Monthly Archives: March 2012

WWW Wednesdays – March 14, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

– What I’m currently reading
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart, the sequel to The Mysterious Benedict Society, which I read several weeks ago. I’ve only read the first chapter so far but I’m already sucked in.

– What I recently finished reading
The Sorceress, the third in the series of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott. It keeps getting better and I can’t wait to read the next one.
The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by The Dalai Lama. This is a good introduction to Buddhism and some of the Dalai Lama’s thoughts on living a peaceful life. I think stating the Dalai Lama as an author is misleading though, since the PhD co-author wrote most of the text, inserting his conversations with and some public talks from the Dalai Lama.
How to Practice : The Way to a Meaningful Life by The Dalai Lama. I wish this book was properly titled “Buddhism and Meditation 101.” In this book the Dalai Lama doesn’t share specific insights on how to live a meaningful life, but rather explains how meditation works and the various steps it follows. It’s still an interesting read but not at all what I was expecting.

– What I think I’ll read next
Probably The Awakening by Kate Chopin, for my book club meeting at the end of March.

My kids’ bookshelf

Toot & Puddle - wish you were here by Holly HobbieWhat they’re currently reading
Lots of Toot & Puddle books, which are really cute and funny. Holly Hobbie tells great stories and is a gifted illustrator.
Toot & Puddle : Wish You Were Here by Holly Hobbie. If you’ve ever wondered what a blue pig looks like, this book will show you. Toot travels to Wildest Borneo but when he returns with the Violet Virus, Opal and Puddle try to help him find a cure.
Toot & Puddle : A Present for Toot by Holly Hobbie. Puddle tries very hard to find the right birthday gift for Toot in a pet shop and that’s where he meets Tulip the parrot, which you encounter in other Toot & Puddle books.
Toot & Puddle : The New Friend by Holly Hobbie. Opal gets annoyed with her new friend Daphne who seems to be the best at everything she does, but Toot and Puddle help Opal see another side of her. A great lesson on accepting kids can’t be the best at everything and it’s OK.

What they recently finished reading
Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy thinking : a Toon Book by Philippe Coudray. This comic book with easy dialogue for young readers is full of humor. My kids really enjoyed it and I think I have to find more books in this style. I believe this is the only book from this author that’s been translated in English so far, so I may ask my mom to get us the others in French.
Gullible’s Troubles by Margaret Shannon. Poor Gullible Guineapig pays his aunt, uncle and cousin a visit and believes everything they tell him (and none of it is nice). However they’re quick to dismiss his warning about what’s about to come out of the basement. This book finishes with a funny twist of events.
Harry and the Terrible Whatzit by Dick Gackenbach. When his mother goes to the cellar and doesn’t come back, Harry goes search for her and meets the terrible two-headed Whatzit, who keeps getting bigger and bigger. Another great book for kids who need to confront their fear of monsters.

– What I think they’ll read next
I don’t have too many book requests in my queue at the library right now so I need to think about new books but I’m not sure what theme to pick. Any suggestions?

What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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WordPress weekly photo challenge: Contrast

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, sunrises are one of my favorite times of the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love sunsets too, and I love sunlight late in the day. I’m a big fan of Daylight Savings Time and the bright evening hours that come with it. I know I get to sleep an extra hour when DST ends in the fall but I’d sleep an hour less to get my evening sunlight back. Oh wait, I got it back this weekend, yeah!

Sure, Daylight Savings Time (beginning or end) always messes up kids and pets for several days, but boy, did we enjoy that bright hour after dinner last night. Of course, I forgot to tell the kids they’d wake up in the dark on Monday morning so they were in for a surprise. I could hear them argue in their room.

“It’s 6:45, time to get up.”

“But it’s still dark outside, time to sleep.”

I don’t like getting up in the dark either but I know it won’t last. Getting up before the sun also gives me the opportunity to watch more sunrises as I get ready for the day.

To illustrate the WordPress weekly photo challenge: contrast, I picked this beautiful sunrise I captured out of my bedroom window a couple of months ago. I love how the morning sun rays fiercely shine through the clouds, making the sunrise’s bright colors stand out in contrast to the dark woods below. The sky’s on fire!

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Contrast

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Contrast

Are you a fan of Daylight Savings Time too, or would you rather do without it?

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Distorted

It took me a little while to think of a good subject for this week’s WordPress weekly photo challenge. Of course, I could easily have twisted something and taken a quick picture of its distorted state but I was thinking I could try to get a more natural subject. And then, as I walked right by “it” one morning as I do several times a day during the school week, I knew it would be a great illustration for this week’s theme.

As I walk into my kids’ school parking lot every day, I spot a colorful fruit tree full of yellow and green accents. The first time I spotted this tree growing in a neighbor’s yard, I was shocked to see how much fruit was hanging on it untouched. The fruit is easily accessible from the school grounds without having to reach over the fence and into the private property.

As I walked closer to the tree my first reaction was, “ew, gross!” Here’s what I saw.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: distorted lemons

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: distorted lemons

In case you haven’t recognized these shapes, I need to tell you they are lemons. And some pretty distorted ones I should say. Every single lemon on the tree displays that disorted shape.

As much as I was tempted to pick a bunch of lemons when I saw them from afar, I instantly dropped that thought after my close-up experience. These may be the juiciest, most fragrant lemons I’ll ever see but I can’t make myself pick even a few to try out. They just look like something really bad happened to them. This has to be the result of an experimental radioactive mutation gone bad and ingesting any lemon juice seems to me like a terrible idea.

Alright, so I may be paranoid but I don’t feel I’m alone. Take a look at the whole tree and guess how many people are eager to pick these free ripe lemons. My guess is, none. Would you take the chance?

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: distorted lemon tree

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: distorted lemon tree

WWW Wednesdays – March 7, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

The Sorceress by Michael Scott

The Sorceress by Michael Scott

– What I’m currently reading
The Sorceress, the third in the series of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott. Fortunately this book features a much faster pace than Seven years in Tibet so I’m enjoying the read. I like how this series is developing and even though I’m only half-way through the book, I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series.

– What I recently finished reading
Seven years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer. For me, the hardest part about reading this book was the lack of passion in the storytelling. Every event was so factual when it could have been a little more exciting and interesting. During the last 50 pages, Harrer FINALLY talks about meeting face-to-face with the Dalai Lama and becoming his tutor, following by China’s invasion of Tibet and The Dalai Lama’s exile to India. I think Harrer would have grabbed my attention a lot better if he had spent 50 pages on his trek and the other 270 pages on his close-up experience with the Dalai Lama.

– What I think I’ll read next
 I have several interesting books waiting for me on my bookshelf. I think I’ll make a decision by figuring out which one needs to go back to the library first.

My kids’ bookshelf

What they’re currently reading

I need my monster by Amanda Knoll

I need my monster by Amanda Knoll

I Need My Monster by Amanda Knoll. When Ethan finds a note saying the monster under his bed has gone fishing for a week, he requests a substitute monster to stop him from getting out of bed, but he can’t find a good match, even after five tries.
My Mama Says There Aren’t Any Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, Creatures, Demons, Monsters, Fiends, Goblins, or Things by Judith Viorst. I love this book! Nick starts doubting he can trust his mom’s word there are no monsters and such lurking around when he catches her making mistakes on a regular basis.
Fuddles by Frans Vischer. Fuddles the chubby indoor cat is pampered every hour of the day. This easy life isn’t enough for him so he decides to escape from his house and explore the great outdoors. He soon realizes the outside world is a little more than what he expected it to be…

What they recently finished reading
Raccoon Tune by Nancy Shaw. I love Shaw’s sheep books but this one is just as great. A family of raccoons prowls around at night until they find supper, all in rhyme.
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett. Annabelle finds a box with a neverending supply of yarn and knits for everyone and everything in town until an evil archduke asks her to sell him the yarn. When she refuses, he steals the box only to find out it’s empty. My kids loved this story from beginning to end.
Chicken Big by Keith Graves. This story is based on Chicken Little but with a much funnier spin and hilarious illustrations. A giant chicken hatches from an enormous egg but the other chickens can’t accept he’s one of them. Instead they imagine he’s all sorts of animals (squirrel, hippopotamus, cow…)

– What I think they’ll read next
We have a whole bunch of monster books to read so I’ll highlight more of the best ones in next week’s update.

What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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