Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Reading!

It's the most wonderful time of the year -- summer reading season! This year, for the first time, I have a HUGE plan for Sadie's literary enrichment. Here is a partial list of the books I plan to read her:

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech
The Boxcar Children (19 books) by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows
Ivy and Bean and the Ghost Had to Go by Annie Barrows
Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record by Annie Barrows
Ivy and Bean Take Care of the Babysitter by Annie Barrows
Ivy and Bean Bound to be Bad by Annie Barrows

I'm sure I'm leaving some off -- but, never fear, she's doomed to be read to for hour upon hour this summer. Yes, I will give her liberal doses of playing in the dirt, rolling in the grass, hiking in the woods, swimming, riding horses, and general monkey-mischief betwixt and between.

Of course, the above list does not include the books I've planned for her to read independently. I am actually hoping to transfer the Boxcar Children books to that list soon -- they are nigh impossible to read aloud what with their clunky structure and insipid, repetitive dialogue. I want to die after half a chapter of drivel. But, Sadie loves the stories about four kids having adventures sans adults, and never, ever fighting -- ever (so, at least the books have realism going for them, right?).

As for me, well, so far I've been immersed in some oldies but goodies: Chesterton's Orthodoxy (which I do not think can be read too many times) and Isabel Paterson's The Golden Vanity (I have a first edition from 1934). I will write on the latter at Singing Sparrow next week. I am a little ashamed to confess that the book up after Vanity is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Yes. Sorry. So, anyway, a review of that ought to be up soon on Austensorium. Janeites, you know you're curious. Admit it.

Other than that, I'll be researching faeries. This is very serious scholarly work. Indeed.

This, my favorite quote about the importance of passing on a heritage of language and literature, keeps running through my mind of late:

If you love the language, the greatest thing you can do to ensure its survival is not to complain about bad usage but to pass your enthusiasm to a child. Find a child and read to him often the things you admire, not being afraid to read the classics.--Robert Macneil, Wordstruck: A Memoir

A beautiful thought -- and, like all beautiful things, true.

What are YOU reading this summer?

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