Friday, July 16, 2010

Flash Back Friday: American Girl (Addy)

Flashback Friday is a chance to showcase books that you loved as a kid or teenager. Hosted by Lovely Little Shelf
 I loved the American Girl dolls and books when I was a little girl. My favorite of all of the books were those about Addy a young girl who escapes slavery with her mom in 1864. I remember reading the first book about Addy and the description of her enslavement on a plantation. As punishment for missing a few grubs on the plants the overseer forced her to eat the grubs. As I read this book I can remember being moved to tears, which was an odd experience being 7 or 8 years old.

These books were my first look and encounter with our nations history of slavery and the subsequent racism that followed the emancipation. I am indebted to the American Girl stories about Addy that opened my worldview and mind to something bigger and an issue which is still so very important to me. I hope as my children grow they too will want to read these books so that their worlds and perspective can grow with them. Hopefully allowing them to grow into young adults with an eye towards compassion and justice. 

All of my Addy Books
And me a few weeks ago at the American Girl store in Minneapolis. I've wanted to go since I was a little girl and finally had my chance. In the bag is the newest Addy book (one they had written since I was younger) An Addy Mystery. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Musing Mondays: Distractions...

This week’s musing asks…
Can you read amidst distractions? (tv, others talking, sporting events, etc)
Oh yes, I can without a doubt read amidst distractions. This is a talent I developed growing up in small homes with 5 siblings. It was pretty much a necessary survival skill in my house if I ever wanted to get any reading done. It's funny now though because when I read I still don't hear or notice things around me. My husband can talk and talk and I'll look up eventually and ask, "Did you say something?" 
I think the best story of this that I have growing up is on a long car trip in our crowded van surrounding by my 5 siblings. I don't remember where we were going but it was winter and the weather was awful and the roads were slick with ice. At one point our van spun out of control and we almost crashed into another vehicle (luckily all was avoided and we were fine). 
I missed the entire thing because I was so into my book. My brother was horrified that nothing could get me out of the book and I can't remember his exact comment but he just kept asking what was wrong with me? Haha I just like to read what can I say. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

In my mailbox (4)...

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren and it explores the contents of my mailbox, library, or shopping bag on a weekly basis. Here's what I acquired this week:

From the Library: 
Ford County by John Grisham
(Finally I requested this from the library weeks ago)

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
For an online book club. 

Special by Scott Westerfeld
I'm not really sure why I bothered to check this one out. I own the first book in the series because I bought it for a $1 at a used book store. Then went to search for book #2 and of course the library didn't have it. 

The Stand Stephen King
I'm borrowing this from my MIL's friend because the library copy I checked out smelled so awful. My MIL even tried to air out for me but no dice (I am a library snob after all).

Under the Dome Stephen King
I'm heard amazing things about this book and when I saw the paperback version for a bargain price I just couldn't resist. Despite my efforts to cut back on my book buying. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Confession: I'm a library snob...

This is a recent discovery that I've made in the past few weeks since returning to the small hometown where I grew up. Growing up I loved our small town library. It was the only library I knew and I looked forward to our trips so I could check out as many books as possible (usually 15-20) despite the librarians  disapproval saying I could never finish that many books in 3 weeks (I did). I had a special bag that I kept all of my library books in and I went home and began devouring them one after the other sometimes staying up all night long reading (I wonder if my mom knew).

Then many years later I moved away from my small town and for the last three years my libraries have looked like this:

I've become accustomed to not only being surround by physically beautiful libraries but also having access to millions of books. So when I left these millions of volumes and returned to my small hometown in rural Nevada I have been nothing but disappointed by the library. 

My visits to the library go something like this: I make a list of books, check the computer to see if they're available (most the library computer has never even heard of the books I want), a few times the book is available, I excitedly go and look for the book, it's not where it's suppose to be. I ask and get a response inquiring about my alphabetizing skills, and then I leave disappointed and annoyed. (And many of their audio books are on cassettes). 

I've put in requests for books which takes weeks and the library has no WIFI *gasp* I was shocked with I learned this. Where do you go to work? Where do you go to write in a quiet space? Seemingly I have become accustomed to much grander libraries and my beloved childhood library now serves as a source of disappointment.

Sadly, all of this led to the discovery that I am library snob. 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Flash Back Friday: The O.J. Simpson Trial...

Yes, you read the title correctly the O.J. Simpson trial. Which I realize is probably not among most peoples childhood reading favorites, but for me it was. My entire life I wanted to be a lawyer (and I'll be honest I still haven't fully given up on that thought) and because of this desire I loved reading about and studying the legal and judicial system (I was a strange kid). The murders happened the Summer before 4th grade for me in 1994, and the trial and verdict took place during my 5th grade year. I actively followed the case and can clearly remember watching the verdict read live on TV.

After the trial and verdict the books surrounding the case began to be published and I eagerly started my collection as I read books by Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden (the D.A.s), a book about O.J. Simpson's "Dream Team" a book written by an investigator, and a book written by the family of Ron Goldman. I also had a book that served as an education tool that had a glossary of terms which I studied and included forms that the jury and the judges and lawyers would have filled out during the trial. 

I even bought O.J. Simpson's first book, although even in the 6th grade this caused me pause and question whether I wanted to own his book. In the end I bought it for two reasons: 1) It was in the bargain bin for $3 and 2) I decided that any good lawyer should be willing to read both sides (I took these things very seriously). 

I also wrote my first research paper on the O.J. Simpson trial in the 6th grade. While all of my classmates browsed the internet and library for resources I simply brought my own collection to school.

I'm not entirely sure what my mom thought of my fascination with the trial and my requests for these books for christmas and birthday presents (I'll have to ask her) or my teachers for that matter, but the trial and these books were very much a part of my childhood reading experience in 5th and 6th grade. 
My O.J. Simpson trial book collection

Monday, July 5, 2010

Musing Mondays: What are you reading?

 This week’s musing is going to be a bit simpler…
What are you currently reading? Would you recommend it to others? Is it part of a series (if so, which one)? What are you thinking about it? What book(s) would you compare it to, if any?
I'm reading, A Long Walk to Freedom The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela. I would without a doubt recommend the book to others. It's an insightful look at a man who dedicated his life working towards justice in South Africa. My knowledge of the apartheid in South Africa is sadly not what it should be and I'm using this book to as a first step to educating myself more about the situation. This is one of those books that I read with a pad of post-it notes next to me so I can mark the pages and passages that have quotes and statements I know I'll want to be able to find. 
In my opinion everyone should read this book, although I know that long autobiographies are not for everyone.