Sunday, January 10, 2010

Winter Reading

I love to read. It is one of my favorite things to do. In fact, it is kind of an obsession. As a child, teenager, and young adult, I would become so engrossed in reading that everything else would fall to the wayside. My Mom used to use this obsession against me as a punishment. When I hadn't completed tasks or if I'd done something truly awful, my Mom would take away my books. It was a truly horrific punishment for me! I became emotionally invested in every book I read. The characters came to life in my mind and I had to know what happened to them next. It seems like my Mom would always take away the books right when some character's life was in danger or when they were at some major crossroad in life. I don't know how she did it, but it seems like she always knew the optimum time to use this particular punishment.

As a youth I was a very eclectic reader. Novels, biographies, history, sci-fi, fantasy, and classics. I would read anything. I usually read by author, if I liked the first book they wrote. An example, after reading The Three Musketeers and loving it, I read every other book that Alexandre Dumas had written.

When I entered college, I had to prioritize my reading. No longer could I pursue the novel or biography of my choosing. I had too many other things to read. Friends of mine were confused as to why I couldn't read both. The answer is simple...I am one of the few people on this planet who actually read every single word in every single textbook I was ever assigned, including the optional texts. I read from the title page to the index and bibliography. Even when teachers would say, "We'll only be using chapters 3, 6, 10 and 14", I would still read every single other chapter. I had to. Weird, I know. And very time-consuming!

After college, I was burned out. You would be too after reading all those textbooks! Haha! I've stuck mostly to children's stories, which I read diligently to my children. As they've grown and their reading skills have expanded, I've started branching out again in my reading. (I average about two to five adult books per year. that is a low number compared to what I used to read.) I am thrilled to say that my children love to read as much as I do. We have wonderful conversations about plots and characters. Theorizing the author's thought process and reasoning out where we think the story might lead.

This winter break provided a wonderful opportunity for my family to read. I am still stuck trying to think of a name for my baby boy. I confined my personal reading to baby name books. I also read stories to Joe and Cakes.

Joe's current favorites are the Black Lagoon series written by Mike Thaler, illustrated by Jared Lee. Joe gets the biggest kick out of these stories! He especially likes The Cafeteria Lady from the Black Lagoon. That one makes me a little nauseous to read. ;)

Cakes' current favorite is Curious George. He loves that little monkey.

Miss Q is new to the whole "reading for pleasure" concept. I assigned her a book to get her started. And what better book is there for a young girl to read than Anne of Green Gables. She had a hard time getting into, but after a few chapters I couldn't pry her away from the book. This was one of my favorites as a girl. :)

Rose is a goosey reader. She will often be reading three books at the same time. I could never do that! I always had to finish the one before I started another. Over the winter break she finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and started Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It has been so much fun to talk to her about these books. She was pretty upset about Severus Snape killing Dumbledore. But when Snape cursed off George's ear, Rose was livid! Her funniest reactions have been about Harry and Ron though. She couldn't believe it when Ron abandoned the quest. A few chapters later, she kept muttering to herself that Harry is an idiot. Hahaha! I know exactly where she is in the book just from her reactions and comments.

Anne began The Lightening Thief before school let out. She is currently reading The Battle of the Labyrinth. She has really sailed through the Percy Jackson series. She is loving the Greek Mythology. The name pronunciations are a bit confusing at times, however this has not slowed her down in the slightest. In fact, she and Rose (who already read the series) checked out Greek and Norse Mythology books from our local library...just so they could learn more about the stories! We have all decided that if we were to choose any of the gods to worship, we would choose Thor. My girls stated that Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, and the rest of the Greeks are just to selfish to make good gods. Thor seems like the most caring in the group. Haha! Studying the Greek gods has made both girls very happy to have Heavenly Father as their God. :)
We are counting down the days until the movie version of The Lightening Thief opens. We are super excited! After seeing the trailers and listening to Rose and Anne talk about the series, Miss Q decided to start reading the series too. That is a big deal!

Just a side note, we saw Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel over the break. We were excited to again see the trailer for Lightening Thief. We were even more excited when a trailer came on for How to Train Your Dragon! We first discovered good old Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third last year. We listened to most of the series via Book on Tape/CD. (this is why we are also interested in the Norse Gods) I would highly recommend these books, especially for young boys. They are hilarious, with just the right amount of adventure, mayhem, and gross. Haha!

The final book worth mentioning is To Kill a Mockingbird. Hubby decided to re-read this book. This is one of my all-time favorite books. I even considered naming Joe and Cakes "Atticus". (I'll tell you in a later post why that particular name was cut from the list.) Hubby first read this book as a class assignment in high school, or, as he puts it, "a long, long, long, long time ago." I was going to wait for him to read it first, then steal it and read it again myself. However, due to work reading assignments, it is taking a long time for Hubby to finish. If I wasn't stuck on names, I would have stolen it by now and read the whole thing already. Haha! Luckily for him, I have to keep re-reading the name book instead. ;)

I'm always on the hunt for a good book. What have you read lately??


Beary Bee said...

Ba ha ha. Sarah... have you seen the middle?!?! The youngest child's name is Brick and he is played by ATTICUS something or other. I can't remember the last name but yeah. AWESOME

Megan said...

I just can not seem to find the time to clean, launder, shop, feed, play with, taxi, tudor, knit AND read. I'm doing good to sneak in an hour of scripture study a day.
I must have time management problems or something.

Crunchyconmommy said...

Hi! I LOVED all of the LM Montgomery books as a preteen and teen. I also loved, loved, loved any and all Madeleine L'Engle books; the Wrinkle in Time series is just the tip of the iceberg. I particularly loved the Austin family books. I read and re-read all of those so many times as a girl, and still dip into them every few years!

OK, I'm not looking at your post as I write this, and I can't keep real and blog names straight... is it Anne who is reading all of the fantasy? That's Thomas' genre for sure (and mine, as well, but that's another story!) He really enjoys the Gateway to Foo books and the Fablehaven series. And more recently, Brandon Sanderson's Alcatraz Smedry series (Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians is the first, and they are kind of a hoot! And I really enjoy his "grownup" scifi/fantasy, too!). Coincidentally, the authors of all three of those series are LDS!

As for me, I've been really enjoying Laurie R. King's Mary King/Sherlock Holmes series. And, as I mentioned above, Brandon Sanderson's books are great, too.

Man, I do ramble on, don't I! Later, friend! (I was recently thinking about how cool it would be to have a RS made up of my favorite women from every place I've lived... I guess that's what it will be like in the Celestial Kingdom, huh?

Granni P said...

Ok, I just finished The Help. I thoroughly enjoyed! I have decided to reread a favorite this month also. I am reading The Good Earth. I love to rread also and as a child, I always had my nose in a book. I would lie out under the lilac bushes all summer. However, I have never felt the need to read text books. I read for pleasure and if I happen to learn something new, well, good! I enjoy most anything although I prefer fiction. And speaking of names for babies, I got my oldest son's name from a novel I was reading when I got pregnant. Well I wasn't actually reading at the time. That probably wouldn't have gone over real big with the hubby. anyway, I fell in love with the hero. His name was Dax so we gave him that as a middle name. Now his son also has the middle name of Dax. Anyway, we'll have to exchange book lists.

Tina said...

I love to read too. I don't think I retain everything I read as well as you do. I have to reread to REALLY get something into my head.

I like to read what my kids are assigned to read. This is mostly a high school thing, I guess. I caught up on a few missed classics this way. I liked knowing what they were learning, discussing it with them, and learning a few things myself along the way.

A couple of summers ago, I read all the Harry Potter books, and so did Emilee. I was a little ahead of her, and it was really fun for us to share that.

Sorry I have nothing to recommend right now...