Monday, June 30, 2008

Summer Reading Thing 2008

I am feeling very ambitious today. The chances that I will actually be able to read all the books I am about to list during the summer are pretty slim. But I am sure gonna try to read as many of them as I can.

  1. Home by Julie Andrews

  2. Once Upon a Town by Bob Greene

  3. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson

  4. Anne of the Island by LM Montgomery

  5. The Watsons and Emma Watson by Joan Aiken

  6. Anne of Windy Poplars by LM Montgomery

  7. The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull

  8. Emma by Jane Austen

  9. Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman

  10. One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes

  11. Goodnight Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian

  12. Two Histories of England by Charles Dickens and Jane Austen

  13. Anne's House of Dreams by LM Montgomery

  14. Booth by David M Robertson

  15. Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary

  16. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

  17. Alcatraz Vs. the Evil Librarian by Brandon Sanderson

  18. Momfidence by Paula Spencer

  19. Wickett's Remedy by Myla Goldberg

  20. Cankered Roots by GG Vandagriff

  21. Of Deadly Descent by GG Vandagriff

  22. Tangled Roots by GG Vandagriff

  23. Anne of Ingleside by LM Montgomery

  24. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

  25. An Infameous Army by Georgette Heyer

  26. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

  27. Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns

  28. Bleak House by Charles Dickens

  29. History of Jospeh Smith by His Mother by Lucy Mack Smith

  30. The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz

  31. The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden

  32. The Non Runners Marathon Guide for Women by Dawn Dais

  33. One Minute Organizer by Donna Smallin

  34. Houseworks by Cynthia Townly Ewer

  35. Marie-Therese, Child of Terror: The Fate of Marie Antoinette's Daughter by Susan Nagel

  36. London War Notes by Mollie Panter-Downes

  37. Summer of 1787 by David O Stewart
38?? Yeah, I know I am crazy! But I also know I will be very lucky to read about 20 of these books. I'd love to read this many books over the summer because that will get me much closer to my goal for the year.
This list is subject to change but I am going to try very hard to stick to this list and not add anymore. (Yeah, right!)

Books added after I created my original list:
-Shooting the Moon by Frances O'Roark Dowell
-Bronte's Book Club by Kristiana Gregory
-Sunflower Houses by Sharon Lovejoy
-Faith, Hope and Charity by Janet Peterson and LaRene Gaunt
-The Underneath by Kathi Appelt
-Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian

More information on the Summer Reading Thing 2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Title: The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Author: Brian Selznick
Genre: Juvenile Fiction, Caldecott Medal
Date Finished: 9 June 2008
My Rating: 5 Stars

I really prefer to write my thoughts about a book right after I read it when the story and the things I liked or disliked are fresh in my mind. It has been a few weeks since I read this and I already sent it back to the library so I can't even flip through the book to remind me about what I really liked about this book.
Except of course, I have not forgotten that most of this story is told in drawings. Really amazing drawings. In many ways it was like watching an old silent movie. Which turns out to be appropriate since the book tells the story of an early, pioneering French film maker.

From The Invention of Hugo Cabret website:
"ORPHAN, CLOCK KEEPER, AND THIEF, twelve-year-old Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric girl and the owner of a small toy booth in the train station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message all come The Invention of Hugo Cabret.This 526-page book is told in both words and pictures. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is not exactly a novel, and it’s not quite a picture book, and it’s not really a graphic novel, or a flip book, or a movie, but a combination of all these things. Each picture (there are nearly three hundred pages of pictures!) takes up an entire double page spread, and the story moves forward because you turn the pages to see the next moment unfold in front of you."

All I knew about this book when I picked it up was that most of the story was told in pictures and that it won the Caldecott Medal. I had no idea that it was about magic,
Georges Méliès and early cinema. I really enjoyed the mystery and history in this book.

The drawings in the book are, of course, the center piece of the book.
Brian Selznick tells the story alternately through words – often just a paragraph or two per page – and 158 black-and-white pictures. The illustrations consist mostly of pencil drawings but include memorable stills from the movies of the silent filmmaker Georges Méliès. I was amazed by Brian Selznick's ability to tell so much of the story in pictures. The drawings were amazing in their detail and ability to tell the story with out words. I liked the story overall but I don't think the book would be half so good without the illustrations. There were times when I felt the written story was a little slow and I was glad to get back to the pages of illustrations to tell the story and move it along.

A great book to check out, even if for no other reason than to be able to say you read a 500 + page book in just a few hours. :-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Spring Reading Thing Wrap-up

I am a little slow getting this posted. It has been a busy and sleepless few days for me. I tried getting on the computer to blog a few days ago and fell asleep on my keyboard!
I had fun reading through my list of books for the Spring Reading Thing.
My original list had 16 books on it. I read 14 of the original 16 on my list but added 7 as I went for a total of 21 books read this spring.

Books I enjoyed the least:
A Walk with Jane Austen
The Chocolate War

Books I enjoyed the most:
The Price We Paid
Sense and Sensibility
The Willoughbys
North and South (review coming)

Books on my original list that I did not read:
Anne of the Island by LM Montgomery
Two Histories of England by Charles Dickens and Jane Austen

Books added to my list:
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The House of Order Handbook by Marie Ricks
The Price We Paid by Andrew D. Olson
Queen of the Castle by Lynn Bowen Walker
The Second Rescue by Susan Arrington Madsen
The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry
Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary

A huge thanks to Katrina for hosting the Spring Reading Thing!

I'll probably be signing up for the Summer Reading Thing hosted by Inksplasher in the next few days.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Library Recommends

A few weeks ago I was looking around at my library's website when I discovered that they will make a personalized recommended reading list for patrons. There was a short on-line form to fill out about what books you have read and enjoyed, what genres you enjoy etc. I filled it out and got my list a few days ago.

1.These Three Remain by Pamela Aiden
"The exciting conclusion to the" Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman" trilogy recounts the climactic events of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" from its enigmatic hero's point of view."
I think it is interesting that they recommend the final book in a trilogy but not the first one. I have actually heard good things about these books but have not read them.

2.The Air We Breathe by Andrea Barrett
"The National Book Award-winning author of Ship Fever delivers her eagerly anticipated new novel, set in 1916, in an isolated town in the Adirondacks, far from the war raging in Europe."
They must have recommended this one because I told them that I liked historical fiction books set around the time of WWI. I have not heard of this one before and will probably check it out.

3. Presumption by Julia Barrett
"A remarkable sequel to Pride and Prejudice that features the Bennets, Bingleys, Wickhams, Collinses, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, and Georgina Darcy--the central character and heroine of this delightful book. Readers will be carried back to Pemberley and Derbyshire as though they had never left."

4. The Third Sister: A Continuation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility
"In Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen, that so long mistaken avatar of Victorian propriety while actually its wittiest and subtlest critic, wrote of Margaret Dashwood, the third sister: 'Margaret, the other sister, was a good-humored, well-disposed girl; but as she had already imbibed a good deal of Marianne's romance, without having much of her sense, she did not, at thirteen, bid fair to equal her sisters at a more advanced period of life'. At the same time that she so faithfully, with love and respect, evokes Jane Austen's style and characters and ambience, Julia Barrett bids fair to show Margaret's creator happily wrong in her estimation of Margaret's at first vulnerable, then shrewd and winning potential, the exercise of which makes for the substance of this remarkable novel on its own. But of course, Jane Austen couldn't know of Margaret's metamorphosis. Or perhaps she did, and meant one day to say so herself. Whatever, The Third Sister is an imaginative, creative continuation of Sense and Sensibility, featuring a Margaret Dashwood, the third sister, once so underestimated, who turns out to fool even her creator."

5.Pride and Prescience: Or, a Truth Universally Acknowledged
"Mr. & Mrs. Darcy, the joyous newlyweds from "Pride and Prejudice," have not even left for their honeymoon when they find themselves embroiled in a mystery involving one of their wedding guests."

I have never heard of the the 3 above titles. The description of #4 just makes me cringe. I doubt I'll be reading them.

6.The Heroines by Eileen Favorite
"Narrated by a spirited adolescent, this appealing debut novel features appearances by heroines from literature--from Emma Bovary to Scarlett OHara and Franny Glass--who take refuge at a Midwestern bed and breakfast when they need a break from their plots."
I have heard of this one but what I've heard has not been positive. As of right now, I am not interested.

7. Austenland by Shannon Hale
I have already read this one and you can read my review of Austenland if you are interested.

8. The Winter of the World by Carol Ann Lee
"The author of "The Hidden Life of Otto Frank" delivers her debut novel--set in the aftermath of World War I--a tender and heartrending portrait of two people struggling with their darkest demons, desperately trying to come back from the abyss of betrayal."
Another one set around WWI and another one that I will probably check out.

So, they sent me 8 recommendations based on the info I gave them. I am interested in 2 of them, maybe interested in 1 and already read 1.
Maybe I'll submit another request and see what they come up with the second time around.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Reading with my Kids-Sound Box Books

Jane Belk Moncure's Website
Reading Level: Grade 1
Interest Level: Preschool–Grade 2

Red and I discovered the Sound Box books by Jane Belk Moncure and illustrated by Colin King a few months ago. Every week we pick out 2 or 3 new letters from the library and they have become bed time and any time favorite books for Red. He likes to take his toy buckets and make his own sound boxes.
In each of the books a young child fills his or her sound box with many words that begin with their respective letter.
For example, in My "p" Sound box, Little "p" puts a poodle and her puppy and a pig and her piglet in her sound box. She then walks down a path to the park where she sees a peach tree and a picnic table. Many other "p" words are used throughout the book and on the final pages all the "p" words are brought together on one 2 page spread. I will point to the pictures and Red will name them. The final two page spread always has new words that were not used in the story. Again, I point to the pictures and help Red name them.
These are great books for introducing early reading concepts to your children. The stories are often cute, although I have enjoyed some letters more than others, and the illustrations by Colin King are fun and enjoyable.
I would recommend these books for any parent with toddler and preschool age children.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Summer Book Trek 2008

I have been debating whether I wanted to sign up for this challenge. I generally don't read a lot of LDS fiction but there are several LDS authors who are writing for a national market so I think I'll try some of those books.
You can read the full set of rules at the challenge site but here is the quick version:

This is a low-pressure, easy challenge. You set your own goals. All you have to do is make a list of fiction books by LDS authors that you want to read during the challenge (as few as one, or as many as you want). You can make changes to your list as needed—drop books that weren't as fun as you thought they'd be; add books if you finish early. Set the goals that fit your schedule. No pressure, no minimums. (We'd like to encourage you to pick one new fiction book by an LDS author published in 2008, but that's optional. And YES, you may use titles that you're already using for other challenges, as long as they're by LDS authors.)

My list:
  • Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson (he is LDS, right?)
  • The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
  • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (I guess I am finally going to start reading this series)
  • The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull
  • Cankered Roots by G.G. Vandagriff
  • Of Deadly Descent by G.G. Vandagriff
  • Tangled Roots by G.G. Vandagriff

That is all I am putting on my list because I have a busy summer of reading already planned. I also picked these books because they are available at my library whereas most books written for the LDS market are not.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Daring Book Challenge Book List

Here is the list of books from The Daring Book for Girls. Books marked in red are books I've read in the past and so count for the ongoing challenge. Some of these I might have read but can't remember for sure so I am only marking in red the ones that I remember reading for sure. I could still tell you what they are about etc. I'll come back and mark the dates I finish the other books as I go.
Looking at this list, a few things jump out at me. 1. I was never into horses and therefore never read the books about girls and horses. 2. I don't really read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi. That section will be the biggest challenge for me 3. There are a lot of classic children's books that I have never gotten around to reading. This will be a great challenge.

20 Girl Classics

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle and other books
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy by Seymour Reit
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
Magical Melons by Carol Ryrie Brink
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
The Famous Five by Enid Blyton (series of 21 books)
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitshugh
The Illyrian Adventure by Lloyd Alexander (series of 5 books)
The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Keep Climbing, Girls by Beah H. Richards
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott
Lizzie Bright and The Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt
Mandy by Julie Andrews
Matilda and The BFG by Roald Dahl
Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godden
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Ramona by Beverly Cleary (series of 8 books)

Other Favorites

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (series of 7 books)
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (series of 7 books)
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hoboken Chicken Emergency and other madcap stories by Daniel Pinkwater
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne
When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum

Science Fiction and Fantasy

The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
Foundation by Isaac Asimov (series of 7 books)
Robot Series by Isaac Asimov (series of 4 books plus short stories, must read the 4 books)
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (series of 9 books)
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
Messenger by Lois Lowry
Earthsea trilogy by Ursula K. LeGuin (series of 3 books)
Dragonsong Trilogy by Anne McCaffrey (series of 3 books)
The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

Classic Girl and Her Horse Books

Black Beauty by Anne Sewell
Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
National Velvet by Enid Bagnold
The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble

Mythologies and Fairy Tales

Bullfinch's Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch (note: this is 888 pages long, keep that in mind when making your list)
The Complete Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen (note: this is 1120 pages long, keep that in mind when making your list)
One Thousand and One Arabian Nights
The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales by Brothers Grimm (note: this is 880 pages long, keep that in mind when making your list)
The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green
The Once and Future King by T.H. White
Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley
The Odyssey by Homer

Old Fashioned Girl Detective Series

Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene (series of 56 books [the originals]) see here.
Trixie Belden by Julie Campbell (series of 39 books)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What Book Am I?

You're To Kill a Mockingbird!

by Harper Lee

Perceived as a revolutionary and groundbreaking person, you have
changed the minds of many people. While questioning the authority around you, you've
also taken a significant amount of flack. But you've had the admirable guts to
persevere. There's a weird guy in the neighborhood using dubious means to protect you,
but you're pretty sure it's worth it in the end. In the end, it remains unclear to you
whether finches and mockingbirds get along in real life.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Well, if I have to be a book than I guess this is a good one to be. These quizzes are always fun and often good for a laugh. I don't know how revolutionary or groundbreaking I am.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Reading Through History

Mrs. Brooke at More Than Rubies is hosting the Reading Through History Book Club. I really should not try to add more reading material to my night stand pile but I can not resist this one.
Mrs. Brooke said that "the aim of the book club is to read through the eras of history (via Classics, primary sources and relevant commentaries) over the course of four years. We will read works published during the time period and works written about the time period. There will also be 'extra credit' assignments of memorization work."
How can I resist?

For June we are reading:

  • The Declaration of Independence

  • The Constitution of the United States (incl. The Bill of Rights)

  • The Federalist Papers, by James Madison et al.
Discussion will start on July 5. I read some of the Federalist Papers in High School and more of them when I was at Ricks but it will be good for my brain to dip into these again. And of course we should always be familiar with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
I am really looking forward to participating in this book club. A huge thanks to Mrs. Brooke for hosting this.

The Willoughbys

Title: The Willoughbys
Author: Lois Lowry
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Pages: 174
Date Finished: 7 June 2008
My Rating: 5 Stars

Author Lois Lowry who gave us Number the Stars, The Giver, A Summer to Die and 30 + other children's stories has now given us The Willoughbys, a clever, tongue in cheek parody of "old fashioned" classic children's stories.
I loved the tag line for this book as soon as I saw it on the cover. "A novel nefariously written & ignominiously illustrated by the author." If that does not hook your attention then maybe the book description will: " 'Shouldn't we be orphans?' one of the Willoughby children suggests one day. The four are, after all, part of an old-fashioned kind of family, and their parents-well, their parents are not all that one would hope for. The Willoughbys concoct a diabolical plot to turn themselves into worthy and winsome orphans. Little do they know that Mr. and Mrs. Willoughby have already begun to formulate their own thoroughly despicable plan inspired by another favorite bedtime story: the tale of Hansel and Gretel..."

I laughed and snickered my through this whole book. Lowry included a bibliography of "books of the past that are heavy on piteous but appealing orphans, ill-tempered and stingy relatives, magnanimous benefactors, and transformations wrought by winsome children." Books such as Anne of Green Gables, James and the Giant Peach, Heidi, Jane Eyre and Mary Poppins are included. The novel is full of literary allusions to and parodies of these tales as the Willoughby children strive to be old-fashioned, winsome orphans. The story is full of twists that kept me laughing and rooting for all the characters from the Willoughby children to their Odious Nanny and the Melancholy Tycoon but not for Mr. and Mrs. Willoughby. :-)
One of the most enjoyable and humorous parts of the book is the glossary. Here you will find such definitions as "Villainous means typical of an evil person. Very obnoxious. You could have guessed that, of course, since you already know the word villain. In old movies, villains almost always had mustaches. I don't know why." And "Meticulous means extremely precise and careful. Surgeons have to be meticulous. Some people think great cooks are meticulous, but they are wrong. Great cooks read a recipe, maybe, but they ignore the instructions and add extra garlic if they feel like it. Surgeons can't do that."
Unfortunately, I would not be at all surprised to see this book end up on a banned book list. I imagine there will be some people who look past the humor and wit and see only a book about kids and parents who are trying to do away with each other but to quote from Lois Lowry's website, "this is a humorous book, of course, and no one is recommending that real children do away with their parents. (Unless, of course—heh heh—their parents are as outrageously awful as Mr. And Mrs. Willoughby!"

Here is a fun blog post I found about The Willoughbys at The 5 Randoms.
Lois Lowry's answer to the question of where she came up with the idea for The Willoughbys: "See, I knew you were going to ask me this question; it's difficult to answer. It's the question most people like to ask: Where did you get the idea? Ideas come from many places, some simmering in your mind, and some come from past experiences. I have a very long past because I go way back. So I think it probably came from the kind of books I read when I was young, and kids don't read books like that anymore. Back then, books tended to have stock characters. They always had adjectives before their nouns: not just orphans, but needy orphans; not just the nanny, but the odious nanny, like the nanny in The Willoughbys. Then I was thinking, "Do all my books have to be serious?" In a typical book today, if there were an orphan whose parents had died, it would be a sad book about grief, but I wanted to write a humorous book about that subject." Read the complete interview and see a video here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summer Reading

Has summer officially began now that I have signed my kids and myself up for the summer reading programs at the library?
Sign ups started yesterday and my goal was to be there right as the library opened but I got there 10 minutes late. The line was not too long but still too long for an impatient 3 year old who wanted to go look for books and did not get why we were standing in a line. The place got packed shortly after we arrived. The lines to sign up for the summer reading clubs were out the door, as was the line to check out books. All those kids so excited to spend their summer vacation reading! I have a confession to make. I never really did the summer reading thing as a kid. I would always walk or ride my bike down to the library at the start of summer and sign up but then never kept track of my books. I couldn't be bothered. That and I spent a lot of time at the pool and not so much time reading during the summer. As much as I would love to spend every day at the pool like I did as a kid, we can't afford a pool membership right now. So we will just spend our summer with our noses stuck in books.
What I love about this library is that they have a baby and toddler summer reading club so I can sign Little Miss L up too. They give you a little pamphlet with activities to do with your baby with stops along the way where you enter to win a prize. If we complete it then we will get a board book. The activities are things like, share a book with your child, sing "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes," point to signs and other words and read what they say, read a lift the flap book, etc etc. All things I do with my baby anyway so this should be fun and easy!
Red has graduated from the baby and toddler summer book club to the pre-school summer book club. (My baby is growing up!) I just have to keep track of the title of the books I read to Red and then turn our sheet in as we go to get prizes and enter to win the big prize at the end. We read so many books that I would not be surprised if we have the first half of the chart filled out by the time we go back to the library next week.
And of course they are nice enough to have a summer reading club for the adults too. I signed myself up so I can try to win some prizes as well. My fingers are crossed for the bookstore gift card.
Have you signed up for the Summer Reading Club at your library? What books are you planning to read this summer? I checked out Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson, Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen by Bob Greene and The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick yesterday. Those will be some good books to get me started this summer.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

100 Years of Anne of Green Gables

My earliest memories of Anne of Green Gables center around my mother. She read the Anne books when she was a girl and had these beautiful hardback editions of at least the first 3 Anne books. (She may have had more, I don't remember.) Unfortunately these books were ruined by her kids, probably mostly by me. I'd love to find a copy of these on e-bay or somewhere and give them to my mom. I wonder what the odds are that I'd find them and that I'd be able to afford them?

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables. I'll be working my way through as many of the Anne books as I can in the months to come. (Which might be easier said then done with all the books I have marked to read in the coming months.)
I have signed up to participate in a group read of Anne of Green Gables with the participants thoughts being posted on the Blogging Anne of Green Gables blog started by Kate. There are some great cover images over at the blog as well as links to sites with more information about the Anne books and L.M. Montgomery. And of course there are also some great posts already up.

I have a copy of The Poetry of Lucy Maud Montgomery that sits on my night stand. I like to pick it up every now and then and read a little bit. L.M. Montgomery was never considered a great poet but I have never been big into poetry so I guess she is a good match for me because I really enjoy her poems.
Here are the opening stanzas from a poem that makes me think of Anne each time I read it.

The Gable Window

It opened on a world of wonder,
When summer days were sweet and long,
A world of light, a world of splendor,
A world of song.

'Twas there I passed my hours of dreaming,
'Twas there I knelt at night to pray;
And, when the rose-lit dawn was streaming
Across the day,

I bent from it to catch the glory
Of all those radiant silver skies-
A resurrection allegory
For human eyes!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I am a Mother

Title: I am a Mother
Author: Jane Clayson Johnson
Genre: LDS Non-Fiction, Motherhood
Pages: 138
Date Finished: 29 May 2008
My Rating: 4 Stars

I am a Mother by Jane Clayson Johnson, former co-anchor of the Early Show on CBS , is an inspiring little book about what it means to be a mother and how we as women can and should support each other.
The book is peppered with quotes from everyone from leaders of the LDS Church to Oprah and Anna Quindlen. Johnson also shares many personal stories about her life before and after she became a mother. The central message of the book is one of support and understanding for mothers every where and in every situation.
My favorite part of the book was the chapter titled "Walking in each other's shoes." Johnson discusses how we as mothers, judge and criticize each other too quickly and too harshly without really knowing each other and our stories. "In every woman's story there are unknowns-struggles only she knows about, fears she's tried to overcome but still harbors, disappointments and sorrows she bears. The last thing any of us wants-or needs-is to be judged by others who don't know our stories, in part or at all." (104) Instead of judging and criticizing, we as women and mothers need to show charity and compassion towards one another.
I also really enjoyed two quotes from Bruce C. Hafen that Johnson shared on this same topic.
  • "Can we love and support each other without judging each other harshly? So many of us are trying our hardest to live the commandments, often against great odds in our personal lives and unique family situations. Heaven knows, the world isn't giving us much support in these relationships. Let us support one another, even when-especailly when we differ on matters of personal choice and circumstance. Those are usually differences of preference, not principle." ("Women and the Moral Center of Gravity." in Ye Shall Bear Record of Me, 300).
  • "If LDS women criticize each other rather than connect with and support each other, the adversary wins the day by driving wedges into natural, womanly relationships of strength. Because women can give so much never-failing charity to each other in relationships, one curse of the modern world has been to isolate and alienate women-including LDS women-from one another by making them more competitive" ("Women and the Moral Center of Gravity." in Ye Shall Bear Record of Me, 300).
This book comes in at a short 138 pages but it will make a great book to pull off the shelf when I need a little boost or a reminder on those days when I am neck deep in spit-up, diaper changes, laundry and dishes that what I am doing is important and that it really does matter.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Daring Book Challenge

Have you read The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz? Yeah, me neither. But I've seen it around a lot and finally put a hold on it at the library.
Callista is hosting a challenge based on the books listed in The Daring Book for Girls. When I saw the list of books I thought it was a great challenge for me to participate in. She has 3 different tracts you can choose from. Check out the challenge blog to read all about it.
I am choosing the 2nd option, read any 9 books from the list from June 15/08 to June 15/09 (9 books in 12 months) and the on-going challenge to read all the books on the list. (I'll probably be making a post in the next few days to help me keep track of all the books on the list that I have read.)
Sign ups are going on now so head over there and check it out.