On our bookshelf – September 2018
A list of books I and my family are reading. For posterity, future reference, and general interest. (Links to the books on Amazon are affiliate links!)
Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
It is my turn to host book club, so I got to choose the book. I took a good look at my shelf, and picked out a book that I had purchased, but not read yet.
I think I originally purchased Excellent Women because it was compared a lot to Jane Austen. It’s social commentary, about the everyday happenings of a woman named Mildred in post-WWII London. I’m in the middle of the book and am savoring it by forcing myself to read it slowly. Only one chapter a day, and if I miss a day I’m not allowed to catch up. Usually I devour novels, so this is quite different for me. I’m finding that I quite like having something to look forward to.
Hillwalking by Steve Long
This is a ‘current’ read instead of a ‘finished’ read because one of my children has lost the book. I’m trying to get some friends together so that I can get out walking on a more regular basis, so I thought I’d do a bit of reading on how to go hillwalking well. Carl had this guide around from when he was looking into doing Mountain Leader training. It’s very helpful in some ways. I like reading about how to anticipate what the weather is going to do, about protecting the local landscape, and tips on how to plan a good walk.
In other ways, though, I feel like I really just need to take a course in person, which is something I actually might do in future. I need a bit more hand holding.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
I’m very familiar with the name of Beverly Cleary, but looking over the list of her published works, I’m really not sure whether I’ve read anything by her. Maybe in elementary school, but even then, I’m not sure what I read. This book came up in a list of recommended chapter books for young kids, so I bought it in an attempt to start filling the gap we have in our books between picture books and the ‘classics’ Carl and I saved from our late childhoods. It’s hard to find good titles at our library, plus I’ve read that it’s great for kids to have easier chapter books that they love, that they can use to practice reading when they get a bit older.
The Mouse and the Motorcyle is fun. The language is rich and I am really hoping that Keith finds Ralph in the wastepaper basket before the maid does.
My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannet
My husband stole my read aloud! The boys were so excited about this one that they asked Carl to continue reading it before bedtime and before I knew it, it was his book to read instead of mine. Oh well, I can’t begrudge their enthusiasm.
This was a fun read, though. I think every child imagines going on an epic adventure and having just exactly what she needs in order to overcome every obstacle – in this case, a wide array of wild jungle animals. I can see why the book appears on so many lists for recommended first chapter books. It has our vote, too.
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
I am nearly done with Leisure, the Basis of Culture, and I’m planning replacing it with Orthodoxy as my ‘deep’ read. I tried to read it two years ago, but I had it on my Kindle and I found that to be a terrible medium for a challenging book. I’ll be buying a secondhand copy this time around. It’s in the public domain, so I may have my husband listen to the recording through Librivox.