Friday, September 03, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday – Book Edition – 9/3/2010



For today’s post, I’m going to give you a little insight into my life by telling you about some of the books I’m reading and that the family’s reading.  Besides, I haven’t done book reviews in a while!

1. Eats, Shoots, and Leaves by Lynne Truss.  I read this several years ago, but I’ve assigned it to Rosie Girl as her grammar text.  It will only take her a couple of weeks to read since it’s short.  I loved it – it was funny and informative – but Rosie Girl isn’t very thrilled about it.  Ah, well, she’s a teenager! A

2. Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex by Eoin Colfer.  This has been our family read-aloud for the last week or so.  It follows Artemis and his friends dealing with yet another threat to the fairy people.  We love Colfer’s humor.  The one thing we’re not crazy about is his hyper-environmentalism, but it gives us a chance to talk about appropriate care for God’s creation. A

3. The Septimus Heap books – Magick and Flyte – by Angie Sage.   We read these books as a family right before the Artemis Fowl book.  Ms. Sage has created a rich, magical world that feels like Medieval Europe, along with fascinating and well-rounded characters.  Wild Man and I are both listening to the next set of books on our mp3 players, while Rosie Girl has read them before. A

4. Lord Foulgrin’s Letters by Randy Alcorn.  This book was modeled on C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters.  Honestly, I prefer Lewis’ take on things.  In Lord Foulgrin’s Letters, the author includes the letters from his fictional demon, but also has short chapters about the life of the “subject”.  I think part of what I didn’t like about this book is that it was so blatant about all of the evangelical “hot button” issues – the characters have to deal with abortion, p*rn, satanic ritual, etc.  Everything was also very “spelled out” in this book where Lewis left far more to our imaginations.  Everything felt very stereotyped.  Not a bad book, but definitely not up to the level of the original. B-

5. Escaping The Endless Adolescence by Joseph Allen and Claudia Allen.  I cannot recommend this book highly enough to parents.  Most of us realize that adolescence is lengthening – children are growing into adolescents before they’re ready and young adults are still behaving like adolescents when they should be adults.  As a parent of a teen and a pre-teen, I want to know what I can do (if anything) to help prepare my kids to be adults and not to act like a teenager forever.  The authors assert that our teens today need REAL exposure to the adult world instead of being always stuck in the “teenage bubble”.  Teens know that they need good grades for college, but that’s such a vague and faraway goal, that it’s hard to keep in sight.  In contrast, being involved in activities that are part of the adult world and that really make a difference – volunteering or working at a “real” job – gives kids the immediate feedback that they need.  You really need to read the book.  I was encouraged that a lot of what we do naturally as homeschoolers is what they recommend.  A+

6. The Red Queen by Phillipa Gregory.  This book is a historical novel about Margaret, the mother of Henry the Second, in contrast to her last book about Elizabeth Woodville.  Not only is it just an interesting read, but it’s a great history lesson about the Wars of the Roses.  B

7. The Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett.  I listened to this on audiobook and enjoyed it, despite the length.  It’s the story of the building of a cathedral in 12th century England.  There’s plenty of sex and violence, so it’s not for the faint of heart or children.  Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the book.  I also watched the mini-series on Netflix, but it was more graphic than I would have liked and it ended about halfway through the book.  I wonder if they have more episodes planned.  B+

Check out 7 Quick Takes Friday to see what others are up to!

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