Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 Book Group Planning Coming Up

Our book group will be getting together in a week to plan the books we'll read throughout the year.

Any great suggestions? Favorites you've read in the past year?

I plan on tossing "Leadership and Self-Deception" and "The Princess and Curdie" in the ring.

In 2008 our book group read:
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Peacegiver by James L. Ferrill
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
I am a Mother by Jane Clayson Johnson
Hatchet by Gary Paulson
Any book about finances
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
One of Ours by Willa Cather
Train to Potevka by Mike Ramsdell
Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Life of Our Lord by Charles Dickens
Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Misc Things I've Learned About Reading (or Something Thereabouts) Recently

1. I can only put 15 books on hold at the library. When I discovered that (because I had put that many on hold), I added my extra holds that didn't fit onto Melanie's card (yet another good reason to have kids), plus had a list of another 6 I planned to pull off the shelf when I got there figuring no one else would have checked them out.

2. That doesn't always work. Like last week at the library. Someone had recommended "Mississippi Trial, 1955" for Adam to read. When we got there he mentioned he wanted to find it, so I told him I was going to check on a couple other things, then I would help him. A few minutes later I wandered to the YA section to find it, and it wasn't there. Checked the computer again, says it's on the shelf. Look again, all over the shelf, other shelves in the YA section. No book. I'm SURE I mentioned to him that I couldn't find it. A few days later I was putting something on hold for him that I found, and voila, it showed that he had the Mississippi book checked out on his account. "Did you have that on hold last week?" "No, as soon as I said I wanted it I went and pulled it off the shelf!" Duh, mom.

3. I hate hearing about a book and not being able to find it on the library website. Hate, hate, hate it. Books like "The Daisy Chain" by Charlotte Yonge.

4. Because of that, people in the Davis County library system benefit from the fact that I have personally requested about 15 books the library has purchased, such as 9 sewing books (that was the first time, just sent a whole list hoping for a couple but they bought the whole list!), the series mentioned at the bottom of this post, and most recently one I plan on holding on to for quite a while before anyone else realizes it's there (not "Daisy Chain," but I'll have to request that one too).

5. I am not prideful about the many wonderful ways I have contributed to our library system.

6. The library never purchased the $250 math videos. Oh well.

7. Adam told me the other day I think books are the whole world. I thought (with one eyebrow lifted), "Well, yah?"

8. What he doesn't know - book is the new word for cool. (Really, go read this.)

9. Shannon Hale, author of "Goose Girl," "Princess Academy," and several other wonderful stories gave a great challenge to give books for Christmas. This is not a hard challenge at our house. If you have girls in the house, I highly suggest one of Shannon's.

10. For a long time I've really loved the "Read-Aloud Handbook" and it's wonderful book suggestions, but was recently introduced to another wonderful set (thanks Cindi!) that I am newly enchanted by called "Honey for a Child's Heart," "Honey for a Woman's Heart," and one I haven't looked at yet, "Honey for a Teen's Heart." They will each eventually live on my bookshelf.

To finish, here's a quote I read earlier in "Charms for the Easy Life."
"In our house, the point of reading and learning was neither to impress outsiders nor to get a job or a husband, nothing like that. It had nothing to do with anybody but the three of us. When a good book was in the house, the place fairly vibrated. We trained ourselves to be exceptionally fast readers so a book could be traded around before the nagging and tugging became intolerable. I remember particularly, when The Grapes of Wrath was new, how my mother and grandmother felt I wasn't reading it quickly enough, how they asked me every half-hour or so how far along I was. When I suggested we take an afternoon-and-evening vacation and read it togeher, they sat down on the sofa and patted the spot between them, as if I were a puppy they were coaxing to jump up. We took turns holding the book, turning pages, and the only times we got up in twelve hours were to turn on a light and go to the bathroom.

"We shared a curiosity about the world that couldn't be satisfied in any other way."

So there you have it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Pearl

From an article by Stephanie Francom:

"Hugh Nibley translated one of the most ancient records that exists. In this record there is a story that is called "The Pearl." A prince was sent by his father, the king, to Egypt to retrieve a pearl. He took with him a pack of clothing and food. When the prince arrived in Egypt, the people didn't trust him because of his royal clothing. So he donned their clothing. They were still distrustful because of the way he ate, so instead of eating the food he had brought with him, he began eating their food. As he took on their ways, he began to forget who he was and his mission to retrieve the pearl. His parents, aware of his predicament, wrote him a letter and marked it with the kingly seal. When the prince received his parents' letter, he recognized the message as the same message that was written on his heart. He knew that he had forgotten who he was and that he had a mission to perform. He immediately sought after and procured the pearl, and then he was able to return to his parents with honor. Remembering who he was changed everything.

"I believe that each one of us has a pearl that we have promised to retrieve, or a mission to perform. We too have a message written on our hearts. And I believe that there is a letter awaiting each one of us that will help us to remember who we are, if we will seek it out."

Read that last night and had to share. The rest of the article is just as good.