So, I picked up RC a few times as well and have been enjoying it. Not as much fun as Moll Flanders--at least not yet. Nobody has accidentally married his/her sibling. Sigh. If you haven't ever read Moll, you should. You really should.
I finished Why Gender Matters and loved it. I was going to write a lengthy response, but figured everyone else had basically summed up the most critical points already. Boys and girls are more physically different than we realized. Boys aren't good with expressing how they feel. Different approaches work better for different genders in an educational setting. Other people have sons who destroy their rooms when left in time out. Comforting information. I plan on getting his book about girls sometime soon.
I also read Simplicity Parenting. Thanks for the recommendation, Kelly. I was going to write a lengthy response, but then didn't. So, a few thoughts. 1) The writing was terrible. Repetitive, rambling, redundant, and too much skipping around. It appeared that he had a ghost writer. He needed a better one. 2) I needed to be reminded of everything that I was reminded of while reading. Sometimes I forget to simplify. Like Kelly said, I feel pretty confident that my philosophy closely matches a simplicity lifestyle philosophy, but it is easy to get caught up in things and forget. I was also frustrated by all the stories he told of one child families with two working parents who were so crazy busy they drove their children into early adulthood. Why didn't the mom just quit her job?????? They could afford a family therapist, I'm assuming they could afford to live on one income. So strange to me--but I'm trying to repent of all the judging of others I did while I read. I am certainly not the right one to point fingers when the best I can say most days is that at least my children aren't in a Russian orphanage. Anyway, good principles if you can get past the poor writing.
I re-read all the 12th House books by Sharon Shinn over the past two weeks. They are so good. Especially the first one--Mystic and Rider. Read it. Love it. You can skip the next two (although once you've read them a few times, you start to like them a little more), but read the fourth for sure--Reader and Raelynx. Excellent. Then don't miss out on the little sequel that isn't. It is set in the 12 houses country and periodically references the characters you know and love, but its focus is on a a little known character who is a professional fighter. In fact, she's one of the best fighters in the country and she falls in love with this esoteric academic who has never held a sword. I love it. He quotes poetry to her and she . . . doesn't really get it. But it is a great story. LOVE Sharon Shinn. If you haven't read any by her, start with Summers at Castle Auburn. BEAUTIFUL. Then read The Shape-Changers Wife. Then start the 12 Houses books. I've loved everything I've read by her except her retelling of Jane Eyre set in a science fiction setting. Without the English culture to really influence the behavior of the characters, the story falls flat. Besides, while I love Shinn, a Bronte she is not.
There you go. Now I'm off to find books on poetry for kids. I bought the new Fancy Nancy: Poet Extraordinaire for school this year, and it is FANTASTIC. Mentions several different types of poems (like limericks and odes), and keeps everything very charming. We're starting with dental health and a special guest (my sister who just graduated from dental hygiene), then moving on to poetry, then skipping over to an ancient civilization. I just need to pick which one. Kami--what should I start with??? Yes, I have a masters degree in history. No, I do not know anything about history. Unless you ask me about WWII. Or masculinity. Or feminism. But even then, my knowledge is sadly lacking. Kami, however, has a nursing degree and knows TONS about EVERYTHING. That's why we keep her around. So periodically at the dinner table we can hear someone say, "I read in the National Geographic . . .." It was good to spend the weekend with you, Susie Q.
Yes, I plan on finished RC. Happy reading everyone. And good luck with the start of the new school year for those of us who homeschool.