Monday, October 19, 2009

Bits and Pieces of Our Days

Recent Reading: 
I got half way through Michael Pollan's  The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals before I had to return it to the library, so I'll reserve lengthy comments until I pick it up again and finish it. My impressions so far?  a.) It's fascinating, and b.) I'm completely unqualified to comment on the intricacies of our food systems.

Ultimately, most things in my life keep coming back to a comment I once made at Jennifer's blog: I want Walden Pond and a laptop.  Can you say cognitive dissonance? 

The older girls and I read The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, and we loved it. Lots of fun, surprises, suspense, silliness, and heart.  Highly recommended.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins -- I have to say that my first reaction to the premise was very much like Lissa's.  I plucked this book off the shelf at the library, read the jacket flap, shuddered, thought, "No, thank you," and put it back.  Then I read Lissa's post (linked above) and saw that her first reaction was also surprise (that something so dark was classified as YA literature) but that in the end, she loved it. I decided to give it a chance. I raced through the book in a day or two (and, mind you, I have no time to read right now) and loved it. Powerful. Well written and executed. The girls haven't read it yet -- we're still deciding if my sensitive daughters even want to read this one right now. Lots of fodder for great discussion, though -- terrific social and cultural commentary.


Recent Talking: 

I gave a little witness talk about Mary at an RCIA session yesterday. I rambled too much, but hopefully something somewhere was what someone needed. You never really know, and just have to trust God to help you hit the mark.


Recent Writing: 

I started a writing group for the girls and a couple of their friends, and we're really enjoying it. We get together here and they share their latest pieces. They read them aloud and then we take time for comments and discussion. We're planning a coffeehouse outing soon, combining writing group with a birthday celebration. I love homeschooling.

I'm at work on a project and am under a deadline, so my next Bits and Pieces post may be only Bits.


Jennifer said...

Love to hear about the bits of your days. As far as 'something somewhere was what someone needed' - it just so happened I needed a review of The Mysterious Benedict Society as read by or to a sensitive little girl or so. I had it in my hands last week and decided to ask some friends. I promptly forgot but alas, my friend (you!) came through for me anyway!
Anyway, I know that wasn't exactly your point, but you don't know how you will help someone through the day so you might as well just throw some good stuff out there. :)
I love the idea of a writing group by the way. My daughter would so enjoy that.

Karen E. said...

Jennifer, I should have qualified that the older girls and I read it -- we didn't do it as a read aloud. I'm trying to remember now if there's anything a younger, sensitive soul might be bothered by -- I wasn't reading with Ramona in mind.

I just asked Betsy, and she reminded me that "the waiting room" could certainly bother a younger child. You might want to preview it, as the youngest one around here who read it was 13!

I'm going to go edit the post to note that it was the older girls and I who read it.

Melanie B said...

I just finished reading The Mysterious Benedict Society too. It jumped off the shelf at the library and fell into my bag. (I was thinking of Lissa's review too. She seldom steers me wrong.) I enjoyed it thoroughly. A fun romp clever enough for adults. I can't of course comment on age-appropriateness. (Is it funny that I read these books age before my kids are old enough? I've never outgrown my love of picture books and nursery rhymes and I find I love kid lit of all sorts.) I so sometimes wish I had kids old enough to share these treasures with. Then again... I'm in no hurry for my wee ones to get that big either. That day will come soon enough!

Lenetta @ Nettacow said...

I am coming to the realization that I'd like to read the Omnivore's Dilemma. Our farm and cattle feedlot utilize standard farming procedures - and hubs is firmly anti-organic and whatnot on the basis of the yields aren't high enough to feed the world.

I'm looking at perhaps selling eggs, wheat berries and taking orders to sell beef by the 1/2 or 1/4 at our central Nebraska farmers' market next year, but I'm not sure if there are enough people that would go that route if it isn't organic, hormone free, etc. Am anxious to hear your thoughts on the book, though.

Theresa said...

I liked Mysterious Benedict Society, but ds tried it and couldn't get into it. I think he didn't give it enough time and gave up on it too quickly. I plan on offering it to him again some time when he doesn't have a ton of other books he could be reading instead.
The Hunger Games, however, we both loved. But he won't discuss it with me until I've read Catching Fire also and that's got a long waiting list at the library.So I gotta wait. And I'm not such a good waiter.

Eric said...

I hunger Games and Catching Fire are really good I can't wait for book 3