My Library

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Better late than never to resume a lost project.

 

How accurate is this library imagined by illustrator Tom Gauld?

My Library- Tom Gauld

My bookshelves continually hold books in each of these categories.

I usually have less read books than anything else as I have to make room for new additions.

Looking at my book shelf now:

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Read: Hmmm… I can’t see any

Intending to read: Pretty much each book on the shelf

Half Read: The Other Life – Susanne Winacker
Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham
One Day – David Nicholls

Pretend I’ve Read: I may or may not count a few books in my collection as read but truthfully these are books I got more than halfway through and just gave up on. They get removed from the shelf along with the truthfully read books.

Saving for When I Have More Time: Far From the Tree – Andrew Solomon
Sapiens – A Brief History of Human Kind – Yuval Noah Harari

Will Never Read: Hard to admit but if I had to say….
Gone Girl  – Gillian Flynn (Already saw the movie)

Purely For Show: This one is too funny….
The Signature of All Things – Elizabeth Gilbert
The three in the bottom right corner by  Alice Morton

Read But Can’t Remember a Single Thing About and Wish I Hadn’t Read probably deserve their own blog post. But since there aren’t any read books on the shelf right now that will have to wait for another time.

 

This was a fun reflection. I know that when the day comes when I can display my book collection in its entirety I will have multiple books in each of these categories. If one thing is true through, I know that there will always be more books in the Intending to Read category, compared to the amount of books I can add to the Read category.

 

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Christmas Wish List

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For a book lover a Christmas list is usually composed of just that, books. I would happily receive all books for Christmas.

Here are the books I have listed on my Christmas wish list:

christmas wish list

What We See When We Read – Peter Mendelsund

Between the Lines– Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

Creativity Inc. – Ed Catmull

My Age of Anxiety – Scott Stossel

After the End – Amy Plum

We Were Liars – E. Lockhart

The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow – Rita Leganski

Inside – Alix Ohlin

Authorable Mention

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This second edition of “Authorable Mention” goes to the one and only Roald Dahl.

Still a child at heart I can’t help but re-read some of my favourite books from when I was little. Some of these favourite books come from the author, Roald Dahl. Recently re-read are, the Twits, and the BFG, two of my favourites.

In his career Dahl wrote over 15 children’s books. You may recognise, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “James and the Giant Peach”, or “Matilda”.

Dahl’s books usually contain some strange elements, and characters, magic, and make believe. They feature heroes, laughs, and silliness.

My favourite book by Dahl is:
The BFG

Some of my favourite quotes from Dahl’s books are:

“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
-Roald Dahl, The Twits

“I understand what you’re saying, and your comments are valuable, but I’m gonna ignore your advice.”
-Roald Dahl, Fantastic Mr. Fox

“I was glad my father was an eye-smiler. It meant he never gave me a fake smile because it’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren’t feeling twinkly yourself. A mouth-smile is different. You can fake a mouth-smile any time you want, simply by moving your lips. I’ve also learned that a real mouth-smile always has an eye-smile to go with it. So watch out, I say, when someone smiles at you but his eyes stay the same. It’s sure to be a phony.”
-Roald Dahl, Danny the Champion of the World

What I remember most about Dahl’s books are:
The characters.
The memorable plots.
The ways they have made me laugh.
The book covers.

Here is Roald Dahl’s official interactive website: http://www.roalddahl.com/

Did you read Dahl’s books when you were a child? Do you read them to your children now? Which is your favourite?

What Author Would Write that for Children?

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I recently purchased this book set for a few children to give them for Christmas:

My Weird School Days – Dan Gutman

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I decided to read through one of them and was horribly surprised.

The first line of all of the books in this set is, “I hate school.”

I continued reading and came to this sentence, “[Andrea with the curly brown hair] I hate her.”

With that I stopped reading this book and moved on the the next one. The same first sentence and this time hateful words were directed towards another character’s mother and a teacher, “[She’s weird]”, “[She’s fat].”

And finally,
” [I didn’t want to write in her yearbook so I wrote, “I won’t miss you, even if I throw a rock at your face].”

I couldn’t believe this type of language would be found in a child’s books clearly marked for ages 7-10. I would not let my own children read these books let alone give them as gifts to other children.

In searching reviews for these books most are surprisingly positive stating children and teachers love them, that they are very popular at the school library, and parents find them hilarious.
Personally I think there there is nothing hilarious about these books. No one who enjoys these books should be surprised when their child becomes the bully at school and starts using the language found in these books and telling other kids that they hate them.

I can’t help but think what kind of author would write things so inappropriate for children? Clearly someone who doesn’t have children. How could language and themes like this get past editors, publishers, and anyone else who may have read these books?

Clearly markings determining age appropriateness can’t be trusted.

In resolution I returned the books and stated how inappropriate they were and exchanged them for the trust worthy Magic Tree House books – Mary Pope Osborne which I clearly should have went with in the first place.

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Apparently cheap books come with cheap subject matter and you get what you pay for. I will keep this in mind when buying books for children in the future!

Is it Weird?

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I’ve recently read the following books:
My Story – Elizabeth Smart mys

A Stolen Life – Jaycee Duggardasl

 

My question is: is it weird to enjoy reading these books?

Other books that I’ve read, like Still Missing – Chevy Stevens, Room – Emma Donoghue, are similar but in a fiction medium.

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Fiction or not, these books read like thrillers, they are mysterious, they are gruesome, horrific, and thankfully have happy endings.

Maybe the happy ending makes these books easier to read; the endings are the light at the end of the tunnel.

I guess there is no need to justify reading a book, other than that I enjoy reading them. But what makes me ask is it weird is that I sometimes feel guilty, or that there is something wrong in enjoying reading a book about these horrible acts.

These books serve an amazing purpose though. They educate, they allow you to empathise, they allow you to be thankful and appreciative, and they give you that motivation to want to help others in these situations. I am now more informed, empathetic, thankful, and I do want to help those in these situations.

I am happy that these stories all have happy endings. As much as I enjoy reading about their stories, I hope that there aren’t more stories to come.

Little Humans Reading

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I had an inspiration moment after seeing this posting by Humans of New York, asking for video submissions of little humans reading their book “Little Humans”.

So I thought what a great idea, and why just limit it to children reading one specific book?

I now have a new parental goal and that is to make recordings of my children reading; whether they are looking at the pictures, holding the book upside down, drolling over it, making up the words, or reading the words. I think this collection would be an amazing compliation to put together and to be able to watch their progress over the years as they bloom into readers.

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