Got Books?

High on Greek Mythology, Cocoa and CookiesSurgery, recovery, and canceled international travel all produced more family time at the end of the year.  A nasty cold decided it likes me—a little too much.  I can’t quite get rid of it.  While I don’t recommend this method of forced stillness, it has advantages.  Spending more time with my family is the best part of convalescing.  The second best part?  Reading.

In the last month I’ve read close to 10 books.  (Really, I’ve lost count—I think it’s closer to 13, but I don’t want to sound like a braggart.)  On top of that I’ve been watching some of the movies that go with the books.  A multi-media approach never hurts to enforce the truth that the book is almost always superior to the movie.

My new found joy is reading Rick Riordan‘s young adult books–the Percy Jackson series, the beginning of the Heroes of Olympus series, and the start of the Kane Chronicles.  Riordan is an engaging storyteller weaving mythology and contemporary life together in a fascinating way.  As much as I like his books—and I most certainly do—I love that they’re becoming a family affair.

I bought the first 3 Percy Jackson books for my oldest nephew’s half birthday last year.  It took him months to decide to read them, but once he did there was no turning back.  I think he’s currently on his third reading of the series.  My brother, his dad, started reading them, too.  Then I came and started reading—and quickly zoomed ahead.

I’m currently reading the first of the Kane Chronicles.  Throughout the day P kept sneaking up behind me to glance over my shoulder and see where I was in the book.   Noticing him led to great conversations about what was happening, the connections between Greek and Egyptian mythology, and what I thought might be coming up next.  He even offered to sell me hints.  What a mercenary reader!

I loved it!  I know it brought out the inner book geek and former English teacher part of me, but it was wonderful.  I think we’ve even convinced my mom to start reading Percy Jackson and The Lightening Thief.

While there have been days I’ve silently lamented the inevitable maturing of my nephews, this helps change that.  Now I can’t wait for M to become an enthusiastic reader.  I love that we have three generations reading and discussing the same books.  I’ve already started thinking about what we can read next.

I know there will be books that one will enjoy and others won’t.  I know we’ll disagree about why things are written the way they are.  I know we’ll keep reading and talking.  We have many ties that bind us to one another; it looks like we’ve added a new one.

What are you reading?  Who are you discussing it with?

photo courtesy of Pauline Yu

8 Responses to “Got Books?”

  1. shelleyJanuary 10, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    Well, I am just a wee bit envious of all the reading time you’ve enjoyed. I know it came at a price, but still just a wee bit envious.

    I am currently mid-book in two: Generous Justice by Tim Keller and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. Both good. Just need to devote more time to them!

  2. SherylJanuary 10, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    You’re right—there has been a price. I suppose this is part of the silver lining in that cloud. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was one of my favorite books last year! Enjoy!

  3. JennyJanuary 10, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    I end up reading quite a lot of books in my search for books that are good reads and ones that I’m comfortable with the kids reading. Our kids are all good readers so we are not stuck with the reluctant reader problem but there is a lot of rubbish out there. So I go to the library and get books that I think might appeal and then I read them. I’ve found that saying they can’t read them till I do might be having an effect I had not anticipated… they become more eager to read them!! Lately I’ve been reading a series called hero.com and it’s accompanying series villain.net. Four books in each series. About kids who discover they can download superhero powers and use them (not always with much finesse!) to help in missions. The boys are loving them. I haven’t read any Percy Jackson books but that may be my next foray. I had a couple of friends recently encourage me to blog about my adventures in youth literature… We’ll see! Did you get a chance to read either of the books by Naomi? Hope you are starting to heal and that the cold goes soon!

  4. SherylJanuary 10, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    I love the way you’ve faked out your kids! It’s so fun to have readers around. Thanks for the recommendations for heroes.com and villains.net. My brother and P are checking them out right now! I highly recommend Percy Jackson. I started one of the books by Naomi before coming to CA, but decided I didn’t need one more thing to carry. I’m looking forward to diving back into it when I get home this week. I’m looking forward to finishing them!

  5. CherylJanuary 12, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    We’re currently reading Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time series and it’s great fun to experience it all over again with J and the kids! We mostly read at meal times and the kids sometimes get so engrossed in the story that we have to remind them to eat!
    Sara got some horse books–My Friend Flicka and Misty of Chincoteague–for Christmas, so I’m thinking those will be next. They don’t yet avidly read English books on their own, but I’m hoping that will come…

  6. SherylJanuary 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Hooray for Madeline L’Engle! What a fun series. I love the way you’re instilling a love for the written word in multiple languages in your kids. I loved the Misty and Stormy books when I was a kid. I read them over and over. Yes—keep reading! Keep engaging them! They’ll develop their own love for reading in English soon enough. Good work, Soul!

  7. Nathan R. HaleJanuary 13, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    Reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire right now–trying to blaze through the series so I can go watch the last one in theatres! Really excited about checking out Percy Jackson as well, though. After HP is done, I’m gonna be hitting some pop-theology (Francis Chan, David Platt, etc) before diving into some more scholarly stuff. Also Green Lantern comics. 🙂 Of course, Amber is my discussion partner for all this awesomeness!

    I wish we lived closer to you so we go out for coffee and discuss great stories.

  8. SherylJanuary 13, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    Nathan—I love HP! Such great stories! Rowling is so very clever. Riordan is clever, too, just in a very different way. As much as I love Riordan’s books, his formula for telling the stories becomes apparent a little too quickly. Even though the format is fairly predictable, the details are so amazing that it doesn’t matter. My advice on the PJ movie? If you watch it, don’t expect much. It could’ve been brilliant. I heard Riordan had nothing to do with the movie. I found that encouraging because it gave me hope that the stories may have justice done to them on the big screen one day. Let me know what you think of Francis Chan. I heard so much good stuff, and lately I’ve heard more “meh”. I’m interested in what you and your beautiful discussion partner think.

    I wish we lived closer, too. What fun we would have!

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