Sunday, April 13, 2008

What We're Reading

It’s been quite a while since I did a “What We’re Reading” so I thought I’d do one now.

I have been reading quite a bit recently. On Sunday when we traveled to Thomas Aquinas College I read Last Man Down — one of the dime library rack grabs that gives me a lot of my reading diversity. The rack contains all kinds of junk I wouldn’t read for any price, and things that aren’t junk but also aren’t of any possible interest to me at the moment– like “how to build your stock market portfolio” or “X-Treme Sports and You”.

Then there are the kinds of thing that might be junk to you but I find them worth spending a couple of hours on, and things that ARE of possible use to me but that I wouldn’t spend much more than a dime on. Things like diet or exercise books or a biography of Nixon or a trade mystery or sci-fi book. I usually read this type of thing in the car or airplane or when I know I won’t be able to concentrate. Beach reading, I guess it’s called.

Then there are the actual collectibles. I found an edition of King Arthur and His Knights; I found First Salute by Barbara Tuchman; I found a biography of Lincoln by Albert Marrin. Once we found a beautiful edition of Jack London stories and once the whole James Herriot series in a boxed set, hardcover. Possibly they wouldn’t be of interest to everyone, and possibly I skip over some that someone else would grab immediately (though most of these seem to remain on the stack until the librarian dumps them). But they are worthy books.

I think Last Man Down is in the second category…. not a snap-up treasure but I thought it looked fun to read. It was a first-hand account of 9/11 told by a fire chief who was actually in the building at the time. It wasn’t something I would have ordered from Amazon even if I had to pay for shipping, but it was interesting to read on a four hour car trip. It was written in that kind of “man-of-action-speak” that you seem to also get in sports autobiographies or books written by coaches or sometimes, westerns.

Then I read The HIdden Gifts of the Introverted Child.
Then I read Hold On To Your Kids. These were both Amazon second hand finds.

Then Clare asked if I could read East of Eden so she could discuss it with me. I hope to finish it today. Kevin and I watched the movie version a few weeks ago with James Dean. Certainly the book doesn’t much resemble the movie, though the movie was a good thing in its own way.

Brendan is reading The Rise and Fall of the Communist Revolution by Warren Carroll. This is his second time through; it is a huge book about 800 pages long. I just gave him the Last Man Down book so that he has something else to read for a change of pace.

Clare just read East of Eden and before that Our Mutual Friend.

Sean isn’t reading much right now besides things I have assigned. He zipped through all the Hardy Boys books during Easter break but he operates in fits and starts when it comes to reading. Now is one of the fits, I guess.

Kieron finished the Hardy Boys series — we have about forty — and then read the Saga of the Six Worlds series. He read The Gammage Cup. Now he is reading Tom Swifts and an Andre Norton, — Operation Time Search, I think.

Paddy is still mostly listening to Tintins.

Kevin has been reading Steven Saylor books — mystery stories set in classical Rome.

Now I’m off to relax and read the rest of East of Eden.