Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Sunday Salon: What We're Reading

Like many other bloggers, I've been participating in Bloggiesta this weekend.  It's been a lot of fun discovering new (to me) bloggers, and I'm loving meeting some of you through the comments you've been leaving here.  Thanks so much for those!  I've also gotten some much-needed work done here on my blog. I've put about 12 hours of time into Bloggiesta thus far and while things still need tweaking (don't they always?) I'm pretty happy with the changes I've made.  What do you think so far?

On the reading front this week, I've been spending some time this week in the world of young adults. I read Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism by Alison Piepmeier. Zines gained popularity in the early 1990s, and while I kind of missed the whole zine scene (I think I was born too early), this book was a fascinating and eye-opening look at a literary venue that I hadn't fully appreciated before. What Alison does in her book is show her reader the importance of zines from a feminist standpoint and the "micropolitical" effects they have on their readers.

Laura Moriarty has become one of my favorite young adult authors. (I don't know if she is technically supposed to be classified as a young adult author or what, but regardless ... Ms. Moriarty writes about young adults in a way that even a 41-year-old mom of elementary school kids like me can relate to.)

I loved The Center of Everything (see my review here) and was thrilled to see her latest, While I'm Falling, on the New Books shelf at the library. It wasn't in the teen section either, which was refreshing.

At first this seemed to get off to a slow start, and I was trying not to compare this to The Center of Everything, it has picked up speed.  There are similar themes in both novels - mother-daughter relationships as seen through the recognition of one's parents' mistakes and the uncertain path one walks while trying not to repeat history. I think this will be a fairly quick read.  I'm also listening to this on audio, too. Fans of Beth Kephart might enjoy Laura Moriarty's novels.

Also on deck for this week is Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes All the Difference, written by Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho Tutu.  I was fortunate to hear Archbishop Tutu give one of the keynote addresses at a conference I attended in April, and his speech was incredibly powerful and inspiring.  He was also, surprisingly, delightfully funny and you got the sense that many of us in the audience were not quite expecting that.

Finally, school is out for the summer here, which means that we're participating in our library's Summer Reading Club program again.  Betty has set a goal of reading 200 books.  (They don't have to set a goal - she's just that kind of kid.  Wonder where she gets that from?) While we're trying to encourage such ambitions, we don't want her to get discouraged if she doesn't reach that goal.  So far, it seems like books about girls and their horses are high on her preferred reading list.

For Boo, this is the summer of the biography.  That's all he is interested in reading. He has a nice mix of books - everyone from Francis Scott Key to Christopher Reeve to Helen Keller - but seems partial to anything about boxers Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier.

This also means that we're not exactly following the suggested reading list given to us for rising 3rd graders.  I'm going to try not to stress over this, since the list is not required, and focus on the fact that they are spending at least this summer-like weekend reading.

That's what we're reading this Sunday.  What about you?

copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Jenny said...

I was disappointed with While I'm Falling while and directly after I read it. But the more I've thought back to it since the more I've started to like it, lol. That one surprisingly stayed with me for a while afterwards.

Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy) said...

Just finished it tonight, Jenny, and I can definitely see how that would be the case. There's a lot to think about in this one.

Alison said...

Thanks for your review! I've put links to two of your posts on the Girl Zines Facebook page. If you'd rather I not do that, I totally understand and will remove them!