A Political Post Okay, a Book Post

moomfrog.jpgI don’t have much to say today. I know y’all are jumpin’ up and down and cheering about that. Not so fast. There’s been some fascinating email stuff going on about progressives and neo-conservatives and bloviating and I forget what else. And I could blahg about that. But I won’t. Instead, I’m doing a book post.

Books I have read this summer, the good, the bad, and the ugly:

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon: the first book I read this summer and I was so sorta, well, emotionally blown apart at the time, I didn’t think I could read *any* book. My cousin was taking care of me though, and I sat on the beach and read that book in about two hours. I could not put it down. It tapped into my own little autistic streak. I mean, I am *not* autistic, but I have enough tendencies in that direction that I could understand how that kid thinks.
  • Don’t Let’s Go To the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood and Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier, both by Alexandra Fuller. Do you know what “scribbling” means? Do you really? You may have to read these books to find out.
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi: I remembered Mouse reading this for a high school class and I made her dredge it up.
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: numerous people have recommended this one.
  • Hmmm, that travelin’ funeral book. This one encompasses both the bad and ugly. I won’t reveal the author. She’s trying… I still don’t understand what the exploding bra had to do with the rest of the story.
  • The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant: this one was available at the beginning of the summer but at the time it was too dense for me to focus on it. I knew then that it was a good book and eventually I had the stamina to read it. I wasn’t disappointed.
  • Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton: The Commander had it hanging around. I have no words.
  • Blink by Malcolm Gladwell: Okay, this is all interesting but I already *know* I do this blink thing. Unfortunately, it has not made me rich and happy. Usually my little blink moments (and prescient dreams) just foretell disaster. Sigh. And I once worked for one o’ them thar management gurus. Well, I worked for him on the rare occasions when he when he was organized and *available* enough to actually be able to give me something to do. NOT a happy experience. Malcolm Gladwell was one o’ his gurus. I dunno. I wish I had been able to approach Mr. Gladwell without all that baggage.

*Last* summer, my mission was to read through all six Harry Potter books. I made it. What am I reading right now? Textbooks, websites (to analyze them), and an article in The New Yorker (yeah, I *do* read it sometimes, I’m just about two years behind) about good ol’ boy Bill Clinton travelin’ the world and helpin’ Africa with AIDS. I dunno what I think about that.

If you’ve made it this far… Have you read any of those books? Whaddya think about them? What books are *you* reading?

17 Responses to “A Political Post Okay, a Book Post”

  1. Webmomster Says:

    I’ve got a couple of books going simultaneously: “Stranger in a Strange Land” – Robert Heinlein – (paperback) – interesting, originally published 1961 – reads like it, too.

    The other is actually an audiobook, downloaded from iTunes to my iPod. Yeah, it’s *another* Mark Haddon book, “A Spot of Bother”. So far, it’s more complex than “Curious Incident…”, and somehow not quite as engaging (it’s also a LOT longer). Not that it’s a bad book at all, just I think it needs more attention paid to it than I realistically can while at work…

    Prior to “Stranger…”, I’d finished “Gateway” (another sci-fi – Frederick Pohl). This one is actually more of a psychological mystery set in a sci-fi realm, rather than a “real” sci-fi story (although it does okay on that front, too).

    Then there’s all those “Ellery Queen Mystery Magazines” that I read voraciously (yay for subscriptions!). Short stories (of various lengths), variety of styles & plotting, and a great way to get introduced to different authors (I’ve been led to some worthwhile novel-length books after reading short stories by the same authors in EQMM).

  2. l4827 Says:

    We thought that we would write at changing of the season. A toast to the summer gone and the fall to come. We wanted to hurry up and get this in cuz at this writing, summer is still here. It leaves at 00:03 about one minute from now. So, hope we got this in b 4 the n.

  3. l4827 Says:

    A late summer or early fall BTW, who’s the cute chic on the beach-a lookin’ fer that last page on ……. ?

  4. gg Says:

    Rabble In Arms, by Kenneth Roberts was actually pretty good – some things never change .

    Hey. I was looking at your picture and I think you might be cute. (explain that one sometime!).

  5. kayak woman Says:

    Close enough John!

    I read “Stranger in a Strange Land” in high school or thereabouts. Did a lot of sci-fi reading in my youth but have lost the taste for it.

    I don’t think I’ll ‘splain that “cute” thing for a while. All I’ll say is it sure did give The Commander a good laugh.

  6. joanny Says:

    Try the Unauthorized Autobiography of Lemony Snicket, which then leads you into the whole Lemony Snicket collection of a Series of Unfortunate Events.

    The Lamb is very good, and check out his other books, they are funny and a good beach book for a weekend….. or “snuggly chair with a blankie by the fire at the cottage book.”

  7. Pooh Says:

    Yesterday I subbed for a High School Reading Specialist. Her classroom was a reader’s dream! Bookcases on 3 walls, filled with books — some turned out so you could see the cover art, some piled on top of the upright ones. A white board on one wall (with low bookcases below it). A row of laptop computers under the windows. Furniture is overstuffed loveseats, armchairs, rockers, bean bag chairs and floor pillows. (Regular school chairs under the row of laptops.) Inspirational posters on the wall space above the bookcases. Even a boys bathroom and a girls bathroom directly off the classroom. All of this to entice students for whom reading is a major challenge, not the joy we are describing in these posts.

    Some of the students were students new to the US and reading English, some were born here, but probably didn’t have a Moom reading “The Indian in the Cupboard” or “Good Night Moon” to them when they were little. One Chinese student had been here only 9 months and was stumped by the word “hippopotamus” in the reading assignment. I tried to draw one on the board, which did nothing to enlighten him. You try drawing one! We pulled it up on the web, and then he recognized it. It is still a tough word to pronounce w/o practice. He also asked about hypothesis. (Not the only one to question that word.) Being a science teacher, I probably over-explained the word — it has a very specific meaning in science.

    As to what I’ve been reading… Not as much as usual. I did take two audiobooks on the trip to U of Rochester with Dave. Listened to them both on the way back. One was “Cheaper by the Dozen” by Frank Gilbreth Jr. and Ernesting Gilbreth Carey (Not sure of her married name…) I checked out the text version and the sequel, “And Belles on their Toes” when I got back home.
    Why you ask? Well, it bugged me that I could only count 11 children in the adventures. It turned out that one died when she was maybe 4 or 5. This was never, ever mentioned in the first book. They did mention it as a foot note in the second, in the very first chapter.

    The other audiobook was “Fluke – or I know why the fluked whale sings”. I don’t remember the author – my learning disability is names! The book was fairly good, although it took a turn to science fiction in the middle that I wasn’t expecting and didn’t particularly like. It turned out with an okay ending.

    Right now I’m reading, “The Eternal Frontier – an Ecological History of North America and its Peoples”, by Tim Flannery. It’s good, although I’ve just gotten into the people part. Did you know that the Clovis people, or rather the elegant stone tools they made are found in only a 300 year window? Probably b/c it took them just that long to exterminate most of the megafauna they found once they got off the Alaskan steppe and into the center of N. America.

  8. kayak woman Says:

    That teacher sounds fantastic. Do you know anything about what her success rate is? Way back when, I used to hang around at Haisley Elementary a lot. I did all kinds of volunteer stuff but in the earlier years, I was part of a program called P.I.R.A.T.E.S. My job was to read “with” kids who were having trouble. A lot of these kids *really* had a hard time. When Mouse was about 3, I used to bring her over there with me when she wasn’t at nursery school. She was *much* more interested in the books than the 1st and 2nd graders that I often worked with.

    I burned out completely after, I dunno, about 3-4 years. I just didn’t feel like I was doing those kids any good. And I can’t help thinking that it was already too late for some of those kids. Hadn’t *anybody* read anything to them at home when they were babies? Elizabeth, in particular, would demand *hours* every day if she could get away with it. When she was in kindergarten, I remember reading some newspaper article that said kindergarten kids should be read to a half hour a day. A half hour!?! Is that all? I more or less muddled through most of the parenting stuff and there were some things I was absolutely abysmal at. But I did read to them!

  9. kayak woman Says:

    Hit submit too soon. 🙂 My *next* book is Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv, recommended to me by that once-kindergartner who wouldn’t let me put a book down to save my life.

  10. Webmomster Says:

    …curiosity may’ve killed the cat…but just *who* is “I4827”???

  11. acourtois Says:

    It’s my friend John and his wife Diane from The Planet here and also ’round the point from our beach. 😆

  12. l4827 Says:

    :), 🙂 Oh yeah, well praytell, just *who* is “Webmomster”? 🙂 Well after all this recent stuff; does cause one to pause ,,,,, and find a book to explore. (Well, actually, during the last century ——-, The Shining – Steven King, The Making of a Surgeon and A Surgeon’s World both by William A. Noland – were read by other Birch Pointer’s)

  13. kayak woman Says:

    hee hee hee, webmomster is my sister-in-law, Karen. We’ll have to drag her over to your cabin sometime. 🙂

  14. Webmomster Says:

    *sigh* at least I have a LEGITIMATE web address attached to MY screen name, unlike some Others, so there. Nyah! 😛

  15. froogy Says:

    frok grok. I don’t think John has ‘s own web site. Th’ ol’ bag loves *all* of you guys, website or not, I’m not sure why. grok grok.

  16. Webmomster Says:

    hey, we’re all SORTS of characters!! Even if *some* o’ them folkses insist on being NUMERALS… *heeheehee*!!

  17. l4827 Says:

    From the ol’ numeral FOLX -123. We just like to sound as though we are a ‘protocol type named solution’ ie *RU47*. 🙂