Monday, March 2, 2009

Books of 2009 - February

Quite a diverse reading month around here:

1. Treasure Island. Fiction by Robert Louis Stevenson. One of those classics that I can't believe I haven't read before now. Exciting and way better than any of the movie versions I've seen. (Big surprise)

2. Men to Boys. Non-fiction by Gary Cross. Not quite what I was expecting or looking to read. This book is part sociological study / part memoir. Mr. Cross's attempts to let Baby Boomers off the hook while fully admitting their failures as a generation almost gave me whiplash.

3. Tears of the Giraffe. Fiction by Alexander McCall Smith. I cannot get enough of this series. It's enough to make me want to go to Botswana and I'm pretty sure I've never wanted to visit any part of Africa before. (Egypt excepted, of course)

4. Better Late Than Early. Non-fiction by Raymond & Dorothy Moore. I borrowed this from my mom. She and I have already briefly discussed my opinion of this book but suffice it to say: I think the first part is a lot stronger than the second.

5. The Day I Became an Autodidact. Non-fiction by Kendall Hailey. Fun and thought provoking. As I read I thought, "Oh, so that's what I am! Good to know." Maybe I can change the name of my blog to Candid Diversions of an Autodidact. Or maybe not.

6. The Miracle of Dunkirk. Non-fiction by Walter Lord. Borrowed this one from my dad. (Guess I did a lot of book borrowing in February!) Read as semi-research for the ever percolating novel but also just because it is interesting and engaging. Probably not the definitive study but worth a read nonetheless.

7. The Critical Journey. Non-fiction by Janet O. Hagberg & Robert Guelich. Disappointing and I did not agree with the authors' constructs.

8. A Woman of Independent Means. Fiction by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey. I read this because Kendall Hailey talked about it in her book (see #5 above. The author is her mother.) This is written in the form of letters sent by the main character, Bess Gardner. Considering it is based on a true story (the author's own grandmother) I do not wish to be hateful but I very much disliked the "heroine". She is manipulative, spoiled, greedy, whiny, and sometimes, heart-breakingly likable. I finished this with a sense of relief.

9. The Well Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling. Non-fiction by Rachel Gathercole. I wish I could buy copies of this book to hand out whenever people ask me about homeschooling. Instead I will just recommend it, here on this blog, for anyone who is considering homeschooling or for anyone who has ever asked, "But what about socialization?!"

10. Beyond Bedtime Stories. Non-fiction by Susan Bennett-Armisted, Nell Duke, & Annie Moses. This is a book for parents of preschoolers with lots of reading suggestions and activities. The authors are not supporters of homeschooling, which kind of made me laugh. On one page they are telling you that no one knows your child and what that child needs better than you the parent (you are your child's best teacher) and the next they are telling you that only "professionals" could possibly teach your child how to read. Right. But that little leap of logic aside, it was an interesting book.

11. Morality for Beautiful Girls. Fiction by Alexander McCall Smith. Next book in the Ladies #1 Detective Agency series after #3 above. Like I said, I can't get enough. Love, love, love these characters!

12. Entertaining Disasters. Fiction by Nancy Spiller. Not the light hearted book I thought it would be based on the cover. (Rhetorical question: Will I ever stop judging books by their covers?)

13. Kirstin Lavransdatter. Fiction by Sigrid Undset. I'm counting this as one but really it is made up of three novels: The Bridal Wreath, The Mistress of Husaby, and The Cross. I read the old 1928 translation by Charles Archer & J.S. Scott, which uses lots of older type English. If you're familiar with the KJV or Shakespeare, this will not be difficult, but it does take some getting used to. I've heard there is a newer translation which the translator claims is closer to Undset's original vision and I'll probably read that someday. This set of books will take you to another time and place, specifically Norway in the 14th century. Quite a journey. I have a lot of conflicting thoughts about this book but nothing I can articulate just yet.

Fiction: 6
Non-fiction: 7

So from fantasy, to Africa, to 1300's Norway, to France 1940, to homeschooling, to spirtuality, well, you get the idea. What a month! Be sure to leave me a comment if you post about what you read in February - I'm always looking for suggestions!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

I read The Well Adjusted Child in January!

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