Monday, February 26, 2007


I just finished the first book of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Thanks Allison for recommending it, it was fun. I kept telling Tyler it was like Harry Potter, but with Greek mythology instead of witches.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

This book stole three days of my life

My sister-in-law sent me this book: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. She called to tell me it was her new favorite. The back reads: "About three things I was absolutely positive. First Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him - and I don't know how dominant that part might be - that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him." My eyes rolled. I started reading. Bella moved to Forks, Washington to let her mom breathe and to be close to her dad. Oh yeah, she's a junior in high school. While living in this podunk town, she notices a family of outsiders; two girls and three boys. They sit by themselves, are extremely graceful, very pale, and amazingly beautiful. Oh yeah, they're vampires. While trying to find her place, Bella falls in love with one, Edward, and she's so "unconditionally and irrevocably in love" that she doesn't care that he's a vampire. Oh yeah, they've only spoken maybe four times. There was much eye rolling and head shaking, and I was rapidly losing respect for my sister-in-law's literary tastes.

Then it sucked me right in. I won't tell you what happened, but suddenly, all I wanted to do was read. I read before bed, right when I woke up, while cooking, during Lillian's naps, while she was awake. I had to know.

It's written for teenagers, I think, so don't expect too much. But, after all the eye rolling, it wasn't half bad.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

John Adams by David McCullough

By odd coincidence, Mom and I ended up reading John Adams at the same time. I've been nibbling at it since Thanksgiving, mostly reading it in between other books. After just finishing it, I am astonished at how much he gave for our country, all to be repaid in scandal and rumor. He said that if he had to do it all over again, he would have been a shoemaker. I didn't know that he and Jefferson were so close, and that after Jefferson used ever device possible to undercut Adams, they could still be the closest of friends; they even died on the same day, July 4th, on the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He tried always to improve the world, never once writing, or encouraging to be written, a disparaging remark about any of his opponents, and was, well, loquacious, which makes for a good biography. People just don't write letters like they used to.

All in all, it put a face on all of these scraps of history that I had floating around in my brain, left over from Mr. Sink's AP American History my junior year of high school. For example, I remembered there was such a thing called the XYZ Affair, but who can remember exactly what it was all about? (Tyler's recollection limited it to 'what you say when someone's fly is down.)

It is long, however, and for most of it, it isn't exactly riveting. It is more of a ponderous thing than any sort of quick read. But it can be used rather successfully as a conversation piece, which device I have seen and you have probably heard Mom employ, and you sound very smart and well read. Not that that's why I read books.

John Adams makes me feel not only like I should be doing more, but that I can do more. Said he, "Admire and adore the Author of the telescopic universe, and and esteem the work, do all in your power to lessen ill, and increase good, but never assume to comprehend."

Friday, February 02, 2007

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

I really liked this book. I found it in the Juvenile section of the library. It's a little Harry Potter-esque. It was a fun, quick read. I liked it so much that I went out and got book two, The Sea Monster. I can't wait for book three to come out this summer.

Chantel, you guys should read the Magic Tree House books to Owen. There are a million of them and we read through them in one or two nights. Tristan never seems to tire of them. I, myself, can only take a couple before I have to have a change. They are high interest, lower-level reading. High interest, i.e. sabertooth tigers, knights, dinosaurs, ninjas, etc. I'll have to try reading Harry Potter to Tristan. We tried Junie B. Jones, and although I thought they were funny, Tristan didn't get the jokes.