Monday, June 29, 2009

How did July get here so quickly?

Life imitates art, especially for kids, right?
The other morning, my younger son was heading
to his friend's for a carpool (subway pool in our case).
"Does Henry like pancakes?" his friend's mom asked me on the phone.
"Because we're eating an awful lot of pancakes just like Nate the Great
does." That just made me giggle. Nate the Great really is great.

As first grade ended, many moms were realizing
their kids are really truly into reading--and they
are looking for great books to learn about.
We talked about Louis Sachar's Wayside
books, and of course the kids ignored us and played
sports in the yard, without the littlest
inkling that summer might include reading. But it will.

Off to camp for one week went my older son--with a nice
stack of books, as well. He took Schooled by Gordan Korman,
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, When Zachary Beaver
Came to Town,
Redwall by Brian Jacques, the complete Marlys comics by Lynda Barry (LYNDA BARRY!!! YUM!)

He told me that the one friend he met on a pre-camp weekend
also loved reading. I heard myself saying to a mom this morning,
"He likes to read when he's stressed." And it's true.
This past week he read The Neddiard by Daniel Pinkwater,
and loved it--but it was no good for night time--too scary.
He also read a Louis Sachar book--Sixth Grade Secrets.

I am still reading Circle of Friends on my Iphone, but I also began
reading Olive Kitteredge, a gift from my mom, which is very nice. Plus
I have begun my own personal study of how the heck to write for plot.
So the book is called How Fiction Works by James Wood--and though
I have only read ten pages, I have picked up a few good literary
nuggets already! The book starts by explaining a lot about
the narrator's role. It's a teeny bit dense for my simple brain,
but mostly written to be understood by average humans.

Last but not least, I heard the most beautiful MOTH podcast by an Australian journalist named Susan Duncan. It was about her realtionship with her elderly mother. I didn't want the story to end, and I then tried to find her memoir,
but it seems only to be available in Australia. Is anyone going to Australia?
If you go, can you please pick one up for me? I promise to post a photo of the book tomorrow. Good night!


  1. Olive Kitteredge sounds interesting. I heard it talked about on le radio. I need NEED to learn about plot, mostly about resolving conundrums in a clever way. A book might help, although I've read several of the writing books. I need practical, not fancy-pants. The James Wood sounds a little fancy-pants for how to get a purple cat out of a jam. A blueberry jam. Hmmmm, that phrase might help.

  2. I will second a recommendation of the My wierd School Books. Max is devouring them. He reads one a day on the bus to and from camp (on the days when no non is bothering him by trying to talk to him) - I think he is up to book 12. He also LOVED the Franny K Stein series. Also good for 7 year old boys: Special Agent Jack Stalwart series and Backyard Sports series. Also I have read him Spiderwick Chronicles and some Lemony Snickett - both which he has really enjoyed!