Wednesday, May 05, 2010

What's on Your Nightstand?

P and I really enjoyed listening to Going Solo by Roald Dahl [Thanks, Barb, for the recommendation]. It's a little ahead of where we are with history, but we have to use the library as much as possible for home school so we taken them as they come!

Right now, we are listening to The Chosen by Chaim Potok--one of my all-time favorite "coming of age" stories. We'll be having a movie night for it when we're done. So far, P is really making nice comments on it. We're about 1/4 done.

Personally, I've been listening to The March by E.L. Doctorow and while it's had a few "oh come on!" moments I've mostly found it interesting.

My print books have been a different bunch lately. Right now I'm entranced by Don't Lets Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller. I find it fascinating that she found Malawi so darned hot all the time! I remember being in Zomba and wearing a sweatshirt. Guess it's her English roots showing--and my scorching hot, 100% humidity, no air conditioning Midwestern childhood showing! Still, it's part Glass Castle, part Flame Trees of Thika [which I also read and loved in April.] I listened to her book Scribbling the Cat a while back and loved it, too.

Keeping with my African theme of the moment, I just started a classic, Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. In case you are wondering, I'm exploring books for World Geography for P's sophomore year of homeschool [and indulging in great books and memories of Africa!]

I fed my Royal addiction with a small book that was mostly interesting by an author who churns out decent little biographies-- Crowns in a Changing World.

Having savored it slowly, in Charlotte Mason-approved style, I relished every single word of My Antonia by Willa Cather. It's definitely on the list for 10th grade literature! Just too wonderful for words. Some memorable lines and passages for my Common Place book, too! [Thanks again to Barb for the tip on the Enriched Classics series--excellent for teens who hate "literature"--lots of USEFUL notes, not just literary essays retitled "Introduction"]
Finally, I just barely made it into April with Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain--a Tapestry of Grace recommendation. I vividly recall the PBS Masterpiece Theater version years ago, [I believe it's on YouTube] but had not read it. It was AMAZING! So vivid! I love to read true stories that read as well as a good novel. That said, it was not the best choice for P so I'm very happy I listened to my intuition and had him read Lord of the Nutcracker Men instead.

To participate in What's on Your Nightstand go to 5 Minutes for Books!


Jeanne said...

My Antonia... Okay, got it down. Sounds about my kinda book this one. Some good reads here. I loved The Chosen too when I was about P's age.

Susan said...

Never read My Antonia; now I want to. I remember reading Cry the Beloved Country in high school but have retained absolutely nothing from it ...

dstb said...

I can't remember how I came across Going Solo, but I enjoyed it. My oldest, who is now 12, read it a couple of years ago and loved the chapter about the green mamba (or was it black?). Anyway, do you know there is a "prequel" called Boy? It is an autobiography of is boyhood. I know many people do not care for his writing, but it is so vivid. You'll know what I mean if you read the part in Boy about the woman who owned the candy store!

I do have a question for you. I was going to do a little Australian unit for the boys this summer and was looking for book suggestions. I remember reading Walkabout in 7th grade and was thinking about Rabbit-Proof Fence which I read a few years ago. Do you have any suggestions?


Hopewell said...

I'm sure Jeanne [commenter above you] would have much better suggestions on Australia--her blog is almost totally on Australian literature! Her blog is called Peaceful Day and you can click on her name to go to it! I honestly can't come up with anything I've read that would "do". Jeanne is a WEALTH of information though so make sure you check her blog for many good ideas.

I just requested "Boy" from the library--thanks for the reminder!