Thursday, June 25, 2009

What i'm reading and Listening to this week!

Since I laughed till I nearly peed reading Frank Schaeffer's hilarious Calvin Becker Trilogy, I knew I'd enjoy his autobiography, Crazy For God. So far [about 60 pages into it] it's great. His parents are true heros of mine--Bible-believing Christians with the good sense to love and enjoy art, good music, and beauty. His mother could have put Martha Stewart out of business, but never lost sight of her goal to win souls to the Lord, even if she did "forget" to homeschool her son! Obviously, he turned out well educated in spite of it! I dreamed of raising my kids with long, beloved read-alouds, dinner table conversation that develed into politics, religion, literature and art [well, at least in my childhood politics was certainly discussed fully] and not just "P stop making that noise when you eat!" Sadly, [Well, ok, HAPPILY] God gave me MY children instead!!

Ok, Glenn is WAY over the top for me, but this is buzzing everywhere so I just have to give it a try. Sounds like the kind of thing my friends and I would have sneered at in College, but we're all adults now so the sneering does have moments of "OMG, he's right!"Common Sense.

This came in our recent shipment of new business books for the library I work in. I'm a frustrated Roosevelt scholar, so I'll read this to see what the Democrats did wrong the last time the country was going to hell in a handbasket and why we are in the mess we're in now...or...something like that. FDR was a GOD in my home growing up. At least according to my Dad. His mother-in-law STILL called him "That Man in the White House" even though he'd been dead nearly 20 years when I was born! I side with Dad--if only in terms of personality and leadership skills. I tend to be a bit more middle-of-the-road politically than Dad who still mourned poor Adali. New Deal or Raw Deal.
First novels can often be amazingly over-hyped. This one is in that class, but still a decent one to take to the pool. The heart-ache of Alzheimer's, the sheer horror of World War II-era Leningrad, and believable [for the most part] characters WILL draw you in. I read half of this in one sitting Saturday, but wouldn't give up my dear "As Time Goes By" on PBS to read more. It's sat since then. The Madonnas of Leningrad.

I had hope to listen to this with B, but her schedule is crammed till the start of school and she won't be going to work with me much, if at all, till near the end when homeschool ice skating resumes [she's been invited to come back regardless of her choice for fall!!!] And, since none of the books on cd I've requested have come in I was faced with a long boring, bookless commute!! So, I'm on disc two. This is just as delightful as the first book!! A MUST READ for elementary to middle schoolers. This is a "Melendy Quartet" for today's kids. The Penderwicks play on soccer teams, have saftey rules, homework, all of the usual stuff. The little one, Batty, goes to day care. It's "normal." I adore the Melendy's and "Swallows and Amazons" but they often make todays kids resentful because of all the FREEDOM they had to explore and LIVE that today's kids just don't get. The Penderwicks captures this "spirit" in terms today's kids understand, but in equally rich language.

I finished the Kalahari Typing School for Men--so wonderful!! If you are NOT familiar with the melody, cadence, temper and tone of African speech, or quail at the bizare combonations of letters that form surnames and place names common to Southern Africa, then I highly recommend you get it on tape, cd or mp3. The woman who reads for the cds is "local" and is the PERFECT voice of the whole series of books.

Of last week's books--grab "Children's Blizzard"--if, as I believe, you found "The Long Winter" to be the best of the Little House books, then you will devour this novel-like pleasure read that documents the "rest of the story" of that winter.

Coming up: The Duggars book AND the new Quiverfull Book!!! I love a good expose on an almost cultish religon!!! [Sick, I know. Just plain sick!!!]

1 comment:

Susan said...

LOVE these reviews ... must read the blizzard book and the Crazy for God one, and I'm curious about the Duggar book as well. I enjoy them but figured the book would just be fluf, so I'm glad to hear it was better than that. How about a books/literary focus to your blog? You ARE an expert at that ... :)