Saturday, July 26, 2008

what we're reading

We're a book family. When we get together the TV doesn't go on; the books get opened. And if you walk through the house you're almost certain to find someone, somewhere, curled up with something to read.

Today I went through the house and gathered all the books that are in current rotation, one for each person. Here's what we're reading (with aliases in place of some names):

"Sally," age 3: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. In a few words: Has been read at least four times in the past four days, so it must be good. Plot: "Food gets really big, and it gets worse and worse and worse."

"Huckle," age 6: Mr. Popper's Penguins. In a few words: Required reading for school, being read for the second time. Plot: "Mr. Popper brings his penguins all over the place and people get mad at him."

Dad: The People's Act of Love. In a few words: Not crazy about it but has only read 100 pages so far. Seems a little disjointed. (The book, that is, not my Dad.)

Mom: A Dark Oval Stone. In a few words: This is the first novel of a friend of our family. A young woman who is left widowed and pregnant is helped by a stranger who cares for her and gives her hope.

Alayna: Expecting Adam. In a few words: Very successful, academic couple has a baby with Downs Syndrome; how their child completely changes their world view and priorities.

"Dawn," age 11: Moonrise. In a few words: The second book in the second section of The Warriors series. Plot: "About a bunch of cats that live in the forest, and their adventures."

AD: The Shipping News. In a few words: A man's returns to his family home in Newfoundland to start a new life and discover family secrets. Fabulous writing. (A family favorite!)

"Starry": Little Town on the Prairie. In a few words: Laura is 15 now and (obviously) lives in town; Mary leaves for college. Much more light-hearted than The Long Winter, which precedes it. How did I forget so much about this series?? Exceeding expectations (but I also just re-read Caddie Woodlawn and liked it best).

Christy: I Sailed with Magellan. In a few words: A series of short stories that make up a novel. I like it because it takes place in Chicago.

Me: By the Shores of Silver Lake. In a few words: I'm reading my way through the Little House series during this time away, after not having read them since childhood. It's been interesting to research a little of Laura's life on-line and to learn more about the history of the pioneers via the books. And she just tells a good story, doesn't she?

"Tsia," age 3: Richard Scarry's Busy Busy World. In a few words: "I like the pictures. And the stories are funny."

So there you have it. Our family book report.


  1. This is one of the best blog posts I've read in a long time. Thanks.

  2. what a great idea to share a book report :) Love the family's descriptions! :)

    ~Reclaiming The Home

  3. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs was my most favorite book in the world when I was a kid! I hear there's a sequel (Pickles to Pittsburgh?), but haven't read it. And Richard Scarry makes my heart smile. Thanks for this post -- it was so refreshing.

  4. Oh, great post!

    I had forgotten how much we all enjoyed Richard Scarry - E used to love spotting the disasters hidden in the picture - the mouse trolley overturning or similar!

    Thanks to the whole family for sharing.

  5. A family after my own heart. Caddie Woodlawn is still one of my favorite books, and I had so wanted daughters to share it with. I am thinking of having my son read it, anyway. Hey, I read Johnny Tremaine and enjoyed it. Why can't he read Caddie Woodlawn?

  6. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - one of the greatest books EVER!!!!! love your blog, just found it and will definately keep reading! Have a fabulous Monday!

  7. I've just introduced our girls, twins age 5, to Nancy Drew. We're enjoying The Secret of the Old Clock together. We've already planned to read Little House next! Happy reading.

  8. I love The Shipping News. Makes me want to knit a fisherman's sweater and go to Novia Scotia!

  9. if you're looking for another good book - i just finished 'the goose girl' by shannon hale. i LOVED it!

    your book list is great. thanks for the ideas!

  10. How inspiring! Thanks for sharing. We have recently (intentionally) turned off the tv, and are reaping great rewards, as well.

  11. Aw, we love Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in this house! Just discovered The Mysterious Journey of Edward Tulane (highly recommend!).

  12. Anonymous9:19 PM

    Thanks for the list. We are book people too so I'm always keeping my eyes out for a few good ones.

    And Richard Scarry, he was one of my favorites as a little kid.

  13. If you're interested in learning more about Laura Ingalls Wilder, you should really check out this fantastic biography:

  14. Cloudy with a chance of meatballs is my family's all time favorite kid book. My favorite page is the one where the people are sailing away on peanut butter sandwiches and the shark has taken a bite!