Friday, March 16, 2012

What I've Been Reading This Past Week (or so)

What I've been reading . . . the first part of March 2012)
(Posting late . . . the last week we were on family vacation at the "Happiest Place on Earth" and did very little reading. But this is what I was reading the week before that!)
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
I'm actually listening to this in preparation for a homeschool mom's book club. It is really good . . . but L O O O N G. I'm just about to finish up part 3 of 4 parts . . . each about 8 hours long.  I like it. A dear friend (who chose it for book club) calls it her favorite book, and that keeps me coming back to it with a determination to finish it. Why does Heather like this book so much? Will I learn to be more like her (she is one of the kindest, most positive people I know) if I read this book? 
The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
I read this in preparation for a Lifelong Learning class I'm taking on Tuesdays. The class is excellent, and this was  a great book. I have read many, but not all of the Narnia series. This book makes me want to go back and read all the previous books in the series.  
The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer
The Boy and I are still working on this. Only a few chapters to go. I like it! 
Emma by Jane Austen
Dancegirl and I will be reading this for a long time. I'm trying it out on Kindle with my iPad. I haven't quite decided if I like reading without a pen in my hand. I know I can highlight, but it takes a long time, and I'm not used to it. And will I "flip" back through like I do other actual books if my notes are digital? hard to say . . .
The View From Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
Loved this book, what a great discussion with Cupcake! We have a book club party in the works for this one.
Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm
Coconut and I are reading this. We stop now and then to search out or watch a Youtube clip of historical references from the 1930s that are referred to often in this book. We an hour in the car last Saturday talking about Little Orphan Annie and listening to the soundtrack. Coconut and Lala were thrilled to hear stories of when Dancegirl played Annie and Cupcake played Molly in the community theater version of Annie. 
The School Mouse by Dick King-Smith
Lala and I just finished this. She loves mouse stories. I like Dick King-Smith's way of telling a child a story without talking down to the child. 
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Lala and I usually have a couple of "books on the fire" because she likes to carry them around with her (along with 10-30 other books in her book basket). So sometimes when it is time to read, we can't find her current book. My sister said she tried to get my nine year old niece to read the Little House books, but she just wasn't interested. Lala (age almost six) loves them, so I'm glad we started early!
 Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
Lala and I are also working our way through this one, a big type read aloud version with pictures by Tracy Dockray.  I remember these stories from when I read them as a girl, but I miss the illustrations from my day by Louise Darling (I remember the pictures more than the stories!). About a week after we started reading, I found an "old" paperback edition of Ramona the Pest with the illustrations that I remember.  Lala has enjoyed reading both versions and comparing the pictures. When Dancegirl and Cupcake were younger, we read several Ramona books, (and even had a mother's tea when we celebrated Ramona and Her Mother, and they enjoyed them, and read several on their own,  but I haven't been able to get my Coconut interested in Ramona, (too many similarities? hmmm . . . . . ) so I started Lala early ... I didn't want to risk my sister's tragic Little House on the Prairie experience. Plus, I have big plans to visit Klickitat Street someday when we visit cousins in Portland. 
Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby
I LIKE this book. It is our nighttime family read aloud (which mostly means reading it to the three littlest girls, The Boy sleeps downstairs, Dancegirl is almost always at dance when I'm putting the last three to bed. Lala often falls asleep, but Cupcake and Coconut really like it as well. My children didn't like his last novel, The Clockwork Three, as much as I did, but I think we all like this quite a bit. My favorite part . . . hearing Cupcake and Coconut talk about the book after the lights are out, and they think I'm out of earshot. Priceless!!
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
This one is for my neighborhood book group. I think the discussion is next week, and I'm only half way through . . . I like it, though. Intense reading, a bathtub read . . . similar to a beach read in summer. Entertaining, quick moving, smart . . . but not too demanding, thought provoking, and not a lot of underlining necessary (because I don't like water spots on my books!) 
Legendary Learning: The Famous Homeschooler's Guide to Self Directed Excellence by Jamie McMillan
I read through the first three fourths of this book so quickly I'm going to have to read it again to let it really sink in! Originally, the title intrigued me. I'm underlining a lot and thinking how I am implementing (or ought to be implementing) these principles. Very inspiring! 

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