Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Immediate Book Meme: Sick Day Edition

photo by Evan Laurence Bench
There are plenty of memes that want to know all about your book history and your all-time greats and your grand ambitions, but let's focus on something more revealing: the books you're actually reading now, or just read, or are about to read. Let's call it The Immediate Book Meme.

We are all in various stages of recovering from the flu and/or a cold, so there's been plenty of reading and watching going on.

1. What book are you reading now?

The Reader Over Your Shoulder: A Handbook for Writers of English Prose, by Robert Graves and Alan Hodge.

The Four Cardinal Virtues, by Josef Pieper.

The First Four Notes, by Matthew Guerierri
About Beethoven's Fifth. Not always the lightest material, especially when it's covering various Enlightenment and Romantic philosophers, but the author's style is compulsively readable. And then you get gems like this.

1a. Readaloud

Middlemarch, by George Eliot.

2. What book did you just finish?

3. What do you plan to read next?

Christ's Body, Christ's Wounds: Staying Catholic When You've Been Hurt In The Church, by Eve Tushnet.

Letters of Love and Deception, by Emily C.A. Snyder.
A new collection of stories inspired by Austen, by playwright (and my college roommate) Emily Snyder.

Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose, by Flannery O'Connor.

Essays on Woman, by Edith Stein.

4. What book do you keep meaning to finish?

The Power of Silence, by Robert Cardinal Sarah.

Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, by Pope Benedict.

5. What book do you keep meaning to start?

Nothing on my conscience at this particular second.

Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, by Rebecca West. Our copy was a favor from Leah Libresco Sargeant's wedding reception, and it's been sitting on our library mantel waiting for an opening in the reading schedule.

6. What is your current reading trend?

Re-reads; books I've been given as gifts; WSJ reviewed books.


And an addition because I have some fine recommendations:

7. What are you watching?

Over the Garden Wall

A ten-episode series from Cartoon Network, about two brothers halfway through the journey of their life who find themselves in a dark wood. Chockful of storybook archetypes, fantastic voicework, and music in various shades of Americana (including some shapenote singing!). We received this as a Christmas gift and have watched it through three times already.

April and the Extraordinary World

A steampunk adventure story set in a world where the Franco-Prussian war never happened (yes, that’s actually a key plot element). Within the first five seconds my daughter sighed, "I  love this." Streaming on Netflix

The Long, Long Holiday (from the French: Le Grandes Grandes Vacances)

A five-episode series about children living in occupied Normandy during WWII. Tintin-style animation against lovely backdrops; exciting and poignant, but not too scary for children. The Canadian dubbing from the French provides some excellent accents. Streaming on Netflix.


Jenny said...

I don't have much to add here except to say I finished a book yesterday. It was a crash reading over two days in preparation for hosting my 4th grade daughter's monthly bookclub today, Wednesday. I picked this book last summer off a booklist for elementary reading after the kids had enjoyed another book in a previous year by the same author. It won a Newbery medal. How was I supposed to know there'd be a (attempted?) rape scene in the middle of the book?!? After discovering this little joy yesterday afternoon, there was a scramble for a new book and bookclub was cancelled for today.

So yall, _Julie of the Wolves_ by Jean Craighead George has a rape scene smack in the middle of it. Funny what people find appropriate for the 8-12 set. #themoreyouknow

mandamum said...

Yeah, books are tough. I'm leading a literature seminar for 7th-10th graders (mostly/all girls) for my daughter, and we want to protect innocence, but also to discuss good literature, and good literature often deals with hard things.... My daughter is able to handle more now that she's 9th gr, but she was totally traumatized by reading, on her own, a Louisa May Alcott book that had an attempted suicide (mentioned after the fact, but still very traumatic). (Old Fashioned Girl? Don't remember exactly....) I've been willing to opt her out of books that had obvious violence in them (Farenheit 451 - plenty of time to read that later), but when *I'm* the one picking, and another mother is worried even about the lovey-dovey (and elopement) stuff in Pride and Prejudice.... it's hard to find real books to read. After Pride and Prejudice, I had thought to do the first book from the Hornblower series, but a friend warned me (and I found through my own reading) that it gets pretty hot near the end. Phew! Yeargh. At least I've learned to preview before picking, but it does make for way WAY too much reading.....

(Darwin? Mrs. Darwin? Anyone else? Any book recs for the late-middle, early-high school set? Not really mature enough to read 1984 or The Scarlet Letter, but too old for Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm or Swiss Family Robinson.

Specific to Julie of the Wolves, my oldest (15) was trying to get my second (12) to read it, and offered to clip together the "disturbing part" that she remembered being very troubling, so the 12yo could enjoy the book unbothered. :) I was thinking of offering the same service to the mom worried about P&P, but haven't gotten around to it.

mrsdarwin said...


My 14yo loves the novels of Patricia Reilly Giff, which are historical stories about girls in various circumstances (Irish immigrants, a girl stuck in France at her grandmother's during WWII, so on). She enjoys them for being realistic without dealing much with romance. She loves Austen too, and has read all but Mansfield Park. I myself am going to pass on Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 and Lord of the Flies. They can read them when they're older.

If you'll excuse the nepotism, I might recommend the novels of my sister-in-law, Rosamund Hodge, if you have a fantasy reader.

Darwin is going to have the 14yo read a novel called The Last Days of Night, about the early days of electrification. I haven't read it, but he says that it's surprisingly clean for a modern novel.

mandamum said...

Thanks Mrs. Darwin!