Tuesday, August 18

Summer Reading Check-up

My kids did two library summer reading programs this summer. They completed them and ended up with more coupons than we can use for area restaurants and attractions. It's a good incentive to keep them reading during the summer. However, this was J's first year in the "teen" club and it turned out to be a great deal LESS exciting than the children's club. Sometimes his prize was just to put his name in a drawing. He's my avid reader so it didn't deter him a great deal, but I was a little disappointed for him.

I did considerably better this summer than I did last year. My list was, indeed, ambitious (considering everything else we had going on) and I made it through 6 of the 8 books I listed. Here are my thoughts:

The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris. I haven't gotten to this one yet. But it's first on my list for my fall reading (stay tuned for that list soon).

Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller. This is a very easy, fast read. But it's kind of like trying to mix cornstarch and water in your hands: it just runs through your fingers until you grab hold of it and then you have something solid and worth chewing on. I actually want to read it again to catch some of the runoff that I missed.

Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton. We are just about finished with our park group for the summer using this book. I think it was a good experience for everyone who stuck with it. The book demystifies these spiritual disciplines and it has short, approachable chapters. A good pick for busy moms.

Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck. I took John to Great Britain with me to read on the plane/train. I'm sad to say that I'm disappointed that I'm disappointed with Steinbeck, because I LOVE him. But this one didn't have nearly the number of Americana vignettes I was hoping for. Steinbeck is so good at capturing people where they are, but this one was really more like reading a disjointed blog than seeing America through his (or Charley's) eyes.

The Religious Potential of the Child ages 6-12 by Sofia Cavaletti. Didn't get to it. Tried. Got distracted.

Faith Matters: Faith Mentoring in the Faith Community by Sondra Higgins Matthaei. Got some good reminders of what mentoring is all about and the different role mentors (or I) play in the lives of others. I don't think I'll need to read it for a third time though. As far as reading dissertations go, this one repeats a bit too much in what feels like an attempt to make a minimum page requirement.

Right Brained Children in a Left Brained World by Jeffrey Freed and Laurie Parsons. I practically carry this around with me. I keep flipping through it again and again, reading snippets here and there. Not only is it informative but it's encouraging, empowering and freeing. If you have an ADHD child (or a child labeled in some other learning disabled way) you need to read it. I'm not joking.

Eat, Pray, Love: one woman's search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert. Forgive me for calling this memoir a biography. It's funny that my aunt and I had the same response to it: We loved the Eat, pushed through the Pray and were disappointed in the Love. So, I read it. Moving on.

How'd you do this summer with your reading?

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