Books I’d Like to Finish Before the Year Is Out
• Our read-aloud of Winter Holiday, which we began in (gulp) September.
• Our new read-aloud of The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas. This one’ll be a cinch (she says recklessly)—it’s a shortish book, something between a very long picture book and a children’s novella. Although it features one of my favorite fictional families in all the world, I’ve never read this particular L’Engle tale before.
• Two Mental Multivitamin recommendations I began a long while back and set aside only because I had a guilt-inducing stack of review copies awaiting me (most of which I still haven’t read):
—Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding by Scott Weidensaul. I checked this out from the library over the summer (I think it was) and devoured the first couple of chapters, pausing frequently to read out long passages to Jane—who was so interested in the material that I wound up buying a copy to keep. She snapped it up and regaled me in turn with anecdotes about eccentric, passionate birdwatchers.
—Great Books by David Denby. Oh good grief, I see I posted a quote from it way back in January—that’s how long ago I started reading this book, and again I only read the first couple of chapters despite finding it completely engaging and memorable. Wait a second. I just realized that post is dated January 11th. I gave birth two days later. Well, that explains it. Ha.
Anyway, here is the M-MV post that piqued my interest in Denby’s book. As I recall, she said it was “one for the permanent library,” and I took her word for it and didn’t even bother previewing a library copy; I ordered it straightaway and it has been sitting on Scott’s nightstand ever since I laid it aside on January 12th or thereabouts. It must have been too thick and heavy to read while nursing a newborn. Babymoons are a time for comfortably slim (but not necessarily slight) works of fiction. Looking over my January reading notes, I note several titles I read on my iPod, and most of the others are one-hand-able paperbacks. Ah, yes, that was a great month for reading. Gatsby, Daisy Miller, Lolita, World Made by Hand. My rate of reading had slowed considerably by the fall—probably in proportion to the distance my inquisitive infant son has managed to travel away from my protective embrace. It’s hard to keep a baby out of mischief when your nose is in a book.
jan sasser says:
I LOVE the 24 Days Before Christmas! Enjoy!
On December 2, 2009 at 10:38 pm
Sarah N. says:
We got a copy of The 24 Days Before Christmas last year and loved it. We read it day by day through most of Advent but then my 6yo demanded that we finished it, so we did. Another book we’ve enjoyed reading day by day was The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean which I think was recommended by Karen Edmisten.
On December 3, 2009 at 3:52 am
Veronica Mitchell says:
I am always amazed (and more than a little envious) at how much reading you do get done. It’s a struggle for me to finish the one-book-a-month for our book group. I had not thought about reading on my iPod. Must try.
(Incidentally, our book group book this month was The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind which was EXCELLENT. Inspiring as a story and filling me with ideas about how to encourage scientific inquiry in my children.)
On December 3, 2009 at 4:54 am
I really enjoyed Great Books by Denby though I never wrote my intended series of blog posts about it because Lent happened just when I reached the end and I was trying to spend more time doing spiritual reading. But one of these days I’m going to post a bunch of my favorite passages.
It was one of those books I kept going to my husband or sister and saying, “listen to this” and my copy is full of underlined passages. I’m as fascinated by the stories he tells about his interactions with college personalities both students and professors as I am by his reactions to the books he reads. Though maybe that’s just my love-hate affair with academia.
On December 3, 2009 at 6:19 am
Melissa Wiley says:
Veronica, Scott recently read THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND and he too had much praise for it. He read me lots of snippets but it went back to the library before I got to it myself. Another one for the TBR list!
I wrote a couple of posts a while back on reading books on my iPod Touch—here’s one.
On December 3, 2009 at 6:50 am
I always wanted to be the kind of mother that Victoria Austin was. When I re-read The 24 Days Before Christmas as an adult, I was pleasantly surprised to find that we have at least one thing in common. (I won’t tell you because it will spoil the ending…)
On December 3, 2009 at 7:09 am
24 Days Before Christmas is fabulous…ages 4-11 enjoyed it in our house last year.
On December 7, 2009 at 3:06 pm