I would not have read this book, if not for our library's Adult Summer Reading Program.
I'm glad I read it, though if I'd ever go back and reread it, II would not have read this book, if not for our library's Adult Summer Reading Program.
I'm glad I read it, though if I'd ever go back and reread it, I'd give myself time to think about each poem as I went, rather than rushing through it.
The collection was solid, with masters like Issa, Buson, and (my favorite) Basho alongside of more contemporary poets. -But not so contemporary as not to be established. The anthologist mentioned she didn't include any living poets under the age of 60.
Translations are difficult, and I would imagine more so as the languages become more dissimilar. Spanish to Portuguese is easier than Spanish to English, which is easier than Spanish to Japanese.
So, it's difficult to determine how much subtlety is in the poem, compared to how much is implied by the reader, or added by the translator. Perhaps with poetry it doesn't matter, because we're each creating our own translation not from language to language, but from text to individual heart.
rendezvous: entering a thundercloud
the one I curse is the one I love- red cotton roses
And then there were the poems that moved me, and moved me again when I read the end notes on them. For example:
glad just to test walking to the kitchen to be with my wife...
"The last ten years of Sojo Hino's life were spent bedridden, his wife nursing him; this haiku reflects a short respite from his illness to see if he could walk to the one he loved."...more
You fight your superficiality, your shallowness, so as to try to come at people without unreal expectations, without an overload of bias or hope or arrogance, as untanklike as you can be, sans cannon and machine guns and steel plating half a foot thick; you come at them unmenacingly on your own ten toes instead of tearing up the turf with your caterpillar treads, take them on with an open mind, as equals, man to man, as we used to say, and yet you never fail to get them wrong. You might as well have the brain of a tank. You get them wrong before you meet them, while you're anticipating meeting them; you get them wrong while you're with them; and then you go home to tell somebody else about the meeting and you get them all wrong again. Since the same generally goes for them with you, the whole thing is really a dazzling illusion empty of all perception, an astonishing farce of misperception. And yet what are we to do about this terribly significant business of other people, which gets bled of the significance we think it has and takes on instead a significance that is ludicrous, so ill-equipped are we all to envision one another's interior workings and invisible aims? Is everyone to go off and lock the door and sit secluded like the lonely writers do, in a soundproof cell, summoning people out of words and then proposing that these word people are closer to the real thing than the real people that we mangle with our ignorance every day? The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It's getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That's how we know we're alive: we're wrong. Maybe the best thing would be to forget being right or wrong about people and just go along for the ride. But if you can do that - well, lucky you.
In the Hebrew Bible, there was a King: David. And David had a son, whom he loved: Absalom. Even after inciting a rebellion and stealing the throne from his father. Even after sleeping with the kings wives in the open - in front of the whole nation - proving that he, Absalom, was the king. Even so, after Absalom was killed, David mourned.
David epitomizes the line, "The tragedy of the man not set up for tragedy - that is every man's tragedy."
I've have often thought that the greater tragedy would not be my children being the victims of some horrific suffering, but one of them being the perpetrator of some horrific suffering. What human is prepared for a tragedy like that?
I don't think we have to uncover many layers of ourself to know that we believe this. Mrs. Conlon knew it. She recognized that the Swede's family had it worse than her family. Hers was still the same family, minus the doctor. The Swede family was at once completely different and unknown. What was it now? What was it ever?
Indeed, "Everything now is 'was.'"
And yet, Merry wasn't Absalom. She was extreme. "Limits. That's all you think about. Not going to the extreme. Well, sometimes you have to fucking go to the extreme. What do you think war is? War is an extreme."
(*More than 250,000 people have been killed due to the Iraq invasion. 250,000. 250,000. Please read that number again: 250,000.)
We're quick to denounce acts of extremism when we're the target. And when we target?
Merry didn't come to bring peace, but a sword.
What are you? Do you know? What you are is you're always trying to smooth everything over. What you are is always trying to be moderate. What you are is never telling the truth if you think it's going to hurt somebody's feelings. What you are is you're always compromising. What you are is always complacent. What you are is always trying to find the bright side of things. The one with the manners. The one who abides everything patiently. The one with ultimate decorum. The boy who never breaks the code.
How can we get other people right? We can't even get ourselves right.
I couple of years ago, I reread all of The Far Side Gallaries. (Or so I had thought... Apparently, I missed GallerA Thousand, Million Goodreads stars.
I couple of years ago, I reread all of The Far Side Gallaries. (Or so I had thought... Apparently, I missed Gallery 5...)
But when it comes to my life, no comic/cartoon/Sunday Funny has been read by me more than Calvin and Hobbes. Indeed, Watterson may be the most influential writer in my life. I have more "goodreads quotes" in my goodreads quote section than any other author. And it's not even close.
I want to retell the story of being banned from reading, or tell about the game my college roommate and I played where we'd flip open to any random page in any Calvin and Hobbes book and start a quote, and the other would have to finish it.
Calvin improved my vocabulary, taught me subtlety (from his lack), and how sometimes friends are jerks. And often you're the jerk, but you can't recognize it in yourself.
At this moment in my life, though, when I read it I came away with something else. I finished this at the end of June, 2016. Here in the U.S. we're in the middle of a... ...an interesting presidential cycle.
I noticed that Calvin is Donald Trump.
Now, who knows? Maybe Trump will turn out to be a fine president. But Calvin seems to often match up with the persona Trump is creating. I was so taken by this revelation that I took a bunch of screen shots and posted it to Facebook. As it turns out, I wasn't the only one who noticed.
As I said in my post, I feel bad about tying one of my childhood heroes to a person I personally don't care for. (True, on Facebook I was a little more direct in my feelings toward Mr. Trump...) But, lots of people took notice and have been photoshopping Trump's face over Calvin's face. I'm still not sure how to take it.
Full disclosure: I read this book trying to win a prize. Our library, THE Goshen Public Library has a Summer Reading Program for adults this year. (..Full disclosure: I read this book trying to win a prize. Our library, THE Goshen Public Library has a Summer Reading Program for adults this year. (...Maybe every year...) I've always wanted there to be a summer reading program for adults. Dreams can come true.
My wife reads more than anybody I know, and she entered last week, and won one of the drawings - $15 to one of our favorite restaurants. Nothing makes a prize seem as attainable as somebody you know winning it.
There are 3 drawings every week: one for fiction, one for non-fiction, and one for the Dewey Decimal System. I read this for the Dewey Decimal System drawing, thinking it's probably going to be the least entered.
I should also tell you that I've already bought in to the Fish! Philosophy. We watched the documentary in school a few years ago, and worked on incorporating it into our teaching, classroom management, etc... It takes some ideas from how Seattle's Pike Place Fish is run and applies them to other areas of life.
Like Tom Sawyer white-washing fences, they claim that if you incorporate fun into activities, it makes the unbearable bearable. Or that instead of scrolling through your phone and nodding your head when _______________ is talking to you, you should "be there" and actively listen.
It's a whole thing.
So, walking through the library, I was going through all these gardening books, and "How To" fix-it type books. How to work with leather and what not. It was somewhere around there that I stopped "choosing my attitude" or more appropriately, I started choosing a bad attitude and thought there was no way I was entering the Dewey Decimal Drawing this week.
*Side note* I NEARLY picked Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, having heard about it my whole life, but never having read it. But, I thought that if I won with that book, I may have some explaining to do. (I don't actually know what the book's about, so maybe that wouldn't have been the case.)*
And then boom: the books parted, and a single beam of 90 watt florescent light shone on this spot of the book shelf, and I knew. It was the perfect book to read. I already approved of the Fish! Philosophy - though from the introduction alone, I was getting tired of reading Fish! with the capital letter and exclamation point every time. The book wasn't too long, so I could get it finished before Friday. AND my current boss was the one who brought the Fish! Philosophy to our school, so if nothing else, I could maybe get some brownie points for reading it over the summer. (And no doubt sand kicked in my face from the tough-guy teachers whose idea of the "make their day" component of the Fish! Philosophy for students is, "make their day bad.")
So, it seemed like a plan. But then I couldn't stand the book. I still love the philosophy, and I thought the documentary was solid. But this book came across as an attempt to milk every last drop of fish oil gold from a business fad that was cool in the early 2000s.
And when I found out the last 2 (3?) books were fictionalized accounts of businesses that had used the Fish! Philosophy to much success, I wondered how much of this was fictionalized. -I actually wondered this throughout, because it was mostly dialogue in quotes. And the way the people were talking was weird. It was just weird. They addressed each other by name nearly every sentence: "OK, Brad. Let's not overdo it. I think you understand that it has to be genuine also." "No, it's true, Mom. I brag about Sarah all the time. Just never when she's around." "What you just said, Brad, is a great example of making someone's day."
It doesn't have the full effect when it's just a small portion, but I found it very bothersome.
The whole premise of the book - bring the Fish! Philosophy into your home - seemed forced. I imagine anybody who's read the first book, or watched the documentary would have seen the benefits of incorporating this into all areas of life.
But hey, they put out a new book, and they got people to read it. I might not be the type of reader they were looking for, but sometimes when you go fishing, you can end up catching even the ones you don't mean to catch. I imagine if the authors ever read this review, they'd wish they could throw it back....more
The kids, however disagreed. They want to give it 4 stars. (Poppy originally said "5" but went along with everyoneThe book was brilliant. Brilliant.
The kids, however disagreed. They want to give it 4 stars. (Poppy originally said "5" but went along with everyone else when the older girls said 4. She's happy about this, though because she is currently 4 years old.) In my mind, though, a child's 4 stars equals out to about an adult's 2.
I'm disappointed, because I loved the book. Even moreso when I found out Antoine de Saint-Exupery disappeared while flying, much like our little prince himself. (And only a year after the book was written.)
This is another one of the books that I'd heard about for years, but have never read. So, I knew it was a risk reading it to them.
Dad: Eleanor, why did you only give this book 4 stars?
Eleanor: Well, I don't know. It just wasn't my type. For one thing, there was a little bit too much magic for me. A little more magic than what's my style.
Dad: I don't think there was much magic in here at all. At least, not called such.
Eleanor: What I mean is, when he comes from another planet, that's a little magical. When he talked to that snake, that was a little magical. Freaky Friday wasn't that bad, because it was only a little bit of magic. ...You know what I mean, right dad?
Dad: I know what you mean, but it's weird, because I don't view it as magic, as such.
Eleanor: You mean... it's not exactly magic but it's not exactly NOT magic either.
Poppy: Daddy, when will you ask us our favorite parts?
Dad: Hold on, I'll ask that in a second.
Dad: You know the smooky game?
Gwen: Yes. I do.
El: Yeah. Why?
Dad: Is that game magic?
Gwen: Ummm... Kindof. I mean in your head.
El: *emphatic* No. Not at all. It's more imaginary, but not magic. Imaginary things don't have to be magic.
Dad: Actually. Can I. *types* Can I interrupt to explain what the Smooky game is?
Dad: When Eleanor was very little, when we would go outside, she'd tell me she saw a "Smooky." They're little birds that.
El: Well, they're not birds, they're like.
Gwen: Smookies look like those things in MarioCart where we...
Dad: Ummmm... It seems like we all have different ideas about what Smookies actually look like.
El: Yeah. You're right.
Dad: But since Eleanor made up the game
El: *Wait* Didn't we all make up the game?
Gwen: Yes. I made up the game.
Dad: I'm pretty sure you made up the game, Eleanor.
*Big argument ensues.*
Dad: At any rate, it's like this game... Where we're walking to the park or wherever, and suddenly somebody says "SMOOK!" really loud. And then smaller "smook... smooooks for the babies. *Now I'm picturing Smookies as PokemonGO characters...*
Dad: Anyway, that's the way I picture The Little Prince. Not magic: imaginative.
*Smaller argument over the difference between types of magic, imagination, magic in stories we like, magic in stories we don't like, etc...*
Dad: Alright Poppy!
Dad: What was your favorite part?
Poppy: My favorite part was when he... um um um um um... when he... When the SNAKE comes.
*suspects she says this because it was the last thing we read, and we were quite spread out in our reading...*
Eleanor: May I say my favorite part, dad?
Dad: Of course.
Eleanor: Um. My favorite part was when the pilot drew the sheep for the prince.
Eleanor: I don't know. I just thought it was interesting.
Dad: I did too. I loved that part. And the crate. I thought the crate was really interesting too.
Eleanor: Me too.
Gwen: My favorite part was when he really liked to draw, and The Little Prince visited him, and the Little Prince asked him to draw a sheep.
Dad: Why did you like that part?
Gwen: Because I like to draw also. And because I liked the picture of the sheep - the last picture of the sheep. Because the sheep was in a box.
Dad: Why did you like that the sheep was in a box.
Gwen: Because it was kind of... Ummm... I just really liked it.
Eleanor: What was your favorite part, dad?
Dad: Does anybody remember baobabs?
Poppy: I remember the baobabs.
Dad: Does anybody remember the rose.
Dad: Or when he saw 5000 roses?
Dad: What about when he saw all those other planets first?
Poppy: I DO! I DO!
Eleanor: But dad, what was your favorite part?
Dad: I have too many favorite parts. Maybe the baobabs. If I ever got a tattoo. I could picture myself getting a tattoo of the baobabs. This one: (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)].
Or maybe when he saw the 5000 flowers and despaired. Or when he got over his despair. I loved it.
Eleanor: Dad, I recommend this to people - in case they might like it.
Dad: Starting out, how many stars do you guys want to give the book?
Gwen: Wait, I mean, 4.
Eleanor: You can'Dad: Starting out, how many stars do you guys want to give the book?
Gwen: Wait, I mean, 4.
Eleanor: You can't give it 7, Poppy. You can only give it 5.
Dad: Have I ever made an executive decision before? I'm giving it 3 stars. And there's nothing you can do about it.
Eleanor: Really? You're giving it really three stars?
Gwen: Well, it's a little less than 4.
El: And way less than 5.
Poppy: Or a lot of money.
Dad: I want you to know that I heard how many you think it deserves, but this time, I'm giving it less than that. To tell the truth, I think it should be happy with 3 stars. I was thinking about giving it 2.
...And you know what?
Dad: I loved this book as a kid. I especially loved the Morris/Borris stuff and the meatloaf/beetloaf stuff. I thought that was hilarious. But there were some things that... when I was reading it out loud, I didn't actually read out loud to you because I felt like it was a little bit inappropriate.
Eleanor: So that's why there were sometimes pauses?
Dad: Yeah. I was thinking of how to say it so it would still make sense, but not be quite so unsavory.
Eleanor: So, you didn't skip those parts, you just said them in a more childish way?
Dad: Yeah. For instance, I didn't always like the way that the dad talked to the mom... so I changed that a little bit. And the cleaning lady? She said some things that were racist.
Eleanor: What's racist mean?
Dad: Mean to people that don't look like you because they don't look like you. ...Anyway, the book's point was that being racist is bad... and I like that point, but I didn't really like the way they made that point.
Gwen: What point?
Dad: That being racist is bad.
...Also, there were times I thought the book got a little bit boring. And some chapters just took a little too long for what I wanted at the time. Did you guys feel that way?
Dad: Gwen, did you fall asleep while I was reading it?
Gwen: No. I was awake the whole time. ...Well, maybe I did. I don't know.
Eleanor: I understand about the cleaning lady, but I didn't think the dad was talking mean, or anything like that. I mean, he was only trying to say, "don't do so much for Annabel. She needs to do things herself." And I didn't mind that. Sometimes parents need to do that for each other.
Dad: That's a fair point, Eleanor.
Eleanor: Then why don't you like the way the dad talks to the mom?
Dad: There were some times where the dad acted like all the mom did was spend money, and that the mom was stupid for not knowing how to clean shirts, and the mom was stupid for not understanding math... things like that... I bet, if you read it when you're older, you'll catch what I caught when I read it this time.
Eleanor: But I wouldn't call the parents mean. Or Annabel mean. Or the brother mean.
Dad: Well, I agree with you on the brother, for sure. He was nice.
Gwen: Can I say that I liked the book?
Poppy: I loved the book, and I love the wall.
Dad: The wall? *confused about where a wall was featured in the book* What wall?
Poppy *p0ints*: THAT WALL!
Eleanor: Well, I liked the book, and I want to recommend it to people....more
Yes, I gave another classic 3 stars. Yes, it means I'm a horrible person, illiterate and tasteless.
There was a lot to like in Hamlet. I just know thatYes, I gave another classic 3 stars. Yes, it means I'm a horrible person, illiterate and tasteless.
There was a lot to like in Hamlet. I just know that I have to read more of Billy Shakes' work before I'll truly appreciate it. And I bet if I stick with it, I'll enjoy it once I truly get the hang of it.
I want to see it, then I want to go back and reread it.
That's the review. Only click the spoiler if you're a die-hard goodreads fan. (There, I saved you some time...)
I especially liked the lines, "Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar."
and, "Neither a borrower, nor a lender be; for loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry..."
and, "This above all, to thine own self be true."
...But my favorite line in that whole monologue was this, "Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice." ...I hope to make that my motto. Thus far in life, it's been the other way around.
Speaking of which, let me tell you some other thoughts on Hamlet:
I found it interesting that, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks..." was a quote given by the queen about the player queen. I'd always thought it was given by someone else about the queen. She's unknowingly making the statement about herself.
...In her defense, I don't think she was that horrible of a person.
From a spiritual standpoint, I liked the line, "My words fly up, my thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts never to heaven go."
"A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear."
"When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions."
Shakespeare does a great job with the diggers - the way he creates suspense. We know who's grave they're digging, but Hamlet doesn't. I love it when they say, "One that was a woman, sir." ...Very clever, they.
Here's a sad part, it wasn't until I got to the line, "Yorick, a fellow of infinite jest..." that I remembered: HEY! I'm supposed to be reading this so I can draw comparisons to Infinite Jest... Alas, I've failed. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
We just finished reading the monstrously long and difficult: Infinite Jest at book club, and needed something of a palette cleanse. So, we came up witWe just finished reading the monstrously long and difficult: Infinite Jest at book club, and needed something of a palette cleanse. So, we came up with a bunch of shorter books we hadn't read for book club, and narrowed down the list to this one.
It's true, I'd just read this a year or so ago, but I'd taken up fishing since then. And the guy I now fish with is the person who first got me to read the book, and he's now in our book club.
Not only that, but he brought a bunch of the fish we caught, and we had a fish fry at book club.
Book club is nice, because when so many people read a book, they make connections that were previously unseen. I appreciated when members brought up cultural references to the book. The Simpsons, Seinfeld, etc... And it was nice that with technology being what it is today, we could go watch some of them.
We could also discuss some criticisms of the book - ones that I didn't even know existed before this last reading. Like... why didn't Santiago (genuine spoiler here) (view spoiler)[cut up the fish and put it in the boat to keep it from the sharks? (hide spoiler)] ...You know, stuff like that...
And as a book club, having read (view spoiler)[The Pearl (hide spoiler)], it was fun to be able to compare the two stories - because they are very, very similar.
I make no apologies for this review being crappy. Honestly, I'm only reviewing it for 2 reasons: to get the stat in my goodreads account - because I read it, and because I now read it as a book club book.
Here's my original review, complete with a fishing picture: The Old Man and the Sea.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Whenever too many people start recommending a book, I get nervous. If I don't like it, I'll be disappointing a lot of people. Also, there's this thingWhenever too many people start recommending a book, I get nervous. If I don't like it, I'll be disappointing a lot of people. Also, there's this thing of... like... who recommended it to me first, you know?
The biggest people encouraging me to bump this up on my are as follows:
My wife Liz, who got my daughter Eleanor to read it as well. My daughter Eleanor, who asked me after I was 5 pages in, "what's your favorite part?" Tim, a friend I teach with, who is also a goodreader.
So Tim, who I teach with, put this really cool "book review wall" outside his room. It was great.
Check it out, sorry it's a little blurry:
The best part was, instead of giving books stars, or thumbs up, or whatever, he rated them in Isenbargers. (Mrs. Isenbarger is our school Librarian/Media Specialist.) I thought it was really clever, and much better than the boring old stars that goodreads uses. (No offense, goodreads.)
At any rate, Wonder earned a high 5! ISENBARGERS!!
The book was also recommended by our science teacher - Mrs. Shelton, several goodreaders, and praised by a cousin-in-law Seulky - and by extension her daughter - during the reading.
All that to say: the book didn't disappoint. To live up to all that hype is a feat in and of itself.
Eleanor had read it, but asked me if - since I was reading it myself - would I read it out loud to her. I told her I would when she was around, but I wouldn't read the whole thing. Man, did she love this book. Every couple pages, she'd ask me what my favorite part was up until that point. She had to cover her mouth so she wouldn't give anything away.
She asked if she could help me review this one, but I told her no. I wanted to review this one on my own. It was really interesting reading sections with her. She doesn't quite realize what a Wonder she is herself.
It was tough for me to read the part out loud to Eleanor where the mom is describing Auggie's birth to August himself. She didn't catch the nuance. She only caught the comedy and love: the farting nurse, the doctor passing out, and the love that the mother had for August. She heard the story as August himself heard it. I, on the other hand, heard the story that wasn't told. The perspective of a mom telling about a time in her life when she was very scared, and very alone - knowing that she can't tell this version to hear son, which is only as much the truth as the other version.
The version she told Auggie wasn't an lie of omission. There are many ways to tell a story. That was one of the strengths of the book: the way it pulled in the different perspectives so well.
Yeah, it was tough reading that part out loud. But it was brilliant to hear Eleanor laughing as I read it.
I know it seems like we're reading these books to keep up with the times... what with just finishing There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom. I'm not tryI know it seems like we're reading these books to keep up with the times... what with just finishing There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom. I'm not trying to make any political statement with these books. We HAD been reading Paper Wishes, but the girls seemed to tire of it. And Gwen came home on her last week of library saying that all books had to be in by May 16th, so we had to read this RIGHT! NOW! Because LOOK!: Louis Sachar! Her library has LOUIS SACHAR!
And I'd never even heard of this Marvin Redpost character.
I thought it was quite good.
I'll start with Gwen, since she found the book.
Dad: What'd you think?
Gwen: I liked it.
Poppy: I liked it, too.
Dad: Can you give us a brief synopsis.
Gwen: What does that mean?
Eleanor: Do you know what a summary is?
Eleanor: Well, you tell a little bit about the book. But you don't give away the ending.
Dad: So, Gwen, can you give a synopsis?
Gwen: It was um. About a boy. And he kissed his elbow, and. Um. He turned into a girl... a little bit.
Dad: What do you mean, "a little bit?"
Gwen: He wasn't... I mean, he wasn't looking exactly like a girl. I think.
Dad: Eleanor, do you want to add to that synopsis? I mean, did he really turn into a girl?
Eleanor: Well, when he was a girl, he was a little bit different. He was like, "girls are so pretty. And it's so much fun to be girl" and when he was a boy he was like, "I'd hate to be a girl, it doesn't sound like fun at all." And he was really a girl.
Dad: That's weird, because I wasn't sure that he really turned into a girl. I thought maybe he did, maybe he didn't. Maybe he only thought he did, and his pretending became real to him. Like, sometimes I think Seena and Bleeya
Poppy: Why did you say Seena and Bleeya?
Dad: Seena and Bleeya are Poppy's friends, right?
Poppy: Right. Why did you say that?
Dad: Poppy, are Seena and Bleeya real?
Dad: Or are they just pretend?
Gwen: They're just pretend.
Poppy: They're real! Hmmmph. *Turns away.*
Dad: Well, lets not talk about Seena and Bleeya anymore.
Eleanor: Were you just trying to prove a point?
Dad: Kindof. My point is that sometimes people think and pretend things, and pretend enough that they actually wonder if what they're pretending is real. I think it happens more with kids than adults, and more with little kids than big kids, but sometimes it can happen with big kids and adults, too. Does that make sense?
Dad: So, here's my point: it's tough to know whether Marvin was just pretending he was a girl, and coming to believe it - or whether he really turned into a girl.
Eleanor: Do you want to know one of the reasons I thought he was a girl?
Eleanor: Because his mom and dad were like, "What happened to you? WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?" And I was wondering why else would they say that?
Dad: Yeah, he wrote it in a way that we'll never know for sure, right?
Eleanor: *Real seriously* I didn't like the book. ...I LOVED IT!
Poppy: Dad? I didn't like the book. I LOVED IT!
Gwen: *sighs* That's what I was gonna say.
Dad: Poppy, do you want to tell your favorite part?
Poppy: I liked the part when he turned into a girl. And I liked the part when he was a girl.
Gwen: My favorite part was when his sister said, "Oooo! I always wanted to have a sister."
Eleanor: My favorite character was Linzy, but I also liked Marvin Redpost, because without Marvin Redpost, there would be no, "Marvin Redpost: Is He a Girl?"
Dad: Do you want to know my favorite part?
Dad: When he was at school, and Casey Happleton told him that kissing your elbow made you turn into a girl, and you could tell Marvin was skeptical, but really wanted to see if it was true. But he was really embarrassed to admit that he wanted to see if it was true. So he had to pretend that he was too cool to try it.
Eleanor: Dad, if it wasn't true, why did Casey say it?
Dad: Who knows? Maybe Casey believed it. Maybe Casey was just playing around? Gwen had some friends tell her zombies were really. It really scared Gwen, but zombies aren't real. ...Probably... ...more
This may be the first book I've ever started reading with my kids that they weren't excited to listen to. They asked me to stop reading it. So I stoppThis may be the first book I've ever started reading with my kids that they weren't excited to listen to. They asked me to stop reading it. So I stopped, and then finished it on my own.
I have a lot of negative things to say about it, but I'll just keep most of them to myself.
I'll add that I wanted to like it. We've got plenty of captivating stories about the Holocaust, and not nearly enough about the internment camps, or the Pacific Theater, or the Trail of Tears, etc...
I think that still holds true after reading this book.
Hey. Maybe you'll like it. Maybe you'll love it. We don't agree on everything, right? I'll still offer my students extra credit if they read it....more
How this came about: I (along with a lot of the country) read and loved Coates' Between the World and Me. I liked it so much, thSo sue me. I hated it.
How this came about: I (along with a lot of the country) read and loved Coates' Between the World and Me. I liked it so much, that I asked if any other teachers at school wanted to read it and discuss it with me - something I've never done before. ...And then I read it again.
And then, the group (who didn't universally love the book) wanted to read and discuss The Case for Reparations, by Coates, which I also loved.
So, one of the guys in the group saw this was coming out and got it for me.
Good on him, but I didn't like this. Maybe this is the DC/Marvel divide? I didn't know the backstory, and had a hard time following it. I mean, I shouldn't have. I love comic books. I even went through a collection stage.
My favorite was Nightwing:
And that might have been the problem with Black Panther. I didn't have previous ties to it. I loved Batman, so NightWing was an easy sell. I especially liked when they fought common villains. ...When the villains from Gotham would vacation in Bludhaven... you know?
*Side Note* At least the guy who got me this knew enough to get me a direct edition. So, props to him for that.
All that to say, I don't think it's because I'm not a "comic book" person, because - although I'm not like... a superfan, I am a fan.
In the letters section, Coates broadcast his insecurities about writing a comic book. So, I get to be the guy he let down. The good news for Coates is, Black Panter was the year's best selling comic book....more