Tuesday, February 24, 2009



In all your moving books about, why don't you ever move Their Finest Hour into the equation? My first pick from the beginning. It's WINSTON, after all.

So, here's the list I'm going to read. Feel free to join if you want.

The Bronze Bow
Dividing Lines: The Politics of Immigration Control
A Passion for the Impossible
Their Finest Hour

Feel free to contribute to the discussion of Hamlet anytime, but I probably won't finish it until next week.
I will read "To End a War" or any other one on economics. And I would like to read a Shinn novel, too.

I think we need to add The Book Theif by Markus Zukav (?) to the list. So good!

Get rid of House of Seven Gables (well, I guess I've already choked through it, so if you all want to read it, may as well).

And I would like to move Hamlet up on the list (because the kids and I are going to "study" Shakespeare in March). But whatever . . . I'll still read it in March whether it's for this group or not. :-)

What about a good biography in there?!

Back on board

I'm all for starting up again. I vote we skip the Screwtape Letters and (gulp) the Colombia book--I started it and it was so boring. I hoped it would pick up at some point... and then it was due at the library so I never found out... I say we add a Sharon Shinn to the list though. And move up another heavier book in place of the Colombia book, say "Guns Germs and Steel" or "the Theory of Everything"---come on, the Colombia book was one of my choices. Please? Or, say another Colombia history book like
Systems of Violence: The Political Economy of War and Peace in Colombia (Suny Series in Global Politics) Systems of Violence: The Political Economy of War and Peace in Colombia (Suny Series in Global Politics) or
Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina (Paperback) Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina.
Or The Expediency of Culture: Uses of Culture in the Global Era (Post-Contemporary Interventions) The Expediency of Culture: Uses of Culture in the Global Era
To End a War (Modern Library Paperbacks) To End a War Holbrooke, Richard

The last two just because they look really interesting, not because they have to do with Colombia, and the author of the last one is Obama's new something-something over the Middle East (I'm so informed--but hey that book was already on my to-read list and then I heard his name on NPR and recognized it).

Anyway, that's my two cents.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ender's Game

I FINALLY read Ender's Game.

I 'm really not sure if I liked that book or not. Mostly I didn't. But, it was intriguing and great principles and discussions to be had therein. I just didn't like all the conflicts . . . both moral and physical.

Also - - I'm wondering if anyone is ready to get back on the Book Group train, reading the books on our list? I am ready when you are! Just tell me which one to read first!


Friday, February 20, 2009

Books I've Finished This Week

"A Change of Heart" by Claire Sylvia - the true story of her heart/lung transplant and how it changed her life. This was for our RS book-club. Claire Sylvia talks about her belief in things like cellular memory and how the heart is so much more than just a pumping machine. Interesting ideas.

"The Happiest Baby on the Block" and "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp. I liked the baby book better than the toddler book. I read the baby book after my fourth baby was born and it really made a difference for me. Maybe I'm a slow learner, but I did learn some interesting things about newborns and how to calm them that I'm hoping will make life easier this time around (two weeks left!!!!). I thought the Toddler book was okay but I don't usually have a problem with toddlers and tantrums (they can have them or not - I don't care much) so I wasn't really that interested in what he had to say. I'm sure it could be very helpful if it addressed a particular problem someone is dealing with.

"Libertarianism: a Primer" by David Boaz.
I read this book mostly out of sheer curiousity...since I wondered what is Libertarianism and where does it fit on our current politic spectrum? I have read or heard bits of other people's ideas about libertarianism in the past (mostly negative, I think). As I read through the book I felt that I agreed with the majority of the ideas, although there were some that I really didn't. But I did feel that most of the things I had heard in the past were untrue stereotypes from people who don't really know what they were talking about.
In placing it on the political spectrum I would say that it probably fits most closely with what our country's founders had in mind in terms of limited government involvement in our lives. So if you're a raging constitutionalist than this book would probably speak volumes to you!
I thought the book was pretty well-written. The author addressed each topic fairly thoroughly. I thought the book flowed pretty well and held my attention. If you are the slightest bit interested in politics, you should give this one a try.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Civil War

I read Across Five Aprils.
Loved Uncle Tom's Cabin
Read and LOVE Gone with the Wind (but much more drama than history)
Heard Red Badge of Courage was tough.
Want to read Rifles for Watie
I think I'm going to have to go with Killer Angels! :-)

I guess I'm looking for one that's not all about slavery . . . more about the other issues of the ward.


P.S. My new favorite book . . . a MUST read is A Candle in the Darkness (I think I mentioned that earlier).

Civ. War

I didn't make it through Red Badge of Courage either. Just didn't capture me.
I read Uncle Tom's Cabin last year and enjoyed it. I've been meaning to read The Killer Angels sometime - sounds like it'll be worth it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ditto Kami--only I had a hard time getting through Red Badge of Courage (meaning that I never did--must try again).

My favorite is Killer Angels followed by Rifles for Watie. There's always Gone With the Wind (which is a really fun read, actually, but some of the history is a little slanted), or Uncle Tom's Cabin, which I really love.

Civil War Era

My favorite by far is The Killer Angels. It's pretty much ALL history. But the entire book is the Battle of Gettysburg. That's it. Love it!! For only describing three days? (I don't really remember how long) the characters are incredible from both armies. I cried quite a bit. Some others that are YA and more story than history are:

Rifles for Watie
Across Five Aprils
Red Badge of Courage

I'll try to think of others, but that's what immediately came to mind.

Civil War?

Hey Ladies (esp. Ans with your history background) . . .
I'm wondering if you have a suggestion for a good Civil War book . . . I want more historical than fiction. Thanks!
That book sounds very interesting. Thanks for sharing some of the ideas in it. I might have to read it and learn how to interact better with my oldest child. She reminds me so much of my little sister....but identifying her personality and changing mine to best help our relationship isn't always easy.

I finally finished "Snowball" - the biography of Warren Buffett. If you don't know who he is - he started the investment partnership Berkshire Hathaway and has an above average history of beating the stock market over the past 60 years through careful, low-risk investing. He and Bill Gates used to bounce back and forth as country/world's richest man. I read the book because my husband talks so much about Buffett's investment philosophy that I was curious to find out more about him. It helps to know what your husband talks about!!!

I also read the second TWILIGHT series book: "New Moon". For the sake of being current I am reading the books. They're great fluff reading. Something fun to pick-up when you want to tune out the world. :-) I think you've all read them and know there isn't really much to discuss.

I haven't been reading a lot lately because I couldn't get online and request library books for the past month. And now I have a few weeks before my baby comes so I'm hoping to get some good reading in prior to that event and my sanity going out the window.

The Connected Child

I read this book because I have an adopted daughter that I am struggling to connect with. I thought it was exceptional. There were several chapters applicable only to adopted and foster children, however the rest of it I would recommend to any parent.

Here's a few of the gems I found personally beneficial:

1)A lot of my daughter's behaviors that drive me insane aren't her personality--it's a result of where she began and are coping/survival mechanisms. I actually was surprised at how many behaviors they listed that my daughter does, almost word for word. It makes it easier to be compassionate (another thing they stress).

2) I really liked Ch. 5--"Teaching Life Values." It was great because it gave clear, usable strategies (backed up with research)that are things I could instantly implement.

3) Ditto that with Ch. 6--"You Are the Boss." I've already have been trying a lot of their recommended corrective approaches with my daughter. What surprised me at first, is that even though I stay calmer, she gets more mad. Especially when I make her do "re-dos." It does make sense though. Before I would just yell at her and then we'd move on, now it's much more involved and requires her to respond to me and practice, and takes way more of her time and energy. However, I have high hopes that it will help. I know yelling won't help a thing.

4) I read Ch. 7--"Dealing with Defiance" out loud to my husband. Definitely things we plan on using there.

5) I also thought it was useful that they directed two chapters in particular to the parents. They gave overviews of different parenting styles(ie permissive, authoritative, or authoritarian)--I'm definitely authoritarian and avoidant. Yeah, I need to work on that. It just gave perspective on how parents have issues to work on too.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A disappointing Sharon Shinn

Ju--I also enjoyed the Home Companion. I'll pick it up again this summer when I'm putting together next year's curriculum.

Also, I just finished "Jenna Starborn," by Sharon Shinn. Huge disappointment. It wasn't actually Shinn's fault though. As Timothy pointed out, the front of the book clearly states it is a retelling of Jane Eyre--only sci fi. Hmm. If you hadn't read Jane Eyre you would probably enjoy Jenna Starborn. If you HAVE read Jane Eyre than you LOVE Jane Eyre and any and all retellings will leave you cold. Including this one. It lacked passion. It just plain wasn't a Bronte novel.

Thomas Jefferson Educaiton

I know we've all read TJED, but I just bit the bullet and purchased Leadership Education (about the ingredients for each phase of learning) and TJED: A Home Companion. Like J. said, "This has been $40 well spent." I am loving this method all over again and really want to implement it better. So, there's my latest recommendation to all of you. :-)

Secondly, I just read The Centurion's Wife by Janette Oke. It was good. It was like The Robe only slower and not at climactic at the end.

Next on my list: The Storekeeper's Daughter (for our RS book group) and Ender's Game.

The End.