Friday, April 6, 2012

mini random thoughts on the month's reads...March 2012...

Sooooo...only a week after we were supposed to have internet, we actually do have internet. What I still don't have, however, is any time to use it. We are making progress in this house though! About half-way through with the cleaning of the inside. (Yes, it really was that bad--I'll post some pictures later.) In the meantime, I can finally post this draft I had going of my March reads.

And guys, thank you. Seriously--thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your very kind comments on my last post. I felt so warm and happy and loved when I read them all this morning. Thank you.

The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon.

Now perhaps it seems like overkill for Gray and I to have read this book when we just read Mission Planet Earth, which was also about global warming. But for one thing, I'm not sure one can read too much about such an important topic. And for another, these are two very different books. This book was totally awesome. Written in a bit more laid-back style, but quite informative just the same. And really quite fun visually.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare.

I've been wanting to read this book for years and years. Choosing it as a read for homeschooling ensured that I finally would. :) I expected to love this book, and I did! But truth be told, this was a very different book than I was expecting it to be. Yes, it was a tad predictable, but that didn't in the slightest take away from its charm for me. It's a story of love in many forms, a story of standing by one's friends no matter the consequences, a story of growth and change all the while staying true to one's self.

Carrie by Stephen King.

I read this because I decided that I want to reread all the Stephen King books I've read in the past, and then catch up on all of his books that I haven't. I'm not in any hurry, mind you--I fully expect to spend years and years at this. Anyway, this is at least the third time I've read Carrie, though it's been many, many years since my last reading. As in about 25-ish. I have to say, while I still found it quite fun to read, I don't think I actually like the book as much as I used to. Honestly, I think book bloggers have generally made me think more critically while reading than I used to. And believe me, it's still not that I really try. But I find myself far less likely to pass by the things that give me twinges, if you know what I mean. You probably don't, do you? I think the things I say make far more sense in my head than they do in the real world. :P

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz.

Since I already talked about how much I adored this book, I guess there's no need to add anything here. Even though I really wouldn't mind mentioning again how much I really did love this book...

Cane Toads and Other Rogue Species edited by Karl Weber.

I originally bought the book simply because it interested me, but finally started reading it so that I could choose a few essays to assign Gray during our envi sci unit. There were so many good ones, it was sort of hard to weed it down. :) Anyway, it's collection of essays, all of which in one way or another, relate to the topic of invasive species...important stuff considering the fact that invasive species are one of the biggest threats to biodiversity. And with the exception of a very few essays, I thought it was an excellent collection.

What You Wish For: Stories and Poems for Darfur by various authors.

What You Wish For is a collection of stories put together to benefit literacy and education programs for Darfuri refugees. While every story and poem contained in the collection revolves around the idea of wishes, the stories themselves were quite varied. And I must admit that my feelings about the stories were quite varied as well. Honestly, I'm not in love with this collection...but I'm still happy that I bought it, you know, good cause. Plus there were a couple of stories I did love--a Cinderella retelling called "The Stepsister" by Cynthia Voight and a story called "The Rules for Wishing" by Francisco X. Stork that I wish he would turn into a novel because I'd love to know more of the story, along with a couple of others.

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse.

This was actually a reread for me. And I loved it as much this time around as I did the first. Though I'm not sure I would have guessed it a few years back, I've found that I really enjoy books written in free verse (as this one obviously is or I wouldn't have brought it up :P ). Add to that, it's about the dust bowl. Top it off with a main character I can't help but love. Yep, pure win for me.

(Project progress: 2012 unofficial-for-me reading challenges, Immigrant Stories Challenge [The Witch of Blackbird Pond], Read Your Name Challenge "D" [Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming], Historical Fiction Reading Challenge [The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Out of the Dust], Non-Fiction Non-Memoir Reading Challenge [Cane Toads and Other Rogue Species], What an Animal Reading Challenge 5 [The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Cane Toads and Other Rogue Species]
AND 50x50, #43--Read 50 award-winning books [The Witch of Blackbird Pond], #40--Read a book set in each of the 50 states [Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe--Texas, Out of the Dust--Oklahoma], #44--Read 50 science/nature books [Cane Toads and Other Rogue Species], #45--Read 50 short story or essay collections [What You Wish For: Stories and Poems for Darfur]
AND read Stephen King [Carrie]
AND read the Dewey Decimal system [Cane Toads and Other Rogue Species]
AND Read (or reread) the Top Ten Lists from The Ultimate Teen Book Guide, Historical Fiction Top Ten [Out of the Dust])


Kailana said...

I didn't even know you were in some of those challenges. How do you find time for everything?

Jean said...

So glad to hear things are looking somewhat up and that you still find time to read. Tonight will finish three very exhausting days here after discovering we were considered the official "foreign delegation" from Virginia for a big event at the university here. I have never been in the same room with Joe Biden, but I have now sat not too many rows back and listened to Vietnam's Vice Prime Minister. I can even tell you some of what she said thanks to a student who translated a bit for me. One more big thing tonight, and I may try to sleep through tomorrow. :-)

Trish said...

So does this mean that you'd be up for a readalong of The Stand? It's the ONLY book I have on my "must read in 2012" list and I'm too scared to do it alone. :)

Glad things are a little happier. Deeeeeeeep breath... This too shall pass, right?

Susan said...

Debi, thanks for posting and letting us know that you are in the house and tackling it! I can't believe you had time to post reviews, I haven't even done that! I hope you had a good Easter, and that your house wins you over eventually. Somewhere it has to have charm, right? Something corner you can love?