Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Surely you thought of macrame

Certainly all of you were reminded of Dad and his macrame and house painting when Zippy discussed her father's ventures into decoupage and antiquing. It was the first thing that came to my mind. The Bill of Rights decoupage nailed to the wall made me think if the large macrame hanging in the dining room. Also, the discussion of all the crocheted items that I can remember people making (margarine tub purses and aluminum can hats) was pretty funny. Who made those? I'm sure we knew someone who did. Of course, I was always a big fan of the hook rug as well (I know I finished one, at least.)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

One for Mary

Is every younger sister in the world told they are adopted/left on the front porch. I thought the passage about Zippy learning she was from the Gypsies was very funny. I was laughing and Shane asked what was so funny.

Telling her story with humor

I honestly thought that it was kind of sad. She is funny in telling the story of her family, but underneath it wasn't so great. Her mother never got up off the couch and their father drank and gambled away their things.

At the beginning of the book, the sister says that the only reason a person would want to read a book about them was if it was the only choice off the reading trolley in a hospital. At the end she visits her sister at her house and the first thing Lindy asks about the dad was "Has he been drinking?" I wonder what the story of the family would be if her sister wrote the book instead. I imagine it would be much harsher.

I just read another book The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls for another book club. Jeanette lives this awful life of extreme poverty with a mentally ill mother and a drunk father. She tells about her life in all the gory details. It was a interesting contrast to this book where Zippy uses humor to tell her story instead.

The part that made me laugh the hardest

Toward the end of the book Zippy was discussing Christmas and trees. She was talking about the silver tinsel tree they used every year. First, I think we actually had one of these. I seem to remember it from pictures. Am I remembering correctly? But, the part that made me laugh was when her sister explained to her date that the tree was still up in March because her mother wanted to take a picture and was just waiting to get some film. This seemed so typical Holland - definitely something I would do (and you all can try to deny it but I'm sure everyone one of us has done something like this.) I definitely laughed outloud.

Overall, I didn't think this was a GREAT book but it was easy to read in short sittings (while at Kumon, sitting in the car when we arrive early to dance class, during gymnastics, etc.) And there were parts that were genuinely funny and brought back similar memories.

I'll post another one later. Post soon about this book and suggestions for the next. We leave for the cruise tomorrow so I won't be on for a while.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Here's a suggestion. It's published as a YA novel but recommended for adults as well. Also, I tried to get this at the library and there are like 300+ on the hold list. Very popular!

Starred Review. Grade 9 Up–Zusak has created a work that deserves the attention of sophisticated teen and adult readers. Death himself narrates the World War II-era story of Liesel Meminger from the time she is taken, at age nine, to live in Molching, Germany, with a foster family in a working-class neighborhood of tough kids, acid-tongued mothers, and loving fathers who earn their living by the work of their hands. The child arrives having just stolen her first book–although she has not yet learned how to read–and her foster father uses it, The Gravediggers Handbook, to lull her to sleep when shes roused by regular nightmares about her younger brothers death. Across the ensuing years of the late 1930s and into the 1940s, Liesel collects more stolen books as well as a peculiar set of friends: the boy Rudy, the Jewish refugee Max, the mayors reclusive wife (who has a whole library from which she allows Liesel to steal), and especially her foster parents. Zusak not only creates a mesmerizing and original story but also writes with poetic syntax, causing readers to deliberate over phrases and lines, even as the action impels them forward. Death is not a sentimental storyteller, but he does attend to an array of satisfying details, giving Liesels story all the nuances of chance, folly, and fulfilled expectation that it deserves. An extraordinary narrative.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

36 dog discussion

What does everyone think of the 36 dogs???

I thought it was silly to bring in all those coon dogs to show Mr. Reed that Zippy's 2 dogs were not that loud? I thought it was hilarious. Does everyone else laugh a lot during the book or is it just me? I am enjoying it. I didn't like the boy with the rabbit. I like that i can skip around. Love Mom

First post by Wowa

Sarah is showing me how to do a post.