Our sweet kitty left our lives Wednesday morning. After about 19 years of life (he was an adult when we met him, we don’t know precisely how old he was), his body was done, and it was time for him to rest.
Category Archives: Me
This week’s question is
“If you could physically put yourself into a book or series…which one would it be and why?”
This is a tough one! I’m tempted to say Jasper Fforde’s Thurdsay Next books, because Thursday has the ability to jump into a book :-).
Beyond that, I don’t really know. Every Utopia has its dark side, every friendly community has its outcasts. I might enjoy the world of a book from the view of its characters, but where I live now is the life I’ve chosen in the location I’ve chosen.
Here’s what the Book Blogger Hop is:
In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky list!!
Drop a comment and say hello! Point me to your post and check out the other blogs on the hop.
Nerds Heart YA
My first request isn’t for me. It’s for nominations for Nerds Heart YA.
Nerds Heart YA is an annual tournament of books. Right now, nominations are open for Young Adult books published in 2010, depicting or written by someone in a group identified by the organizers as being underrepresented in YA fiction.
If you know of a good book that meets that description, and has not been heavily reviewed in the blogosphere, please nominate it!
This set of suggestions is for me, or rather for my daughter’s class. When they return from their next 4 day field trip (the one I was reading Measure for Measure to discuss with them in preparation for), they will dive into their geography unit. I’d like to come up with a set of Lit books for them to read and discuss in small groups.
- The class in made up of 7th & 8th graders at very wide reading levels, so suggestions from slightly lower to much higher difficulty are welcome, as long as they are interesting to 12-14 year olds.
- The class is about 2/3 boys, so I particularly need books that will appeal to them.
- Classics, historical or contemporary fiction are good. They’ve already done a round of science fiction and of (Greek Mythology linked) fantasy this year, so I’d avoid those genres.
- I don’t really know what I mean by a geography tie in.
- Maybe something they could track on a map?
- Something with travel and adventure?
- A book featuring maps?
- A book where the terrain and physical features of an area plays a major role?
- Well written and good fodder for discussion would be very helpful too :-)
Leave suggestions in the comments here, e-mail me, Tweet me, send me a Facebook message. I wouldn’t suggest carrier pigeons (I have a cat) or smoke signals (too cloudy), but however is easiest for you to get a message to me.
In general, I talk about the bookish side of my life here. As with everyone else, I do have other things that keep me from reading and blogging all of the time. Some of them are important– the time I spend with my daughter and at her school. Some of them are not– anyone who is friends with me on Facebook knows I like Farmville and other such games.
Starting in early November, my time is sucked into one of my husband’s hobbies:
I’ve set up a blog with some information on the lights. I help out, I try to keep things from getting too out of control, and I try to program the musical sequences. I did the Muppet one last year, with some help from my daughter.
I’m working on another one this year, and I find this extremely time consuming. Since I’m trying to work with the music I’m choreographing to, I can’t even listen to an audio book while I’m doing it.
Together with the general craziness of the season, that’s where a lot of my book time has been going!
Natasha at Maw Books posed a very interesting question on her blog. I’d strongly suggest you head over there and read her post and the discussion there. The question concerns whether you’d let your child read a book by an author convicted of possession of child pornography.
I answered there, but the question started me thinking, and I wanted to get some of those thoughts down in a lengthier fashion here.
What do I let my daughter read?
My general philosophy regarding my daughter’s reading (and movie and TV viewing, which I’m stricter with than I am with books) is that my job is to give her the tools she needs to make her own decisions, and the skills to deal with it when she doesn’t make the right ones.
I’m lucky in that my daughter (now 12 years old) isn’t a boundary pusher. If I tell her that I don’t think something is a good choice for her, that’s usually the end of it. She’s now interested in my reasons, which I think is a good thing.
When has this come up? The younger years.
When my daughter was young, this rarely came up– Her friends at school had similar taste in books, so she didn’t ask about many books that caused any hesitation on my part. I can think of two examples of when we went beyond an initial discussion. They both were books that dealt with difficult subjects, rather than inappropriate ones.
The first time was when she was in second grade, and was reading through the American Girl books. I hadn’t yet bought her the Addy books, which deal with slavery, but I hadn’t told her why I was holding off. When I asked her if she wanted to get them, she said yes, but she’d already read them at school. I asked her what she thought, and we talked a little about slavery, which she pronounced “weird”.
(Two follow-ups on this: We let her pick whichever historical American Girl she wanted for her birthday later that year. She picked Addy, because she had the most interesting character and best story, even though some of the other dolls had prettier clothes. Also, about a year after reading the Addy books she read something dealing with more modern racism. She was far angrier than she’d been over the Addy books– they had happened in the past, she didn’t think that people would still behave like that NOW).
The second was a similar situation, with Number the Stars. She was in third grade, and the middle school put on a play based on the book, which deals with children escaping from Nazi Germany. For her age group, the parents and the kids both had the opportunity to opt out of watching it, so we talked about it, comparing it to Addy’s escape from slavery. She watched it and was so impressed she wanted to read the book.
I bought it, telling her that I thought it would be a good one for us to read together (I was as concerned with reading level as content). She immediately picked it up and read it herself, and again, we had a good discussion afterward. I’m glad we talked about it, and she proved more ready to deal with the issues than I gave her credit for.
What about now?
The issues are much different now. She has a great group of friends, many of whom also really enjoy reading, and some of them are moving on to books with older themes. She’s starting to enjoy a romantic aspect of books. She now sees my books around the house, and asks about them (I remember that 7th grade was when I transitioned to reading adult books).
I tell her what I think she might/might not like about the book in question (if I need to look it up, I will). In many cases, saying I think it’s too grownup for her is enough. If she wants more information, I’ll oblige– I think in some cases, she’s interested in a conversation rather than a book, so turning the discussion to other books suits her even better, but if she’s legitimately interested, we get into whatever detail she wants.
I have discovered there is a difference between the content I will recommend for her, and what I will approve for her. This seems obvious to me in retrospect, but I hadn’t really expected it. In general, I’m not going to introduce a difficult subject unless she’s shown interest or I think she’s going to need to deal with it for some reason (like giving her Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret a few years ago. She didn’t have any interest in talking about those particular aspects of growing up, so I thought giving it a fictional face would help.)
You can read on my blog about when someone gave her a copy of Twilight for her 11th birthday. The conclusion was that I told her I thought she’d like it better in a year or so– it was very focused on romance, which she wasn’t particularly interested in yet. She elected to wait. She asked me about it this summer, but hasn’t gotten around to getting out her copy to read.
I’m not sure how I’d handle it if I had a child that (for instance) sought out violence in his/her books. I do know that once my daughter leaves her elementary/middle school, with its safe library, I’ll lose control of what she reads. I’m much better off instilling skills rather than compelling obedience.
But what about Natasha’s Question?
Yes, I know this is far afield from the original question Natasha asked.
I do know I wouldn’t want to buy books by a convicted pedophile, simply because I wouldn’t want to support him.
If my daughter wanted to read books by such a person, what would I say? Could she read them from the library or borrowed from a friend who bought before the news broke?
Unless my daughter had reason to think the subject matter was iffy, it wouldn’t even occur to her to ask me, so it might be a moot point. If she did ask, I’d tell her why I objected, but if she still wanted to, I’d probably let her, although I might want to read the book myself first.
After I picked my daughter up from her morning at photography camp, we had lunch, and she asked what I did today. We got to talking about this blog post. It turns out she has very strong opinions about separating the book from the author. We had a good discussion, but I don’t think I changed her mind.
What do you think? Where are your boundaries? What do you think your primary mission is with regards to your children and what they read? How does it change as they age?
I first need to admit that at this time, an audiobook I read has a much smaller chance of being reviewed than a paper book (nook books don’t have a track record yet).
There are several reasons for this:
- An audiobook isn’t likely to be a book I recieved for review (although I hope this changes), and review books have priority for getting reviews written.
- An audiobook is more likely to be a just for fun read, due to the way I end up picking them out, and I’m less likely to have something to say about it.
- Not having an easy way to go back and check on details and not knowing the spelling of names (and honestly, often not remembering the characters names) discourages me and sends me on to other reviews.
Still, I do write audiobook reviews, and hope to start writing more.
In general, I review audiobooks the same way I review other books. I’m primarily reviewing them as books, rather than as audiobooks.
In the past, I might not have referred to the audio aspects except in passing, unless there was something noteworthy about the narrator or the production. Even before this week, I’d been debating changing that.
Some books work better than others as audiobooks. I still hope to get to another post this week on why this is true– sometimes it is the book itself; sometimes it is the production.
I’m thinking of adding a section at the end of each audiobook review, with a short comment on
Narrator: I’m not overly judgmental, but sometimes one contributes to a story by use of accents or voices, and sometimes a narrator just doesn’t quite sound right to me.
Better in audio?: For the most part, I think books work equally well for me as audiobooks or as traditional reads. This would call out those where I’m glad or sorry I listened.
Is it worth adding these each time, even if they’re usually just “I liked the narrator” and “Either audio or paper would be fine for this book”?
Any ideas for catchy tags for each of them?
I’m looking forward to reading about how everyone else writes reviews of audiobooks.
In general, I listen to a little more than one audiobook a week (6 last month, 62 last year).
The primary reason I listen to audiobooks is because I can read at times when reading a book the traditional way isn’t possible. Driving the car, shopping for groceries, washing dishes, watching gymnastics practice are all fair game for reading now.
Really, I like to multitask. I get itchy doing only one thing at a time. So now, I listen to books while playing games on my computer, skimming e-mail (I do have to pause the book when I want to really pay attention to something involving words), I even have one going (albeit one I’ve listened to before) while I’m typing this post, although I can’t write a review while listening to a book.
There’s one other reason I like being plugged into my MP3 player most of the time– I suffer from tinnitus (ringing of the ears). My ears are a noisy place, with a constant high pitched ringing. If I’m listening to something else, it is much less annoying. Music works for this as well, but overall, I’m more of a book person than a music person!
In general, listening vs. reading doesn’t affect my enjoyment of a book– I hope to talk about the cases when it does (for better or worse) later this week.
What about you? Do you listen to audiobooks? Why? (If you have a post up on the subject, feel free to leave a link).