I started a “books read in June” post before June ended, and it’s still sitting there in drafts though I’ve opened it at least a dozen times, adding a sentence here and there. Dunno why I’m being sluggish with that. Perhaps it’s because one has to be sluggish somewhere, and everything else is go, go, go these days. In a good way. All our usual activities are suspended for the summer, but we went and got ourselves busy with new things. We’re very busy relaxing, if that makes any sense at all.
We’re busy playing Farm Town and Farmville on FaceBook. My kids don’t have FB accounts yet but they use mine to keep our farms in tiptop shape. This is enormously fun in so many ways that I could spend a whole long post enthusing about nothing else. Beanie maintains the Farmville farm (a simpler, less socially interactive game) and Rose does most of the planting on our Farm Town place. She also likes to look for the green dot that indicates Aunt Molly’s online, and the two of them will chat while Rose harvests and plows for my little sis. This is the aspect of the game that makes Farm Town such great fun—you earn more money for your crops if you ‘hire’ someone else to harvest them, and there’s a chat window so you can talk as you work. Yesterday I had a few minutes of delightful conversation with my twelve-year-old nephew in Virginia and my sweet friend from New Zealand while I worked on my ever-growing flower garden. (Next to the social aspect, my favorite part of the game is endlessly rearranging our trees and flowers.)
Meanwhile, Rose and Bean hold intense discussions of the merits and profit margins of various crops. I’ve been amused at how much math they wind up doing quite as a matter of course. If grapes cost X amount and are ripe in 4 hours, and potatoes cost Y amount and take a full day to grow, but potatoes sell for twice as much as grapes (and don’t forget the 20 gold plowing cost), what brings the biggest profit over the course of a day? Lots of percentages, too: if sunflowers are a 3-day crop and they’re 95% ready, how many hours until they can be harvested? And so forth. Good stuff.
Rose started reading From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler last night. It’s probably been four years since I read it aloud, so she’s enjoying it like new all over again. Gosh, I love that book. I’m of a mind to pinch it from her and re-read it myself.
Beanie, meanwhile, is tearing through the Warriors books again, and Jane’s Agatha Christie kick continues in full force. Scott is glued to his 33 1/3 series. I’m drifting a bit, haven’t settled fully into any one book since finishing The Actor and the Housewife. This happens to me sometimes; I get option paralysis. The table is piled with so many enticing-looking books, and I’ll read a chapter of this and a chapter of that, and they’re BOTH good, oh and so is that one over there, what a great opening, and I won’t be able to make up my mind which one to go with first. “I have an idea,” says Scott, ever so helpfully. “What if you just grabbed one and, you know, READ it?” Smartypants.
So I’m reading, simultaneously, Lost by Jacqueline Davies and Graceling by Kristin Cashore, and at night in the dark on my Touch I dip into A Room with a View, an old favorite, a rich and delicious indulgence. While the baby breathes softly beside me, I’m basking in the greens and golds of Florence, the breathtaking sea of violets, the sudden unexpected kiss. Have yet to return to England and that prissy Mr. Vyse.
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Podcast Interview: Read-Aloud Revival
Monday Morning Links