Ambleside Forum, art/craft/cooking, Book reviews

Goodbye July!

July is almost gone.

“Mouse Potatoes”. Delicious. Done by the girlies one of this past week’s afternoon from a favorite cook book for children my oldest loves.

Both girls spend these summer days swimming, playing, cooking, and reading. My 7 year old likes Geronimo Stilton. That, in Charlotte Mason’s jargon, is called twaddle. I am fine with it, though. Why? Because this is a girl who reads from the Bible and other living books during his lessons and other times of the day.

My 9 year old, is a reader that needs some love and care. She is almost finished reading Matilda, by Dahl, but she decided to check out The Hobbit from the library (our copy has very small print), and she is read 20 pages and stopped there… I have decided she needs some gentle help, and I have always wanted to read this book too, so I have read the first chapter to keep her company and discuss it with her.

I surely would love that they both finish those free reads, but at the same time, part of reading is looking for that good match, exploring some titles, and, eventually, finishing some, true! As a grown up, I open and browse many books, and some I do not finish. There are some books I seem to be always reading… but I read and finish lots of other titles too, so…

In any case, there has been a very fortunate thread to help us all, readers of multiple books, focus a bit on a few titles and finish them. It is good discipline.


One book finished, from those three (ahem, four), I committed to finish at the thread so cleverly started by Mary Frances, entitled, ta dah!, Finishing Books, lol.

My four titles were:

Poet’s Choice, edited by Paul Engle
Right Ho, Jeeves, by P.G. Woodhouse
The King’s General, by Daphne du Maurier.

and I finished

The Magic Barrel, by Bernard Malamud
I liked most of the stories. My favorite is the last one, that gives title to the book. All of them have sad endings. Its characters are people in New York, or expats in Italy, the tone is surely depressive, but hey, some beautiful literature is like this. His characters are interesting, some despicable, some lovable, some… I am also enriched by reading it. His people and stories are certainly part of America, and not only, part of humanity.

Charlotte Mason in one of her articles on Mother Culture wrote this,

The wisest woman I ever knew–the best wife, the best mother, the best mistress, the best friend–told me once, when I asked her how, with her weak health and many calls upon her time, she managed to read so much, “I always keep three books going–a stiff book, a moderately easy book, and a novel, and I always take up the one I feel fit for!”

I will surely take it into consideration when picking my next titles.


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