Friday, December 16, 2011

What We Are Reading This Week (or so) December 16, 2011

I can't figure out how to get pictures of the book covers onto the blog! I've done it before, so I know I can do it . . . I'd just rather take the time to write about books rather than figure out technical stuff! 

Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer
Yep, the Boy and I are still reading Sea of Trolls. We are inching toward the end, but we don't read every day, due to early morning seminary . . . it is a fun book, and was a great match up with our Story of the World co op readings on "The Arrival of the Norsemen" and "The First Kings of England."

Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
I'm reading this with the Ballerina!! Whoo hoo!!!! She told me several months ago that she wanted me to stop reading to her in the mornings. It was heartbreaking for me. The extra 15 minutes of laying in bed was not attractive enough for her. She said she would just rather get up.  But, while at the book store, we were negotiating about something (I don't even remember what!) and she said, "I'll let you start reading to me again.... if I can pick the book." DONE DEAL!!

We are only one day in . . . it is the story of some modern day girls descended from Medusa  that have some special powers beyond human abilities. We are hoping that it is a "girl power" version of Rick Riordan's The Lightening Thief. She is a busy girl with early morning seminary and two hours of practicing to get done in the mornings, so consistency will be a potential obstacle.

She reminded me that I only have to read aloud the first 100 pages, and then she gets to read the book on her own. I reminded her that is true, but I get to pick the next book! (I'm going with the Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry next. It was the book she "almost" picked, so I'm hoping to keep her interested in me reading to her!) She does listen to our lunch time and night time read alouds, (if she is home!) so I haven't lost her completely, but there is something AMAZING about having a book you are reading one on one with your child.

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Prachett
Cupcake and I are reading this . . . I just finished it, laughing the whole time. We are going to read it as a companion book when our Scholar Lit class studies Macbeth, (which won't be until this summer) but I wanted to read and talk about it with Cupcake in advance. (It isn't a children's book, and there are one or two parts that will require some discussion and explanation i.e. the feudal/medieval droit de signeur ... no inappropriate details are given in the book, but I DEFINITELY want to talk about it together)

Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski
This was on a Beehive Book Award nominee for 2010. I really enjoyed the writing, and especially enjoyed the relationships between the characters . . . they seemed so real! An impressive feat, when those  characters include a talking tin spider, a gypsy boy and a heroic, but impetuous girl. The Coconut and I are half way through. Our next book is Anne of Green Gables. I was reading it to Cupcake, but just kept thinking "I need to read this with Coconut!" Since Cupcake has listened to Anne years ago, she was content to put it aside and start up something new.

Nancy and Plum by Betty MacDonald
This was such a lucky and fun find! I was digging around for some new Christmas picture books for our Advent tradition (more on that in another post!) and discovered this delightful book, by the author of the whimsical Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series (a family favorite!).
Nancy and her little sister Plum (short for Pamela) are orphans who are kept at a boarding home, managed by the rotten Mrs. Monday. Despite their hardships, Nancy and Plum are happy, smart, loving and kind. Each chapter builds on the next, but each chapter is an individual adventure that Nancy and Plum complete. We are halfway through, and really enjoying it! Lala loves it. She has been sleeping with the doll we made at her Little House on the Prairie book club party, and this book has doll making in it, so she is already planning another doll making session when we do a Nancy and Plum book club party.

I'm reading/just finished:
Deconstructing Penguins by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone (for the second time in 6 weeks. . . it is THE BEST BOOK ON DISCUSSING BOOKS with children I have ever read! I'm reading it twice to really let it sink it.

The Walk by Richard Paul Evans (a book club pick for January . . . I actually liked it, even though I don't usually go for this type of book).

Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
I got this in our White Elephant exchange for HVH Mom's night out book club. Ilima always chooses books that spark conversation for the HVH book club. This is a Young Adult (and quite fun) read. It was a finalist for the National Book Award (young adult division). Dancegirl saw it sitting out and said, "This looks like something I would like." (I think she will like it a lot.) It has quite a bit of (clean) romance, quite a bit of mystery, lots of suspense, friends that help and support each other and lots of girl power.

Enter Three Witches Caroline Cooney
Another Macbeth companion book. I'm having trouble loving this book (likely because I loved Wyrd Sisters so much!) but I think it will appeal to Dancegirl at my house, so I'm sticking with it so we can use it to discuss Macbeth. (So far, our companions will be Serena by Ron Rash [the short story); Lady Macbeth's Daughter by Lisa M. Klein, Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett, and Enter Three Witches . . . I'll write more about that this summer . . . I'm excited for my turn to come around again!)

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
I spend a week doing some background reading, and when I finally started, I learned that I need to be sitting in my study area at my big table and not in my nice warm bed to be able to get anything out of this! My dear friend Heather calls this her favorite book, and chose it for our HVH pick in February (and will tell us why this is her favorite book during our discussion.) ß

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
The Boy and the Ballerina read this for a scholar class, so I decided to read it along with them. They are finished, but I'm still plugging along. I'm reading it on my phone with my Kindle app. So fun! I love how I can read it on the iPad, and it will find my starting spot when I switch devices and read it on my phone. I like reading with a pen in my hand and annotating my books, and I don't have that part worked out on my "devices" (I know you can do it, there is just something about the connection to my brain that involves holding a pen!) So, I'm just reading "digitally" a bit at a time. I read five or six books at a time, so reading them all on a device would be a smart idea, but I just can't seem to do it!

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
I'm listening to this on my phone. I had to speed the narration to 1. 75 listening speed, because I can't peek at the end and I can't wait to find out if my theory is correct. It distorts the voice a bit but it I'm getting through it pretty quickly. I listen at night when I "put my house to bed" and whenever I do laundry and if I happen to find myself alone in the car.

Lots of Christmas picture books . . . more on that later! I need to do a post of our super favorite Christmas picture books!

Various Homeschool Books . . . but . . .I don't have time to think about that now!
We are on our way to meet Jessica Day George at our co-op Girl's Writing Club (The Pickwick Society) more on that later, too. (Hopefully with a picture!)


  1. Hi Shauna,

    I am so happy I find your blog! I hope you are not doing the laundry alone! Get your kids helping you. In our home the 13-15 year old does the laundry for a few years until the next scholar phaser comes up. actually the oldest four do all their own laundry, fold and put away, and the 14 year old boy washes and dries the rest of the family's laundry.

  2. Hi Celestia! Laundry is one thing I can't let go. But, I don't mind it. It's just built into my daily system. (Get up, jump rope, start a load of laundry, read to Cupcake, move the laundry over while she tunes up to practice, jump rope, read to Dancegirl, switch laundry over!)

    My big kids would just walk around in dirty clothes if I left it completely up to them. They know how to do it, and often have the assignment to help with a load or two or three during the week. My two oldest girls have the assignment of putting away all of the laundry, (my biggest obstacle with laundry). But I haven't cleaned a bathroom in years! (The big kids all do that.) And I'd rather do laundry any day of the week than clean a bathroom.


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