WWW Wednesdays – July 4, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

So I’m a day late writing this update, but I have my reasons. You see, yesterday I was busy driving back from the beautiful mountains of Idyllwild, California. I then took my oldest to our town’s little party zone and finished the day enjoying the Fourth of July fireworks. The best part? My five-year old slept in until 8am and my four-year old until 9. It felt good for all of us to catch up on some sleep in our own beds after being away from home for a week.

My bookshelf

Dolores Clairborne by Stephen King

Dolores Clairborne by Stephen King

– What I’m currently reading

Dolores Clairborne by Stephen King. Stephen King is one of my favorite authors and I still have many of his novels to read. I thought the summer is the perfect time to indulge. 
 
– What I recently finished reading
The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller. This is a WONDERFUL book written by a 6th-grade teacher who shares her experience to spread her love of reading to her students, no matter their reading level or literary genre interest. Over the years, she really shifted the paradigm of language arts/English literature teaching in her classroom. I loved to see a teacher more interested in making sure her students read every single day a book of their choice, rather than force them to read something they didn’t enjoy and never find pleasure in reading. Her major point is, if students become avid readers, they’ll be better students and will do great on standardized tests. So she spends tons of time letting the kids read in her classroom, and very little cramming for the tests. She asks her students to read 50 books in the school year, and most of them do it! Unfortunately, this teacher is the black sheep in our school system and I think many teachers (and parents) would benefit from reading this book to understand what really matters to give students the skills they need to be successful in life.
 
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. For chick lit, I thought this book was pretty good and I like how the characters were developed. Each of the girl has a very different personality and mindset and it was nice to see how each experience marked them that summer. I’ll definitely read the next books to see what happens, especially since the last one just came out, skipping a whole 10 years of their lives.
 
 – What I think I’ll read next
I think I have a couple of books waiting for me at the library, so I’ll have to decide which one to read first when I’m done with Dolores Clairborne.
 
My kids’ bookshelf

The Last Basselope by Berkeley BreathedWhat they’re currently reading
The Last Basselope: One Ferocious Story by Berkeley Breathed. Hoping to make a great discovery and find the legendary, ferocious Basselope, Opus the penguin leads his friends into the forest. What they find is quite different from what they expected. My kids love this book and I do too!

Little Horse by Betsy Byars. I haven’t personally read this book but my five-year old read it all on his own and stayed up late while on vacation because he couldn’t put it down until the last page. Unfortunately, this book ends in a cliffhanger! Poor little guy, I hate it when it happens to me too. Fortunately, we have the sequel at home and I hope he gets to read it on his own before the end of this week. He’s turning into an avid reader like me, choosing reading over sleeping. Is this a good or a bad thing? I wonder…

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. Believe it or not, I’d never read this story until this past week. My kids had an interesting reaction to the trains’ behavior. They were more shocked by the trains’ ongoing refusal to help out a stranded load than impressed by the little engine doing the right thing. Hopefully this lesson will sink in with them and we’ll read this book a few times again before returning it to the library.

Gregory the terrible eaterWhat they recently finished reading
Gregory, the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat. Poor Gregory, he’s such a picky eater. He only likes healthy food, but his parent goats want him to eat real goat food, like old shoes and rubber tires. The doctor goat advises his parents to start introducing new foods slowly, so Gregory will get used to them. Unfortunately it works too well and Gregory then can’t stop eating junk food! My kids love this story about new eating habits and what it takes to eat a balanced diet, no matter who you are.

Snow by Uri Shulevitz. Snowflakes slowly come down and everyone ignores them except for one boy who thinks the whole town will end up coated in white. It does feel weird to read a book about snow in July, but the illustrations are beautiful with a strong Eastern European feel.

– What I think they’ll read next
I have no idea! What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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10 responses to “WWW Wednesdays – July 4, 2012

  1. I’m presently reading something heavy: “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl. It was recommended by a fellow blogger. It’s about a psychiatrist’s experience in a concentration camp and how man can find meaning even in such horrific conditions. Books like this definitely keep the personal whining at bay, that’s for sure. Makes me so grateful for everything I have. I’m also still sauntering through a book about life on an Indian reservation. It’s good, but I need to put more time into it. I will once I finish my current read.

    On a side note, nothing much beats the pleasure of sleeping in one’s own bed after time away, does it? Those little pleasures go a long way. :)

    • I read that book a few months ago, right before Christmas if you can believe that, and I thought it was a great read (https://perfectingmotherhood.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/www-wednesdays-december-21-2011-perfecting-motherhood/). It does put everything in perspective and shows you the horrors some people have gone through in their lifetime we hope to never experience. If you haven’t done so, I’d recommend you also read An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography by Paul Rusesabagina. The movie Hotel Rwanda is based on Rusesabagina’s true story. This man performed remarkable acts of kindness to save many people’s lives. I still haven’t made myself watch the movie after reading the horrors of war in the book. I think everyone should read these books, to stop the bickering and become more compassionate, and realize what an easy slippery slope it is for humans to turn inhuman. Rusesabagina offers a wonderful personal reflection on this subject. All it took was the power of radio to spread the propaganda. Terrifying.

      • I’ll have to look into that, but yes, I have a hard time reading these books, though I agree we all need to from time to time.

      • Rusesabagina’s book is a lot easier to read than Frankl’s. Frankl was a psychology doctor and wrote like one. Rusesabagina is more genuine and the text flows better. But of course the story is the difficult part. I remember reading it in the middle of the night when I was breastfeeding my first child. It sure kept me awake during those nighttime feedings! Rusesabagina is an amazing, courageous human being and his story is well worth reading.

  2. I read Ruseabagina’s book; it was great. One that was even better about that same time period in Burundi (I think) was This Voice in My Heart by Gilbert Tuhabonye. He was a great runner who lived through that genocide, but his book (even though it had a lot of awful scenes in it) left the reader with a feeling of hope and love. I was amazed that he could forgive and feel such love for those who had hurt him so bad.

    • Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll need to read that book. That’s what amazed me so much about Ruseabagina. He saw so much horror and yet was able to not hold a grudge, although he decided to leave the country (mostly for his family’s safety). What’s so shocking is to realize these horrible crimes (with primitive machetes) and genocide happened in our lifetime.

  3. Fond memories of Idyllwild! When we visited Palm Desert, it was so hot I remember melting crayons in the morning, then driving to Idyllwild and sledding in the afternoon.

  4. Pingback: My favorite books of 2012 | Perfecting motherhood

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