rest of the book. It isn't very long, in fact it is an essay. Virginia Woolf wrote this book in 1929. She analysis women in fiction or women writing fiction. Did you ever wonder why there wasn't any great writers from Shakespeare's area that were female? I didn't but it was interesting to find out through the eyes of Virginia what she thought.

The thing I mostly gained from this book was that if a woman had a room of her own she could write great things, lots of great things. Throughout history she rarely had time to take a bath let alone write something down and she hardly ever had money for paper too. And it is all the fault of oppressive male dominance or something. Read the book and see what she means. She also discuses Jane Austin and the Bronte sister's works. It was quite humorous and a nice walk through history looking at women in writing.

Whole Book

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Book 51 and it is only Oct.

Well, I did it... met the goal to read 50 books this year. Now the quality might not be as good as last year but it has been fun and entertaining.

My new years resolution for this year was to read 50 books. The goal is actually there in the first place "to inspire not require". My kids have improved with their reading too.

My son has read well over 200 chapter books this year and kept track of all of them. He got a few more classics in this year then last year so I think the theory that says let them read whatever they want and they will eventually read it all, seems to be true. He will decide for himself what is worth reading without me breathing over his back telling him what he can and can't read. I still try to leave a few books out that I want him to read and sometimes he picks them up and reads.

My daughter is also well on her way to reading. At the beginning of the year she couldn't read a verse in the scriptures without getting so frustrated and crying. Now she is eager to read and try. She is getting better and there is a significantly fewer tears shed. She also got glasses which has helped.

Hooray for reading.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Afghanistan is a country so far away yet still part of our little world. I really hated this book. I wish wars and brutality and inhumanity didn't exist. I am glad I read the book but sad I read it too because I like living in my little bubble. This book was BROKEN and tried to be healing.

I need to read something a bit more happy now. The Reader's Digest just came!

The 13th Tale by Diane Sutterfield

OH where do I start with this book. It was bad.
I have to admit though, I could not put it down because I had to find out what happened. The mystery needed to be solved or my nightmares would not stop. Or so I thought. I still have nightmares about this book!
I read it for a book group. I guess they picked it because it is the month of Halloween and a good ghost story would go well with the season. It is a New York Times bestseller and was just released on paperback last week. I got the first copy out of the box in our little Barnes and Noble store.
As I read I wondered what made it a best seller? It was very clever. It had suspense, wit, intelligence....why was it bad?
The story even starts with some down right bad things, to name a few without giving anything away, incest, rape, torture, abandonment, psycho/crazy people and without this there wouldn't be a story woven with lies and deceit. In fact it would just be a story about a girl and her sisters. I did like the Jane Eyre foreshadowing through out the book, that was clever. It was far from the Bronte sister type story though.
I should have stopped while I could but after the first chapter you can't wait to find out whats next. Evil. I was sucked in.

Anyway I started pondering why I can read a book like this and others with horrible topics that people used to never talk about or write about. Are we so desensitized that it takes topics like this to make it a bestseller? What happened to the classics? OR maybe I am just living in a Jane Austin world type bubble. They don't even hold hands in most of her books. This was so past that. At least the book didn't go into play by play gory detail, just insinuated most sin and left it to your imagination, which sadly turns out to be right in the end.

I am going to call it what it is and confess I have read not a Broken Book but a BENT book. I hope to pass on a book like this next time before I get past the 1st chapter. BUT then the next book I read was Kite Runner? What makes this one okay and the 13th tale not okay? hmmmm

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier

This was very good autobiography written by a Hollywood movie star. I didn't know who this guy was until I started reading it and realized he had made quite a few movies. I checked a few out from the library. He was sure a lot younger then he is now and looks very different, of course. He never plays the bad guy always the hero.
The Book started from his childhood and the hard times he had growing up poor (but didn't know he was poor) and living on an island somewhere near Jamaica. It was a relatively fast read and full of insightful ideas about life and hard work. But the last 3 chapters ruined it. I guess he made friends with Carl Sagan. Golly, I feel sorry for him not believing in a Christian God. He has had so many blessings in his life but doesn't know who to give credit to. He also pretty much tells everyone how a person should be if they are good and do good things. YET he is such a hypocrite in so many ways. Of course no one is perfect and he tries but by the time you get to the end of the book you feel really sorry for him and his messed up marriages. He is really full of himself. He does try to only star in good movies and he has been through a lot of hard times. So I can give him credit for that but he really needs some enlightenment in so many ways and he doesn't even know it.