Thursday, April 23, 2009

Book Binge

Unfortunately, my mother-in-law broke her leg.  I imagine it affects her in many ways, most of which are negative, but I'm not going there today.  Luckily, it is not a bad break, and she should recover in a month.  Here's how it affects (effect, affect, I'm suddenly doubting my language here, but whatever) me:

We've run out of books.

She picks up my kids once a week - each has their own day - and takes them to the library.  Then she brings them back to her house, which is a block from ours, and feeds them ice cream and chocolate milk.  Thus each kid comes home once a week with a bag of books appropriate for their age level.  I am in currently in charge of Sicily, and we have been doing chapter books since last fall.  We stick to the 3rd-6th grade level - I shy away from the Young Adult section at her age (6) since I quickly skimmed the Twilight series last fall - a little too much teenage angst, in my opinion, for a 6 year old.  

Coincidentally, I've run out of books.  The few I have leftover from my Christmas haul I am having trouble getting into, for some reason.  And Sicily and I have been re-reading old childhood favorites for two weeks and have both been getting bored.  So when I read an interview with Wells Tower in the paper on Sunday, and he made me laugh when he said the theme of his debut short story collection in his new book Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned (how do you underline on a mac?  Why did I buy a mac?  I can do molecular research, I promise) was "stories that I had written that did not make me feel like projectile vomiting", or something like that, I decided I had to run out and get it.  So over lunch on Monday I spent fifteen minutes in the adult section and fifteen minutes in Sicily's section at Barnes and Noble and walked out approximately $300 poorer, but about 13 or 14 books richer.

We are both much happier, now that I have taken control of the situation.  Sicily and I are reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien and she reported a dream about Dragon the cat on the way to school this morning - a sure sign of a good book that leaves you on the cliffhanger nightly.  I am happy to have some good literature for her again - I also picked up lots of new stuff I haven't read in the Newberry section and otherwise.  I don't know if you've ever tried to read Magic Treehouse or Magic Schoolbus but somehow they were landing in our house and Sicily and I were both suffering from misery and boredom (or maybe I was projecting).  

And Wells Tower is a helluva short story writer.  Read the reviews for yourself.  The hype is well-deserved, so far, in my opinion.  I've gotta run to the lab luncheon - I'm late.  It's National Laboratory Week, and there's a big three hour shindig.  Food disappears fast.


trisha said...

did you ever get into pillars of the earth?? i can't believe you didn't like it...everyone i know loves it. i have been reading all of his books now! also, have you read something blue? really cute!

Gizabeth Shyder said...

I'm going to try pillars again soon, I promise! If you think it's good, it must be. My friend Carrie, in my book club, really liked it.