Sunday, November 25, 2007

what little I've read...

I can't believe how little I've read this month. *sigh*

In fact, I guess I may as well admit defeat in Callista's Book to Movie Challenge. With only a week to go, I still have two books to finish. Hopefully, I will manage to finish Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets...I've already started it and can't help but pick it up any spare minute I can find. But I was also supposed to read Zodiac, and I haven't even started it yet. Oh well...

Finished up another for the Book Awards Challenge. New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver. I really love poetry, but for whatever reason, don't get around to reading it very often anymore. Mary Oliver is one of my favorites. Her poetry is just so down-to-earth, so accessible. I feel like I can relate to her in so many ways...she's definitely an outdoors gal. If only I could do the wonders of nature justice the way she does. Take for example this passage from "Little Owl Who Lives in the Orchard"...

it's not size but surge that tells us
when we're in touch with something real,
and when I hear him in the orchard
down the little aluminum
ladder of his scream--
when I see his wings open, like two ferns,

a flurry of palpitations
as cold as sleet
rackets across the marshlands
of my heart,
like a wild spring day.

Ahh, yes, I definitely wish I could write like that.

Finished up one for both the Newbery Challenge and Joy's 2nds Challenge. I thoroughly enjoyed The View From Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was one of my all-time favorites books as a kid...I used to daydream about hiding away in a museum all the time. So why I never read any of her other books, I have no idea. Better late than never, I suppose. But I do wish I'd read this one as a kid, too...I just know I would have loved it! It's the story of four six-graders and the teacher who "chooses" them for the school's Academic Bowl team. Each of the kids has a story to tell, and each of their stories send out tendrils infiltrating the others' tales. It's humorous and clever, and yes, a bit heart-warming, too.

And finally, I also finished up Animal Farm, for the New Authors Challenge. Hard to believe I've never read any George Orwell, huh? I've only been meaning to read this one and Nineteen Eighty-Four for, oh, twenty-five years or so. Once again, better late than never. This is actually our current literature selection for homeschooling right now. And a good choice, I think, for many reasons. It's given us a chance to explore the Russian Revolution a bit. A chance to talk about allegory. And most importantly, a chance to enjoy a really good story! (Though I thoroughly admit, I did find it more than slightly depressing.)


Jean said...

You've had other things to do lately, so don't sweat the challenges, okay? The books you have been able to read sound great. And while you may have been meaning to read Orwell for 25 or so years, it's been at least that long since I've read any of him. I'm not reading at all this month (I'm 5,488 words away from "winning" NaNoWriMo) but have a long list to reward myself with in December. I'm starting with some Neil Gaiman, since I'm ashamed to admit I haven't yet read any. My kids are already preparing a stack for me to start on.

Chris said...

Yeah, like Jean said, I wouldn't be too hard on yourself for not reading that much this month, but hey! It doesn't sound like you did all that shabby to me! I haven't done much reading this month either. I'm attributing it to NaNoWriMo like Jean :) That really has cut into reading time!

I love the passage from the Mary Oliver poem. I used to be a big poetry fan, but I haven't read any in ages. I may pick up one of her collections after reading that.

I haven't read Animal Farm, but I remember enjoying 1984 in high school. That one was pretty depressing too though...but a good book none the less! Happy reading to you ;)

Jennifer said...

Your amount of reading amazes me. What seems so little to you is huge to me! I just never really get to read anymore. Not books anyway - I guess if I cut out a big chunk of time I read blogs, I could read a book! But when I do read a book, I like to read uninterrupted, and that just doesn't happen very often!

Joy said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed your choices for the 2nds Challenge. I read The Mixed Up Files not long ago and really liked it too. The Saturday one sounds good as well.

Stephanie said...

I tend to fail miserably at all the challenges I start. Although it is a great accomplishment to finish one, I just enjoy picking the books and reading as many as I can. Life certainly gets in my way!!

I haven't actually read ANY Orwell, so you are a leg up on me!! He is in that group of authors that I 'Must Read Someday'!