Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Because Reading is Sometimes All I Want To Do

Having an evening with nothing pressing to do, with a boy who went to sleep on his own well, a husband working out in the garage and a girl hanging out in the living room with me, and a book that is gripping, is pretty much heaven. 

Here's what I've read since last book post:

Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline - 7.5 - Not bad for a random pick off the shelf.  The second half picked up and the story twisted pretty good.

Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson - 8.5 - Her characters are so much deeper and stronger than anyone in real life, but she tells a good story.  I have liked her books for a long time.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - 6 - I have seen this one on many 'Have to Read' lists, but while it may be an important work as a portrait of someone descending into insanity, I didn't enjoy it much.  Oh, well!

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple - 8 - Funny.

Holes by Louis Sachar - 9.5 - Awesome.  I loved it.  It's a kids's book, and I know M read it years ago; there's a reason it's won so many awards.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - 9 - So excellent. I couldn't do anything till I had read the last page.  And then I couldn't do anything because I was crying.

Happy reading!

Oh, I'm also reading through the Gospels during Lent.  There is no better story ever written...

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Funny Things My Kids Say

The other day I got out Nolan's Bible to read to him at breakfast.  He pointed to a picture on the cover and said, "Read that one.  The one with all the animals and Jesus."
I said, "Noah."
"No, it's Jesus.  But I like Noah and Jesus."

And at lunch:  "Nolan, will you say grace?"
"Thank you Jesus for our food. Amen.  You pray, too."
I said the same thing he did, but he came back with, "No, you pray lots more things than that."

"Mom, is that lady walking a pig?"
"No, it's a dog, called a bulldog."
"Oh.  Well, it has a funny face."

Dad: "I'm eating you up!"
Nolan: "No!  I have ribs in there holding me together!"

Madeline was at the dentist the other day getting some fillings and was quite frozen on the one side, making her talk funny.  Of course, I was laughing at her, and even more when she told me to "Thuth!"

And at supper, Dad to M: "Hey, do you know what gets rid of the freezing really quick?"
M: face lights up, gets all excited.
Dad: "Nothing!"
M: face falls.
Dad: laughs and laughs and laughs...

And one from last night.  I went up to bed and found Nolan sleeping on the floor (his bed is a twin mattress on the floor).  He half woke while I picked him up. "Mom?"
"I'm just putting you back in bed, buddy."
"Because you were sleeping on the floor!"  All tucked in, I give him a kiss.  "I love you."
"I love you."
"Good night."
"You're welcome."

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Discussion Questions for An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

As I said yesterday, the last book we read for Book Club was Chris Hadfield's An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth.  This particular book was Lisa's pick, and in our group that means that this month we met at her place, and she led the discussion on the book.  Usually you can find discussion questions for books online, but Lisa said there was nothing out there that she could find.  So, being the competent teacher that she is, she wrote her own.

And here for you, and all other book clubs that might be looking for discussion questions on An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, are the questions, courtesy of Lisa Ashton. 

Chris Hadfield: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth
Discussion Questions by Lisa Ashton

1.   What was your reading experience? Did it take you awhile to get into it? How did you feel reading the book? Amused, confused, bored?

2.           Have you had a similar goal or job that you broke down into daily tasks like Chris did when he was 9 years old? Example: If I want to be an astronaut should I stay up late, or wake up early and read a book?

3.           What has been your experience with the theme of space? As a child were you fascinated? What elements of space interest you?

4.           What have you learned about space exploration from this book?

5.           How do you think his marriage survived?

6.           Describe Chris’ personality traits.

7.           Does he remind you of anyone you know? Explain.

8.           Does Chris change throughout his life? Grow and mature, or remain the same?

9.           What themes does Chris explore?

10.       What passages strike you as insightful or profound? Read these passages.

11.       Has the novel changed you? Broadened your perspective?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Another Book Post

In my 'To Read' list on my phone, (which I have recently alphabetized by author to make browsing the library shelves easier), I've started moving the books I've read to the bottom of the list along with a rating, to make it easier to share with you.  I'll delete them after I've posted them here for you, and voila, you get my thoughts on everything I've read again, and my list stays up to date.  (I do keep an author's name in the list if I liked them, so I can look for more of their work.)

So here is what I've read in the last while:

Janette Walls - Half Broke Horses   7*
Glass Castle is her story, and very good; Silver Star is fiction, and a good read.  This one is the story of her grandmother, and I found I didn't enjoy it as much as the other two, but it is still worth a read.  It's an interesting look at a time when so much was changing across the States, and the main character has great strength.

Mira Barton - The Memory Palace   5*
This one was on a recommended list somewhere - it's also a memoir of a hard life with a schizophrenic mother. I hate to diss anyone who's written a book, honestly, but there was not much here that I enjoyed.

Chris Pavone - The ExPats: A Novel   9*
Excellent read with lots of twists and keeps you turning pages. You might stay up late with this one!

Carry On Warrior  - Glennon Doyle Melton   8.5*
This author is nothing like me, and probably nothing like you.  But she has so many good things to say that I almost turned back to page one to start over the minute I finished.  This was a book club read that I might not have found otherwise - gotta love book club!  You can check out her site Momastery to get a feel for if you want to pick this up.

Night - Elie Wiesel   8*
Nobel Peace Prize winner about his experiences in the holocaust.  This was on many Have to Read lists, and I agree, it's one that should be read.  Not entertaining, of course, but well written and important.

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn   8*
Almost didn't pick this up because there was too much hype, maybe?  But I did, and the first half I didn't really even enjoy - wasn't sure if I liked either of the main characters, wasn't sure where she was going - couldn't tell who was going to be the bad guy.  But.  The twists that came made it a pretty good read, and it's stuck with me more than most.  I mentioned it at book club last night and there was lots of discussion already; we've decided to do it as out May read.  So pick this one up.  And let me know - have you read any of her others?

An Astronaut's Guide to Life On Earth - Chris Hadfield   7*
The latest book club read & the one we discussed last night.  I followed him on twitter while he was in space, and maybe had higher expectations of this one.  Good life lessons, well written, lots of interesting details.

The Dressmaker - Kate Alcott   7.5*
Set on the Titanic, this was a pretty good filler read that I picked off the shelf knowing nothing about it.

Go pick up a book!!  After you've gone for a walk.  Happy Spring!

And as always, share what you are reading & enjoying - I love to hear your suggestions!