Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Reading

One of my favorite memories from childhood comes from the winter that I was eight. My family was living in a large parsonage in a small central Montana town. This was this first real home that I remember as my family had left the farm when I was a toddler and had moved many times while my father went through college. When my father had his first placement in Montana we were all happy to be returning to the homeland and I was thrilled to have my own room. 

What a room it was too, the place was huge! My room spanned nearly the entire back width of the house. My mother painted my room Pepto Bismol pink at my request. I felt so mature that first winter and I remember wanting to act like a big kid. So I decided to start reading a novel before bed, like grown-ups did. My happy memory is crossing across that kinda rough wooden floor, walking carefully so I wouldn't hit one of the rough patches and get a splinter in my foot, and crawling into my bed. I snuggled under the covers, kicking to create friction and warm myself. Then, by the light of a bedside lamp, I started reading. The first novel that I remember reading was Bambi, the novel not the Disney movie. I think the book came from the farm and I still have it to this day. I recall quite clealrly the feeling of slowly working my way through that book solo. I also read with my parents, of course, but this was when reading became something that I chose to do on my own.

Since then I have continued to read constantly. Often I work on at least a couple of books at a time, generally a fiction and a non-fiction. Eric and I have also worked to nurture a love of reading in our girls. While I read to them throughout the day, we have a sweet evening ritual that I am sure will change and grow along with our children. Eric reads a chapter book, one chapter a night, with Cordelia while I read a more age appropriate book to Elise. 

I thought that today I might begin an occasional new feature on the blog, just sharing what we are reading. One reccommendation for kids and another for adults. Please share what you are reading too, as I am always looking for recommendations.

Let's start with kids.


Miss Rumphius
By Barbara Cooney
This was a gift from our friend Charlotte for the girls. She said it was a childhood favorite of hers and  she wanted to share it with the girls. I had never read the book myself and it was one of those marvelous children's books that delights adults as well kids. 



The story follows the life of Miss Rumphius and, without ruining the story, the simple message is that one should aspire to leave the world more beautiful than they found it. I just love the story, but I also love that the story follows an independent woman following her own path. 

Bad Boy
By Eric Fischl and Michael Stone


My husband was gifted with this book by our amazingly talented artist friend Suzy Smith (check out her work, it is INSANE 
http://www.suzysmithart.com/about.asp).
Anyway I took over the book and have been reading it for the past few days. I am not done with it yet, but it is a very compelling read. Fischl gives an inside look into the art world as well as his own life story. He is brutally honest about his past, owning up to mistakes and shortcomings. He isn't exactly a likable guy, being sort of morally ambiguous--but that is fascinating to me as most people make themselves out to be the hero of their own story. Fischl also shares many of the thoughts and feelings that seem to be universal among artists. The text is also accompanied with short passages contributed by other artists and people that influenced Fischl. Now I want to get back to reading.

What are you reading?

3 comments:

Meghan said...

The Quilter's Academy books, Freshman and Sophomore years. I'm trying to work my way through the series and pick up some little bits of extra knowledge that I've let fall through the cracks.

Meghan said...

The Quilter's Academy series, Freshman and Sophomore years. I'm trying refine my skills.

Sarah Purdy said...

I'll have to check out that children's book - it's beautiful! I read Amy Poehler's new book - it was a really fun, easy beach read. Like chatting with a friend. Now I'm reading Paul Theroux's The Great Railway Bizarre. He's my favorite travel writer and this one (about 30 yrs old) is about his travels on the Orient-Asian Express across the continent of Asia, and then his trip back on the Trans Siberian railway. Suffice it to say, it's igniting some serious wanderlust.

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