I Read. February 2014

As soon as I saw this book, I knew I wanted to buy it, and read it… I got a message from my friend Heather three hours ago after placing my order, letting me know about it too. She is the one who mentioned the autobiography of A.A. Milne, which both Heather and I also bought and enjoyed.

Drawn from Memory is much shorter than Milne’s autobiography. It is short and delightful. It has his drawings sprinkled in between his memories just from childhood, from the ages of 6 to 8 or so. He had a drawing journal he took with him, but many times, he drew once he got home from his outing.

After his visit to Hampton Court, once at home, he made the drawing above of Queen Elizabeth and soldiers. He would have come back to look at that and a few other paintings, but his mom, siblings, and piano teacher, who went for this trip, were leaving to see an avenue with chestnut trees in full bloom.

Do you recognize the Browning couple? This chapter was hilarious, for he and his brother totally messed up in one of their social events, and they had to leave the place immediately! Tee Hee.

Ernest Shepard will surprise you with a city life not so urban as we know it, but poetic, and still attached to nature, celebrations, and a childhood with ample space and time to learn, play, dream, and draw, which for him it surely encompassed all the other.

Reading Update.
By Myself:
I cannot say enough about how much I enjoy the Horner plan for reading my Bible.
If you want to see my reading progress, I keep my list here.
I am half way into Julian Hawthorne, The Life of a Prodigal Son, is my car read. I did not use to be able to read in the car, but now, even though I arrive to home or places a bit dizzy, I can read. Since this book is in my Kindle, and my Kindle has light, I chose it for my car read, so that I can do it day or night. This biography is quite surprising and interesting. Julian Hawthorne was a professional writer at a time when magazines and editorials paid you by word. He did almost everything imaginable under the sun in terms of writing -novels, articles, book titles, his and others, some short synopsis of many books and what they meant, to him, to others, papers on books or literary topics, a biography of his parents…-,  he gave literacy speeches, was a writer, a critic, knew everybody in the arts, specially writers, directly or indirectly, reviewed books for magazines (and at a time when he was working as literary critic, he read everything from the Russians -meaning classics, and the French like Balzac, Zola, and the closer in time CHARLOTTE YONGE!), knew almost everybody who wrote plus those of the previous generation that were already writers or poets when he was a child. Just as a map of other writers, magazines (Punch included -Punch is a magazine for which A.A. Milne wrote and worked at for many years), publishers, places, styles, events, etc., the book is so worth it, but it is more; it is well written.
I am reading Sara Teasdale poems, and I have barely started To Say Nothing of the Dog.
With the friends at the Ambleside Online Forum, I am reading the Iliad. We are in books 9 and 10. I am finally enjoying it. I have gotten inside it, and it is now a comfortable read. I have heard Hector talk, now Agamemnon, and Aquilles, and those are the best parts, when they express a bit more of their character and their way of thinking. I over-thought and over-analyzed the book initially. It was so scary to read the Iliad, that I put forth a massive effort to compensate for my lack of context, and to motivate me into reading it… and I almost burned out before getting to the third book or chapter! There were lots of bad vibes too in those first pages, since it is not a christian canon book, it is unsettling to read it with our christian paradigm. But, by the 10th book or chapter, you sort of camp with those men, and it all grows in you. I have been moved to tears with Hector’s talk with his wife, I have enjoyed the poetry of Homer descriptions, I have laughed, I hear the gods arguments, I see the armies concoct strategies, and watch them eat until “they put aside desire for food and drink”, and offer libations and sacrifices, and I can proudly say, I am enjoying this classic. The initial efforts to prepare for the book where all worth it.

With the Girls:

We finished CHILDREN OF THE NEW FOREST. It was a formidable read. Toward the end, the chapters in which Edward’s military moves happen, I think the girls got a bit lost, but still, they enjoyed all of it. In particular, they were fond of the “forest chapters”, where all their particulars about living in the cottage are narrated.

Did you see that tree, full of grackles? That is my own tree, my own backyard. There are times in the day where all my trees and surrounding lines are full of these birds. I hear their singing, and other birds, all the time. It is quite surprising to live in the city yet to have a small glimpse of the country thanks to the birds.

There is a CARDINAL bird that lives in another tree, and that comes also every afternoon and sings from the same branch.

We just started JUNGLE BOOK and SQUANTO. Oh, Jungle Book… my daughter fell under the spell after a few sentences. Talking about book and movie discrepancy, I have to say that Kipling’s true voice will never be present in ANY movie. It cannot.

I am glad I am reading this one out loud. Though I admit it is getting quite a juggle to read all of their year 1 and year 3 reads, I still want to do them all, specially the new to me ones, which are all the year 3 books. But yesterday we took our books to the library (after doing math, working on our map of Marco Polo’s travels, and a few other things at home), and my year 1 girl got to read The Alphabet, from the Just So Stories, by herself! Sigh. Oh well, my year 3 girl and I buddy read, and I still get to read lots to and with them, and I still have plenty time to adjust to the time when they will read more and more by themselves. There will always be Shakespeare, Plutarch, and many books we will do together.

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3 comments on “I Read. February 2014

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