Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Little Girl With the Big, Blue Glasses

(Sorry for the repost but the picture didn't upload properly the first time I did it. And how can you label a post "The Little Girl With the Big, Blue Glasses" and not include a picture of the little girl with the big, blue glasses?)

Some kids look like they should be cheerleaders, some kids look like they should be soccer players, and some kids look like they should be readers. How can a kid look like this and not like to read? I think it's physically & genetically impossible. They don't make glasses that big for nothing!

So when I was young, my near & dear friends included Ramona Quimby, Kristy Thomas, Claudia Kishi, Marianne Spier, Peter & Farley Drexler Hatcher, Ralph S. Mouse, Nancy Drew, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Matilda Wormwood, Jo March, and the like. (Cool points to you if you can name the books in which those characters are featured. Or maybe I should say nerd points instead of cool points?)

As I've gotten older, I'd like to say my taste in reading has matured as well. I'd love to take Elizabeth Bennett and Jane Eyre to coffee one day and hear their stories in person. There are a few things I love about classic literature: 1) I can download them for free on our Kindle 2) I can purchase them in print in local bookstores since the English major students have to read them for class 3) The authors actually have the audacity to include plot twists and upsets that modern authors don't seem to be willing to pull 4) They give me opportunities to look up words like "phantasmagorical" in the dictionary, so my English doesn't digress as quickly as my Chinese progresses.

So here are my reading goals for 2011 (or at least the first half of 2011 before I become a mom and have no time for extracurricular activities such as reading):

I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla by Marguerite Wright--a child psychologist's research of how children develop a sense of race & color as they grow up. Should be an interesting read as these two white people attempt to raise two black people in a place filled with yellow people.
Empowered to Connect by Karyn Purvis--a book about connecting with adopted kids that was recommended to me by a dear friend who has started a journey with their first foster child.
Instructing a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp--we loved his first book, Shepherding a Child's Heart, and are excited to read its companion.

The Roots of Endurance by John Piper--because we all need some encouragement just to keep on keepin' on and who better to encourage than John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce?
Big Truths for Young Hearts by Bruce Ware--because the Wares are one of my favorite families in the world and reading Dr. Ware's book will remind me of sitting around their table at Thanksgiving.
Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands by Paul David Tripp--because, as the cover says, we're all people in need of change helping people in need of change.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne--because I just want to understand Hester a little bit better.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain--because I don't think you're really an American unless you've read a Mark Twain book.
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane--because it's one of the most moving and widely read American novels (or so says the back of my copy).
Billy Budd, Sailor by Herman Melville--for those of us who would like a taste of Mr. Melville but aren't quite ready for Moby Dick.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens--because my husband is convinced that it's the best book ever written and I'd like to be able to either agree with him or argue with him.
1776- because the only copy we have access to will leave the country this summer.

Perhaps a steep list but I'm at least going to give it a try! Does anyone have any other suggestions that I should add?


jscorbin said...

I'm looking forward to a re-read of "Robert the Rose Horse" with you and your boys, and Kevin if he's interested.

humbleadoration said...

I had a dream last night in which I discussed the merits of American Literature with Queen Elizabeth. I think my sinus infection/medication is getting to me. I haven't read any of the fiction books on your list other than A Tale of Two Cities, but I've reread that several times so it should count for something. If you like something light and fluffy and gothic, The House of the Thousand Candles by Meredith Nicholson (1905 bestseller) was entertaining.

Have you read Adopted for Life? I've been really excited about it, but haven't been able to get ahold of a free copy.

~Elaine Shutt

Susan/Mama said...

About those glasses. I've been telling you for years that big was the STYLE in the eighties. Look at the ones your dad and I wore. Do you have a picture to post here? If not, I'm sure I can send you one. Besides you were CUTE. Not that you'd believe me. ;-)

Christy said...

I just got some nerd points :D

Chris & Sarah Peek said...

Your mama's right. You were a cutie-patootie in those glasses and that frog shirt. Didn't we all have embellished clothes like that back then? Love the list, B. I think I should read shepherding a child's heart...

Susan/Mama said...

Now that's more like it. Glad you had the picture. What a cutie!!

PJ King said...

I enjoyed Purvis' "The Connected Child" as well.

Peter and Leslie said...

I love this list! I always get really excited about books (consequently, this might be the longest comment ever.) And even though I didn't have huge blue glasses as a child, I think I still managed to convey the bookworm vibe in other nerdy ways.

I'm hoping to read both Shepherding and Instructing a Child's heart this year. I've heard great things.

A Tale of Two Cities is also one of my favorites, I can't wait to see what you think! And also Huckleberry Finn. Some of Mark Twain's attitudes about religion are off putting to me but that book made me laugh out loud on a plane all the way from UT to TX.

One I would recommend, if you have any spare time after that ambitious list, is Treasuring God in our Traditions by Noel Piper. I'm almost finished with it and I think it is fantastic! It is about shaping our lives, our "everyday" and "especially" traditions, in a way that points to God as our hope.

Happy reading!