Saturday, August 25, 2007

Let's talk books!

I haven't posted about any books in awhile. Does that mean we haven't been reading? Absolutely not! My latest three books have just been such an odd combination that they seemed weird to talk about together but I have decided they do have a common thread that I will tell you in a minute. First, Harry Potter! I feel a bit behind the crowd by about a month, but we waited to get it from our library and then I had to share it with my eight year old. Yup, you read right, my eight year old just finished a 748 page book! And I did not read 95% of it to her. Now the funny part is that when the first Harry Potter came out I thought to myself, "I would never let my child read that until they were at least 11 or 12." Why do I think these things, it is worse when I actually say them out loud. Because invariably I turn around and do them. So yes, she did read this book with scary stuff, bad magic, people dying and evil. But I stayed ahead of her a couple of chapters and we had some really good discussions, it was sort of our own mommy/daughter book club. And the book? Soooooo good! I know, you haven't heard anybody say anything different, but I really did love it. If by some chance you haven't read this series I highly recommend the recorded version, it's great. Well, Harry was so good that I actually had a hard time reading anything else for a few days, nothing seemed nearly as good. But just before I started Harry I read These is my words, by Nancy Turner. It is the story of a pioneer woman who comes west. Great escape historical fiction. Sometimes it is kind of fun to jump into another time period. I used to think I would have loved to be a pioneer. I love wearing skirts, making my own things. Somehow it seemed so romantic. Then I became a wife and mother. NO thanks! This book is just so heartbreaking from the woman's point of view. Having babies, losing babies trying to feed babies and keep them and ones husband alive, it just seemed so exhausting. What makes it enjoyable is when you see her succeed through such trials I guess I enjoyed it so much I am reading the sequel, Sarah's quilt. And since I was sharing Harry with my daughter I was reading An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabagina. It is the autobiographical story that the movie Hotel Rwanda is made from. Gut-wrenching and wonderful. Yes, it is the story of a horrible event that I could hardly even comprehend actually happened. But in the middle of this nightmare an ordinary, but brave man managed to save over a thousand people from hideous deaths. The thing that makes this an enjoyable book is that this man, who has seen so much that is awful, seems to see even a little good in every human being. He makes the point that part of how he managed to talk himself out of these impossible situations is by finding the glimmer of humanity in someone whom I think I would have assumed had none left. And he manages to take advantage of that glimmer and help them decide not to do whatever awful thing it was they had planned. And he just kept doing it over and over. It really is a good book. My mother works for the public library system and is in charge of having different authors come and lecture. She had him come last year, I really wish I had gone now. She said he was such a wonderful gentleman and still can't believe she got to meet him.

So what do my three seemingly unconnected books have to do with each other? Well, they all made me glad I live when and where I do! I am glad I don't have to struggle to survive and protect my family. I am grateful I don't have to fight real, physical evil in either Harry's world or Paul's. Sorry this turned into a really long post! But what are you reading? What is your favorite book this summer?


love.boxes said...

little c and I read the Narnia books together. I liked them very much. I had only read the first one when I was a kid.

Tip Junkie said...

My favorite book this summer is the 4th installment of the Outlander series. It also makes me feel so blessed to live now with all the convienences of today's technology.

Ari said...

Sadly, the book I've read this summer was Harry Potter...which was awesome, but I would have a liked a little more "wrap up."

The Paul Rusesabagina books sounds wonderful (as wonderful as topic like that can be). I will definately put it on my list of books to read. Thanks for the recomendation!

Anonymous said...

I have read two of the three and enjoyed them. I enjoy your blog, too.