WWW Wednesdays – September 5, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

The accidental bestseller by Wendy Wax– What I’m currently reading
The Accidental Bestseller by Wendy Wax, for my book club meeting at the end of the month. It’s chick lit, which is a perfect change of pace after reading the Hunger Games series. The only thing I can’t stand is how small the font is, and how tiny the line spacing is too. I need to get me one of those magnifying rulers or I’ll never finish this book in a decent amount of time.

– What I recently finished reading
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I found this book the hardest to read out of all three. Not because of the writing (it was well written like the others) but because of the content. I deeply felt Katniss’s pain as she struggles to recognize the good from the evil, and even if there is any good left in her world. This book is excellent at portraying the horrors of war and how quickly people can lose their humanity, no matter when and where the war takes place. A great series with a hopeful ending.
 
– What I think I’ll read next
Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine. I swear, this time it will be my next book!
 
My kids’ bookshelf

Blowin' in the wind by John MuthWhat they’re currently reading
John Muth is one of my very favorite children’s book authors and illustrators. Not only can he tell a story beautifully, but his watercolor paintings are simply gorgeous, full of life and emotion. Some of them honestly deserve to be on display in an art museum. We have several of his books on our shelf right now, so I’ll highlight a few of them this week, and a few more next week.
Stone Soup by John Muth is the retelling of the famous tale, but this one takes place in a small village in China. Three wise monks trick a poor, frightened community into finding happiness through generosity.
The Three Questions by John Muth is based on a story by Leo Tolstoy. Nikolai asks his three animal friends to help him answer three important questions: “When is the best time to do things?” “Who is the most important?” and “What is the right thing to do?” But the true answer will eventually come from an old and wise turtle. This is a very philosophical book I enjoyed more than my kids, so I’ll need to reread it with them when they’re a little older. Do you know the answers to these three questions? You can take a guess in the comments box!
Blowin’ in the Wind by John Muth, which comes with a CD of Bob Dylan’s original recording and displays the words on each page spread. At the end of the book, John Muth explains how he came up with his illustrations, such as including using a flying paper airplane to make it easier for children to get  the imagery of “blowin’ in the wind”.

Who's at the door by Jonathan AllenWhat they recently finished reading
Who’s At The Door by Jonathan Allen.The big bad wolf wears several disguises (an old lady, a police officer and a baby) to make his way into the three pigs’ house. They’re not fooled but quickly get annoyed. So they decide it’s time to get rid of the wolf by wearing their own disguise (a bigger badder wolf). My kids LOVED reading this book over and over, using the flaps to open and slam the door in the wolf’s face.
Fartiste by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer. Ironically my six year old enjoyed this book a lot more than his little brother. I was personally fascinated to read the real story of French performer Joseph Pujol, who as a little boy realized he could control his farts. Pujol grew up to become “Le Petomane” at the turn of the 20th century, making audiences at the Moulin Rouge laugh with his animal noises, songs, etc. The book even includes a short biography of Joseph Pujol.

– What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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14 responses to “WWW Wednesdays – September 5, 2012

  1. I’m currently reading “The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women” by Elisabeth Badinter. It was written by a French mother, and it explores the subject of women giving too much of their lives to their children–so called “natural” parenting–while undermining their own status in the process. I believe it stirred a bit of controversy. When I’ve finished that, I’ll move onto “Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting” by Pamela Druckerman, an American who has a baby in France and explores the French way of parenting. So two non-fiction books for me at the present, both on a similar topic, allowing me to contrast and compare. Have you read either of these books?

    Hope you’re feeling well and that those nodes are behaving themselves.

    • Elisabeth Badinter is way more than a French mother. She’s the French epitome of feminism and got very active in the 1970s, fighting for women’s rights. Her husband was a minister at some point, so he’s a politician. And her father left her a huge family fortune with the ad company Publicis (she owns at least $1 billion!) so her life has been far from a struggle… I’d love to hear what you think about her book, as I may want to pick it up for me too, out of curiosity.

      As for Bringing Up Bebe, my French friend read it and had a good laugh. She said the book was full of inaccuracies and ommissions about French parents. We both grew up under French parenting and can vouch it’s not better than the American way. And one thing that is typically French, and not just for parents, is the ongoing negativity. It makes it hard to grow up as a positive person. I honesly know very, very few French adults who have a happy, healthy, and loving relationship with their parents. That tells you something about our upbringing… I can’t wait to hear your opinion when you’re done!

      • Yes, it’s not difficult to tell which side of the fence Badinter sits on. Her book is “clinical” in its approach (I’ll use that word instead of cold, because it’s not quite that, either), so it will be interesting to contrast it with the author’s style and insights in the other book.

        I don’t know much about French parenting, but I remember the mother of the boys I took care of as an Au Pair in Paris years ago. She was a lawyer, and if she had any guilt over leaving her young children every day to go to work and often in the evening for parties, she never showed it. I’m not criticizing her–she was a great mother. I just wish I could have relinquished some of my own guilt when I left my boys to go to work. I mostly worked part-time (well, part-time in medicine is almost full-time), and I still couldn’t escape the guilt. Then again, the time I took off to be with them when they were young left me feeling guilty I wasn’t working. I couldn’t win either way. :)

      • I think it’s a healthy guilt to have, not wanting to drop your career but also not wanting to let other people raise your own children. I can tell you from personal experience it really hurts the bond between mother and child, no matter what people try to tell you. I know I’ll eventually have to work more hours (whenever the economy actually allows me the opportunity) but in the meantime, I’d rather be resourceful in sources of income and still spend the time with my kids. I’d love to hear how Badinter’s children like their mom!

      • Although my career likely took a hit from the early time I took off and my subsequent part-time work, I’ll never regret having the time with my kids. I didn’t want to look back later with regrets. And I was lucky, I had my sister as a nanny for when I went back to work. They developed a close bond with her as well, which is good for children to do.

        It always gets down to doing what’s right for you and not judge others for their choices. I know children of mothers who worked full-time who are well-adjusted and happy. I’ve also seen children whose mothers suffer from depression, and being home all day with their mothers alone is probably not the best thing for them. Every situation is different, but yes, it would be interesting to hear Badinter’s kids take on the issue.

      • I can’t wait till you read the other book and see what you think about it (and the apparently unrealistic, rosy picture it paints of French parents!). And I hear you about depressed stay-at-home moms, who really have no life of their own and get sucked into the daily grind. I think the key is to find what makes you a happy, healthy person so you can be the best parent for your child. And yes, I agree with the importance of bonding with relatives. I’d love for my kids to spend more time with my mom but she’s not really the hands-on type, and happens to live 6000 miles away. Otherwise I’d have her move in!

      • “the key is to find what makes you a happy, healthy person so you can be the best parent for your child.”—I think you’re spot on with that one!

    • By the way, I managed to schedule a biopsy by needle aspiration of my breast lymph node in a couple of weeks, so hopefully this will bring some answers, or at least rule out the worst options. Fingers crossed!

  2. Poor Ray Bradbury . . . he’s such a “wallflower” with no one wanting to drink his Dandelion Wine. :D

    • Haha, it sure looks like it, huh? And you wouldn’t know it but I really want to read that book. I first heard about it in an NPR interview with him the station replayed the day he died. The interviewer read a couple passages and I thought, this sounds like a great book. Hopefully I’ll find out soon. Unless I can’t renew it and I have to return it to the library. That would be my luck!

  3. I felt the same way about Mockingjay. Then again, I thought it dragged a bit during the middle third (and I have no idea how they’re going to translate its slower pace into a good movie; I thought they did a pretty good job with the first one, but I found the first book the best of the three).

    My kids are still way too young for those books, but I sincerely hope they’re generating good discussion among teenagers.

  4. Pingback: WWW Wednesdays – January 2, 2013 | Perfecting motherhood

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