Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Book Round Up, Early April Edition

I've been in a bit of a book funk lately. I want to come across another book I just can't wait to dive back into. The last book I can recall feeling that way about was Out Stealing Horses. I mean, yeah, I always love Jane Austen and Emma was fun too, but I knew what happened and I was reading it solely for enjoying Austen's comedy and writing, which is entertaining, sure, but doesn't exactly make a book something that you are desperate to get back to.

I did recently finish Mennonite in a Black Dress, Rhoda Janzen's memoir. Eh. It was fun and Janzen did a decent job of poking fun at her childhood without making fun of Mennonites too much, but I only liked it whereas I wanted to love it.

And now I am reading E.M. Forster's A Room With a View which has yet to catch me. I've only just started it though, but so far I'm having a hard time finding much sympathy or interest in Lucy, the main character. We'll see. I am also listening to Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi, which I am really enjoying. The book is narrated by Lisette Lecat and I am really enjoying her melodic voice and the captivating story. When I haven't felt like picking up my earphones or a book, I've been thumbing through my current issue of Real Simple (I cannot express how deeply I love this magazine, if only for its beautiful, crisp covers) and an older issue of The New Yorker. A highlight was a fascinating article about alcohol consumption and how it relates to local culture and customs. Worth the read if you can get ahold of the magazine's February 15&22, 2010 issue.

Joe has slowly been making his way through Ron Paul's book, reading a chapter here and there and thinking about them after he's read them. For Joe, my dear Libertarian husband, Paul has always been a bit too Libertarian, especially in regards to foreign policy. However, I think Joe feels he has a much better grasp of Paul's position now, and while he doesn't completely agree with him, he now at least feels as if he understands what Paul is saying, and can appreciate the argument, even if he doesn't wholly embrace it. Joe also polished off On the Way to the Melting Pot by Waldemar Ager (translated by Harry T. Cleven), which Joe, the great-grandson of Norwegian immigrants, loved.

Madeleine is reading Plain Girl by Virginia Sorensen for school, and Madeleine declared to me today, "Being Amish would be so cool; it would be so easy to play Laura Ingalls Wilder!" Madeleine said it's a great book so far. In her free time she's reading Philippa Fischer's Fairy Godsister by Liz Kessler and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Madeleine says she's addicted to Kessler's book and says she has yet to get sucked into Wonderland, but she did just start it, so we'll see.

Hank is happily reading The Report Card for his assigned reading and even thumbing through a magazine called Nintendo Power all on his own accord. Yes. I have stooped to checking out magazines from the library about video games to get my son to read. I feel no shame-- it worked!

As a family we've all been addicted to an old compilation of Grimm's fairy tales. The book is a gorgeous old edition illustrated by Mercer Mayer (an example of one of the illustrations here) that I remember requesting often as a child, and all three older kids have been requesting the grim, gruesome tales.

As always, I enjoy padding my book list with your suggestions-- I've got quite a list going and I love having a lot to look forward to reading!


Jane said...

I felt the same way about "Mennonite in a Little Black Dress." It was okay when I wanted it to be great. I read "Reading Lolita..." a couple of years ago after we saw Azar Nafisi speak at IPFW.

I've been struggling to find anything to read that rally grabs me lately.

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