Wednesday, February 25, 2009

a mommy post with some book stuff thrown in, or vice versa

First of all, let me tell you all how very lucky you are that I was "on blog break" last week when I read this book. Seriously, it's just one of those books that you want to talk about something on darn near every page. Since I already gushed away once, I'll skip it this time around. Instead, like Nymeth and Chris, I'll share the damage this damn book (and I mean that in only the nicest way) did to my wish list:

*How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
*George and Sam: Autism in the Family by Charlotte Moore
*How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World by Francis Wheen
*True Notebooks by Mark Salzman
*Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
*What Narcissism Means To Me by Tony Hoagland
*This is Serbia Calling by Matthew Collin
*We're in Trouble by Chris Coake
*Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman
*Early Bird by Rodney Rothman
*How to Be Lost by Amanda Eyre Ward
*A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
*Citizen Vince by Jess Walter
*Pure Pleasure by John Carey
*What Good Are the Arts by John Carey
*Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov
*Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje

Yeah, isn't that pathetic?!! He also had me wanting with greater intensity books already on my wish list, had me wanting to pull books I already owned immediately off my shelf, and had me wanting to reread books I'd already read! He's a menace, I tell you. A menace. ;)


***Many thanks to our lovely hostesses, Eva and Alessandra.***

George and Sam: Two Boys, One Family, and Autism by Charlotte Moore. See above for blame on this one. :)

Fax from Sarajevo by Joe Kubert. Whim. Looks really good.

Circle of Cats by Charles de Lint and Charles Vess. Chris, you've not only earned yourself another point, but you've earned an enormous thank you from me! Oh my gosh, this book is so wonderful! And beautiful, oh so beautiful! Both to look at and to listen to. Basically, it's the story of a little girl who is bitten by a venomous snake and how she is saved by a group of cats who use magic to save her.

As if the book itself weren't special enough, the experience of reading it to Max was one of those truly cherished moments of motherhood. He's gotten so big that he rarely crawls right into my lap anymore, but he snuggled right in for this one. He was completed enchanted by this story. And after it was over, we had one of those melt-your-heart mommy moments. In fact, when he went running off right afterward, I immediately had to write down our conversation:

Max: If I was her, I'd tell Aunt that I was that kitten.

Me: Do you think Aunt would believe her?

Max: I don't know. She probably doesn't believe in magic.

Me: Do you think people stop believing in magic when they grow up?

Max: Do you believe in magic?

Me: I don't know. I think I do. Do you?

Max: Yes. And that means we both have magic in our hearts. 'Cause that's where magic lives.


And I had a couple more "great mommy" moments in the last few days, too. Yesterday we received an invitation in the mail. An invitation to "the opening" of the 2009 Youth Art Month Show. Each year the school district puts on a show of student art. The art teachers from each of the eight schools in the district choose a handful of art work done by students in their particular school to be featured in the show. And the art teacher at Gray's school chose one of his pieces. I can't tell you how teary-eyed this makes me, because if ever there were a little boy who could use some self-confidence, it's Gray. Even he didn't know about it until we received this official invitation yesterday. I'm not sure if I can stand waiting these few weeks until "the exhibit" opens. :)


And then there's Annie. I know I talked before about how she took her first college course last semester, and she did very well. But I'm not sure if I mentioned that she was taking another one this semester. Spanish 101. And I admit, I worried about her a little bit. It's a much bigger class, and it's not in her normal comfort zone of writing. Turns out I needn't have worried though. She just got back her first test...not only did she get an A, but the professor said she was the only one in either of his two sections of this course that did. Needless to say, she was very happy. Ummm, and yeah, I was pretty proud of her. :)


Scrap girl said...

Well done to both your children.It is lovely when they make you proud - isn't it. Great library haul too. I like the look of Circle of Cats. Also I am going to have to read the Nick Hornby book, though I may regret it,if my book list gets even bigger.

Nymeth said...

Nick Hornby is the ultimate bad blogger, isn't it? The man's indeed a menace! If I didn't love him so much I'd be forced to hate him :P

A Circle of Cats sound delightful, but unlike Rose this one is indeed out of print :( I know the story, though, because one of my favourite Charles de Lint short stories is also about Lily. It's called Somewhere In My Mind There's a Painting Box, and it's in the Green Man anthology, which I think you have. So read it :P

Aww, little Max <3 And Gray! I'm so happy for him. And so proud of him and Annie. You have such amazing children, Debi. If even I, their adoptive sister from across the sea, am proud, I can't imagine how you must feel :D

Nymeth said...

*isn't HE

Forgive me, Nick Hornby! I didn't mean to call you "it".

(I swear, I only see my typos the moment I hit "submit")

Jean said...

Felicitaciones a Annie! El profesor sabe ahora que estudiante magnifica tu eres. Y porque hace muchos anos que you no hablo espanol y porque no tengo todas las letra espanoles aqui, hay muchos errores en esta nota.

Congratulations to Annie! The professor knows now what a magnificent student you are. And because it has been many years since I've spoken Spanish and because I don't have all the Spanish letters here, there are lots of mistakes in this note.

In other words, Annie rocks!

Jean said...

And not to leave the boys out, Debi, you will post a photo of Gray's artwork after the exhibit, right? That's way cool that his work was chosen. And tell Max that magic really does exist for ever as long as one believes in it. Never stop believing, and the magic will never stop.

Megan said...

I read True Notebooks a few years ago, and it is, indeed, an excellent read and very wish list worthy!

It feels odd to say this, but I'm so proud of your kids. Can't imagine how proud you must be! ;-)

And a big AWWWWW to your magic moment with Max! =D

Eva said...

Awwww-I love your mommy posts! You're an incredible mother, and that definitely shows with your kids. :D

Melody said...

A Circle of Cats sounds right up my alley, Debi! I'll have to look out for it...oh my, my wishlist is getting longer and longer!!!

Your mommy moments warmed my heart! Thanks for sharing them with us!

Way to go, Gray and Annie! I hope you'll share a pic of Gray's artwork with us, oh pretty please?! :D

kreed said...

You have great if I needed to remind you since you live with them everyday! Congrats to Annie and Gray.

And happy late birthday. I falied to even get a card in the mail. I could use the excuse that i was out of town, but I didnt even leave until Sunday so that won't work. I was thinking of you and I hope your day was fabulous!

saveophelia said...

The Sarajevo book sounds really interesting!

I'm scared to even touch the Polysyllabic Spree because my to-read list is already more than I can handle!

Staci said...

It is nice to know that I'm not alone in regards to my wish-list ever expanding just by reading Polysyllabic Spree. I'm only 1/2 through and my list is out of control!!

Loved your post about your children and the magic conversation!!

Chris said...

Looks like The Polysyllabic Spree was worse for you than it was for me! Of course that may only be because I didn't get the "complete" version :p I can't wait to see what you think of George and Sam! I think I want to read that one more than any of the others he reviewed.

I still haven't read Circle of Cats but it sounds so fantastic!! Can't wait to read it now..and the best thing is, I have it here already from the library!! Yay, no waiting! I'm so glad that Max enjoyed it so much too. He's too cute.

I'm so so so proud of Gray!!! Do we get to see the art that he did? That's so awesome Debi. Tell him congrats for me.

And way to go Annie! You show those students who's boss :p Keep it up. We're all proud of you!

Debi said...

Scrap Girl,
Circle of cats really is a beautiful, beautiful book! And I've no doubt if you read Spree your wish list will definitely grow...but don't let that stop you because that book is just so fun!

Yes, it is! LOL--He is! I thought about giving him a spot in the blame game, but wasn't sure where to donate his money if he won.
I don't have the Green Man anthology, and I read on the jacket flap that that story you mentioned in also in Waifs and Strays, but I don't have that either. I'm absolutely going to have to find one of those though, because I'd so love to read more about Lillian!
You know, I admit it, I am very proud of them. But even more, I'm just so very happy for them!

Glad you translated there...I was picking up about 3/4 of what you said, but full comprehension is always better. And I will definitely be taking pictures at the art exhibit. Of course, Gray probably won't let me take any of him with his artwork, so it will just have to be of his work alone.

True Notebooks sounded so good. But also somewhat of a tough read emotionally. Would you say that's true?
And thank you!

Obviously, I tend to see the munchkins with very biased eyes, so of course, I think they're incredible little people. But honestly, I doubt that has little to do with me. I just want them to be who they are. But can I say "thank you"? That was a very sweet thing for you to say!

I so hope you're able to find Circle of Cats! I know it's out of print, but if you can find a copy I know you'd love it. And it would be a sweet book to share with your daughters, too!
Thank you! And I will definitely be sharing!

You are so very, very sweet! Thank you!

I'm definitely looking forward to Fax From Sarajevo, I just have a feeling it's going to be very good. And as damaging as Spree is to the wish list, it is sooooo well worth it!

Spree truly is a killer on the wish list, huh? :) But isn't it just wickedly fun?
And thank you!

Yeah, talk to me about the length of your wish list after you read the second half of the book. ;) Wish you know, of course, you must do!
Oh, and I can't wait for you to read Circle of's so sweet and charming and beautiful and magical...I just know you're going to love it! I suspect both of us are going to have a really hard time returning this book to the library!
And thank you so much...I shall pass on your congratulations to both of them! :)

jpderosnay said...

i can very well believe you. for an invetirate list-writer nick hornby could quite possibly be the worst influence on me of anyone in the world. as such i have limited myself to only reading his novels up to this point...! :D

Charles Vess said...

Glad you liked our book, A Circle of Cats. Yes it is indeed out of print but the other Charles and I have signed with Little Brown to rework the book with more text and about 60 more paintings for a Middle School audience. I expect that we'll reveal at lastr the task that the King of Cats will set for Lilly.

The setting and some of the characters (Lilly, the Apple Tree Man) are also featured in our Seven Wild Sisters, which will also be reprinted by the same publisher.


Debi said...

Oh, just give in! Wish list be'll love the book!

Thank you so very much for sharing that news with us! Any idea how many very excited people there are going to be over that news?!! And 60 more beautiful paintings to get lost in...oh yes, this is very special news indeed! I am so excited to read more about Lillian, and will be definitely be searching out the other stories.

Grad said...

Since "finding" the book blogosphere, I'm a mess. I want to read everything that has excited someone. I don't know whether I should hate you or not for writing about Nick Hornby. Now I MUST add this book to my list (which is growing longer than the one I wrote Santa when I was 8 which included 1 pony and 1 puppy.) By the way, I loved your conversation with Max - it was extremely moving - and insightful.

Debi said...

Oh, I know just what you mean! Sometimes somebody will write so enthusiastically about a book and make it sound irresistible, and I'll think I must have it, even though I suspect deep down it really isn't something I'd enjoy. But then I've tried some books that way and totally surprised myself when I actually do like them. Anyway, I thinking we all just must accept the fact that reading book blogs=long wish lists. :) (Yep, and reading Nick Hornby's columns=really long wish lists.)

Dawn said...

You certainly have every right to feel proud of your children! That conversation you had with Max was precious! What a beautiful thought he shared with you. Yes, I do believe in magic!

take care,

Rhinoa said...

Congrats to Annie for her A :)
I love Nick Hornby and loved this collection. I have the third one to read soon hopefully and I am very sad it is the end of his columns. I have Circle of Cats and am really looking forward to reading it soon.