Thursday, for the first time since moving to Chicago, I stepped into the Children’s Library. My nephews are in town and the eldest just learned to read. I want to celebrate this accomplishment, and, hopefully, help instill a love of reading into them. So, off to the Children’s Library I went.
I know this sounds ridiculous, but there were so many books and categories of books that I had never even thought about. I got a nice introduction a few weeks ago when I attended CWIP’s Writing Children Literature seminar. There was a nice panel: authors, illustrators and editors explained the current market. So, I had a little knowledge and asked a really good librarian for help. I spent an hour in the library roaming through the kids’ stacks.
Some of my favorites that I’m excited about reading with the boys: A Perfect Day, Eric Carle’s The Very Clumsy Click Beetle(I remember reading his The Grumpy Ladybug when I was a child), The Three Little Pigs—this book won the children book prize—it takes the original story and morphs it as the pigs tear the pages to shreds and skip through other books collecting characters along the way, and the old standby, Winnie The Pooh. I also took out a book that is mostly pictures where you imagine the story, a book about trucks, a book about building a skyscraper, and two books about brothers. I’ll report back how well they go over.
I’m reading fiction again. When I started BookADay, I was only reading nonfiction, as a little experiment with myself. I hardly ever read nonfiction, but as I stated in an earlier blog, it’s an election year, and I get a little crazy. While I love absorbing all the information, I miss the freedom I feel with fiction. The creatures in nonfiction are real people, and I must compare their daily actions from other information sources with the personas detailed in the books. With fiction, I am free. These characters are what I imagine them to be. I will never meet them and can compare them to who I know or would want to know. I’ve missed it.
I started My Sister’s Keeper yesterday. I hope to finish it today. It’s this kind of behavior that my spouse refers to when he mentions what a voracious reader I am. It’s true, I can devour some books. I’m reading this book as part of my book club.
I’m disappointed with my book club. I rarely get to discuss literature with people—perhaps that’s why I turned to blogging. I joined a group that was forming through Craigslist. I had hoped we would have insightful discussions about books. The first one we read was Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Our meeting was unorganized at best. We tried to discuss the book, but the discussion was stop/start. I felt like I was doing a lot of the talking. Pardon the pun, but we weren’t on the same page. One woman kept sandbagging the discussion by returning to her original question of whether we thought it was fiction or not. (This is even though the book is clearly labeled fiction, copyrighted under fiction, has a fictional disclaimer and a good portion of the book is about a boy who crosses the ocean in lifeboat with a tiger.) We elected to read My Sister’s Keeper, which was my suggestion. I regret that, so far, the book has less leaping off points, even though it does pull at the heart strings—I’m worried that our discussion will be short and inconsequential. We’re all going to bring questions and discussion topics, as well as finish the book, so hopefully, that will make things more interesting.
Back to reading. I’ll post a children’s book review and review of My Sister’s Keeper in the next three days.
My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Picoult, Pg. 200.
Casanova: The Man Who Really Loved Women, Pg. 129.
Attack of a Nation, Bob Woodward, Pg. 142.